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Runner Retention Panel to be a Highlight of Running USA 2018

2 Feb, 2018


How to Keep Athletes Engaged, Registered and Active is Key Concern of Industry

The annual gathering of the national trade organization for the sport of road running will include an important panel discussion on why recreational runners are now signing up for fewer road races and diverting their attention to other athletic events or pursuits.

The conference will be held February 11-13, 2018, in Austin, Texas.

Since 2014, the running industry has experienced a gradual but consistent year-over-year decline in the number of road race finishers. While nearly 17 million runners still finished a race in 2016, races from marathons to 5Ks across the United States have shared concern as to where runners are spending their time and money instead, as well as how to entice runners back to their respective events. 

The findings of the Runner Retention Survey will be presented at the Running USA 2018 conference in Austin, a gathering of over 700 of the endurance industry’s leaders. A panel discussion, moderated by Mary Wittenberg (past CEO of NYRR and Virgin Sport), will include Tony Yamanaka, Operations Director of Events Southwest and Kirsten Fleming, Executive Director of the Calgary Marathon. A fourth panelist will be announced in the coming days. 

Factors like cost, an aging participant demographic, the popularity of cross-training fitness and yoga classes, and market saturation are all on the table for discussion during this much-anticipated session. 

“For the past three years, race directors and others in the industry have consistently asked where the runners are going and whether they will return,” said Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger. “Our Runner Retention Survey has answered those questions, giving us the insights so we can discuss and debate how best to reignite growth in the sport. This panel discussion is a don’t miss.”

The Runner Retention Survey, an in-depth survey which accumulated feedback from more than 5,000 U.S. recreational runners, seeks to answer these questions and provide insight for the running industry about how to win back past participants. The results of the survey will be available to Running USA members on February 12.

For more information on the 15th industry conference, visit  http://www.cvent.com/events/2018-running-usa-industry-conference/event-summary-c3e03e7c50f346ca9e86ae838fa47b40.aspx 

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