A great man once said:
I just fundamentally don’t understand why you feel the need to spread the word about your training over every social media channel you’re on. Those photos of your feet on the pavement with your new fluorescent Nike Flyknits? Stop it. I care less about those than I care about your #RunnerProbs like rain, inconsiderate drivers, and chaffing nipples. No one’s making you do this.
Please, stop sharing your run times and distances with the Nike+ Running app to your Facebook. I don’t care about your Power Song. I don’t care about your route. I don’t care about the countdown to the “big day” or your pre-race pasta dinner.
That great man? It was me. This wasn’t out of jealousy or spite. It was simply out of sheer annoyance regarding anyone that feels the need to slap a 13.1 sticker on the back of their Volvo. So yeah, I have beef with runners and now I’ve got statistics to back my argument up.
Running USA did a study on runners born between 1980 and 2000 — over 15,000 people, 73 percent of them being female. The numbers went as follows:
Below is the percentage of runners planning to run in the following events the next year.
Marathon (42.2K): 30 per cent
Half-Marathon (21.1K): 82 per cent
10K: 66 per cent
5K: 61 per cent
Those numbers made me grin and chuckle while letting out a, “of course.” This is just classic. Too lazy to run a full marathon, they opt for half-marathons the most. Because, you know, it only takes a couple months of light training and eating right in order to get your body to the point where you can endure those 13.1 miles only to go back to an unhealthy lifestyle immediately following. I mean, I’m out of shape as hell and I know I could go run a 5K or 10K right now.
Simply put, a 5K says, “I’m bored this Saturday so let’s go out and be insufferable.” A 10K says, “This is a long enough distance that it’s acceptable for me to put it on all my social media channels.” And a half-marathon says, “I’m only doing this because I need to make good on my New Year’s Resolution.”
Furthermore, millennial runners are completely willing to cough up nearly $50 to participate in these things.
Money can be a deciding factor in a lot of cases and the study found that young adults are willing to pay between US$26-50 to register for a race.
The study adds that the “majority of millennial respondents indicated they would not be willing to pay for elements such as training groups, apps or spectator/VIP experiences.”
You know how much I’d pay? Nothing, because paying to run on a closed road is something I’ll fundamentally never understand. You can run trails, paths, or whatever next to these roads any day of the week for free. But when you cough up $50 for a piece of paper on your chest and a participation medal, all of the sudden you’re doing something amazing in the eyes of everyone double-tapping your Instagram.
And finally, the numbers showed that people are pretty much only doing these things for the social aspect of them.
Not surprisingly, the study finds that millennials focus on the experience of the race rather than awards and event sponsorship.
The study adds that respondents “are interested in events with quality branded items or giveaways (“swag” such as t-shirts, bags, etc.), on-course entertainment, post-event parties and the ability to participate with friends.”
“Oh, I get a lululemon water bottle and a Patagonia capilene shirt with the 10K’s logo on it? Of course I’ll do it!” — All the runners, probably. While I’m not going to roast people for wanting some free threads they can wear to an athleisure-centric lunch with their friends, it does verify my theory that no one’s really doing it for their health, just the social hoopla surrounding the races. It’s a place to be seen, a place to put on Instagram, and a place to justify the burgers and beers you’re going to pound immediately upon crossing the finish-line.
But honestly? I’ll probably do one of these in the next 365 days, especially if I can get a fly shirt out of it.
You can see the entire in-depth study here. .
Image via Unsplash