Annual Running Races Report
“As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are”- Joan Benoit
A ferociously expanding group of Indian runners might recognize him/herself in this quote; running is becoming one of the most popular forms of sport among the Indian masses. From marathons to trail runs to purely recreational running groups, the virus is spreading.
Running for a healthier lifestyleOne important reason that explains the growing popularity of running is obviously the health benefits. Given the fact that India is the global ‘capital’ of diabetes and that every 33 seconds an Indian dies of a heart attack, workouts seem more essential to our daily routine than they have ever been. Regular exercise is proven to be good for your health by heaps of studies and running is no exception. Breaking a sweat by making some miles has benefits in fighting Alzheimer’s disease, heart disorders, high blood pressure and type-2 diabetes, and improves bone density, weight loss and even sex drive (that’s a double dose of healthy endorphins!). These pleasant by-products are however applicable to most sports, what makes running so special?
For example, running seems to be particularly advantageous when protecting oneself from cancer and depressions. Scientists from Finland discovered that people that practiced sports where less likely to develop cancer, but those who ran 30 minutes daily had a “50% reduction in the risk of dying prematurely from cancer”. Also, runners tend to be happier. Obviously there’s the notorious ‘runners high’ during training, but in addition to that runners have less of a substance called Kynurenine in their blood. Kynurenine is believed to be linked to a higher risk of mental illnesses such as depressions as it accumulates during stressful times.
Most benefits come when one actually practices running; however rookies usually start with jogging. Both are fine. The difference between running and jogging is intensity. Jogging is slower, demands less from the body and requires a lower level of fitness compared to running. When running the health benefits are more substantial due to the “after-burn” effect; burning calories even after exercise. This effect kicks in if you run a little faster than your normal pace.
Increasing popularity of runningRecreational running is quite new to India but it is becoming increasingly popular. But the sport is growing on all parameters you can imagine, an obvious one being the growing popularity of participating in events. For example when the first Mumbai Marathon was organised the bookings were open until the day before the event, while this year the marathon was already fully booked six months before the race actually took place. In addition to the amount of participants also the amount of events is growing rapidly. Every major city has a full marathon or at least a few half marathons. In 2017 over 1074 events have been organised nation-wide, which is 53% more than 2016 events:
Running events by Year
Running events by distance
Major shoe brands also noticed the growing popularity of running. Both Puma and Adidas state they have seen unprecedented growth in interest in running gear as annual sales of these products has been growing more than 50% in India over the last four years.
Running events in Cities
Running events by state
Major Indian startups in fitness worldBoltt : This ambitious Indian company has introduced smart shoes which, it claims, scientifically improve running and fitness levels by giving real-time feedback to the user. A new wearable artificial intelligence (AI) fitness can simplify the lives of health-conscious consumers by taking on the tasks of multiple other fitness apps and doing them better.
Fitso : Awarded Best App of the Year and the only Indian app among Top 10 list in App Store. This Running and cycling partner finding app is a complete fitness solution along with personal coaches for running and fitness.