Where DC, Arlington ranked among America’s best cities for runners

(Courtesy SmartAsset)

Staying active in a major city can prove challenging — but according to a recent study, Arlington and D.C. are among the best cities in the country for runners.

Data compiled by financial technology firm SmartAsset put Arlington first out of 98 cities ranked for overall friendliness and safety for runners. D.C. came third.

The annual ranking took eight factors into account: Number of races per 10,000 residents, walkability, number of workers who walk to work, pedestrian safety, housing costs as a percentage of income, number of gyms per 10,000 residents, percentage of a city covered by parkland and percentage of residents with easy access to a park.

It won’t come as a surprise to Arlington residents that the city’s numerous races played a big part in the city holding first place for a second year. According to SmartAsset, Arlington boasts more races than any other city studied.

Data also showed all of Arlington’s approximately 230,000 residents live within a 10-minute walk from a park. The city is also home to the third-highest number of gyms per 10,000 residents.

D.C., meanwhile, rose four places from seventh to third compared to 2018, behind second place holder San Francisco. SmartAsset found 12.69% of D.C.’s workforce walked to work on a regular basis — about 1 out of every 10 workers, and one of the highest in the country.

With almost a quarter of its land being parks, the study found D.C. proved an attractive option for people looking to stay active outside of the gym.

“Our data shows that 98% of residents live within a 10-minute walk of a park, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get some exercise even if the most common form of running in the nation’s capital is for office,” SmartAsset said.

D.C. also had the eighth highest number of races per 10,000 residents.

According to the ranking, the top 10 cities all shared widespread availability of parks and high walkability.

Walkability and park access is almost twice as high in the top 10 cities than the bottom 10. The 10 highest scoring cities also had a pedestrian death rate half that of the 10 lowest scorers.

See data on the top 25 scorers below:

(Courtesy SmartAsset)

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