Women and girls, not long ago an afterthought in distance running, now own it.What I find interesting is the chart below. Its exactly what you'd expect. Male participation begins to decline once women take over, because women like to participate in male activities, but men do not like to participate in female activities. One of the reason soccer remains so popular across Europe is that women do not play it, nor are they usually included in the post-game dinners.
They made up 57% of the 17 million U.S. race finishers in 2015, according to industry-backed tracker Running USA. That includes everything from 3.1-mile trots before Thanksgiving dinner to 26.2-mile marathons.
Mary Wittenberg, former director of the New York City Marathon, says races for women have become less common as they have become 57% of all U.S. race finishers. ENLARGE
Many women run to win prize money or medals. Millions more have taken to treadmills, sidewalks and running trails to achieve personal bests, socialize and improve overall health.
Mary Wittenberg, CEO of Virgin Sport, is a longtime runner and the former CEO of New York Road Runners, which operates the New York City Marathon. She notes that there are fewer women-only events than there used to be because at most races, women are the majority....
Women’s groups like Ms. Carey’s are helping further diversify running, Ms. Wittenberg says. Participation of racial minorities has climbed in recent years, according to Running USA.
“It would just be great to see the men’s side see growth, too,” she says.
Instead of running, some younger men especially have joined the trend toward weightlifting and high-intensity interval training. Overall participation in road races has dropped in the past two years as millennials have shown less interest in running than older adults. Average finishing times for men and women also have slowed down as race fields have gotten older and grown to include more recreational runners.
For many women, running is less a competition than a social experience.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
The conquest of a male space
Women have taken over the world of distance running: