The sport of trail running continued it’s popularity in 2006. From the Outdoor Insustry Association:
Trail running is the fastest-growing segment of the outdoor sports industry. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, more than 4.7 million people run on dirt and rock trails more than once a week.
We can all see this when we participate in races that are sold out in just a few days or even hours. We can also notice the rise in popularity in running stores that actually have a “trail running” sections which were not there just a few years ago (many would give you a dirty look if you asked for “trail runners”). But one of the greatest ways to judge the popularity of a sport is buy the internet. Here is the google trend for the “trail running” keyword search.
This graph shows that the volume of blogs talking about trail running has also increased.
So all and all the sport of trail running looks like it has a very bright future. So what will this bring? Will there be higher profile events in North America with prize money similiar to that of Mountain Running in Europe? Will there be greater sponsorship for trail running athletes? Will there be more corporate sponsored races trying to cash in on this (like Ironman)? Time will tell. We all now we participate in one of the coolest sports on the planet, it was just a matter of time before the word got out.