The Foot Locker regional system remains very strong in some states, but shows signs of declining strength in others. Here is a closer look at the numbers.
What state sends the most participants to Foot Locker Regionals? That one's easy--it's California. California easily has the largest population of the 50 states, has a large running community, and hosts a Foot Locker regional meet. It comes as no surprise, then, that California tops the list of states in number of participants sent to Foot Locker regionals.
But, California is nowhere near the top of the list in per capita runners sent to Foot Locker regionals. That honor belongs to Utah, and by an enormous margin over any other state. Based on the 2010 census count, Utah sent approximately one runner to Foot Locker Regionals per every 3400 residents of the state this year. That number is just over a fifth of the ratio of the next best producting state.
The various hosting states all came in well behind Utah. California sent one participant for every 41,700 residents. Wisconsin sent one participant for every 24,400 residents. North Carolina, the state with the best participation rate outside of Utah, sent one participant for every 15,200 residents. And New York sent only one participant for every 119,600 residents.
How has Nike Cross Regionals impacted Foot Locker participation? That's hard to say with a great deal of precision because I don't have the numbers going back over a long period of time. We can, however, note that Colorado and Texas, two states with a lot of cross country tradition and very long trips to Foot Locker regionals, rank very low on Foot Locker participation but very high on Nike Cross Regionals participation. Oregon, a state with considerable cross country tradition and only moderate travel demands for its Foot Locker Regional, ranks ahead of only Mississippi in its Foot Locker participation rate.
Aside from Texas, however, other Nike Regional hosting states retain relatively strong Foot Locker participation rates, with New York (36th) and South Dakota (34th) ranking lowest on that list.
Before sending you to the tables to see where your state ranks, a couple of comments about the meaning of the numbers are in order. I've already mentioned that the population figures used are from the United States 2010 census. The participation numbers represent the number of participants registered from each state as drawn from the Foot Locker web site. This includes registration for all races at the various Foot Locker Regionals, including citizens races. It would not include race day registrations (if any) or registrations that were received late and not posted on the lists of registered runners.
With that said, the participation numbers and rates for each state are shown below: