December 1, 2022 – RunSignup, the leading US technology provider for endurance events, released their event participation numbers for Thanksgiving Day, the biggest running day of the year. In 2022, the platform had a record 756,894 participants registered to participate in 730 races across the country, with more than $1.8 million dollars raised for charity.
The topline of the report is that running participation on Thanksgiving has largely rebounded after dropping 75% in 2020. While registrations on RunSignup were up considerably (22% higher than 2021 and 41% higher than 2019), those numbers are impacted by increased market share for the platform. However, the report also looks at races that were on the platform in subsequent years to analyze the per-race growth. Compared to 2021, it is clear that participation is trending back up, with a 12% increase in registrations from 2021 to 2022. On the other hand, when comparing races in 2019 and 2022, participation fell 3% since 2019, with just over 1,000 participants per-race registered. The decline in participation since 2019 appears to be largely impacting larger races with more than 1,000 participants.
Additional key takeaways from the report include:
● Races on Thanksgiving Day are larger than average, with 31% of races exceeding 1,000 participants (compared to 2.9% of races from January to October of 2022)
● Larger races struggled to regain their previous participation levels, with races over 5,000 seeing a 17% decline in participation compared to 2019. In comparison, races with fewer than 500 participants grew 35% over the last three years.
● Virtual participation continued to be an option, with 26% of races offering a virtual option and 1.7% of participants opting for virtual participation.
● The majority of Turkey Trots (78%) supported one or more charities, with 57,017 donors raising a total of $1,891,109.69.
● Thanksgiving Day Races bucked the trend of falling youth participation, with 19.6% of all Thanksgiving Day participants between the ages of 18-29 (compared to just 12.8% in 2021).
● The RaceDay CheckIn App continued to be a key resource for an efficient race day experience, with 42% of races using the app to check in 54% of registrants.
● Technology was key, with 161 races sending email or SMS results notifications to a record 323,800 participants.
RunSignup Founder and CEO Bob Bickel said about the day, “Thanksgiving Day can be a bellwether to help understand the state of the industry, and Thanksgiving 2022 has plenty to be encouraged by. While we still see some struggles, especially amongst larger races, it’s clear that the tradition of Turkey Trots has been restored.”
With no aggregate roundup of Turkey Trot participation numbers since Running USA reported 961,882 finishers in 2016, it can be hard to gauge the true impact of Thanksgiving Day on the running industry. However, RunSignup’s numbers from 2022 suggest that the industry continues to regain participants and re-integrate races into their communities.
For more information, visit: https://runsignup.blog/2022/11/28/2022-is-a-big-year-for-turkey-trots/
RunSignup is the leading event solution delivering the art of technology to endurance events. More than 26,000 events use our free and open platform to register 7 million annual participants, raise more than $1.7 billion and grow their events. Our expertly crafted, open, and all-in-one solution powers event revenue generation and supporter engagement through flexible registration, free event websites, free email marketing, integrated fundraising, and a suite of RaceDay tools. No subscriptions, no plans, no monthly fees.
To find out why customers like the Richmond Marathon, American Cancer Society, Vacation Races, and Race Day Events use RunSignup, visit www.runsignup.com.