I was pulling together a bunch of facts about this year’s race and rather than ramming them all together on one blog thought I’d spread them out. This is the first of interesting findings I came across.
For the first time in Boilermaker history woman runners outnumbered the men as participants. While men were 51% of the 15k women were 61% of the 5k. As a result the women squeaked out the win at 51%. In 2009, a mere four years earlier, men constituted 54% of the combined 15&5k field.
In 2009 if you were a woman between the age of 20 and 39 you represented 26.2% of the 15k field. Fast forward to 2012 you now represented 28.2% of a much larger number.
The ladies have had a hammerlock on 5k participation for years. In 2012 if you listed the top seven age/ gender categories they would all be women!
This reflects the national trend of the growth of female running participation.
If you look at participation at the half-marathon distance (13.1 miles, the closest published comparison numbers to the Boilermaker 15k) in 2011 women represent 59% of the field. In 2004, that number was 49%.
Just to give you a perspective of the growth of U.S. distance running, in the year 2000, 420,000 runners were finishers of a half-marathon. In 2011 that number skyrocketed to 1,610,000!
What does this mean? Well if we follow the national average one would surmise the women will soon represent the majority of runners for the 15k.
Frankly I’m convinced that women in general have better organization skills and as a result get signed up earlier than the guys who find themselves shut out of the race!