It seems like every year lately has been a banner year in participation numbers. Even through the recession, consistently increasing participation numbers. In a way, this is great. However, I wonder how healthy the front of the pack is. Especially with more races all the time filling several months before race day, are we seeing a thinning of the front pack? It's not even all about average finish times but about raw numbers of sub-2:30, sub-3:00, sub-3:30, etc. finishers.
In other words, the event aspect is enjoying banner success. I just wonder how the sporting aspect is doing. Maybe I'll try to get some of those numbers together later from various races.