Slightly more than 5 percent of Spaniards started running during the pandemic of the COVID-19 and 76 runners out of 100 declare that they will participate in the races in the same way as they did before the health crisis, according to the ‘2021 Runner Survey’ presented by the Royal Spanish Federation of Athletics (RFEA) in the Higher Sports Council (CSD).
The president of the RFEA, Raúl Chapado, affirmed that this study demonstrates the “importance” that sport has in the popular sphere in general and more in this phase of recovery from the pandemic. “ANDRunning influences a healthier, happier and better society. Through the survey we have listened to the runners to find out what they expect and how they envision the future. These data must help us to make decisions regarding the reactivation of running, “he said.
The president of the International Association of Marathons (AIMS), Paco Borao, has highlighted that he is the “opportune moment” to change the feeling of this sport, “which contributes to improving the daily health of all who practice it.”
For his part, the Secretary of State for Sports, José Manuel Franco, has pointed out the importance of a study that is a “current radiography” of sports practice in Spain. “The conclusions give us the possibility of knowing in a certain way the reality that we have. This will allow us to start the practice of running after the exceptional situation that we have experienced during the last year. We have to emphasize the importance that it has sport to overcome situations like the one we are experiencing, “he said.
Among the main conclusions of the study, presented during the event by the Director General of Sports Publications of Motorpress, Fran Chico, stresses that improving health is one of the main reasons for going out for a run, as 56 out of the more than 14,200 participants in the survey use it.
Likewise, the study reflects that female participation is increasing at an increasing and constant rate, since more and more women are going for a run. In 2021, the percentage is 32 percent compared to 20 percent ten years ago, and 9 percent in 2002.
In the last year, in the midst of a pandemic there are 5.13 percent of new runners. It is the highest growth figure in the last five years, as the annual average of new runners was 3.10 percent between 2015 and 2019.
More than half, 53.41%, of runners’ children under 16 years of age practice running at some point throughout the year, compared to 35.32 percent five years ago. Although the data has risen significantly, there is great potential for improvement because only 22.36% (of that 53.41%) is a regular runner or belongs to an athletic school.
76.58% of the runners declare that they will participate in the races in the same way as they did before the pandemic, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or whether the races have more or less participation. This trend continues to rise as the vaccination rate increases and has become clear when the numbers of many events that have already opened registrations for the coming months have run out.