Is Ultrarunning on the Decline?

[Cross-posting this on my running and personal blogs]

I recently read a comment from GZ’s blog where he was lamenting the fact that no one blogs anymore, except for him and JT.

I thought, well, I blog every day over here, just not about ultrarunning much over there anymore.

So then I looked over at my blog roll on the right side of my running blog and thought, yeah, the majority of people whose blogs I used to read no longer post. And they all stopped in the last year or two.

And then I thought, are these people even running anymore? I wasn’t sure. I mean, I haven’t done an ultra since 2012. Maybe there is a trend there.

And then I thought, is it that blogging about ultrarunning is on the decline or is it that ultrarunning itself is on the decline?

Anecdotally, something seems to be happening. But it might be helpful to look at this from a perspective beyond my own experience.

How can I do that?

One way might be to look at google trends to measure the interest people have in the sport, using search as a proxy for interest.

Here’s a google trends chart for searches about ultrarunning:

And then about blogging:

So yeah, maybe it’s true. Perhaps people’s interest in both ultrarunning and blogging are on the decline. Combine the two, and you  notice a serious decline.

But let’s try to get more specific about this. Let’s look at searches for the Leadville 100.

Yikes. That’s a pretty serious decline. Note the massive spike in interest from 2009-2010, right about the time a certain book came out.

Is it that way for all races?

The trend isn’t quite so linear for Western States.

At least one race, Hardrock, even seems to be bucking the trend.

So what can we conclude from all this?

There does appear to be a mild decline in both blogging and ultrarunning interest. Combine the two and the trend is more pronounced. And then there was a huge swell in interest in Leadville about six years ago that has fallen off lately.

If you want to be trendy, you should go SnapChat,

About Orange Theory.

But if your true passion is ultrarunning, the charts about Western and Hardrock show that you ‘re not going to be alone any time soon.

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