To quote the WSJ, “The running boom is over. Blame the millennials.” THANK GOD!
This WSJ piece, How Millennials Ended the Running Boom, explains why races are seeing a decline in participants. A few tidbits:
- The number of finishers dropped 9% in 2015. 2013 reached a peak of 19 million runners and the number dropped to 17 million this year.
- The biggest drop in finishers are between the ages of 18-34. The reason being that millennials are fueling their fit need by other means like crossfit, boot-camp, weight lifting, and ballet.
- More than 48 million people said they ran at least once in 2015. I laughed at this one.
- The untimed Color Run dropped to 780,000 participants from 975,000 a year earlier.
- Millennials are more interested in overall health and a new experience than in identifying a particular activity.
Runners are Finally Falling Off
People who take running seriously can’t stand fake runners. When they show up in full running gear and their gut is hanging over their shorts, we know you’re a poser. Being fake is the #1 reason why people won’t like you and this sport has millions because it’s so easy to do and get away with it. For people who really like running, we do it because we enjoy it and it keeps us in shape. You don’t sign up for a race and call yourself a runner. It’s nice to see this finally winding down.
Let’s face it, anyone can run. Ian McGrath turned himself into a decent runner. The participation in these races grew out of control with every Tom, Dick, and Harry signing up for a run. It became the “in” thing to do because not only was it a social event, but it made you look like you took your health seriously. Now all these other vipers are popping up with their boxes and dojos and drawing runners away. I’m cool with it. It makes me happy that someone would rather push a sled with 0 lbs on it 10 ft than run 4 people wide on a 6ft track. Hallelujah.