Lace up your sneaks, ladies: Thirteen-point-one miles is the fastest-growing road race distance in both overall popularity and female participation, according to new stats released by Running USA.
Several factors are at play in the historic growth of the half-marathon, says Ryan Lamppa of Running USA. First, the ubiquitous training programs available online give runners—whether they’re rookies or veterans—the tools to get in shape within three or four months before the race. Plus popular destination-style races (like the Rock ‘n’ Roll series, which sponsor 10 of the 20 largest U.S. half-marathons) have spawned others, such as the women-only Women’s Running and Divas series, which encourage more females to hoof it. Finally, 13.1 miles is an ideal distance for many runners: Training for a half isn’t as punishing or time-consuming as a full marathon, but you'll still have a great sense of accomplishment when you cross the finish line!
Check out more cool running stats below, then tell us: What's your preferred race distance?