Marathons Are Starting to Attract an Older Crowd

Staying healthy is a lifelong pursuit

Older runners are embracing the activity.
Arek Adeoy/Unsplash

This weekend will mark the 42nd time the London Marathon has been run. That in and of itself is no small accomplishment, but some trends leading into this year’s installment are especially intriguing. As The Guardian noted in a recent article, a growing percentage of them are on the far side of 50. Among some demographic groups, this is especially notable — as Amelia Hill recently wrote, “the number of female runners aged 50 and older finishing the race has increased by 65% since 2018.”

What’s at the heart of this shift within the sport? As The Guardian‘s Hannan Devlin pointed out, there are a number of factors at play here — everything from people embracing running groups as a method of socializing to scientific advances helping to clarify the best and safest ways to train for a marathon.

This is a good thing overall, as recommendations on physical activity for personal health don’t go away once you’ve turned 50. A growing body of research suggests that consistent exercise can have substantial benefits when it comes to both longevity and for general health as one ages.

Just as a 5K and a marathon require different training regimens, so too does preparing for a marathon when you’re 25 versus when you’re 55. There’s been a lot written about the process for the latter — and if these numbers out of London are any indication, it means a growing number of runners are taking this advice and making the most of it.

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.