Why do we Run- the 2016 Running USA facts

Why do we run?  According to the 2016 National Runner Survey and Running USA the 4 biggies are:

Stay Healthy  77%#blogiversary

Stay in Shape  76%

Relieve Stress  66%

To enter/Train for a race  64%

Runners attend events as both a fun runner and a competitor.

The favorite distance?   Half Marathon  40%

U.S. Runners average 7 events in the past year and are planning on participating in 7 over the next year.

Who are these runners?  16,967,100 runners crossed a finish line in 2016.  Of those 57% were women and 43% were men.  The runners in the age groups from 25-44 still represent 49% of all race finishers.   83% of these runners are caucasian, 87% are employed full-time and 36% have 4 year college degree.

Thinking about a new pair of running shoes?  3 is the average number of running shoes purchased in the last 12 months.  $101.00 is the average amount paid!

What shoe company takes the lead?   Brooks  23%,  Asics  18%, and Saucony  14%.

Word of mouth and Facebook are key information channels.  2/3 say it is easy to find an event they want to participate in.  18% say there are too many events to chose from and 1 in 4 say social media is their first choice for event information.

The top 5 factors impacting participation are:  5k training

Preferred Distance


Convenient Location


Have time to train

Half of the runners are always looking for a new event experience while only 4 out of 10 like participating in the same event year after year.

So how do you feel about race entry fees?  Half feel that entry fees are to expensive and half feel they receive good value for their race entry fee.

Want to complete the 2017 Running USA survey click here to get started.  Let your voice be heard- the survey generally takes 15 minutes to complete.  I have  completed mine!

Are you interested in the numbers?  Any statistic surprise you?  Did you take the 2017 survey?  

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32 Responses so far.

  1. Kimberly G says:

    I love looking at the numbers on this survey. I was surprised that the half marathon was the favorite distance. I thought it might be a shorter distance, like the 5K
    Kimberly G recently posted…5 Ways to Pamper a RunnerMy Profile

  2. The stat that 7 is the average number of events in a year? Ha! I’m pretty skewed off the charts on that one LOL
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…It’s not a Race, it’s a Training RunMy Profile

  3. this is fun! I guess that all of us fitness bloggers must skew a ton of these results especially the 7 races per year.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…Friday Favorites Spring EditionMy Profile

    • MB says:

      I know I am logging in more than that but I bet there are a ton of runners who may only do 1 or 2 races a year and that is it.

  4. My halfs are always new experiences, but my local races are often ones I do over & over. So I’m kind of split there.
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Ways to put on your oxygen maskMy Profile

  5. Oh I love stuff like this. I”m such a data geek!!!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Book Review: The Road to Sparta by Dean KarnazesMy Profile

  6. Marcia says:

    Interesting stats! I was a little surprised the overall number of people racing has started to decline. I wonder what impact that will have on races and fees?
    Marcia recently posted…Things That Make You Go…My Profile

  7. Debbie says:

    I’m a data junkie so I love this stuff! I fall on the side of thinking races are too expensive. I think that’s because Im older and I remember the days when I could enter the LA marathon for $40.
    Debbie recently posted…Easily Create a Click to Tweet (or Tweet This) without a Plugin!My Profile

  8. I love these factoids. We are a rare breed indeed!
    Susie @ Suzlyfe recently posted…Raw Healthy Cookie Dough Hummus (Vegan, Gluten Free)My Profile

  9. What fun stats! I run for all those reasons 🙂
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Sweat Proof Hairstyles: How To French BraidMy Profile

  10. I find stats like this so interesting! I’m surprised by the stat on repeating events vs. looking for new races – guess we runners are always looking for a new experience 🙂
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted…5 Benefits of PlankingMy Profile

  11. Cathy says:

    I am actually surprised that Saucony is in the top three. I run in them (Zealot) but I don’t see many runners wearing them on the trails where I run. Yeah, I am kind of weird like that. I like to see what others are running in. I notice a lot of Hokas are being used.

  12. I’m always fascinated by the stats. Totally agree on half marathon being a favorite distance – I like it b/c it’s a challenge to train for, but it’s not so much training time that it runs your whole life (which is how I often feel full marathon training is).
    Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers recently posted…5 English Muffin Recipe Ideas + Bays English Muffin Sweepstakes!My Profile

    • MB says:

      I think training for a marathon would ruin my life as well- something about running 20 miles on the weekend just because does not appeal to me!

  13. Gina says:

    I love all the statistics. I would say that anything over $75 is exoensive to me! But I did pay $120 for my destination half in two weeks in Co. yikes!!
    Gina recently posted…Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport ReviewMy Profile

  14. Rachel says:

    This is fascinating. I’m surprised it’s such a low number of repeat race courses. I always go back to the same ones! Lol.
    Rachel recently posted…How to Pamper Yourself During Racing SeasonMy Profile

  15. Very interesting! I was exciting to see Brooks was the top shoe brand, they have been my favorites for awhile!
    Lisa @ Mile by Mile recently posted…5 Ways For Runners To Relax (Plus a Visualization Exercise)My Profile

  16. Coco says:

    I run for all those reasons. And I usually run about 7 races a year. Who knew I was such an “average” runner!
    Coco recently posted…Five Reasons I Love The GW Parkway ClassicMy Profile

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About MB

I am a wife, mother, stepmother, working healthcare financial professional and a 5K enthusiast! I love to travel, try new products, meet new friends, eat great food and drink great wine! Why not run around the world in my tutu and tennies?
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