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Hiking, Walking and Running-The Least Expensive Sports Draw the Most Participants, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

Running has enjoyed soaring long-term growth.  The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) reported that the number of runners/joggers in the U.S. grew from 42.5 million in 2009 to 51.1 million in 2014.  Walking also attracts millions of Americans, with walkers rising from 110.9 million in 2009 to 112.6 million in 2014.

Participation in fitness classes like Zumba and yoga are strong, along with tennis.  The fact that tennis is among the least costly sports in which one can participate, combined with the fact one can usually get to a tennis court without a long, gasoline-guzzling drive in an automobile, could easily push the sport to greater popularity.


SPOTLIGHT:  Endurance Events

As if a standard marathon is not long enough at 26.2 miles, ultramarathons are on the rise in the U.S. and elsewhere.  These events cover distances from 30 to 200 miles and require running as long as 24 hours straight or more.  UltraRunning Magazine’s events calendar had 692 events around the world between July 2016 and May 2017.



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