USA ROAD RACE PARTICIPATION UP SHARPLY IN FIRST QUARTER
By David Monti
(c) 2010 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
Participation in USA road races was up 16% in the first quarter,
according to an exclusive survey by Race Results Weekly, an industry
news and results service.
In a survey of 75 American road running events held in the first three months of 2010 in 18 states plus the District of Columbia a total of 477,787 finishers were reported, up 66,727 finishers, or 16.2%, compared to last year. Percentage changes ranged from +92.3% for the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8-K in Chicago, which had a depressed turnout in 2009 due to a spring snowstorm, to -20.9% for the Union-Tribune Race for Literacy 8-K in San Diego, Calif., which changed its date from May to March and was held in rainy weather.
The number of marathon finishers grew by an impressive 20.6%, led by the Honda LA Marathon which moved its date from May to March this year. That race recorded 22,361 finishers, up 58.3% from last year. The Publix Super Markets Gasparilla Distance Classic Marathon had the greatest percentage growth amongst marathons, rising 61.9% in finishers to 2,090. The average marathon had about 4400 finishers.
Growth amongst the 24 half-marathons surveyed averaged 18.5%. The biggest gainer in both percentage and absolute terms was the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in Orlando, Fla., a race targeted at women but which permits men to run. That event grew 84.1% in terms of finishers to 11,324. The CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield National Half-Marathon in Washington, D.C., also showed explosive growth, expanding by 50.6% to 6,239 finishers.
The events surveyed ranged in size from 33,042 finishers for the Cooper River Bridge Run 10-K in Charleston, S.C., to 558 for the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, Miss. The average event size was 6370 finishers and the median size was 3842 finishers.
Top Five Events in Terms of Percentage Growth:
Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8-K, Chicago, IL (March): +92.3%
Disney's Princess Half-Marathon, Orlando, FL (March): +84.1%
Publix Super Markets Gasparilla Distance Classic Marathon, Tampa, FL (February): +61.9%
Honda LA Marathon, Los Angeles, CA (March): +58.3%
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield National Half-Marathon, Washington, DC (March): 50.6%
Top Five Events in Terms of Absolute Growth:
Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8-K, Chicago, IL (March): +12,266
Honda LA Marathon, Los Angeles, CA (March): +8,233
Disney's Princess Half-Marathon, Orlando, FL (March): +5,174
Walt Disney World Half-Marathon, Orlando, FL (January): +4,675
Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10-K, Richmond, VA (March): +3,357
Top Five Events in Terms of Total Finishers:
Cooper River Bridge Run 10-K, Charleston, SC (March): 33,042 (+5.1%)
Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10-K, Richmond, VA (March): 30,800 (+17.4%)
Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8-K, Chicago, IL (March): 25,560 (+92.3%)
Honda LA Marathon, Los Angeles, CA (March): 22,361 (+58.3%)
P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Half-Marathon, Phoenix, AZ (January): 21,460 (-2.4%)
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