I’ve been working on increasing my weekend Long Steady Distance (LSD) runs, working to build from a previous long of seven miles to fifteen, in preparation for my first half marathon.
And I thought, “I wonder where I stand, as a percent of the U.S. population, just finishing a half marathon”? Try looking up the statistics for your country, if you’re reading this in another country.
In the U.S. in the year 2012, half marathon’s were the fastest-growing length of any race. We had the most ever participants in 2012 – 1,850,000 people. The total population between 55-64 (my age group) was 18,331,065 males and 19,711,907 females. In that age group, 9% of the 1,850,000 finishers was male, and 5% was female. Interestingly, the overall percentage of women was higher, but I guess that women my age missed that groundswell.
Anyway, that means 166,500 (9% of 1.85 million) males in my age group finished a half marathon, which means only 0.9% (0.009) of the entire country has even gotten off a couch to try and run this far.
For women, it means 92,500 (5% of 1.85 million) females in this age group finished a half marathon, which means only 0.47% (0.0047) of the entire country has even gotten off a couch to try and run this far.
That means even if you finish dead last you will still be in the 99th percentile of the U.S. population. So the next time someone asks why you get up every morning to run/walk/bike/swim, ask them why in the world they don’t!