Have you noticed more runners on the streets and sidewalks over the last few months?
A recent survey from RunRepeat found that, with gyms having been closed for several weeks in many parts of Ontario—and months in Toronto and Peel Region—many have turned to running as a way to keep active.
According to the findings, 28.76 per cent of runners picked up the activity during the pandemic—78.72 per cent of new runners took up the activity as a way to improve their physical health, and 54.52 per cent did so to improve their mental health.
Additionally, 32 per cent took up the activity to build their confidence and self-esteem, 23 per cent began running to enter a competition, and 12 per cent started running as a way to socialize.
Further, those who took up running due to the pandemic are less likely to take part in some form of competition compared to those who were running regularly before the onset of the pandemic—50 per cent of pandemic-runners said they would consider competing in a race in the next 12 months, compared to 63 per cent of pre-pandemic-runners.
Of those planning on entering a race, 85.43 per cent of pre-pandemic-runners would prefer to enter an in-person competition, as did 68.42 per cent of pandemic-runners, and 31.58 per cent of pandemic-runners said they would be interested in entering a virtual race.