Notes from the Road October 2018

 The latest from Running USA CEO Rich Harshbarger

There is a familiar crispness in the air and the fall road racing season is well underway. Before the descent of the holidays and year-end rush, I thought it would be a good time to update everyone on the progress of Running USA and share some positive developments.  

I happy to report that membership in the industry’s trade organization is strong.  Renewal rates are positive and we’re on track to add more new members than last year.  Brian Lyons, our membership director, has spoken with so many of you and our board of directors has also been reaching out to hear your feedback. We hope you will share your thoughts on how we might better serve you. A list of all
new members for 2018 is here – welcome all! We look forward to meeting you in person.  

While we continue to welcome new members, we have also been busy expanding our benefits.  Running USA is a one-stop shop for
music licensing coverage and our partnership with Nicholas Hill takes the hassle out of finding an event insurance policy that is right for you.  Last week we also announced a new partnership with Constant Contact that will save you 30% on their email marketing software. Learn more here.

2019 Conference
It’s hard to believe that we’re just four months away from the world’s largest annual running industry conference. Set for the first time in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this year’s conference is shaping up to be exceptional. There is a wide range of topics and presenters to fit every business size. Whether you’re an industry pro or a first-time attendee, there is something for everyone and the networking opportunities are limitless.
Register now and book your hotel rooms as prices go up in just two more weeks. Opportunities to get your business noticed as a sponsor of the event are still available, and you can find out more about that here.

Can’t make it to San Juan in February?  Don’t miss out on our ongoing webinars, both upcoming or recordings of past presentations. Data guru Jeff Matlow of imATHLETE has led three discussions with powerful data analytics, and the next is set for Nov. 7 (
grab your spot). That will be followed up by events locker, who will present best practices for expo logistics on Nov. 29. Last week Leslie Jordan recently discussed tips on selecting an apparel vendor.  To revisit those discussions, head to our Webinar page (you’ll need to login first).  We’d also love to see you in person at our final two Accelerator Series stops in Oklahoma City and Fort Worth.  These half-day sessions sponsored by Race Roster, discuss sponsorship trends and tips, social media marketing best practices and CRM technology to help market your event.  You can also be part of the ongoing discussion on our new members-only Facebook group. (Request to join from the Running USA Facebook page.)  

Data and Reports
Trends and statistics are part of the fabric of Running USA. Earlier this year we proudly worked with major registration companies to compile the 2018
State of the Sport report and we are again working with them to get those reports done sooner.  In a few weeks we’ll release the results of the National Runner Study which is free to all members. 

Also, later this year we will do a comparison study on running trends in Asia and will be presenting at the Mass Participation Asia conference in Singapore.  Finally, there will be an opportunity for you to weigh in as we will deploy our second Race Director Survey to help understand your pain-points. Keep an eye out for that one, as your participation will be vital and greatly appreciated.

As you can tell, there is much going on.  The Running USA team has been busy at our desks but also on the road. Christine Bowen did four hours of live
TV commentary at the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon earlier this year and each of us on staff had various roles at the Chicago Marathon and I am proud to join the ranks of official runners as I completed my first half marathon in Detroit earlier this month. (Please do NOT look up my time!)  

Running USA is a resource for your business.  If we can be of help, please do not hesitate to reach out.  We wish you all the best for the remainder of the year and look forward to seeing you in San Juan in February.