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2013 State of the Sport - Part I: "Core Runner" Profiles

Running USA
April 21, 2013

Record 30,000-plus national survey respondents reveal income, education, running habits, favorite distances, favorite products and more!

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - (April 21, 2013) - The 2013 National Runner Survey is a comprehensive study conducted every two years by Running USA. This survey is the fourth one conducted by Running USA. The National Runner Survey assesses the demographics, lifestyle, attitudes, habits and product preferences of the running population nationwide. Results from the National Runner Survey reflect "core runners", that is, active adult participants who tend to enter running events and train year-round.

Today's core runners are highly educated with 75.8% having earned a college diploma (overall U.S. adults = 30.4%) and affluent with 73.3% reporting a household income of more than $75,000 (U.S. median household income = $52,700). Core runners are active participants who train year-round and report running / jogging an average of 208 days and logging nearly 1,165 miles per year. These runners are motivated to run in order to stay in shape (77.3%), stay healthy (76.1%), relieve stress (61.9%) and have fun (61.7%).

The National Runner Survey is distributed electronically to running event participants, running club members, specialty running shoe store visitors, subscribers to running publications and those who frequent the online running community. Running USA worked closely with more than 60 organizations to help distribute the online survey to various constituency groups between the months of August through December of 2012. A total of 30,425 runners nationwide (56.4% female, 43.6% male) responded to the survey with an 81% rate of completion. Select results from the 2013 study are presented below. You can order a complete report at http://www.runningusa.org/2013-national-runner-survey.

The profile of an average runner can differ significantly based upon experience in the sport, type of runner and current involvement, but the National Runner Survey captured a number of themes based on the responses of more than 30,000 core runners nationwide. Runners in our survey state they were motivated to start running for exercise and continue to stay motivated for the purposes of staying in shape. They typically run alone, early in the morning, on a paved path or road and likely run with music, GPS, sunglasses, hat/visor, watch, cell phone, keys, and a personal ID. They frequently read Runner's World magazine and most often visit top running websites such as Active.com and RunnersWorld.com. They are technologically savvy and use their smartphones for GPS, music, social networking, running apps, and race results. Most are likely to participate in a 5K or half-marathon and these decisions are mostly based on the race location, event date, preferred distance, whether it sounds fun and the cost. These runners purchase approximately 3 pairs of running shoes each year from a specialty running store and they are more likely to wear ASICS or Brooks. They consume Gatorade, Clif Bars and energy gel products. But you might be surprised to learn that these runners who are committed to a healthy and fit lifestyle state that they frequently go to McDonald's and their favorite restaurants include In-N-Out Burger, The Cheesecake Factory and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream!

Want to learn more about the lifestyle and product preferences of the core runner? Purchase your copy of the 2013 National Runner Survey and find answers to more than 80 questions related to the core runner. A full report of the National Runner Survey is now available at http://www.runningusa.org/2013-national-runner-survey.

The following female and male runner snapshots represent "core runners", that is, active adult participants who tend to enter running events, train year-round and purchase 2-4 running shoes each year.

Typical U.S. Female Runner
Demographics
Average Age: 39.3
60.7% Married
77.8% College educated
70.8% Earn a household income of $75,000+

Running History
Average number of years running: 9.6
Average number of running events participated in during the last 12 months: 7.1
49.2% have completed 1 marathon or more in their lifetime

Running Routine
66.8% Run/Jog 4+ hours each week
76.1% run 12 months a year
Average number of days run per week: 3.9
Average number of miles run per week: 20.2
64.8% describe themselves as "Frequent/Fitness Runners"

Running Preferences
Favorite race distance is the Half-Marathon (42.5%)
Interested in entering next year: Half-Marathon (80.5%), 5K (57.5%), 10K (57.1%), Marathon (41.1%)

Motivation
Primary motivation to start running: For Exercise (23.1%), Weight Concerns (17.1%), Family/Friend Encouragement (7.6%)
Motivation to continue to run: Staying in Shape (79.0%), Staying Healthy (78.4%), Relieving Stress (66.7%)

Product Preferences
Average number of running shoes purchased in last 12 months: 2.9
Last running shoes purchased: Brooks (22.9%), ASICS (22.0%), Saucony (13.3%)
70.8% spent $90+ on their running shoes and 46.0% purchased their running shoes at a specialty running store
Favorite brands of running apparel: Nike (63.8%), Under Armour (48.3%), Brooks (31.1%), Champion (31.0%)
74.5% spent $100+ on running apparel in the last 12 months and 56.3% purchased running apparel at a specialty running store

Health
Average Weight: 140.2 lbs
Average Height: 65.01 inches / 5 feet, 5 inches
Average Body Mass Index (BMI): 23.3
39.0% are content with their weight
41.0% are content with their fitness level

Typical U.S. Male Runner
Demographics
Average Age: 43.8
71.8% Married
73.5% College educated
76.5% Earn a household income of $75,000+

Running History
Average number of years running: 13.6
Average number of running events participated in during the last 12 months: 8.0
65.9% have completed 1 marathon or more in their lifetime

Running Routine
72.4% Run/Jog 4+ hours each week
78.5% run 12 months a year
Average number of days run per week: 4.1
Average number of miles run per week: 25.5
62.8% describe themselves as "Frequent/Fitness Runners" and 22.8% as "Serious Competitive Runners"

Running Preferences
Favorite race distance is the Half-Marathon (38.1%)
Interested in entering next year: Half-Marathon (73.4%), 5K (54.3%), Marathon (53.9%), 10K (52.7%)

Motivation
Primary motivation to start running: For Exercise (21.0%), Weight Concerns (15.3%), Competed in School and Never Stopped (9.3%)
Motivation to continue to run: Staying in Shape (76.8%), Staying Healthy (74.7%), Having Fun (60.9%)

Product Preferences
Average number of running shoes purchased in last 12 months: 3.1
Last running shoes purchased: ASICS (21.7%), Brooks (20.4%), Nike (11.9%), Saucony (11.8%)
65.4% spent $90+ on their running shoes and 38.9% purchased their running shoes at a specialty running store
Favorite brands of running apparel: Nike (59.7%), Under Armour (43.9%), Brooks (35.0%), ASICS (31.8%), adidas (30.6%)
69.0% spent $100+ on running apparel in the last 12 months and 60.0% purchased running apparel at a specialty running store

Health
Average Weight: 174.4 lbs
Average Height: 70.42 inches / 5 feet, 10.4 inches
Average Body Mass Index (BMI): 24.7
43.1% are content with their weight
42.5% are content with their fitness level

For more information, contact: Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director, ryan@runningusa.org or (805) 966-7747

April

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