The outcome of 2020 for the running industry

December 17, 2020

2020 looked like a promising year for the endurance and mass participation event industry. More and more runners were looking for the perfect destination for a “runcation”. It is not only about travelling, it is about the experience - running in a new place, living a unique experience, and doing what you love. 

However, as the whole world got badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, the running industry did not hesitate to look for alternatives and to innovate to give runners what they love the most - a high-quality running event!

Virtual Runs

Virtual Runs have been in the industry for quite some time. However, it was never  the most popular form of endurance event up until now. Virtual Runs allowed the organizer to keep providing a great running experience offering different benefits for runners such as: shipping T-shirts and medals, creating a virtual leaderboard, providing easy result submission solutions, giving a discounted entry for the next edition of the event, and more.

Event organizers started providing this solution as the social distancing measures continued to be in our lives and, although this is a slightly different experience than running at the actual race location, this was a solution that was well-appreciated by runners.

Virtual Runs vs. Physical Runs

After analyzing the behaviour of organizers, we at World’s Marathons are positive about the future! 

34.5% of the new client events added to World’s Marathons have been virtual runs, which means that most of the events organised by our new clients are physical ones - this shows that the industry is positive towards running all together again:

(Internal World's Sports Group statistics)

Click here to have more information about events’ statuses all around the world. 

Runners’ behaviour

How are runners feeling towards events taking place in 2021? An industry “insider” has shared with us that when their event had to be rescheduled for 2021 and they gave runners the option to either get a refund or postpone their entry to the next edition of the event. In this case, 15% of the runners chose to get a refund, while 85% of the runners decided to transfer their entry to the new date of the event.

This has been a year full of challenges and sad news, but the running community has kept strong throughout the pandemic and has brought new ideas to the table, a great feeling of unity while being apart, and has kept spreading their love for running.

At World’s Marathons we want to thank all our partner organizers for trusting us in what has been one of the toughest times ever lived by the industry.

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Sara Romero Doreste

Customer Success Lead and Content Creator joined World's Marathons in 2018. Any questions about our platform? You need help increasing your ticket sales? You can contact me at

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