GFGL FIT BLOG: Who, When and Where

I’ve been trying to find statistics about who does marathons–age, gender, demographic, etc. This is what I found from Running USA Wire…

Gender, Age and Median Times by Distance in 2005 (RRIC)
2005
2002
WOMEN
MEN
WOMEN
MEN
5K
50%
50%
60%
40%
Median Time
32:26
26:33
33:45
26:42
Average Age
33.8
36.5
34.2
36.5
% Masters – 40+
39.7%
41%
% Juniors <20
17.6%
14.1%

10K
45%
55%
47.4%
52.6%
Median Time
1:00:39
53:05
1:02:43
53:58
Average Age
34.8
39
34.3
38.3
% Masters – 40+
41.4%
40%
% Juniors <20
7.3%
8.5%

Half-Marathon
53%
47%
48.8%
51.6%
Median Time
2:17:09
1:58:35
2:16:14
1:57:45
Average Age
36
39.2
34.9
38.9
% Masters – 40+
41.7%
40%
% Juniors <20
2.6%
2.3%

Marathon
41%
59%
40%
60%
Median Time
4:51:19
4:20:29
4:56:46
4:20:01
Average Age
36
40.3
35.5
39.6
% Masters – 40+
44.4%
43%
% Juniors <20
1.9%
2.1%

Click here for other distances

No such thing as ‘Typical Runner’
Stats collected by the RRIC and others indicate that there are multiple runner profiles such as:

1. Fitness and Fun Runners who prefer 5Ks and mega races, which feature a party atmosphere. They are mostly ages 18-29 and the majority are female participants.
2. Competitive or Goal-Oriented Runners who train consistently during the year, prefer the longer distance events and don’t care about the size of the race as long as it is well-organized. The majority are male participants and they tend to be older.
3. Charity Runners who enter just one event a year (or once in their life). There are more women than men and the average age is somewhere between the fitness and fun runner and the competitive runner.
4. Trail Runners as defined by the Outdoor Industry Foundation, are primarily male, unmarried, live in the Western region and have an average age of 29. “Comparatively, the trail running population is one of the most ethnically diverse of all the outdoor activities measured and it is becoming more diverse. In 2004 and 2005, a greater percentage of hispanics are participating.” (OIF Outdoor Recreation Participation)

Granted these stats are from a few years ago and I know competitive running has had a bit of a comeback in the past few years with a younger crowd, so I’m still in search of a more recent analysis, but this was still the most complete account I could find. Definitely some interesting differences between things like age and gender when it comes to competitive vs. “fun” run kind of stuff.

But back to me and being part of this years statistics…

Good week thus far-did 3 miles Tuesday, 5 yesterday and another 3 today with a super fun yoga class after (inversions!). All sticking with about a 10 min mile time-wise. I’m still trying to get going a little faster, but I suppose it’s not that important. I figure as long as I stay consistent it will come naturally when I finally get off the treadmill, which I’m very much looking forward to. I’m starting to think maybe I should just suck it up, invest in some cold weather gear and head outside. I do kind of have a fear of running on sidewalks. I think this is because I grew up in the country and we didn’t have sidewalks and I’m subconsciously scared a tractor is going to run me down. But most trails around here aren’t cleared off right now, so maybe it’s time to face my fears?

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