The half marathon is the most popular race distance in America. In 2014, there were over two million half marathon race finishers. And things aren’t slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the popularity of the half marathon has grown by more than 40% over the last four years.
Half marathons attract recreational runners and competitive amateurs looking to challenge themselves and have a good time. Race destinations, medals, and post-race festivities are determining factors for many runners. Read on to see what the fuss is all about, and then sign-up to run a half this year!
Half Marathon: Far, But Not Too Far
Many distance runners like the half marathon because they can recover quickly and race more often than they could at longer distances. The training required to complete a half marathon isn’t too overwhelming or time-consuming. For many 5K finishers, this is a logical next step in their progression as runners.
Here’s what some runners had to say about why the half is America’s most popular race:
Half Marathon: Still Time for Life Outside Running
For every marathon finisher last year, four people finished a half marathon. Many runners I reached out to, told me that for a busy person, the half just makes more sense than longer race distances. Runners can train properly without compromising family time or job responsibilities.
In 2014, the typical Half Marathon runner was a 36 year-old woman Click To Tweet
Half Marathon: The Gateway to the Marathon
For many recreational runners, the half marathon is an introduction to more serious running. The training routines, long run endurance, and specific running knowledge one gains by running a half marathon often leads to a marathon lottery entry.
Half Marathon: It’s a 13.1 Mile Party
Running a half marathon is a great way to discover a new city. Many runners plan destination races or ‘racecation‘ getaways to exotic locations. With medals, t-shirts, live music and beer tents at many of the more popular half marathons, this race has truly become a party destination for many runners. Cheers!