Is American running culture losing its competitiveness? A recent Wall Street Journal article says today's runners care more about how fun the run is than how well they do. Some say runs like Color Me Rad and other fun runs are to blame.
The article says there aren't as many super competitive athletes today as when the baby boomers were in their 20's and 30's, and America hasn't won an Olympic marathon medal since 2004.
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Jeff Beck, the general manager at Red Coyote in Classen Curve, says he's noticed the culture shift. Running is more about going out with a group of friends and having a good time than working to beat the guy next to you.
Last years Color Me Rad run had 8,000 runners, this year's had about 18,000. Beck says he doesn't know if these un-timed fun runs are just a fad or not, but either way it has people on their feet exercising, and that's a good thing.
"It's growing our industry and it's growing our sport. It's getting more people out there to hopefully make healthier lifestyles for themselves," said Beck.
While the apathetic attitude toward competitive running may upset hard core runners, Beck says a generation where everyone can be considered a runner is good for business.
FOX25 spoke with a number of runners who say they like the fact that you don't have to run a marathon to be considered a runner anymore. That attitude was summed up by one runner who said whether it's a 7 minute mile or a 14 minute mile, it's still a mile.