How many runners in the uk?

Hi there

I was wondering if anyone has any (fairly) recent statistics about how many runners there are in the uk? (inc. recreational, competititive and professional?)
Intuitively, it feels like a growing number, but maybe that's because I've started doing a couple of more public races (as opposed to my normal fell races starting from a pub car park) that makes it feel like there are thousands?!

Could do with figures on recreational walkers too if anyone has any at hand...??

Many thanks



  • i'm a recreational forumite also a runner when not knackered so count me you've got one, but quite unprofessional;0)
  • I would imagine that getting a true figure for this would be impossible, you might be able to find out how many runners are members of clubs, but how do you count those who aren't.
  • Figures for sales of running shoes might tell you something...
  • Mike all that will tell you is how many pairs of shoes are sold. Some runners have loads of pairs, some have one and lots dont renew theirs every 500 miles as recommended. Also people do sometimes buy them abroad, i bought my last couple of pairs in Florida - Bargains galore.
  • Let's have quick show of hands...
  • Think this is the latest detailed official survey but a little dated now - 2002 General Household Survey Sports and Leisure section - 5% of adults interviewed claimed to have run/jogged as a sports/lesiure activty in the 4 weeks prior to the survey, and 9% in the 12 months prior to the survey. Around 12% were members of clubs. The stats don't seem to pick up any clear trends in participation rates, maybe there were a few more running in the late 1980s, and a slight increase in the proportion of women running from the late 1990s to 2002.

    The report is at . There's details for other sports including walkers.
  • So, a couple of million?
  • and me! So 2,000,001
  • Well thanks Skip - yours was the most useful! The rest of you - hmm, well thanks for the contributions! I have this quote:
    "It has been estimated that 27-70% recreational runners sustain overuse lower limb injuries in any given year (Hreljac, 2004)" but need to know the actual number that applies to.. I'm looking at treatments for lower limb injuries you see, but the clinical relevance of that depends on how many runners/walkers there are out there... I'll keep searching, but thanks ;o)
  • 310,314

    Oh, and a few who AREN'T members of Runner's World...
  • I saw something around New Year time that reckoned 1.8 million people went for a run/jog but I can't remember the time frame - could be at least once a month. This includes gym treadmill users.

    Without asking everyone though it will always be a scaled-up % of the total population.

  • "It has been estimated that 27-70% recreational runners sustain overuse lower limb injuries in any given year (Hreljac, 2004)"

    Wow, how can they be so precise ?
Sign In or Register to comment.