New Achieve Research Focuses on Millennials Within Endurance Sports Industry


The second phase of the Millennial Running Study, a research study commissioned by Running USA and RacePartner, was released this week amid high anticipation from event directors seeking to understand more about the attitudes and behaviors of millennial runners (born 1980-2000).

“One of the most frequent questions we get from race directors is how can we get millennials to run and participate in races,” said Robert Anderson, executive vice president of Achieve. “This research from our Achieve team will provide our RacePartner division, as well as the entire industry, with a better understanding of millennial runners’ social and economic behaviors.”

For Phase II of the Millennial Running Study, Achieve took a deeper look at Phase I findings to identify trends by gender and runner type. This update also includes commentary from qualitative interviews in an effort to further explain and support elements of millennial runners’ health and fitness, running experience and philanthropy, with a focused examination of their interest and participation in event volunteerism.

“Our research team was curious to understand whether fitness-conscious millennials have the same philanthropic desires as other millennials,” said Derrick Feldmann, president of Achieve. “While philanthropy wasn’t the primary reason millennial runners participated in events, volunteering presents another opportunity for causes and charities to engage millennial runners.”

This release also compares qualitative comments and experiences with the data detailed in the initial report. The multi-staged, mixed methodological research study was designed by the Achieve research team and the findings were discussed in-depth during a Sept. 15 webinar hosted by Achieve President Derrick Feldmann and Lead Researcher Amy Thayer, Ph.D.

“The first release of the study showed that a lot of event directors do not know how to communicate with millennial runners,” said Rich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA. “This research will help them tailor their business approaches and marketing plans so they can improve their recruitment of millennial participants.”

The Millennial Running Study is the endurance industry’s first research study that seeks to understand what organized running events – defined as public, organized run/walk events – can do to keep millennial runners – defined as those who regularly participate in competitive running events – interested and engaged.

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