The Road Running Information Center reports continued growth of marathoning in the US in 2004. Women represent 40% of marathon runners, the same as 2002. Median age has also remained steady at 37. Median finishing chip time for all marathon finishes was 4:50 for women and 4:18 for men. Races vary considerably, of course - median finishing time for Los Angeles was 5:53 and Honolulu was 5:42; while Cleveland was 4:05 (but will have an 8 hour time limit on course for 2005) and Philadelphia was 4:04. New York (36,562) and Chicago (33,125 including ME) were the year's biggest marathons by far - the next nearest contender was Honolulu (22,407). My local race, the Marine Corps Marathon, was 7th on the list at 16,424 finishers, but they will be shaking up the rankings a bit in 2005 by admitting 30,000 runners in their 30th year.
My marathons planned for this fall, by the way, are the Baltimore Marathon on October 15, 2005 (actually more of a long supported training run) followed by my trip to the Big Apple: New York City Marathon on November 6, 2005. Will you be there with me?
Another interesting piece details the participation trends in the running industry. Something like 4.2 million American women run 100 days per year or more. I'm not sure if I had 100 running days last year to be counted among those numbers, but I probably did close to it.
For those in training for a marathon, and putting in some considerable miles on a treadmill (NOT me - treadmills are my very last resort for training), Lynne Durham at je cours has offered some excellent advice on approaches to training on the treadmill and how to combat that evil treadmill boredom.