Third Annual RunSignup RaceTrends Report Shows Flat Race Participation


Moorestown, NJ – RunSignup released their Third Annual RaceTrends Report exploring the state of the endurance industry. The report was built by mining RunSignup registration and finisher data over a four-year period to generate transparent statistics, identify trends in the industry, and provide recommendations to keep endurance events competitive in a crowded market. More than 40,000 races and 6 million participants (online and imported registrations) are accounted for in the data set for 2018. 

The comprehensive report covers significant trends in race growth, race promotion, registration, fundraising, and RaceDay technology, with raw data and actionable takeaways.

A few of the key findings were somber: 

  • Participation is essentially flat. Races that held events on RunSignup in 2017 and 2018 saw a 0.1% decrease in participation.
  • Racing is getting more expensive. Registration prices increased across all race distances of a marathon or less.
  • It’s a competitive market. 6% of 2017 races with over 500 participants did not return in 2018.

However, not all was gloomy: many events are growing, and the report evaluated some of the marketing strategies were successful at driving participation:

  • Referral rewards programs are cost-effective. Races that turned on Referral Reward Refunds gave just 1 refund for every 13 participants referred to the event.
  • Automated emails efficient. For races that had them turned on, automated emails led to 14% of their registrations in 2018.
  • Deadlines work. 27.1% of all registrations take place within the 3-day period prior to a price increase or registration closing date.
  • SEO (search engine optimization) drives traffic. 28.3% of race website traffic is the result of an organic search.

Beyond race growth, the report looks at event pricing, the adoption of technology by events and strategies to help charities raise more money.  Limited print copies of the reports will be available at the RunSignup booth at this weekend’s Running USA Conference. The full report can also be found online and downloaded for free at:


About RunSignup

RunSignup is the leading all-in-one platform for endurance and fundraising events. More than 17,000 races, supporting over 7,000 nonprofits, use RunSignup’s free and integrated solution to save time, grow their events, and raise more. Built on a powerful CRM, RunSignup delivers the art of technology to power the entire race cycle, with promotional tools, registration, a full fundraising platform, and a suite of RaceDay products – including the runner-tracking app RaceJoy and race timing software, RaceDay Scoring. For more information, visit

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