Half Marathons Quickly Gaining In Popularity
DENVER (CBS4) – The Sports Authority Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon & ½ Marathon is just a week and a half away and CBS4 is once again a proud sponsor.
In the past few years race organizers have noticed something interesting — a huge boom in the popularity of the half marathon. CBS4’s Dominic Garcia met two first-time runners who are helping grow the sport.
Lauren Walsh never thought she’d running in a marathon. She never had a reason to run.
“Before this I ran one mile when I was in middle school,” Walsh laughed.
Then her life changed.
“Nick died of cancer in June and his fight was not an easy one,” Walsh said.
She decided to run a half marathon for him before he died — and she’s keeping her promise.
“That’s been a interesting phenomenon,” marathon director of operations Alan Culpepper said.
Culpepper said more and more people are finding reasons to run — specifically half marathons. They’re a challenge, but not as daunting as a full marathon.
“It’s a sign of the times. People are more endurance-minded, more health-conscious, and setting themselves up for a challenge is what they’re looking for now,” Culpepper said.
Across the country, half marathons grew 24 percent last year. Women and charity groups are a big part of that number.
“This half marathon has changed my life,” Vickie McCallum said.
McCallum is with the group Team In Training, a fundraising program of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“It gives you a good feeling that you’re giving back to people who aren’t so fortunate,” McCallum said.
They’ve also discovered the health benefits.
“Now it’s an everyday thing — it’s get up, train at 5:30 a.m., go to work, come home and ride a bike,” McCallum said.
“Physically I’ve become stronger and I can run eight miles easy,” Walsh said.
McCallum and Walsh only needed one reason to start running. Now they have several to keep going.
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