Themed races surge in popularity

Mud runs aren't going anywhere.
Mud runs aren’t going anywhere.

Whether it’s zombies, coloured dye and electrocution, the popularity of themed races is growing as many recreational runners look for new experiences.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, events like Tough Mudder, the Spartan Race, zombie-themed runs and colour runs are experiencing tremendous growth. Tough Mudder, for example, grew from three races in 2010 to 53 races around the world in 2013, with more than a million people having participated.

The trend is now to have races and events that offer participants an experience that’s more than just crossing the finish line. They’re meant to be both unique and challenging in a different way than traditional road races.

But who is taking part in these extreme events? It’s not necessarily competitive runners, but rather “super-well-educated, high-income, type-A, early-adopter, active lifestyle enthusiasts,” according to the article.

It’s also not the traditional runner who focuses on road racing. More serious runners tend not to take part in these types of events, at least at the moment.

And some don’t see this new trend as a fad, the article adds.

“I like the model, I think it works well, at least for a 10-to-15-year window,” Scott Rosner, a sports business professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania told the publication. “At some point you may see a dropoff – people get wear and tear on their bodies.”

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