The Running Event, held December 3 to 5, 2019 in Austin, marked the 14th year with record participation, along with a strong international retailer attendance.
The Running Event reported over 260 exhibitors and over 2,500 total attendees at this year’s show.
“After honing in on the valuable feedback provided by our exhibitors and retailers, we made significant changes to The Running Event that were well received and commented on by numerous attendees during the show, said Anne Gray, event director for Diversified Communications. “We left Austin feeling full of energy for what’s ahead, and we are already coming up with new things for 2020!”
The newly adjusted three-day event hosted breakout conference sessions for both retailers and race directors, two days of exhibitions, demos and much more.
Highlights from The Running Event include:
- New Product Showcase Winner – set up on the trade show floor, attendees scoped out what’s new for 2020 and voted on their favorite product. The 2019 winner: Kahtoola for new winter traction system, EXOspikes, and was gifted $1,000 to the charity of their choice.
- The Big Pitch Winner – attending retailers had the opportunity to win up to $5,000 for presenting a winning idea to some of the best in the running business. The challenge: develop and share a campaign that would attract younger customers to their stores. The 2019 winner: Palmetto Running Company of South Carolina for its eco-initiative to tie in running with
- Earth Day 2020. Running Niche walked away with second place and $3,000, and 605 Running Company came in third place and took home $1,000.
- Indie 5k Winners – Fastest Retail Team: Naperville Running Company; Fastest Manufacturer Team: Nuun Hydration (picture of team above); Fastest Female: Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, 16:28; and Fastest Male: Mustafa Mohamed, 15:11.
“The show was outstanding, as always,” said Craig Carlock, CEO of Omega Sports. “We connected with key vendor-partners and further cemented important relationships, particularly in footwear. In accessories and apparel, we saw many new items that we can consider for next year. We left the show rejuvenated and excited about products, relationships and opportunities.”
To close out The Running Event, Thursday’s evening Industry Awards honored six retailers and individuals for their special contributions to the business of run specialty. The 2019 recipients were:
- Brooks Run Happy Award, Running Lab
- Nike Just Do It/Empower Award, Bekah Metzdorff, Mill City Running
- IRRC Canadian Store of the Year Presented by New Balance, Frontrunners Victoria
- ASICS Sound Mind Sound Body Award, Fleet Feet Mt. Pleasant/Somerville
- Saucony Run for Good Award, Charm City Run
- Ubuntu Award Presented by Balega, Playmakers, Okemos, MI
New sustainability initiatives were taken at The Running Event in 2019 and moving forward to reduce the carbon footprint that trade shows leave behind. This included the removal of aisle carpet as well as new recyclable, plastic free name badges. All attendees of The Running Event in 2019 received a reusable water bottle courtesy of Nathan to use during the event and beyond. Two new education sessions highlighted sustainability from a business standpoint as well as for race directors and the future of diminishing environmental impact at races.
The dates for next year’s The Running Event are set, and the show will return to Austin, Texas on December 1-3, 2020.