3 Good Reasons to Re-think Saturday Races


Quick! What’s the most popular day to plan an endurance event: Saturday or Sunday?

If you said Saturday, you’re partially right. If you guessed Sunday, you are also sort-of right.

“But, how is that possible,” you’re undoubtedly asking us.

Well, on a national level, Saturday races are more popular for all types of endurance events. The problem, though, is that you’re not planning a race that will span the entire nation. You’re planning a race for a specific city or state.

ACTIVE parsed data from 80,000 endurance events last year and found that in some regions of the country, Sunday is the more popular day. In other regions, both days of the weekend proved to be virtually equal in popularity.

race day heat map

It might be time to re-think Saturday. Here’s why:

1. Cali-Cool and NOLA Wild = ‘Meh’ about Race Day: In California and Louisiana our data showed that there was only a slight preference for Saturday. States like Indiana, New York and Oregon had near equal races on Saturdays and Sunday as well.

2. There’s the “Bible Belt” and then there’s everywhere else: Places like Florida, Georgia and Texas hardly ever hold races on Sundays, with Saturday races being at least twice as popular in those states and throughout most of the Bible Belt. Mississippi had exactly zero races on Sunday in 2014.

3. Sunday wins back East: New Jersey and Massachusetts were the only two states that held more races on Sunday than Saturday, but other states in the Northeast like Connecticut and Maine were not far behind.

So, what does this data have to do with you and your next race? It pays to know what the local market looks like for races and the factors runners have grown accustomed to.
Depending on your event, it might make sense to plan your race on the day of the week that’s most popular in your state. Or, if you’re planning a unique event that draws from a non-traditional pool of participants, going for the rogue day of the week might be a better strategy.

When’s your next race—Saturday or Sunday? Why?

Join us each Monday for new data and insights that will put your next race in first place. Find actionable insights that fuel event growth on ActivityCloud.com.