In 1988, the San Francisco Marathon was canceled due to lack of interest. This year things were decidedly different. On the 29th of July, 6,500 people ran 26.2 miles around SF and 8,500 ran half marathons, with a portion of both races crossing the Golden Gate bridge. I would say interest is not lacking. Running is back, and one of the main reasons is that more and more women are running and running in races. In fact, in the SF marathon 50% of the runners were women. I am woman, watch me run!
Running has bounced back, and one reason is that training for marathons is no longer considered a full time job. Most marathoners only run about 40 miles per week, which sounds like a lot to me, but in the 80s the average marathoner put in 80 plus miles. Women often belong to running groups, so training time doubles as social time and running in races doubles as girls' weekend away time. We are the more social sex they say. Running officials think that Oprah's participation in a marathon in the mid 90s was a pivotal moment for the average woman's attitude on endurance races. Non-athletes could participate, and finish times didn't need to be under 4 hours.
How about you? Planning a marathon weekend away with your BFF?