Some fun marathon stats

Earlier this week, Running USA released its annual report on the state of marathon running in the U.S. I am a numbers nerd and love reading through these facts. Such a nerd that I decided to take my favorite marathon stats and make them pretty… 



It is amazing to see the sheer growth of people running marathons… a 140% percent increase since 1990! Incredible! 

And congratulations to the New York City Marathon who set an all-time record with more than 50,000 finishers last year. So excited to be part of the race again this year!


Do you think marathon running will continue to grow? 

Who found out they were IN for the New York City Marathon today? 

Categories: running


  • I definitely think marathons are getting more and more popular (and ultra marathons too). It’s more common for people to be running a marathon these days. It’s no longer the crazy feat it used to be. If you’re a runner it’s more about “when” then “if” I think these days.

  • Nikki says:

    WOW that’s incredible growth stats! Love it!

  • I think as we have the lotteries going on, a lot of these stats are going to be discussed. I just read on another blog about the increase in marathon applications for the lottery. It amazing to see how the sport is growing and I really beleive it will continue to grow. Fiance and I havent started looking into big races like the NYC Marathon but as we get more involved in this sport, that day will come for sure.

    • CrazyRunningGrl says:

      Good points! Especially since more of the larger marathons are going to the lottery system (sadly).

      • Do you know if the lottery is the only way into these races? What about those that qualify from other races? Do they get automatic entry?

        • CrazyRunningGrl says:

          It depends on the race. NYC, you can qualify through a speedy time (really speedy, faster than Boston) or by a guaranteed entry option for NYRR members (run 9 races + volunteer at one throughout the year) and charity. Houston and Chicago also offer guaranteed entry based on time, but the times aren't as fast as other time requirements.

  • Interesting, i swear everything I’ve read said now more finishers were women. Maybe that was for half marathons??

  • So excited to see that you will be running the NYC Marathon again. Congrats! I think the running and triathlon communities will continue to grow each year as people become more conscious about the health benefits, relationships, community, and support these events provide. There is truly something special about a sport that does not discriminate based on age, height, weight, gender, ethnicity, or ability. Anyone can do it. :)

  • That’s pretty cool and I really think running has only begun to see a major spike in participants. I’m happy with doing half marathons right now, but maybe one day a marathon :)

  • It seems like more new races are popping up in my area. I think it’s great!

  • I can’t believe how popular road races in general have gotten over the years. I think that all races, including the marathon, will continue to see participation growth. It does stink because now every cool/fun race is hard to get into.

  • Great stats– I’m really surprised Boston isn’t on largest US marathons!

    I think marathons will continue to increase. While I have only been doing road races a few years. the drastic changes I have seen during that time is huge!

    • CrazyRunningGrl says:

      Definitely! I think Boston does a great job of sticking to its roots — staying true to its prestige :)

  • Mark V says:

    I am by no means a marathon snob, but the larger races are quite taxing on the spectators’ abilities to be there for the finish and support their spouse/dad/runner. I prefer the smaller, more casual races that have a very “family” feel to them. That being said, great that more and more are joining the running community.

    • CrazyRunningGrl says:

      I know what you mean — I feel like the smaller races often have crowds that are more supportive of EVERY runner… if that makes sense.

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