Running for leisure is a relatively new trend in the United States. In ancient times, running was necessary for survival, but as life becomes more technologically advanced and sedentary in nature, physical activity is less routine and requires more intention. In the United States, many claim that star athletes such as Steve Prefontaine, the Oregon track star and 1972 Olympian, and Joan Benoit, the first-ever female marathon champion, popularized the sport and brought it to the national stage. Companies, most notably Nike, came in later to transform the sport of running and incorporate it into a lifestyle of fitness. Whatever the cause, running is now a leading activity in the United States, among different ages and demographics, both competitively and for leisure.