LAST UPDATED: 22 November 2021

California Coalition of Endurance Sports reports projected loss of over $1 billion in economic activity due to COVID-19

The survey underscores the importance of the nearly 8,000 endurance events industry to the California economy.

California Coalition of Endurance Sports reports projected loss of over $1 billion in economic activity due to COVID-19

Today the California Coalition of Endurance Sports announced the results of a recent member survey of industry leaders across the state on the economic impact of COVID-19 restrictions on for-profit and non-profit runs, walks, triathlons and bike rides.

The survey results underscore the economic importance and financial consequences of the endurance sports industry’s shutdown for California, as the industry generates in excess of $1,000,000,000 a year in tourism and economic activity and over $70MM in charitable contributions. The majority of this economic impact has completely disappeared, along with over 100,000 employment roles, due to COVID-19 mandates.

California is currently under a mandatory Regional Stay Home Order, which prohibits any live-audience sports or outdoor gatherings in those restricted regions. The state is typically home to nearly 8,000 endurance events annually.

“After nearly 40 years producing community running events, we have seen how they have become about more than just recreation or fitness; they are important civic amenities, through economic stimulus and charitable fundraising, that are cornerstones of our community,” said Executive Director of the Sacramento Running Association Scott Abbott. “Much focus over the past nine months has been on how to mitigate COVID-19 risks for sectors of our economy that traditionally operate indoors. Yet there are important sectors, like endurance sports, that have always operated outdoors and can continue to safely do so with very simple adjustments. These are easy ‘wins’ right now for our lawmakers and health officials in California, and we look forward to working with them to bring back these important ‘forces for good’ in our communities.”

The Goals of the California Coalition of Endurance Sports are: 

  1. To recognize Endurance Events as Participant Events
  2. Open up Endurance/Participant Events in a safe manner within agreed upon COVID-19 safety standards.
  3. Acceptance of COVID-19 standards of safety and social distancing as created by the industry sector, and which is currently implemented in other states.

“Endurance sports are uniquely suited to a measured, tiered approach to enable a safe re-opening,” said RaceRaves Co-Founder Katie Ho. “From our vantage point as an online resource and community for runners across the U.S., we’ve seen a number of compelling examples which demonstrate that endurance events can be produced safely and within approved public health guidelines. We’ve captured finisher reviews from in-person events that indicate runners feel safe with the revised protocols.”

Coalition Co-Founder Mike Bone agreed, adding, “The state needs to recognize endurance sports as a vital and necessary component to the economic, physical and mental health of our communities. We are optimistic on this front, as the Coalition has had many promising discussions with elected officials and has drafted a consensus COVID mitigation plan that details an operational guide and best practices, similar to other states. We’re ready to go!”