History of Running USA


Running USA, a non-profit organization for the running industry, was launched on March 13, 1999 in Los Angeles. A joint and historic venture with USA Track & Field (USATF), Running USA resulted from a year of planning by the race directors of several leading U.S. road races along with USATF's Long Distance Running Chairs, President and its CEO Craig Masback. Steve Edwards was named its first executive director.

From its original press release, Running USA was created to improve the status of road racing in the United States through collective marketing and promotions, services to runners and events and the development of American world class stars. 

Running USA Timeline

March 13, 1999
Founded in Los Angeles; offices are established in St. Petersburg, Florida and Santa Barbara, California.

Running USA recognizes and thanks the following Founders and Founding Members who made the organization a reality.

Steve Bosley, David Coyne, Steve & Joy Edwards, Ed Froehlich, David Hannah, Basil & Linda Honikman, Danny Grimes, Wally Kastner, Creigh Kelley, Ryan Lamppa, Craig Masback, Tim Murphy, Bill Reef and Allan Steinfeld

51 Founding Members (joined Running USA during its first year)
Active.com, adidas, All American Trail Running Association (AATRA), Alta Peruvian Lodge Downhill Dash 8K, America's Finest City Half-Marathon, American Ultrarunning Association (AUA), Army Ten-Miler, ASICS Corporation, Bank of America Gasparilla Distance Classic 15K, Big Sur International Marathon, BKB Ltd., Bolder Boulder 10K, ChampionChip, Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, City of Los Angeles Marathon, Columbus Marathon, Crim Festival of Races, Do It Sports, Elite Racing, EMMI, Examiner Bay to Breakers 12K, Florida Running Festival, Food Fitness International, Freihofer's Run for Women 5K, Gate River Run 15K, GetFit.com, Gold Medal Event Management, Indian Path Medical Center & SunTrust Bank Crazy 8's 8K, Jefferson Hospital Philadelphia Distance Run, Kinane Events, Marty Liquori Productions, Methodist Health Care Houston Marathon, National Sports Network, New York City Marathon, Nike, Park Forest Scenic 10 Mile Run, PhotoRun, PowerBar, Quad-City Times Bix 7, RhodyCo Productions, Runner's World, The Running Network, Salmini Films, Shooting Star Media, Steamboat Classic 4 Mile, Summit Exhibition Management, Tulsa Run 15K, Twin Cities Marathon, USA Track & Field, Utica Boilermaker 15K and Wharf to Wharf Race

March 28, 1999
First Running USA wire, featuring the Carlsbad 5000, published and distributed via email and posted on website.

March 2000
In its first year, Running USA recognized 51 Founding Members, and by 2009, the organization had more than 250 members that included road races, race services companies, running-related media companies and organizations and the athletic industry. By early 2014, Running USA has more than 350 members.

Spring 2000
In response to the dearth of U.S. distance running success since the early 1990s, athlete development program researched and put together. Later, the New York City Marathon pledges $20,000 seed money ($1 for every U.S. entrant in 2000 race) to start the program.

July 21, 2000
The Team USA Distance Running program is announced by Running USA and USATF in Sacramento at the U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials.

Fall 2000
Steve Edwards replaced by Basil Honikman as Running USA executive director.

November 3, 2000
Two Team USA Training Centers - Hansons Running Shop Team USA Michigan and Team USA BrownStone (NY) - announced at New York City Marathon with the New York Road Runners contributing $20,000 seed money from the 2000 New York City Marathon ($1 per U.S. entry).

March 2001
Third Team USA Training Center - Team USA California based in Mammoth Lakes - announced with three-year sponsor commitment by Nike. Key athletes are 2000 Olympians Deena Drossin, Meb Keflezighi and Jen Rhines with renowned coaches Bob Larsen and Joe Vigil.

May 2001
Fourth Team USA Training Center - Team USA Minnesota - announced.

December 2003
Fifth Team USA Training Center - Team USA Monterey Bay - announced.

January 2004
Inaugural Running USA Industry Conference attracts 150 attendees in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Radisson Resort & Spa; conference tied to the debut P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona event. The inaugural Running USA Hall of Champions class - Steve Bosley, Amby Burfoot, Mike Burns & David Simms, Tim Murphy and Joe Vigil - was also inducted at the conference.

The annual "must-attend" conference is now the largest (more than 400 attendees) and arguably the best in the sport.

January 2004
Team USA California renamed "Team Running USA" as the Team USA Distance Running program disbands.

August 2004
Two Team Running USA athletes - Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor - win Olympic Marathon medals (silver and bronze) in Athens, Greece; the first medals by the USA in the Olympic Marathon since 1984.

January 2005
Terrence Mahon joins Team Running USA coaching staff; Mahon is an original member of the training group.

February 2005
Live and silent auction introduced at the Running USA Industry Conference to raise funds for Team Running USA (and starting in 2010 for the Allan Steinfeld Development Award) as well as Running USA programs such as youth running. To-date, the auctions have generated more than $500,000.

September 2005
Running USA and Active Sports Technologies launched comprehensive online Runner Rankings for national, regional and local runners of all abilities. In 2008, the Runner Rankings had 5 million runner performances.

October 2006
Running USA with RRCA began the first National Runner Survey to identify attitudes, habits and demographics of all types of runners as well as potential runners in order to better serve participants and build the sport.

November 2007
Basil Honikman, one of the Founders of Running USA in 1999 and its executive director / CEO since 2000, announced his retirement effective after the Running USA 2008 Conference in February.

March 2008
Susan Weeks is selected as third Running USA CEO; organizational office moved to Colorado Springs.

March 13, 2009
Running USA marked and celebrated a decade of achievement to build and promote the sport.

Team Running USA becomes Mammoth Track Club led by coaches Terrence Mahon and Bob Larsen.

Spring & Fall 2009
Running USA establishes social media presence on Twitter and Facebook.

February 2010
Running USA 2010, at the La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California, drew a conference record 402 attendees from the running industry.

Team USA Minnesota was selected for the inaugural Allan Steinfeld Development Award. The development award was named after Allan Steinfeld, a long-time leader in the sport, who jump-started the U.S. distance running resurgence when as head of the New York Road Runners he allocated $20,000 seed money ($1 per U.S. entry at the 2000 New York City Marathon) for the development program Team USA Distance Running launched in November 2000 that produced training groups such as Team Running USA (two Olympic medals in 2004 and major marathon wins) and Team USA Minnesota and inspired others to form.

May 2010
Running USA releases its inaugural half-marathon report - similar to its popular, often cited annual marathon report. Since 2003, the half-marathon has been the fastest growing distance in the U.S., and for four consecutive years (2006-09), the number of 13.1 mile finishers in this country has grown by 10% or more each year.

February 2011
Running USA 2011, at the Hyatt Grand San Antonio, set a new conference record of 439 attendees from the running industry.

June 2011
Inaugural Running USA Regional Summit for event directors in San Diego on June 18

January 2012
Running USA 2012, at the Hyatt Regency Houston, set a new conference record of 468 leaders from the running industry. The 9th edition was tied to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials also in Houston.

February 2013
10th Running USA conference held at the Hyatt Regency Savannah, GA, set a new conference record of 511 attendees and ZAP Fitness was presented as the 4th Allan Steinfeld Development Award recipient.

January 2014
Rich Harshbarger is selected as the new Running USA CEO, succeeding Susan Weeks (2008-13); Harshbarger, based in Detroit, is the organization’s fourth CEO since 1999.

February 2014
The 11th Running USA conference, at the Marriott Marquis & Marina in San Diego, CA, set a new conference record of 550 attendees - the conference's first advance sell-out. The American Distance Project was celebrated as the 5th Allan Steinfeld Development Award recipient.

March 13, 2014
Running USA celebrates 15 years of achievement to grow and promote the sport.

February 2015
Running USA's 12th annual conference is held in New Orleans, Louisiana.

February 2016
Running USA's 13th annual conference is held in Los Angeles, California, preceding the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

February 2017
Running USA's 14th annual conference is held in Orlando, Florida where attendees delight at running through the Animal Kingdom theme park on the morning run.

February 2018
Running USA's 15th annual conference is held in Austin, Texas and marks the 700 attendee milestone.

The second annual Accelerator Series presented by Race Roster, greatly expanded, visits 6 U.S. cities with sponsorship and marketing content for race directors.
Running USA focuses efforts on webinars and content development, producing a new resource library and 10 webinars throughout the year.

Running USA's 16th annual conference is held in San Juan, Puerto Rico and attendees celebrate the spirit of the island as it returns to prosperity following Hurricane Maria.
The third annual Running USA Accelerator Series presented by Race Roster, expanded to 12 U.S. cities and London, England, is a great success.

Running USA's 17th annual conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada, from Feb. 9-11.

In March, Running USA pivots to providing online educational content for race directors and industry professionals. More than 4,000 sign up to attend webinars and virtual Race Camps during the course of the pandemic year.

As races are cancelled across the United States and the world for the remainder of 2020, Running USA continues to educate and inform its membership and the larger endurance audience.

Throughout the year, Running USA is also actively involved in the Endurance Sports Coalition, a lobbying effort to encourage awareness and financial support for the endurance industry in Congress, and the Running Industry Diversity Coalition, a newly formed coalition of running brands, running retailers, and runners representing Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) who are working together to increase diversity within the running industry.

In November, Running USA launches and completes the first ever Global Runner Survey, design to reflect the challenges of 2020 within the running population and the future potential for interest and growth of the sport in 2021 and beyond. The results will be available in Q1 2021.

In December, the hiring of Dawna Stone as Running USA's fourth CEO is announced.


Running USA's 18th annual conference, previously set for February in New Orleans, has been cancelled due to the pandemic.

Stay tuned for future announcements of virtual and in-person programming for the remainder of the calendar year.