More women than ever are running

FORT MYERS (CBS)– Women are outnumbering men in races, and it’s not just for the health benefits.

Donna Briganti laces up her shoes and runs almost every day, and says her favorite part about running is the solitude.

She’s certainly not alone. More women than ever are running, and their average age is 39.

“You have a finish line that you cross every day. So, if you can do it this way, it’s empowering,” said Briganti.

Today, more than 60% of half-marathon finishers are women. Many became addicted by first finishing a charity 5k which is a little more than three miles.

Briganti, did her first 5k run for Hurricane Sandy relief in 2013.

“Three months after I started running I was told, “if you can do a 5k, you can do a 10k. Piece of cake, you’ll love it. Mmm hmm..”

Tish Hamilton is the executive editor of Runner’s World magazine. She calls the 5k a “gateway drug.”

“It sort of spurs you on and you do another one, and another one, and then you say, ‘ok, maybe I can go a little bit farther,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton says the health benefits, and the explosion of colorful, comfortable running gear, sells the sport and her magazine.

“We put men on the cover because we feel like we ought to, and they rarely sell as well as women do.

For Briganti, a former smoker, it’s not about what’s popular. Her race is personal.

“I race against myself,” said Briganti. “Someone will say, ‘did you win?’ Yes, I win every time I go out!”

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