Running USA's Annual Marathon Report

Running USA
March 23, 2014

2014 Annual Marathon Report

March 23, 2014

More new highs for U.S. marathons with 541,000 finishers and more than 1,100 races; ING New York City Marathon returns to the top in 2013

 

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - (March 23, 2014) - With the spring marathon season opening, it is time for Running USA's annual Marathon Report. Despite several cancellations due to weather and the Boston Marathon terror attack, 2013 was another record year for the classic distance with more than 1,100 marathons run across the country generating 541,000 finishers with a breakdown of 57% men (308,400, all-time high) and 43% women (232,600, a new high overall and percent) and 47% Masters – 40 and older (254,300, also a new high overall and percent).

Last year, we reported that the estimated number of U.S. marathon finishers had declined from a record high 518,000 finishers in 2011 to 487,000 in 2012 (a 6% decrease), but like 2001, most of the decline was attributed to a unique situation; in 2001, it was post-9/11 travel impacting fall marathons, and in 2012, the ING New York City Marathon, the world's largest 26.2 mile race with 47,000-plus finishers, was cancelled due to the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. If the NYC Marathon had been held in 2012, there is no doubt that the 2012 overall marathon finisher total would have exceeded the 2011 record of 518,000 marathon finishers.

2013 was also another year of unlikely perils impacting U.S. marathons. On April 15, the Boston Marathon's finish line area suffered an act of terror, 4 hours, 9 minutes, 43 seconds into the race. In addition, two large-scale December events, the MetroPCS Dallas Marathon and St. Jude Memphis Marathon were cancelled due to inclement weather, both the same weekend. The result of those unable to finish the Boston Marathon as well as event cancellations was approximately 13,000 fewer marathon finishers for 2013 in those events. But the return of the New York City Marathon (left, PhotoRun) with its record 50,266 finishers helped push the aforementioned 2013 number to a new high.

Overall, there was a negligible -0.7% decrease in finishers from the same 372 U.S. marathons for 2012 and 2013 (435,472 vs. 432,577). NOTE: because of the terror attack towards the end of the 2013 Boston Marathon, 2012 and 2013 finisher numbers for said marathon were not included in the same marathon comparison. There was a 1.6% increase in finishers from the same 388 U.S. marathons for 2011 and 2012 (464,122 vs. 471,595).

Since 1990, there has been more than a 140% increase in U.S. marathon finishers (224,000 vs. 541,000) and over the past decade, a 40% increase (386,000 vs. 541,000). See finisher snapshot table further below.

The following tables and lists represent a summary of the demographics and stats and trends for U.S. marathons and worldwide rankings. Per the tables below, U.S. marathon demographics - gender, age group, median age and median time - have remained essentially static in recent years.

TABLE 1

Gender and Age Group Breakdown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1980

1995

2000

2005

2010

2011

2012

2013

 

Women

10%

26%

38%

41%

41%

41%

42%

43%

 

Men

90%

74%

62%

59%

59%

59%

58%

57%

 

Masters (40 yrs+)

26%

41%

44%

44%

46%

46%

46%

47%

 

Open (20 – 39 yrs)

69%

57%

54%

54%

52%

52%

52%

50%

 

Juniors (under 20)

5%

2%

2%

2%

2%

2%

2%

3%

 

2013

Female

Male

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  6-17 yrs

1%

1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18-24 yrs

9%

6%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25-34 yrs

35%

25%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35-44 yrs

31%

31%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

45-54 yrs

18%

24%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

55-64 yrs

5%

10%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

65+ yrs

1%

3%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Median Age

 

 

 

       

1980

1995

2000

2005

2010

2011

2012

2013

(Mean)

Males  

34

38

38

40

40

40

40

40

(40.2 yrs)

Females

31

35

35

35

35

35

35

35

(36.6 yrs)

Median Age Overall 

 

37

38

37

37

37

36

(39.0 yrs)

Median Times for U.S. Marathon Finishers

 

 

 

 

 

1980

1995

2002

2005

2010

2011

2012

2013

 

Males   

3:32:17

3:54:00

4:20:01

4:20:29

4:16:14

4:16:34

4:17:43

4:16:24

 

Females

4:03:39

4:15:00

4:56:46

4:51:19

4:42:10

4:42:15

4:42:58

4:41:38

 

Year Estimated U.S. Marathon Finisher Total
1976 25,000
1980 143,000
1990 224,000
1995 293,000
2000 353,000
2004 386,000
2005 395,000
2006 410,000
2007 412,000
2008 425,000
2009 467,000
Annual Reports

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