Who Is the Core American Runner?
See how you compare to your comrades in sweat.
Are you a 39-year-old woman who runs 20 miles a week, or a 43-year-old man who runs 25 miles a week? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, according to Running USA, you’re the archetype of today’s core runner.
Running USA, an industry trade group, has released its 2013 state-of-the-sport report, which includes extensive demographic information on American runners. The information is based on survey responses from more than 30,000 runners between August and December 2012.
Running USA describes core runners as “active adult participants who tend to enter running events and train year-round.” In addition to the age and mileage stats above, core runners average four runs a week, most often describe themselves as “frequent/fitness runners” and say that the half-marathon is their favorite race distance.
There are some differences between female and male core runners. The women surveyed had been running an average of 9.6 years; after “for exercise” and “weight concerns,” their next most-cited reason to start running was “family/friend encouragement.” The men surveyed had been running an average of 13.6 years; after exercise and weight, their next most-cited reason to start running was “competed in school and never stopped.”
Among the men, 65.9% have run a marathon, compared to 49.2% of the women.
The average core runner woman stands 5’5″ and weighs 140. The average core runner man stands 5’10” and weighs 174.
Overall, core runners seem focused on self-improvement: 39% of the women and 43.1% of the men said they’re content with their weight; 41% of the women and 42.5% of the men said they’re content with their current fitness level.