Thursday, August 11, 2011

Running slanted up - and in good (bad) company

Over the past few years I've noticed a dramatic increase in the number of people running just for fun and in races.  Can running help turn our sinking economy around?  I think yes ... but I'm a little biased.

Per Running USA, participation in races, and road race finishers is on the rise.

Sadly, the unemployment rates (from Business Insider) seem to have a similar increasing grade.
Does that mean that people looking for jobs are out hitting the trails?  Not quite.  Per Running USA, 70.3% of women who run, earn a household income of $75,000+ and 76.0% of men earn a household income of $75,000+.

So are all of these well-off runners investing back into the economy?  Maybe.  But the US debt isn't improving because of this.  Unfortunately, the US debt chart has a similar climb to the unemployment chart and race finisher chart:
 I do think running is giving back to the economy, though.  Here's why:

  • Per Running, a rule of thumb for replacing running shoes is every 300-400 miles; since the most common races run in the US are 5Ks and half marathons (based on finisher stats), and per runners training for a 10K should target 80-100mi per week, runners should be replacing their shoes every 5-weeks roughly (although I replace mine every 6mo or so)
  • The average cost of a race is $49
  • Races are driving companies like to go public - this means more investment opportunities (hmm...) and more jobs
  • Runners spend!  We need GPS devices, shoes, socks, clothes, more (healthy) food.  We travel for races so spend on flights and hotels.  And if others are anything like me, we treat ourselves after races :)
Anyhow, deep thoughts from Amber Taylor - just in from a run.

1 comment: said...

Nice blog! Very interesting.