2014 Running USA Annual Half Marathon Report

Running USA
June 1, 2015

U.S. Half Marathon Finishers Top 2 Million For the First Time
 

Running USA

WICHITA, Kan. - (June 2, 2015) - Last year, for the first time in history, the half marathon distance surpassed two million finishers in the United States, according to the 2014 Running USA Annual Half Marathon Report. The number of U.S. finishers grew from 1,960,000 in 2013 to 2,046,600 in 2014. 

Since 2003, per Running USA State of the Sport Reports, the half marathon has been the fastest growing standard distance, growing over 40% since 2010  (1,385,000 in 2010 to 2,046,600 in 2014). As reported in our National Runner Survey, half marathons are the most favored distance. 

Gender split was 61% females (a record 1.2 million finishers) and 39% males (another record over 790,000 finishers). Average times though were the slowest on record, 2:02:55 for males and 2:21:22 for females.

  • In 2014, there were 32 half marathons with 10,000 or more finishers (third highest total ever), slightly down from 34 in 2013.  This data point has nearly doubled since 2009 when there were 17 with 10,000-plus finishers, and in 2000, there was only one.
  • For the year, there were a total of 40 half marathons that make up the Top 100 U.S. timed road race list with 11 of them from the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series.
  • According to Running USA's 2015 National Runner Survey, the half marathon distance is the favorite race distance by core runners nationwide (preferred 39% by men and 43% by women).
  • Last year, there were more than 2,200 active U.S. half marathons (final road race numbers to be released in an upcoming State of the Sport Report). This is up from over 2,100 in 2013.

The following tables and lists display the demographics and astounding growth of the half marathon over recent years.
 

TABLE 1

Gender and Age Group Breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Women   

55%

56%

57%

59%

59%

60%

61%

61%

Men

45%

44%

43%

41%

41%

40%

39%

39%

Masters (40 yrs+) 

 

 

39%

36%

40%

41%

41%

42%

Open (20 to 39 yrs)

 

 

58%

61%

56%

55%

55%

54%

Juniors (under 20) 

 

 

3%

3%

4%

4%

4%

4%

 

Average Age

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Males  

39.3

39.2

38.9

38.7

38.2

38.5

38.6

39.1

Females

36.3

36.1

35.8

35.7

35.3

35.6

35.6

36.0

 

Median Times for U.S. Half Marathon Finishers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Males   

1:59:55

2:00:33

2:00:21

2:00:30

2:01:04

2:01:28

2:01:37

2:02:55

Females

2:19:12

2:19:02

2:19:47

2:19:12

2:19:33

2:19:47

2:19:48

2:21:22

 

Year

Estimated U.S. Half Marathon Finisher Total

1990

303,000

 

 

 

 

1995

420,000

 

 

 

 

2000

482,000

 

 

 

 

2004

612,000

 

 

 

 

2005

658,000

 

 

 

 

2006

724,000

 

 

 

 

2007

796,000

 

 

 

 

2008

900,000

 

 

 

 

2009

1,113,000

 

 

 

 

2010

1,385,000

 

 

 

 

2011

1,610,000

 

 

 

 

2012

1,850,000

 

 

 

 

2013

1,960,000

 

 

 

 

2014

2,046,600

(new high)

 

 

 

 

TABLE 2

2014 U.S. Half Marathons (>2,000 finishers) with the…

 

 

 

 

… Fastest Median Times

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

New Bedford

1:55:05

 

 

 

Mercer Island

1:59:12

 

 

 

Memorial Sloan Kettering's Fred's Team Presents Grete's Great Gallop

1:59:20

 

 

 

Hyannis

1:59:50

 

 

 

Lake Minnetonka

1:59:52

 

 

 

 

… Most <2 Hour Finishers

 

 

 

 

 

2011

2012

2013

2014

NYRR: Brooklyn

 

7,306 (52%)

11,257 (53%)

12,084 (47%)

NYC

5,038 (49%)

7,911 (51%)

7,161 (49%)

9,707 (47%)

OneAmerica 500 Festival

7,966 (26%)

5,749 (18%)

7,179 (24%)

6,099 (24%)

 

… Most Finishers in Certain Age Groups

 

 

Age Group

Event

2014

Female Juniors

St. Jude Country Music

2,054

Male Juniors

Southern California

1,595

Females 20-29

Nike Women's San Francisco

9,072

Males 20-29

NYRR: Brooklyn

2,857

Females 30-39

Disney’s Princess

6,183

Males 30-39

NYRR: Brooklyn

5,263

Females 40-49

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas

4,841

Males 40-49

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas

3,044

Females 50-59

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas

1,915

Males 50-59

OneAmerica 500 Festival

2,126

Females 60+

OneAmerica 500 Festival

536

Males 60+

OneAmerica 500 Festival

985

 

 

 

Overall 40+

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas

12,195

Overall 50+

OneAmerica 500 Festival

5,314

Overall 60+

OneAmerica 500 Festival

1,521

 

… Highest Percent Women*

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

Iron Girl, FL

100%

 

 

 

Hippie Chick, OR

100%

 

 

 

Women’s Fitness Festival, CA

100%

 

 

 

Women Rock, IL

100%

 

 

 

Gazelle Girl, MI

100%

 

 

 

More Women’s, NY

100%

 

 

 

 

… Highest Percent Men*

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

NYRR: Manhattan

60%

 

 

 

Caesar Rodney, DE

55%

 

 

 

Race to Robie Creek, ID

54%

 

 

 

 

… Highest Percent Masters (40+ yrs)*

 

 

 

 

 

2014

 

 

 

Jeff Galloway, GA

73%

 

 

 

Space Coast, FL

64%

 

 

 

Palm Springs, CA

63%

 

 

 

*Based upon events with >1,000 finishers in each representative category and >2,000 total race finishers

 

 

Göteborg Again Largest Annual Half Marathon Ever; Record 12 Half Marathons Worldwide With >20,000 Finishers

In 2014, Göteborg again kept its #1 ranking as the world's largest half marathon, and with 47,403 finishers, it was the largest annual half marathon ever, and for there were three half marathons with more than 30,000 finishers in the same year (Göteborg, Bupa Great North Run and Paris).

In addition, last year, there were a record 12 half marathons worldwide with more than 20,000 finishers (previous record, 10 in 2013).

Like previous years, the U.S. dominates the largest half marathon world lists with 5 of the top 10 and 12 of the top 20.

With 25,645 finishers, NYYR Brooklyn moved to the #1 U.S. ranking, surpassing OneAmerica which had been the top U.S. half marathon for 23 of the past 24 years. For the first time, the U.S. had a record seven 13.1 mile road races with more than 20,000 finishers, and to be in the top 10, a race needed 20,000 finishers or more; in 2010, the top 10 cut-off was 13,400-plus finishers, and in 1990, it was just under 1,800 or ten times less than in 2013.
 

2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World’s Largest Half Marathons (finishers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1) 

Göteborg, SWE

47,403

 

 

  2) 

Bupa Great North Run, UK

41,564

 

 

 

 

 

  3) 

Semi-Marathon de Paris, FR

32,803

 

 

 

 

 

  4) 

IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, DK

26,825

 

 

 

 

 

  5) 

NYRR Brooklyn, NY

25,645

 

 

 

 

 

  6) 

OneAmerica 500 Festival, IN

25,524

 

 

 

 

 

  7) 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas, NV

25,227

 

 

 

 

 

  8) 

Nike Women’s San Francisco, CA

24,448

 

 

 

 

 

  9) 

Vattenfall Berliner Half Marathon, DE

22,193

 

 

 

 

 

10) 

NYC Half, NY

20,824

 

 

 

 

 

11) 

Disney Princess, FL

20,770

 

 

 

 

 

12) 

Disney World, FL

20,243

 

 

 

 

 

13) 

St. Jude Country Music Nashville, TN

19,149

 

 

 

 

 

14) 

Medio Maraton de Madrid, ES

16,977

 

 

 

 

 

15) 

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego, CA

16,890

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Largest Half Marathons (finishers)

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1) 

NYRR Brooklyn, NY

25,645

 

 

 

 

 

  2) 

OneAmerica 500 Festival, IN

25,524

 

 

 

 

 

  3) 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas, NV

25,227

 

 

 

 

 

  4) 

Nike Women’s San Francisco, CA

24,448

 

 

 

 

 

  5) 

NYC Half, NY

20,828

 

 

 

 

 

  6) 

Disney Princess, FL

20,770

 

 

 

 

 

  7) 

Disney World, FL

20,243

 

 

 

 

 

  8) 

St. Jude Country Music Nashville, TN

19,149

 

 

 

 

 

  9) 

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego, CA

16,890

 

 

 

 

 

10) 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC

16,767

 

 

 

 

 

11) 

Disneyland, CA

15,973

 

 

 

 

 

12) 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia, PA

15,602

 

 

 

 

 

13) 

Surf City USA, CA

15,508

 

 

 

 

 

14) 

Lifetime Miami, FL

15,458

 

 

 

 

 

15) 

Nike Women’s, DC

14,761

 

 

SOURCE: Running USA with Athlinks (2009-14) and Active.com (2005-08)

For other questions about running trends and demographics, contact: Rich Harshbarger, rich@runningusa.org, or Jason Jacobsen, jason@runningusa.org - for media requests, please contact Scott Bush, scott@runningusa.org

Annual Marathon Reports (2012-13) click HERE

Annual Reports

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