Road Runners Club of America

Growing the Sport of Running Since 1958

News Archives

The Slowest Generation

09/21/2013
By KEVIN HELLIKER for the Wall Street Journal Saying I finished in the top 15% of my age group in last month's Chicago Triathlon is like bragging that I could outrun your grandpa. My age group was 50 to 54. But against the entire sprint-distance field, I finished in the top 11%. That's right: Team Geriatric outperformed the field. I'd love to report that this reflects the age-defying effects of triathlon. But my hair is gray, my hearing is dull and my per-mile pace is slower than it used to be, even at shorter distances. Rather, this old-timer triumph is attributable to something that fogies throughout the ages have lamented: kids these days. A lack of competitiveness among younger runners is turning some races into parades. They're just not very fast. "There's not as many super-competitive athletes today as when the baby boomers were in their 20s and 30s," said Ryan Lamppa, spokesman for Running USA, an industry-funded research group. While noting the health benefits that endurance racing confers regardless of pace, Lamppa-a 54-year-old competitive runner-said, "Many new runners come from a mind-set where everyone gets a medal and it's good enough just to finish." Read the fully article on the Wall Street Journal

Join RRCA Today

Dedicated to providing quality resources for running clubs, events, and coaches.

Donate to the RRCA

A 501(c)3 organization ​dedicated to growing running for all ages and abilities.

Subscribe to Email Updates

Keep Pace with monthly emails from RRCA.

Road Runners Club of America