State of the Running Union

From Soul Focus Sports
By J.T. Service, Run Local Events Founder & Soul Focus Sports CEO

2019 was a pretty crazy year in running. This included amazing athlete performances, mind-blowing technology advances, and some really cool projects on the streets. Admittedly Soul Focus Sports lives in a very niche space; inhabited by those that love to run, people that put on running events, and companies that sell products or provide services to this industry.

You would be surprised by how many people make a living off the sport of a singular human movement; people putting one foot in front of the other. I’ll save you the laundry list of vendors, middlemen, and middle-women that it takes to get “Frank from accounting” from his couch to 5K, but it’s significant. Our job is to find our way into the center of all of it and we kicked ass this year.

Between our Soul Focus Sports (SFS) and Silverback Pacific (SBK) teams, we fully produced about 15 running events this year. We supported another dozen with staff and consulting and then provided equipment for roughly 40 more. Beyond that, we lead teams that activated over 500 micro-events including shoe trials, expos, run clubs, run crew meetups, and in-store pop-ups. Pretty chill year.

2019 By the Numbers: 

  • 300,000+ = Number of runners supported across finish lines.

  • 10,000+ = Number of shoes demoed.

  • 20 = Affiliated flights attending running events, conferences, pitch meetings, strategy sessions.

  • 18 = Number of times we woke up at or before 3:00am

  • 1 = Number of shoes that I tied on the start line for a nervous participant; that was a first.

With these badges of honor clearly identified and sewn onto my early morning reflective vest of self-worth; I’d like to identify a few trends, compelling stories, and link out to some of the best running stories that I’ve been watching unfold and maybe a couple of things to look out for in 2020.

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