Outdoor Industry Association

Outdoor Participation

Special Report on Trail Running 2010

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As Americans strive to incorporate daily exercise into their schedule, trail running provides a uniquely rewarding outdoor experience that gives participants an opportunity to escape the urban and suburban environments as well as stay fit. This information is found in the 2010 Special Report on Trail Running released by The Outdoor Foundation, in partnership with Montrail. This the first time a special report on trail running has been produced by The Outdoor Foundation.

The 2010 Special Report on Trail Running presents detailed information on participation by gender, age, ethnicity, income, education and geographic region. It also provides data on "crossover" sports and common barriers to entry which is critical information needed by outdoor businesses, communities and non-profits working to connect Americans with the outdoors.

Key Findings:

Trail Running Participation

  • 4.8 million Americans ages 6 and older participated in trail running in 2009.
  •  In 2009, trail running participants made 153.7 million outings, averaging 31.8 days per participant.
  • More than 82% of trail running participants also participate in road running.
  • 13.1% of trail runners tried the sport for the first time in 2009.


  • 63.5% of all trail runners are male and 36.5% female.
  • The 25 to 44 age group makes nearly half (48.9%). The 18 to 24 and over 45 age groups come in next (20% and 20.8% respectively). This is a fairly young demographic with 80% of trail runners being under 45 years of age.
  • Over 86% of trail runners have a household income over $50,000, with 31.5% in an income bracket over $100.000.
  • Over half (51.9%) of trail runners are college graduates.

Participation in Other Outdoor Activities

  • 98.4% of trail runners participate in another outdoor activity with the most popular choices being running or jogging on pavement (82.6%), day hiking (52.3%), bicycling (50.8%) and camping (43.5%).

Motivations and Barriers

  • Friends and parents are the most influential in introducing trail runners to outdoor activities.
  • Relaxation and a way to get exercise are the top two reasons cited by trail runners for participation in outdoor activities.
  • A lack of time is the number one reason trail runners don't get out more often. A lack of interest and a lack of money for equipment are also reasons.
File Name: Research_trailrunning.pdf
File Type: PDF
File Size: 1.22 MB
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