Road Racing Weathers the Storm, by Larry Eder


Runners are shown above finishing the RAK half marathon, that experienced a nice growth in numbers, even in hot and windy conditions! Photo courtesy of the world, road racing is continuing to grow, even in our recent economic challenges. In an essay on the Universal Sports site,, Jim Hage, one of sports premier columnists, notes that most of the major events are fairing
very well in these tough economic times.

In all of my recent travels, it is become increasingly clear, that amid all the tales of woe on CNN, Fox, Nbc, CBS, etc. the running business is doing surprisingly well. Major marathon registration is up, second level marathon registration is up, many moderate sized races are sold out.

An example is Matt Dockstader of Matt has three half marathons, one in Santa Barbara, one from Napa to Sonoma, and a new one in Healdsburg, California. All are tied in with local wine country and wineries and have found a unique position on the race circuit.

If there is anything that one finds now, is that unique events stand out. The quality of the Elite marathon series, building this year into San Antonio, Seattle and Denver, brings their excitement to new environs. What can be tricky here, is to become such a standard that people just try the different cities to taste the Rock N Roll feeling of the event, not also to travel to the city to discover more about the local culture, tastes and features that only running through a city can do.

Races like the BAA Boston Marathon have strong numbers, according to Guy Morse and Jack Fleming. With such an iconic event, reaching the numbers, even in economic times such as now, are still above their plan.

But races will see the sting in other ways. People will cut back on hotel nights, also looking for better deals. Restaurants with specials and family deals will see an increase as the middle class and upper middle class of this country-where many of the running community are ensconced, come to grips with the economic realities of the day.

Road running should continue to do well in the current economic climate, but we also should be planning ahead as this current economic climate sure does not look like it is changing in the short term.

Personal fitness is one of the few things that people can control. Training for a race, focusing on on those runs gives someone a focus when good news if few and far between. Running and Walking gives us something to look forward to, so turn off that TV and get on your running shoes, and plan for an upcoming race!

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