"The barriers to entry for recreational running and jogging are among the lowest of any sport. A good pair of sneakers and comfortable clothing are all you really need to get in the game. And millions of Americans hit the pavement every day. In fact, more than a quarter of all adult Americans (26.4%) have gone running or jogging in the past year, according to Nielsen Scarborough research."
"Can our workouts be shaped by what our friends do?" Gretchen Reynolds asked in The New York Times. "That question is at the heart of an important new study of exercise behavior, one of the first to use so-called big data culled from a large-scale, global social network of workout routines."
U.S. consumers are more interesting in running these days but many are finding that preparing for a full marathon is too much of a commitment. Race sponsors and organizers have been responding to an increased demand for nontraditional races like half marathons and 5K events. Obstacle and mud runs are also drawing bigger crowds and create unique opportunities for marketers to reach this audience.