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Running is Still Booming

by James Moreland April 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm 91 0

By James Moreland
April 14, 2011
Rockville, MD
For the Washington Running Report

Photo below: runners kick off the spring racing season at the St. Patrick’s Day 8K.

Running is going just the reverse of the economy.  Races for spring are already in full b(l)oom.  People must have more time to race and more and more are aware that running is good for your health. It is so good sometimes that it might be feared addictive. We will have to wait for another study for the answer.

Since the beginning of the spring (and many races claim that distinction, though our claim is the St. Patrick’s Day 8K on the weekend of March 12-13), there have been 135 races with published results in the region. We have nearly 400 races in the calendar for the spring ranking period which ends Memorial Day.

Of course true spring did not start until the middle of March. And naturally one can never judge the season by the temperature in this region. One day it is sunny and 85 degrees. The next day the winds blow in the rain that is just warm enough to not be snow.

For sure, spring expects to be the busiest racing season. Only once was fall greater and that was all the back in 2005. As the chart below indicates, since 2005 participation is growing about 10% a year. This spring is already the fifth highest season since 2005. It will be the third highest by this weekend.

The races being run are getting larger as well. In the winter there were 49 major races (races with more than 500 finishers). That was higher than any season except for last spring (56). It is a safe bet that this spring will set the record as there are already 25 with at least seven more this weekend. We still have not reached the halfway point in the spring runner rankings period.

The chart below lists the past history from 2005 through 2011 in terms of races used for the runner rankings:

Major = 500 or more finishers

Total = Number of Races

Percent = % of ranked racers versus finishers

Ranked = numbers of ranked running times

Runners = Total runner participation.

2011 Major Total Percent Ranked Runners
Winter 49 220 3.15% 3145 99,953
Spring 25 130 1.34% 1800 133,741
Summer 0 0 #DIV/0! 0 0
Fall 0 0 #DIV/0! 0 0
Total 74 350 2.05% 4799 233,694
2010 Major Total Percent Ranked Runners
Winter 37 165 3.37% 2703 80,179
Spring 56 282 1.84% 3281 17,8456
Summer 41 286 2.99% 3660 122,427
Fall 32 307 2.61% 2471 94,500
Total 166 1040 2.53% 12,115 475,562
2009 Major Total Percent Ranked Runners
Winter 33 182 4.11% 2969 72,259
Spring 45 233 2.05% 3353 163,188
Summer 47 246 3.41% 3825 112,030
Fall 38 275 2.25% 3261 145,007
Total 163 936 2.72% 13,408 492,484
2008 Major Total Percent Ranked Runners
Winter 28 154 4.59% 2561 55,835
Spring 39 233 2.58% 3456 134,070
Summer 33 226 3.67% 3425 93,295
Fall 33 244 2.59% 3009 116,178
Total 133 857 3.12% 12451 399,378
2007 Major Total Percent Ranked Runners
Winter 25 152 5.04% 2505 49,662
Spring 34 187 2.71% 2960 109,370
Summer 36 215 4.39% 3380 77,005
Fall 28 219 2.77% 2999 108,419
Total 123 773 3.44% 11,844 344,456
2006 Major Total Percent Ranked Runners
Winter 19 122 5.22% 1985 37,993
Spring 37 187 2.80% 2819 100,552
Summer 31 208 4.43% 3341 75,466
Fall 27 163 2.60% 2282 87,698
Total 114 680 3.46% 10,427 301,709
2005 Major Total Percent Ranked Runners
Winter 23 120 4.88% 1759 36,025
Spring 23 156 3.50% 2682 76,702
Summer 27 185 3.92% 2718 69,421
Fall 26 194 3.27% 2626 80,390
Total 99 655 3.73% 9785 262,538

Last year these two battled to for the first place at the runner’s Rite of Spring, the Credit Union Cherry Blossom.

 

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