RaceID CEO Erik Sjöbeck gives us a thorough review of the past year and reflect on how 2023 will look like in the endurance race and mass participation industry. 

It has been an interesting year in the endurance race industry. Going into 2022, the entire community had high expectations coming out of a couple of years dealing with the restrictions under Covid. 2022 was the year everyone was supposed to come back to the start lines. Unfortunately this didn’t exactly happen. We did see a lot of races finally coming back strongly, but the general trend was fewer participants overall and this forced some races to cancel altogether. 

Where is the industry after two pandemic years and a 2022 with a post-Covid syndrome? 

It is really hard to say with the recession looming around the corner. Races that have opened up registrations for 2023 see a better trend. Also considering that society has somewhat moved back towards normality we can all hope for a better race year. We do however also see races being unsure about setting up their events in the coming year as the previous years have pushed some organizers to a point where they have no or little organization to start with or have lost the motivation all together.

At RaceID we can confirm both of these trends at the same time. The races that will endure this phase and survive another uncertain year in 2023 will strengthen their position in the race calendar. We are at the same time likely to see a lot of races permanently disappearing from the race calendar. With all this said, it opens up space for new races to take their slot in the calendar. The industry that has grown constantly over the past 25 years (pre Covid) as part of the health mega trend still has a very bright future as people search for alternate activities to their everyday screen-driven lives.

To quote Chris Robb, renowned speaker, researcher and author within the mass participation industry: “The positive impact of endurance & mass participation events on people’s lives is much more than we currently think – the compounded ripple effect can be up to 1:200!” 

The positive effect endurance racing has on society is much larger than we think, and still needs to be proven. 

My thoughts about the Endurance Race Industry in 2023  

2023 has the prospects of being a better year than 2022, but the uncertainty of the economy looms over what otherwise looks like a promising year. Here are my predictions going into 2023:

What I can conclude is that 2023 will be an exciting year for the industry where race events will continue their journey back to previous levels. I do also think that the need for platforms such as RaceID will be even more apparent as both organizers and participants look for ways to find each other. It is also my belief that all races that pull through 2023 will have positioned themselves firmly in the race calendar for many years to come. This will be important as we will see new races emerge to replace the permanently canceled events.

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