The world of running is experiencing an incredible boom, and 2009 heralds the continuing growth in popularity of this sport. As the number of runners strengthens by the day, so does the ever-increasing appeal of marathons around the world. ASICS' recent 'Reasons to Run' research revealed that, of the 85% of Europe's 80 million runners who have not yet run a marathon, 37% plan to do so in the near future. With the imminent ING New York City Marathon in mind (November 1st), it is also worth knowing that this is a marathon in which 15.2 million European runners aspire to run.
2009 also marks the 60th anniversary of Japanese sportswear brand ASICS. Turning 60 is an extremely symbolic event in Japan, and a milestone ASICS is extremely proud to have reached. Sixty years of continuous research and technological innovation has led ASICS to be considered the most valued running shoe amongst serious runners. The ING New York City Marathon is a perfect example to highlight this point. Since 2005, around 50% of New York's participants have run in ASICS shoes.
The evolution of marathons
The marathon is the most iconic individual achievement of our time, and these days simply being accepted in to a major marathon is a feat in itself. It has evolved from the elite, 'super-athletes only' race to a mass phenomenon where the number of marathons and the amount of runners taking part around the world increases every year. In the last decade, the New York marathon itself has seen a growth of approximately 20,000 participants, and is now considered to be the most coveted race to run amongst 19% of European runners.
ASICS' participation in marathons
No other brand can lay claim to the fact that the majority of marathon participants worldwide wear their shoes. The shoe count at the last two ING New York City Marathons alone showed that 55% (2007) and 51%(2008)* chose to wear ASICS. For this year's event, ASICS has organised yet another 'shoe count team' to see just how many hardcore runners choose to run such a demanding race in ASICS shoes.
Providing the best at every level
Since its launch in 1949, ASICS has grown from a small sports-shoe company founded in Japan to a highly regarded, award-winning international sportswear brand. ASICS' founder, Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka deeply believed in the fact that exercise leads to the development of a healthier body, and that a sound body is the cradle for a sound mind. When it came to naming his company, Mr. Onitsuka opted for the initials of a Latin quote that summarised his belief: Anima Sana In Corpore Sano. Nothing epitomises his philosophy more than running a marathon, as this is the ultimate event where body and mind must work together in harmony in order to complete those long and arduous 42.195 kilometres.
But it is not just the body and mind that are tested to their max, as a marathon also stretches sports products to their limit in the most extreme way. And that is why, after sixty years of determination to provide athletes of all levels with the best possible products, ASICS is still so popular at marathons the world over. Whether an elite runner or a first-time finisher, those wearing ASICS can run safe in the knowledge that they've put their trust in the most dedicated running brand.
ASICS employees count one specific brand of footwear each during the 2.5 hours after the winner crosses the marathon finish line. The resulting percentage indicates that ASICS is the preferred brand of footwear among serious marathon runners.