The Millennial Running Study
Currently, Millennials (born 1980-2000) make up more than a quarter of the nation’s population, which explains why their behaviors have such an impact on technology, the workplace, culture, societal conventions, and more. But how does this group impact running events* across the U.S.? There are almost 42 million Americans who are considered runners, with 25-to-34-year-olds representing the largest age group. On Friday, February 12, The Millennial Running Study was presented by Running USA at the Running USA 2016 Industry Conference in Los Angeles, California. The study was also sponsored by RacePartner, and with research by Achieve this first of its kind study focuses specifically on the Millennial generation within the endurance sports industry. The purpose was to understand Millennial runners’ attitudes and behaviors in run/race/walk events, and then use the information gleaned to direct the way events are executed in the future. There were 15,631 total respondents: 73 percent female and 27 percent male. Here are some of the study’s key findings on Millennial runners:
- Participate in running events for two main reasons: health and fitness, and because they desire a quality event experience for themselves and their supporters.
- Leverage digital and social media to learn about events much more than any other type of medium. The most popular channels were Facebook, followed by Instagram and Twitter, respectively.
- Decision to participate is impacted by the physical and experiential aspects of running events. Event sponsors, age group awards, and real-time social media have the least impact.
- Interested in events with quality branded items or giveaways (i.e., ‘swag’), on-course entertainment, post-event parties and the ability to participate with friends.
- Prefer events with lower entry fees regardless of distance. Most are willing to pay $26 - $50 to register and that amount steadily increases based on event distance.
A subsequent release of this year’s study will consist of one-on-one interviews in order to compare anecdotal comments and experiences with the data detailed in this initial report. Release two will be completed during the next six months. Even though Millennial runners haven’t been running long, this study seems to indicate that they have quickly become dedicated to the sport. Download the Millennial Running Study here.
*In this report, “running events” are defined as public, organized run/walk events such as 5K (3.1 miles), 10K (6.2 miles), half-marathon (13.1 miles), marathon (26.2 miles) and ultra-distance (more than 26.2 miles).
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