Running USA Announces New Runner Retention Survey | Sports Destination Management

Running USA Announces New Runner Retention Survey

Mar 19, 2018

Running USA, the national trade organization for the sport of road running, announced today the debut of the first ever Runner Retention Survey, a report focused on why recreational runners are signing up for fewer road races and diverting their attention to other athletic events or pursuits.

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 were presented today at the Running USA 2018 conference in Austin, a gathering of over 700 of the endurance industry's leaders.

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.

Key insights presented include:

  • Attitudes towards running events

  • Reasons runners select a race

  • Factors in entering fewer events

  • Experiences runners seek out at running events

  • Alternatives for spending time and money

  • Reasons for running

  • Road race participation numbers

The Runner Retention Survey is now available to all Running USA Foundation members for free and was distributed today to designated points of contact. Contributing and Standard members can purchase the findings for $99. Non-members may purchase the report for $159. Get the findings now.

About Running USA: Running USA is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization devoted to improving the status and experience of distance running and racing in the United States. Through collective marketing and promotions, information and communications within the industry and to the national media, along with services to events and industry members, Running USA seeks the advancement of the sport and the provision of value to each of its members' events and businesses. For more information, visit

To learn more or purchase the Runner Retention Survey, please visit:

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