02 October 2022, 10am
The sport had already grown very quickly on an international level through some standout races with global profiles. Smaller events were keen to learn from the experience of those they wished to emulate. As it was worldwide, so it eventually became on the national level in those countries where distance running had taken root.
Race organisers at all levels needed a forum in which they could learn from each other. Over the decades distance running enjoyed surges in popularity in different countries at different times. As more of a country’s races joined AIMS they also interacted more among each other and developed national institutions to assist in doing this.
There were more than a dozen AIMS member races in Mexico when they got together to form Run Mexico. In 2014 this group took on the responsibility and commitment to the running industry to collect and publish the results of races held in the Mexican Republic on a monthly and annual basis.
Run Mexico picks up the story:
Up until that time there had been no information in the public domain that showed the behaviour of runners presented with a choice of races offering different modalities, distances and concepts throughout the country. By gathering, analysing and presenting results of all races in a systematic way a new source of information has been generated which is very valuable for decision making among race organisers and all those involved in the world of running.
Between January and March 2020, prior to the appearance of SARS-CoV-2, 241 races were held. But the pandemic then took hold so that in the rest of the year only 16 were run. Over the whole of the year 2020 257 events were staged compared to 2017 formally timed races that had taken place in 2019.
The Covid pandemic forced the cancellation of all mass events leading organisers to hold virtual races instead. In the first quarter of 2020 the running industry fell 80%. In April no races were held and then neither in May and June.
Events were effectively suspended as part of the health emergency from March 2020 until September 2021 when permission was finally granted for an event in Mexico City
Not being able to hold live races impacted in many different ways (economic, functional, technological and organisational): Those affected included more than 150 organisers, thousands of families that depend directly on the realisation of sporting events and around 100 brands and products which sponsor races or have a brand presence as a marketing strategy.
Currently, in 2022, races have begun to project a more encouraging outlook. Runners appear to be more confident about their sport. The numbers show that they are again beginning to register for races and be present at sporting events.
Event sponsoring brands are returning. They are also gaining the confidence to actively support the sports industry in Mexico
There is still a long way to go and many scenarios are still to be played out. “The pandemic now opens up areas of opportunity for creative organisers and sponsors, laboratories, analytics, and insurers; it is a watershed for everyone,” said Run Mexico President Marco A. Liceaga.
“An important factor to consider is to continue to support women’s running. There are already large numbers of female runners at sporting events but their numbers should continue to increase.”
The pandemic showed us that we must be better prepared for the future of this industry. It has huge growth potential because the runner can be the focus of many different services, whether medical, organisational or logistical.
With the motto: “Now more than ever united”, the ninth International Congress of the Running Industry organised by Run Mexico took place on 2–3 May at the GeneVE Museum Hotel in Mexico City.
The Run Mexico Congress is the only event in the country that brings together the main actors of the running industry for the exchange of information and experiences. With the support of its partners and sponsors Run Mexico held its Congress for the ninth consecutive year.
During the event, several papers were presented and a panel of experts sought to diagnose the problems that the industry is currently experiencing, as well as point out solutions to promote its recovery.
More than 120 people participated for two days in the congress that seeks to professionalize the running industry in Mexico. Participants also came from many other countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and Spain. Among other countries of Central and South America different papers were presented that gave the participants more and better tools for the organisation of races.
The inauguration was made by Mr. Javier Hidalgo, Director of the Sports Institute of Mexico City. He highlighted the great importance and growth that running has had in our country. He invited all participants to continue with this great work to reduce childhood and adult obesity in which Mexico occupies first place.
The closing ceremony was very emotional since we had the presence of Pedro Fletes, Michel Muñoz and German Silva who received recognition for their illustrious careers.