Survey reveals trail runner preferences from the 2018 Moab Trail Marathon

Several times a year the American Trail Running Association (ATRA) conducts surveys to measure trends within our sport, collect demographic profiles of its participants and analyze their preferences.

Following the Moab Trail Marathon held in Moab, Utah this past November, we conducted a survey of race participants in the marathon, half marathon, and 5k. A summary of the results follow below and can be compared with a similar survey we conducted at the 2016 Moab Trail Marathon.

The following is a survey summary. Complete survey results are made available to corporate members at the Switchback, Steep & Rocky and All-terrain levels.  For questions about this or future ATRA trail running surveys contact Nancy Hobbs at NancyHobbs@trailrunner.com.  Look for more surveys from ATRA in 2019, as we work to provide participant demographics and trends in our sport.

Number of survey responses: 1059 in 2018 compared to 532 in 2016.

Age:

  • 47% of survey respondents between 19-39 years of age in 2018
  • 52% of survey respondents between 19-39 years of age in 2016

Home state: 38% Colorado resident in 2018 compared with 50% Colorado residents in 2016.

Top states represented: Same top three in 2018 and 2016.

  1. Colorado
  2. Utah
  3. California

Weekly running mileage of survey respondents:

  • Less than 20 miles per week: 2018 = 56.7% and in 2016 = 50.2%
  • 21 to 40 miles per week: 2018 = 34.1% and in 2016 = 40.6%
  • 41 to 60 miles per week: 2018 = 7.4% and in 2016 = 7.5%
  • More than 60 miles per week: 2018 = 1.8% and in 2016 = 1.7%

Experience level of competitors:

  • In 2018 – 72% self-identify as mid-pack or back-of-the packer runners.
  • In 2016 – 77% self-identify as mid-pack or back-of-the packer runners.

Which race did the respondents participate in:

  • In 2018 – 32% finished the marathon, 62% finished the half marathon, and 6% finished the 5K.
  • In 2016 – 36% finished the marathon, 60% finished the half marathon, and 4% finished the 5K.

Trail shoes versus road shoes: In 2018 83% of survey respondents wore trail-specific running shoes compared with 82% in 2016.

Top shoe brands: Hoka One One was the top shoe brand worn by survey respondents in 2018 while Saucony topped the list in 2016.

Top 10 shoe brands – 2018 vs 2016:

  1. Hoka One One – 16% vs Saucony – 14%
  2. Salomon – 15% vs Altra – 13%
  3. Brooks – 15% vs Brooks – 13%
  4. Altra – 14% vs Hoka One One – 12%
  5. Saucony – 9% vs Salomon – 11.6%
  6. Asics – 5.2% vs Asics – 6.4%
  7. La Sportiva – 5.1% vs New Balance – 5.8%
  8. New Balance – 4% vs La Sportiva – 4.3%
  9. Nike – 3.8% vs Nike – 4%
  10. Merrell – 1.7% vs Peal Izumi – 3.9%

Most important factor when choosing an event: In both 2018 and 2016, survey respondents said “a great course” was the single most important factor when choosing to race the Moab Trail Marathon.

The 5 most important factors for survey respondents when choosing which event to run:

  • 93% said “a great course” was the #1 most important factor in 2018 compared to 97% in 2016.
  • 50% said “a location that is easy to drive to” in 2018. 57% said “challenging terrain” was the second most important factor in 2016.
  • 50% said “the reputation of the event organizers” in 2018 compared to 57% in 2016.
  • 49% said “challenging terrain” in 2018 while 47% said the “time of year” in 2016.
  • 41% said “time of year” in 2018. 46% said”a location that is easy to drive to” in 2016.

Most important attribute of the race according to survey participants: both years…an “accurately marked course.”

You can find additional ATRA trail runner survey summaries at the links below:

Tags: ,