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A "Participation Boom" in 2021?

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By Barry Siff (triathlete .com)

 

Iggy Pop, an icon of 70s rock, said in Rolling Stone Magazine recently: “I know when I do come back onstage, it’s going to feel great. Imagine what kind of party we’re going to have.” The same can be said of endurance events. When we get to come back to races, it’s going to be a party!

Essentially shut down now for nine months now, mass participation events like triathlons, running, and cycling races have been postponed, canceled, or held virtually. The question is what is going to happen when they finally get to come back?—when the new normal sets in, when the vaccine takes hold, and when mass participation events get the green light again...

As dim as the present might look right now, the future looks bright and full of new runners and cyclists. A Sports Business Journal article in November said: “According to a study from several sources, there are an estimated 7 million new runners in the U.S. since COVID hit. Additionally, U.S. cycling sales through all channels grew 75% in April to a total of about $1 billion for the month … for the first time ever.” Walmart not only has had record bike sales, they recently became a member of the PeopleForBikes Coalition, the national bike industry trade association aimed at getting more people on bikes more often.

RunRepeat, an online running shoe focused website, did a 13,000 person study and found that exercise frequency increased by 88% this year among people who generally exercised once or twice a week. More than 1 million people joined Strava’s monthly 5K challenge in May, and 2 million new users joined the free app every month this year.  READ MORE

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