Top 5 Mob™ Event Trends to Watch in 2013

If you think Mob™ events, like zombie chases, mud runs, paint races, and tomato fights were big in 2012, just wait until 2013. ACTIVE’s Mob customers, including The Color Run and Spartan Races, saw more than one million participants in 2012. One million! The popularity is continuing to surge and we’re seeing some patterns start to take shape for 2013. Here are the top five Mob trends to watch for in the next year:

5. Comic Books Come to Life
Considering the huge popularity of movies like The Dark Knight trilogy and The Avengers, and TV shows like Human Target, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Tales From the Crypt, it’s no secret that stories from comic books are a national obsession. We expect to see more and more race directors capitalize on these flashy characters and settings, creating event themes around them. For example, Ruckus Sports successfully brought fantasy to reality with its Walking Dead Escape.

4. Participant Numbers Rise (As Well As Spectator Numbers)
The Color Run saw its Washington DC event sell out in record time – 2 hours flat – and grew from 0 to 50 locations in 12 months. The Spartan Races grew from 0 to 30+ locations in two years. And did we mention our Mob customers tallied over one million participants in 2012 alone?

Participation in Mob events is exploding and not looking like its losing speed. We expect to see event directors add more event locations and more event options (e.g. additional distances, difficultly levels) in 2013. Plus, with the fun atmosphere and “eye candy” format, some events are even beginning to charge for spectating.

3. Obstacles Get Crazier
Event directors are looking to differentiate themselves from the crowd of countless mud runs and obstacle courses. So, they’re getting creative. If it’s bigger, better, and/or crazier obstacle, you’ll probably find it on a course in 2013. The world’s largest inflatable slide? Check. Jumping over fire in the rain? Check. And it’s only going to get more interesting…

One new event debuting in 2013 is Alpha Warrior. This event doesn’t have mud and doesn’t involve mileage. It’s pure obstacles – trampolines, radial rings, net crawls, spider walls –  and presents an entirely different type of intense physical challenge to participants. (We know because we got to try it out here at ACTIVE!). We expect this event, and others that push the edge of creativity and personal challenge, to be a big success in 2013.

2. Night Time is the Right Time
Forget the days of waking up at the crack of dawn to participate– events are now held at any hour of the day or night! For example, over 10,000 participants outfitted themselves in glowing neon gear to participate in the inaugural Electric Run, a party-like nighttime 5K, hosted by Carmen Electra. We expect to see more and more events lighting up the night and “odd” times of day to match their themes and differentiate their brand.


1. Technology Helps Transform the Trends
We are seeing an increasing demand for technology that allows Mob organizers to easily manage their event, from automating and streamlining their operations to making it easier and more fun for people to get involved. For example:

  • Alpha Warrior is incorporating RFID wristbands to let participants see how they stack up against each other
  • The Color Run focuses on making it extremely easy to sign up your team of friends
  • Spartan Race uses social media plug-ins to offer participants great deals and discounts.

“Mobs aren’t just another running event – they are an experience that take your breath away, shocks you, challenges you, let’s you be a kid again and is grander than typical events you have experienced,” said Dan Hill of Electric Run. “Technology is a crucial aspect to this. Great technology helps us operate smarter, provide a better experience and engage more effectively with our participants.

SEE ALSO: Top 7 Unique Technology Needs of Mob Events

2013 promises to bring some exciting events that set a new standard for the industry and give participants experiences unlike any they’ve had before!