Each year marathonguide.com compiles data from the previous year's marathons to reveal the demographics of the marathon trends. This year's number crunching revealed a record 9.9% growth in the number of marathoners from 2008 to 2009, with 468,000 runners crossing marathon finishing lines in the U.S.A. alone.
"Amazing to many, the 2009 growth occurred as the USA economy plunged into recession - but contrary to common sense, the marathon industry seemed not only recession proof, but to relish in the bad financial times," says the website.
Here are some fun statistics the study yielded:
- Female marathoners continue to increase in numbers, accounting for 40% of finishers
- There were 397 marathons in the United States in 2009 (and 372 in 2008)
- Average marathon finishing time: 4 hours, 35 minutes, 42 seconds. (4 hours, 17 minutes for men, 4 hours 52 minutes for women)
- Average marathoner age: 38.7 (40.2 for men, 36.5 for women)
- 70% of marathons got bigger in terms of number of runners
- New York City marathon is the biggest; there were 43,250 finishers in 2009
- There were 40 new marathons in 2009, with about 20,000 runners among them finishing
- Men aged 40-44 were the fastest age group, with a mean finishing time of 4:16:19. For women it was ladies 35-39
- Largest age group for women was 25-29, while the men's largest age group are older: 40-44
- 3% of marathoners finished in less than 3 hours
- Average finishing time among all runners improved
- October was the month with the most marathons
For more marathon trivia, click here.