Running USA Releases 2014 Marathon Report

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Photo by Michael Tutino

Running USA, the organization that tracks and promotes the national running industry, released its annual marathon report in mid-May, revealing that the distance has grown in popularity over the past year.

According to the report, 550,637 people finished the marathon in 2014, approximately 9,000 more than finished races of that distance in 2013. An increase in number of participants has also led to an increase in the median finishing time for both men and women, with the 2014 men’s median marathon time for U.S. finishers standing at 4:19:27 and the women’s median time at 4:44:19: both dramatic increases from 1980, which saw median finish times of 3:32:17 for men and 4:03:39 for women.

As one may expect, the Boston Marathon posted the fasted median finish time in 2014 and also had both the highest number and highest percentage of sub-four hour finishers. While the New York City Marathon had the second highest number of sub-four hour finishers, the Bank of America Chicago Marathon had the second highest percentage, with 31 percent of field crossing the finish line in less than four hours in 2014.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon was the second largest marathon both in the United States and the world in 2014 with 40,595 finishers. The New York City Marathon handily took the title of largest marathon with 50,386 finishers: the highest number of all time.

More statistics on marathon finishes are available online at

By the Numbers

48 percent – percentage of masters marathon finishers (40 or older)

47:10 – increase in median male marathon finishing time between 1980 and 2014

40:40 – increase in median female marathon finishing time between 1980 and 2014

98 – marathons that saw more than 1,000 finishers

Over 1,200 – number of marathons in the U.S.

12,547 – number of sub-four hour finishes at the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon

20-29 – age group drawn to the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. The October race had a higher number of finishers between the ages of 20 and 29 for both males and females than any other marathon.