How Pennsylvania’s Running Habits Stack Up Against the Rest of the Country’s

From Be Well Philly: The Philly 10K is coming up this weekend, and we couldn’t be more excited. Whether you’re planning on running or spectating, here’s everything you need to know, from how to get to the starting area to where the Porta Potties will be (important!) to which coffee shops along the course will be open (you’re welcome, spectators!). More here.


Runner’s World and RunKeeper teamed up for some Fun With Numbers recently, generating a national ranking based on running habits and trends in different states. Because RW is based in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, editors there were particularly interested to see how PA stacked up against the rest of the country in terms of run mileage, pace, etc.

So RunKeeper handed off data on their users’ running habits across the country and crunched the numbers for each state to find miles per capita, number of runs per person, miles per run, and pace per run. The outcomes of these metrics fed into an overall score and ranking. So where did PA fall? At #15.

Here’s our breakdown:

Miles per capita: 0.19
Runs per person: 39.5
Miles per run: 3.93
Pace per mile: 10:26

Massachusetts came in first place as far as overall score goes, clocking 0.36 miles per capita, 40.3 runs per person, 4.07 miles per run, and a 10:06 pace per mile. Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Rhode Island rounded out the top five. Mississippi, turns out, is the least running-est state.

What I found most interesting in all of this was the pace per mile metric—specifically, that no state cracked the 10-minute mile mark. I was surprised at first—Where are all the speed demons? I thought—but the more I mulled it over, thinking about what the 10+ minute average actually means for running as a sport, the more excited I got.

See, to me, it means that running doesn’t solely belong to the people who run fast. That to be a “runner,” you don’t have to clock times that rival those of Olympic athletes. I know this is something that a lot of newbie runners struggle with, but running—and being a runner—is simply making the effort to put one foot in front of the other, pace be damned. The true test of your runnerly-ness is whether or not you go out and do it all over again tomorrow. Isn’t that awesome?

So that fact that we PA runners are busy slogging away at our nearly-four-mile-runs at a 10:26 pace is actually something brag about. Why? Because we’re doing it. Period.

Be proud, PA. Be very, very proud.

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