Tom Held on the Surge in Wisconsin Running

I had a chance to talk to Tom Held, who writes the Off the Couch blog for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, about the burgeoning popularity of running and silent sports in Wisconsin recently.
The number of marathons in Wisconsin has doubled from about 10 to over 20 in the last five years, Held said, and that doesn’t include half marathons, 10ks, or triathlons.
“Running has had a number of booms in the last 40 to 50 years,” he says. “Today, it’s not just the number of races but the overall turnout at the races that has taken off. It’s kind of a recession-proof endeavor.”
A runner himself, the 47 year-old Held said his age group is as competitive as any right now.
“Your biggest age group is that 35 – 50 group,” he says. “My group, the 45 – 50 range, is just a killer right now. I’m in the middle of the pack for my age, but I would win age groups 10 years younger at a lot of the races I’ve been in.”
One reason it’s so competitive is that running is a sport people come back to. “A lot of us ran in high school or college, got away from it as we pursued careers or family, and then returned when we have more disposable income and get settled.”
It makes for interesting demographics, and a great lifelong pursuit.

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