Running USA Annual Marathon Report

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – (March 23, 2014) – With the spring marathon season opening, it is time for Running USA‘s annualMarathon 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%

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
2010 507,000
2011 518,000
2012 487,000 *
2013 541,000  (all-time high)
*NOTE: ING New York City Marathon cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy (47,000-plus likely finishers if held).

Number of U.S. marathons exceeds 1,100 – new record
Last year, there were 92 U.S. marathons reporting more than 1,000 finishers, the third most ever (record is 94 in 2011 and 2012). Over the past 25 years, the number of U.S. marathons with more than 1,000 finishers in a single year has increased 360% (20 in 1989 vs. 92 in 2013).

There were also two inaugural U.S. marathons with more than 1,000 finishers: BMO Harris Bank Phoenix (1,434 finishers) and Edward Hospital Naperville (1,079), and overall, there were at least 30 debut marathons in this country and most of them were relatively small (less than 300 finishers).

In 2013, there were a 1,100-plus U.S. marathons contested, another record; compared to approximately 300 marathons in 2000.

TABLE 2

2013 U.S. Marathons (>1,000 finishers) with the…
… Fastest Median Times

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Boston

3:44:04

3:44:17

3:44:58

3:31:17

Lehigh Valley Health Network Via

3:49:56

Mountains 2 Beach

3:52:51

Baystate

3:48:42

3:47:42

3:53:44

3:54:22

Santa Rosa

3:57:48

… Slowest Median Times

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Bataan Memorial March

7:37:50

7:29:29

7:27:31

7:44:14

8:13:54

Honolulu

5:44:46

5:50:52

5:46:35

5:52:47

6:07:32

Walt Disney World

5:08:39

5:02:44

5:35:39

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio

5:02:59

5:01:59

5:10:30

ASICS LA

5:23:30

5:17:29

5:06:41

5:06:20

5:03:39

… Most <4 Hour Finishers

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Boston

15,691 (69%)

15,424 (68%)

16,211 (68%)

8,644 (40%)

16,068 (91%)

ING New York City

15,275 (35%)

14,724 (33%)

15,166 (33%)

15,834 (32%)

Bank of America Chicago

11,226 (33%)

8,294 (23%)

8,743 (24%)

11,717 (31%)

11,933 (31%)

Marine Corps

4,771 (22%)

4,622 (21%)

4,565 (22%)

4,501 (19%)

5,163 (22%)

GORE-TEX Philadelphia

3,221 (46%)

3,891 (43%)

4,046 (39%)

4,927 (42%)

4,162 (38%)

Medtronic Twin Cities

3,344 (38%)

3,247 (37%)

… Most >6 Hour Finishers

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Honolulu

7,788 (38%)

8,155 (40%)

7,621 (40%)

9,342 (41%)

10,032 (45%)

Walt Disney World

3,165 (21%)

4,044 (24%)

2,761 (20%)

2,986 (22%)

7,669 (37%)

ASICS LA

4,373 (31%)

6,313 (28%)

5,069 (26%)

4,630 (25%)

4,482 (23%)

ING New York City 2,194 (5%)  2,490 (6%)  2,524 (5%)  2,755 (6%)
Bank of America Chicago 3,465 (10%)  2,936 (8%) 2,507 (7%)  2,586 (7%)
Marine Corps 1,994 (8%)  2,092 (9%)
… Most Finishers in certain Age Groups
Event 2013 Subtotals
Female Juniors ASICS LA

1,504

Male Juniors ASICS LA

2,065

Females 20-29 Bank of America Chicago

5,384

Males 20-29 Bank of America Chicago

4,053

Females 30-39 Walt Disney World

6,956

Males 30-39 ING New York City

9,256

Females 40-49 ING New York City

6,009

Males 40-49 ING New York City

10,720

Females 50-59 ING New York City

2,444

Males 50-59 ING New York City

5,699

Females 60+ Honolulu

1,059

Males 60+ Honolulu

2,202

Overall 40+ ING New York City

27,016

Overall 50+ ING New York City

10,287

Overall 60+ Honolulu

3,261

… Highest Percent Women*

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Nike Women’s

93%

91%

92%

91%

91%

Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah

52%

51%

54%

Walt Disney World

51%

… Highest Percent Men*

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Bataan Memorial Death March

66%

70%

Wipro San Francisco

67%

67%

67%

United States Air Force

74%

71%

70%

68%

67%

… Highest Percent Masters (40+ yrs)*

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Boston

56%

56%

58%

59%

57%

Big Sur

56%

California International

55%

*Based upon events with >1,000 finishers in each representative category

New York City largest ever – again; record 31 marathons worldwide had more than 10,000 finishers in 2013
After its 2012 cancellation due to Hurricane Sandy, the ING New York City Marathon returned to the #1 spot as the world’s largest marathon with 50,266 finishers, the first 26.2 race with more than 50,000 finishers ever. For the first time in the same year, six marathons – New York City, Chicago, Paris, Berlin, Tokyo and London – had more than 34,000 finishers, while 31 marathons worldwide had more than 10,000 finishers. Also, for the second time (also 2011), 16 marathons had more than 15,000 finishers. In addition, the U.S. represented 5 of the top 10 and 7 of the 15 largest marathons in the world.

Last year, there were also a record 7 U.S. marathons with more than 17,500 finishers. See 2013 rankings below.

2013
World’s Largest Marathons (finishers):
  1) ING New York City, NY 50,266  (largest all-time; first marathon >50,000 finishers)
  2) Bank of America Chicago, IL 38,879
  3) Paris, FRA 38,690
  4) BMW Berlin, GER 36,474
  5) Tokyo, JPN 34,832
  6) Virgin London, GBR 34,312
  7) Osaka, JPN 26,937
  8) Marine Corps, DC 23,380
  9) Honolulu, HI 22,064
10) Walt Disney World, FL 20,734
11) ASICS LA, CA 19,534
12) Naha, JPN 19,118
13) Kobe, JPN 17,816
14) Boston, MA 17,600
15) ASICS Stockholm, SWE 15,679
U.S. Largest Marathons (finishers):
  1) ING New York City, NY 50,266  (largest all-time; first marathon >50,000 finishers)
  2) Bank of America Chicago, IL 38,879
  3) Marine Corps, DC 23,380
  4) Honolulu, HI 22,064
  5) Walt Disney World, FL 20,734
  6) ASICS LA, CA 19,534
  7) Boston, MA 17,600
  8) GORE-TEX Philadelphia, PA 10,909
  9) Medtronic Twin Cities, MN 8,857
10) Portland, OR 6,956
11) Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego, CA 6,542
12) Chevron Houston, TX 6,530
13) California International, CA 6,205
14) Wipro San Francisco, CA 5,827
15) St. George, UT 5,819

SOURCE: Running USA with Athlinks (2009-13) and Active.com (2005-08)

Contact: Ryan Lamppa, (805) 966-7747 or ryan@runningusa.org

Annual Marathon Reports (2012-13) click HERE.

(c) 2014 RunningUSA, all rights reserved, used with permission


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