Annual Half-Marathon Runners (USA), 1992-2012

chart, line chart

Data via Running USA

If it seems like all of your friends are running half marathons these days, it’s because they are. 

Over the past decade, the number of people running the half-marathon each year has tripled, reaching almost 2 million in 2012. And this number looks like it going to keep rising. In 2014, there are scheduled to be 300 half-marathon events in California alone. 

What’s the attraction to the 13.1-mile race? According to Ryan Lamppa of Running USA:

“In many respects, it’s like marathon-light, like light beer. It’s less time-consuming as far as training but as filling as doing a marathon. Runners are saying maybe a marathon is too long or they’re not ready or they don’t have time to put in another 10 to 20 miles a week, but they can see doing a half-marathon.”

Half marathons – not too long, not too short, just right.

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