Local race attendance in 2022

Our Tri club organises two local sprints, the first late May or early June usually sells out (pre Covid), and the second in August will normally end up 70-80% subscribed.

We held just one event last year, August, and it sold out.

2/3 competing similar local sprint races have met their maker for various reasons.

Thus confidence was high we’d get at least pre Covid entrant levels, if not even more. But numbers are appalling in comparison, to the point of wondering whether the August event is even viable.

We can’t even blame the Russian idiot, as the trend was well established before he embarked on his little adventure. Cost of living may be a factor, but even that was a distant thing rather than ‘here and now’ when entries were already way behind.

I’ve also entered a sprint which is normally a 2/3 day sell out - still showing open. And our inter club TT series the number of competitors is well down.

Anyone else finding this? It just seems as if the bottom’s falling out of these sports at local level.

Manchester marathon was still selling entries the week before. It’s an expensive one but without London and other spring marathons, it seemed like it would be popular.

It does seem to be a general issue but more so in tri. Many around here that would be sold out by now are still open.

Good year to get that Gee Bee AG place :joy::joy::joy::joy:


Is it just small local stuff? Saw Outlaw half still had spaces - that was normally an event sold out in a few days.
So little cash around; COVID must have put people off - committing to races that don’t happen. Might as well hang onto the cash now; then sign up last minute. Rather than sign up, pay out then get a deferral for a year or 2 down the line that doesn’t suit you.


The sign up later point is a good one, maybe events can get a late rush if they push that entries are still available

That’s a really good point.

I mean I’ve got a Wales spot that I entered in 2019 - remember the magic link?

I’ll enter a sprint in Dorney to blow the cobwebs out but will be a late entry


Small sample, but this is what my RD mate is seeing on his ultra events. The two shorter races he puts on (half maras) sold out quite quick, but the longer ones have been slower. This is the last year that he’s still having people running on deferrals. It’s been a nightmare for him in terms of cash flow.

I think lots of people are still managing their deferrals this year. I, for example, will be running Cardiff Half in Oct, that i booked in late 2019!!!

1 Like

I’m seeing it quite a lot, across all types of events. I think there are 2 factors: 1) overall there are lower numbers, 2) people are holding off and entering later if they can. And when you do hold off then there’s less chance of actually entering (e.g. injury, realising you’ve not trained as planned, etc). Whereas if you have to enter within hours of tickets becoming available, you’re then committed. I guess it’s the Nike model, of making something seem scarce can generate demand.

parkruns seem to have much lower numbers across the board since COVID.

A cycling sportive (White Horse Challenge) is this weekend, and it used to sell out within a week when it opens up in Dec/Jan, this year still places available.

I see the 113 Events triathlons still have quite a lot of tickets across both events, again in the past they have sold out not long after Xmas.


Probably echo some of the above. Our club 70.3 is full but only has about 220 spaces and I think a lot might have rolled from last year.

Our standard has struggled for a while but I’m not sure about the sprint, it usually fills.

The local ultra organiser is still doing well with the trail series but are only small fields split over 3 distances. I think the 55 & 60 fill but slower. The really long ones are fairly niche anyway.

I think the parkrun is reasonably similar but one didn’t restart so displaced about 350 people.

I’m not sure the bubble has burst but it seems to be deflating.

1 Like

I haven’t paid much attention but was having a quick look. In my local area the Cowman was the big event. When I did it few years back there were 200 people doing the 70.3. For this years event end of July there are 45 entries so far. They have probably not been helped by Outlaw coming into Woburn, despite the fact the entry fee is more than half what Outlaw want

Similar story with my club. We put on 3 races a year, a Duathlon and 2 Tris.
We had to cancel the 2 tris last year due to insufficient numbers.
The Duathlon was full last month but that’s only 90 spaces. Our next race is an open water tri at the end of May and numbers are very light at the moment.
I definitely think people are leaving it later due to previous cancellations (but that’s a vicious circle for the organiser) and numbers are down overall.
A local summer race that used to open entries 1st Jan and sell out in days now doesn’t fill up and is offering extra options to try and attract entries. I think the land owners who organise are trying to pass the event on now too.

I only started doing our local (open) TT last year. Having a quick scan of the results their numbers were up slightly in 2021 compared to 2019, looks like it went from about people 40 per week to 50.

Everyone’s too unfit after covid to race…

Entry is way down in most cycling events too.


They’re all on Zwift :roll_eyes::joy:


Challenge Salou has previosly sold out with 1100 places available. This year i heard they sold around 900 places. Massive pro attendance, around 60 pro men and 20 women.


Probably worth looking wider than sport as well, see what people are spending money on. I suspect a surge in holidays may mean a reduction in other leisure expenses?


Maybe people have just got out of the habit of entering events?

It seems like lots of people got into cycling, open water swimming and running during covid while we were in lockdown and the gyms and pools were shut, but perhaps they got into the sports without linking them to racing? :man_shrugging:


Another problem has to be the cost of events. I’ve seen oly distances at over £100. I am sure the organisers costs have gone up but I am sure it makes some people think twice before entering.


Seems to be a lot of Ironman races with places available compared to previous years despite the deferred places.

Can’t speak for local events yet.

Local running scene is extremely popular. Probably 25 or so races a year all within a 15 mile radius, average participation c. 150 runners.

A number of these have been cancelled, or rallying calls for more entries.

Hard to put my finger on it. There is no other real direct competition (limited triathlons or cycling sportives for example).

Either people want to commit to larger events, or pursuing other hobbies. In a strange way, I expected it to be heaving, as people either emerge from Covid overweight or wanting to get fitter.

Yeah, but per my point above, maybe people have got used to the idea that they can go for a run or a bike ride or an open water swim without there being an expensive event to train for at the end of it?