What Does a 5k Race Say About The Economy?

I believe studying how and where people spend their money, especially their discretionary dollars, is an excellent way to gauge how confident they are in their current financial situation.

One of the best examples of this I can think of are 5K races. Here’s why:

  • Why spend the $15-40 entrance fee when you can run for free?

  • 5K races remain the most popular U.S. running event in both the number of races (15,200 in 2013) as well as the number of participants  (8,300,000 in 2013).

  • A 5K race does not require expensive gear or training thus opening it up to a wide variety of incomes.

  • 5K racers come in all ages and sizes.

  • 5K races are not restricted to just select areas. They take place all over the country and during all times of the year.

  • The table below shows how the growth of running slowed dramatically during 2007/8 and starting increasing again in 2009.

https://a248.e.akamai.net/akamai-cache.trustedpartner.com/images/library/RunningUSA2012/Content/Running%20Participation%202004-13.jpg

2013 U.S. Running Events

Distance                  # Finishers           % of Total              # of Events       % of Total

5K                              8,300,000            43.6%                     15,200              54%

Half-Marathon      1,960,000             10.3%                     2,100                8%

10K                            1,480,000             7.9%                       3,200               11%

Marathon                541,000                 2.8%                       1,100                4%

Others                      6,744,000             35.4%                     6,600               23%

Totals                       19,025,000                                           28,200

Source: Athlinks.com

 

Here is a listing of the twenty-five largest 5K races in the U.S. along with the number of finishers they had in 2013.

Rank

Finishers

Race Name

Location

1

24,871

Hot Chocolate Chicago

Chicago, IL

2

24,000

Revlon Run for Women: LA

Los Angeles, CA

3

21,248

Capital One Bank Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot

Dallas, TX

4

18,240

Race for the Cure: DC

Washington, DC

5

17,305

Mercedes-Benz Corporate Run

Miami, FL

6

16,000

Revlon Run for Women: NYC

New York, NY

7

13,900

IOA Corporate

Orlando, FL

8

12,304

McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day

Pensacola, FL

9

11,833

Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot

San Jose, CA

10

11,684

Fifth Third Detroit Stuffing Strut Turkey Trot

Detroit, MI

11

11,638

Publix Super Markets Gasparilla Distance Classic

Tampa, FL

12

10,606

BlueCross BlueShield of North Dakota Fargo & 5K Walk

Fargo, ND

13

10,198

Adidas Shamrock Run

Portland, OR

14

10,100

Times Turkey Trot Wingding

Clearwater, FL

15

9,479

Inaugural Sandy Hook Run for the Families

Hartford, CT

16

9,083

Hot Chocolate Atlanta

Atlanta, GA

17

9,044

Dana Point Turkey Trot

Dana Point, CA

18

8,886

St. Patrick’s Parade Corktown Races

Detroit, MI

19

8,178

NYRR Dash

New York, NY

20

7,805

Anthem 5K Classic

Louisville, KY

21

7,452

Girls on the Run Spring

St. Louis, MO

22

7,484

Especially for You

Cedar Rapids, IA

23

7,427

Disney Royal Family

Orlando, FL

24

7,398

Hot Chocolate San Diego

San Diego, CA

25

7,338

Fifth Third River Bank Run and 5K Walk

Grand Rapids, MI

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