The Half-Marathon remains the fastest growing and favorite race distance for runners, according to Running USA’s National Running Survey. Last year, U.S. half-marathons had an estimated 1.6 million finishers (a new high), a 16.2% increase from 2010 (1,385,000 to 1,610,000).
The 13.1 mile distance is also the favorite distance to run for both genders (35% men and 39% women) and also the road race distance that runners are most interested in entering in 2012 (70% men and 77% women).
More half-marathon facts from Running USA:
- Since 2003, the half-marathon has been the fastest growing road race distance in the United States.
- For six consecutive years (2006–11), the number of 13.1 mile finishers has grown by 10% or more each year. No other U.S. road distance comes close to this growth rate.
- Since 2000, the number of half-marathon finishers in this country has more than tripled (482,000 to 1,610,000), an increase of 234%.
- 59% of half-marathon finishers were females (approximately 950,000, a record).
- In 2011, there were a record number of 30 U.S. half-marathons with 10,000 or more finishers. This has nearly doubled since 2009 when there were 17 with 10,000-plus finishers; in 2000, there was only one.
- Like the past 5 years, there were more than 30 inaugural half-marathons in the U.S. last year, and 2011 produced the largest debut annual half-marathon ever, Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah, with 14,163 finishers.