There were several factors why there was a single digit percent increase in U.S. half-marathon finishers. First, in 2013, like some U.S. marathons, several half-marathons were also impacted by weather cancellations including larger ones such as MetroPCS Dallas and St. Jude Memphis, both the same weekend in December. Second, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series reported fewer finishers than the previous year. Third, there were only two inaugural half-marathons with more than 5,000 finishers compared to a record six in 2012 including two with more than 10,000 finishers. Collectively the aforementioned reduced the 2013 U.S. half-marathon count by an estimated 60,000 finishers.
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – (April 6, 2014) – Since 2003, per Running USA State of the Sport Reports, the half-marathon has been the fastest growing standard dist ance in the United States with a 12.5% annual finisher growth rate, and moreover, from 2006-12, the number of 13.1 mile finishers grew a noteworthy 10% or more each year. In 2013 that historic growth rate slowed as U.S. half-marathons had an estimated 1.96 million finishers (a new high) with a solid 6% increase from 2012 (1,850,000 vs. 1,960,000), but not nearly as impressive as the 24% record rise in both 2009 and 2010. Also, in the same 1,135 U.S. half-marathons for 2012 vs. 2013, there was a 1.6% finisher increase (1,528,938 vs. 1,552,696). By comparison, in the same 1,136 U.S. half-marathons for 2011 vs. 2012, there was a 5.1% finisher increase (1,522,637 vs. 1,599,838).
(c) 2014 RunningUSA, all rights reserved, used with permission