Where Are All These Runners Coming From?

Anyone else noticing more runners on city streets (NY or elsewhere)? For the last 6 months, in my neighborhood, the streets are filled with runners every morning at 7-ish as I’m heading to the gym. Over the summer, likewise, hordes of runners making their way across Rivington Street (headed, perhaps, to one of the bridges to Brooklyn).

I have no idea if they belong to a running club or are affiliated with NYU (they look too old to be students) but they are out bright and early every day.

Try as I might I could find no statistics to bear out what I’ve been observing. As a matter of fact, all the data indicated we were in the midst of a five-year decline in road racing. Running peaked in 2013, when 19 million runners crossed the finish line at U.S. running events.

But then I uncovered this:

“Running Is Back, Baby! 
Buoyed by the
persistent failure of studies to find any evidence that even extreme amounts of running will kill you and the persistent brilliance of Eliud Kipchoge—2020 will be the year that the trend finally turns around. Lapsed runners will return to the fold, new runners will discover the Trial of Miles, and hardcore veterans will redouble their efforts.”

Alex Hutchinson, Outside Magazine Columnist/Author
And finally, THIS!
Orchard Street Runners

They arrange weekly runs (Tuesday nights) starting at Allen Street near Canal. Meeting up at 7:45 pm, they start their run at 8 pm SHARP and rules are strict: “Come ready to run, no bathroom, bag check or changing.”

They also have a super intriguing midnight run planned for next Thursday, January 16.

This inaugural OSR1 will take athletes on the fastest mile of their lives, screaming through open New York City streets at 1:00am in the morning. The distance will be measured to the best of OSR’s abilities and the race will feature electronic timing. Click here for details.

Bottom Line.

The Orchard Street Runners organization is a big deal. I can’t believe I haven’t discovered it before (literally my neighbors) but I do now understand why I am seeing such an influx of runners.

I also noticed Eventbrite is hosting dozens of group runs in NY and NJ and I’m sure in other parts of the country. So this is definitely a “thing” that I just happened to catch serendipitously because of my location.

Will keep tabs on it and look forward to interviewing some runners in the not too distant future.

Something definitely percolating here. Let me know if any of you have also picked up signs of a running renaissance .

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