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Ditching the weights and hitting the streets - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Ditching the weights and hitting the streets

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COLCHESTER, Vt. - More Americans are hitting the pavement than ever before. From LA to Boston to Burlington, Americans are running as their main form of exercise. Last year, nearly 550 thousand people ran in marathons, up 75 thousand more than the year before.

"It is a really easy sport to get into. It doesn't take a lot of equipment," says triathlete Jim Fredericks.

500 people were ready to hit the road Sunday in Colchester, but bad weather left them running for nothing but cover. More and more participants in the event each year are women.

"This was going to be my husband and I's first triathlon," said Nicole Colantoni.

And that's also becoming a national trend.

"There is a big increase in running, but most of that increase is due to women getting into it," said Fredericks.

Triathletes in Colchester were prepared to run, bike and kayak and the reasons for the increased interest in these events vary.

"Running is social. you're running with friends. You're encouraging each other," said runner Jill Nye-McKeown.

Fredericks says, "It's easy to get better at it."

"Low cost. As soon as the spring hits, you get that first 50 degree day. Let's get outside," said Colantoni.

That get outside mentality was the reason Jill Nye-McKeown has helped start programs such as Girls on the Run.

"These program get young girls who may not normally try out running because they're intimidated by it, to try it out and then hopefully later on it becomes a lifestyle sport for them," Nye-McKeown said.

These new runners aren't running from something, they're running for something, and whether its for fun or a healthier life, running is all the rage.
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