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Three Cheers For The 1-Mile
We’ve all heard that running as a sport is becoming more popular with each passing year. It should come as little surprise, then, that one-mile road races are also seeing spikes in participation. Earlier this month, a new Running USA Mile Report revealed that 149,000 runners completed a one-mile road race in 2016. Approximately 117,000 finishers completed the distance in 2014, while only 69,000 people finished a one-mile race in 2010.
In the United States alone, 2016 saw 1,530 registered one-mile races. Of these, the race that attracted the greatest number of participants was the New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile, a race that leads runners along Fifth Avenue in New York City between East 80th Street and East 60th Street. Launched in 1981 by New York Road Runners, the Fifth Avenue Mile welcomed 6,148 finishers in 2016 and will take place this year on September 10.
Though the one-mile road race continues increasing in popularity, the half marathon still reigns when it comes to preferred racing distance for American runners and was ranked first for popularity in the 2016 National Runner Survey. If you thought 149,000 was impressive for 2016’s one-mile participant count, brace yourself: a whopping 1,900,000 runners crossed a half marathon finish line last year. Though more runners are embracing the one-mile than ever before, it has a long way to go before becoming top dog in the racing world.