|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2011)|
Serena Burla on cover of the July 2011 issue
|Former editors||Amby Burfoot|
|Based in||Emmaus, Pennsylvania, United States|
Runner's World was originally launched in 1966 by Bob Anderson as Distance Running News, and Anderson published the magazine by himself for several years from his home in Manhattan, Kansas. Runner and writer Hal Higdon had been writing for the magazine since the beginning (2nd edition). In 1969, Anderson changed the name of the magazine to Runner's World. He brought on Joe Henderson as chief editor and moved the editorial offices, now named World Publications, to Mountain View, California. Runner's World thrived during the 1970s "running boom", even in the face of competition from the New York-based magazine, The Runner.
Purchased by Rodale Press
In the early 1980s, Bob Anderson sold a good portion of his publications, including Runner's World. Some of Anderson's books went out of print while others were distributed by Macmillan Publishing. Robert Rodale of Rodale Press, purchased Runner's World and the editorial offices moved to Rodale's base in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. Joe Henderson did not move to Emmaus, and stepped down as editor, though he remained associated with the magazine until 2003. Random House bought the running log, which was published under the Runner's World name for decades after the sale.
Not long after buying Runner's World, Rodale bought The Runner, and merged the two magazines, keeping the Runner's World name and some writers, including Amby Burfoot who became the editor (a post he held until 2003).
Runner's World remained strong through the so-called "second running boom" in the late 1990s. In 2004, the magazine had a full redesign. Since then, the magazine has won several awards including being ranked #1 on Adweek's Hot List, #6 on Advertising Age's "A-List"; been recognized for having the "Creative Team of the Year", and most notably has been nominated three times for National Magazine Awards. Also, since the redesign, the magazine's circulation has increased from 525,000 to 650,000 at a time when most consumer magazines' circulations have declined, and advertising pages and revenue remain at an all time high. The vice-president and publisher of Runner's World's United States' edition is Christopher Lambiase and its editor is David Willey.
In February 2007, Rodale acquired Running Times magazine with the objective of getting the magazine back on its original mission to serve the front of the pack.
Since the early 1990s, Runner's World has expanded outside the United States, currently with 14 international editions. The first was a United Kingdom edition wholly owned by NatMag Rodale, a joint venture between Rodale Inc. and The Hearst Corporation in the UK. Editions in Australia/New Zealand, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands/Belgium, Philippines, Poland, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden are published either as joint ventures or through licensing arrangements with publishers in those countries. Editors in each country have access to editorial content from the U.S. edition, but also publish their own original content with local flavor.
Runner's World published an article by Nick Symmonds in its November 2013 issue advocating that Congress should "[b]an assault rifles and handguns for everyone except police and military personnel."  The article sparked arguments on both sides of the gun control debate and criticism of the magazine for covering a topic unrelated to running. 
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- Benyo, Richard. "The Essential Encyclopedia of Marathoning". Marathon and Beyond. Retrieved 21 April 2010.
- Advertising magazines for runners to merge at Rodale, The New York Times, 15 Jan 1987