Take a look back with us at some of the most memorable running moments of the year; from record-breaking performances from pros and competitive recreational runners to chart-topping race participation figures, running continued to boom in 2012.
U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials
For the first time in history, the men's and women's Olympic marathon trials were held in the same city on the same day. Eight years removed from his Olympic silver medal and just 69 days after finishing sixth in the ING New York City Marathon, 36 year-old Meb Keflezighi won the trials over 2008 trials winner Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman, who qualified for his fourth consecutive Olympic team at the race.
In the women's race, 2008 10,000m bronze medalist Shalane Flanagan won the race in a personal best. Joining Flanagan on the team were her training partner Kara Goucher and runner-up finisher Desiree Davila.
Bring Back the Mile Website Launches
Bringbackthemile.com, a website devoted to glorifying what was once the most popular event at track meets, launched on January 19, generated nearly 14,000 YouTube views of the Bring Back the Mile trailer, and currently has 1,800 Likes on Facebook. Founded by Ryan Lamppa, media director at Running USA, to give devoted fans of the distance a "home" online, visitors can upload photos, videos, stories to support the I Am the Mile campaign. The site also includes a petition to state high school federations to restore the event at state championships.
Indoor Record Flip-Flop
Running at the Millrose Games in New York City's Armory Track & Field Center, two-time Olympic medalist Bernard Lagat smashed Galen Rupp's indoor 5000m American record by four seconds, running 13:07.15. In an unusual twist, Rupp—running a 2-mile race at the exact same time at a meet in Arkansas—broke Lagat's American indoor 2-mile record. Both athletes were informed that they traded records in their respective post-race press conferences, held nearly simultaneously more than 1,200 miles apart. One month later, Lagat would win his third gold medal in the 3,000m at the world indoor championships.
Record-High Temps at Boston Marathon
Forecasted high temperatures and humidity in the days before the 116th Boston Marathon prompted race organizers to offer runners the option of deferring their entry until 2013. Only 400 participants took the deferral option, and on a day that saw temperatures on the course soar into the low-90s with high humidity, Kenya's Wesley Korir and Sharon Cherop took top honors.
Claire Squires' Posthumous Fundraising Effort at London
At the Virgin London Marathon, Britain's Claire Squires, who was running the race for charity, collapsed and died near the finish line. Her story and fundraising effort captured global attention, and Squires—who had hoped to raise ?500 for her charity—posthumously raised nearly ?1,000,000 from 80,000 contributors since her passing.
London Marathon Charity Runners Score Big
At this year's London Marathon, a record $85 million was raised for charity, the most funds ever raised at a race. "The fact that this figure increased again for the sixth year in a row, despite the well publicized economic woes, shows just how committed our runners are to raising funds for good causes," said race director Hugh Brasher.