Return to Fun Runs - September 2020 Report

Run for kids 3.jpg Image Source: Run For The Kids


At the beginning of September Register Now conducted another round of the “Return to Fun Runs during COVID-19” survey to understand the general sentiment of the Australian running community and how it develops as conditions change across the country.

Topics around comfortability of attendance and general participation numbers were assessed to give event organisers some understanding around consumer confidence toward running events in a COVID-safe society.

Respondents were asked during the period 1 September to 10 September 2020 to indicate their comfortability around Fun Run event participation, how comfortable they would be participating in events now, in three months (December) and in 2021.

How data was collected

Register Now contacted current Clients that have held running events over the past 12 months. Clients that wanted to be involved then emailed their respective event databases or Register Now did so on their behalves. The survey was also posted and promoted to the broader Australian running community across social media (Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn).

528 respondents participated in the survey, it is important to note that 18% of respondents were from Victoria, as all Victorians were under stage 4 restrictions during this time - which may affect their answers. All other states in Australia during this period were easing their restrictions, which is important in considering the data. If you would like to view the data for a specific state be sure to contact us directly.

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All data:

  • 75.38% of participants said they would feel comfortable participating in a Fun Run in 2020 - this has gone down from 10% from the previous month’s survey.
  • 8% of participants would not take part in any Fun Run events till a vaccine is found - this has increased 4% from the previous survey.
  • 35.66% stated they would still not feel comfortable participating in any events in 2021 regardless of the event’s size - and 43.41% only comfortable with events with up to 500 participants.
  • Respondents were asked to rank (1-6) out of a list of safety measures, which one would make them feel most comfortable when deciding to enter a Fun Run during and post-COVID. This is what participants rated as most important:
    1. Limiting Participant Numbers (34.07%)
    2. Refund & deferment policy (19.94%)
    3. Social distancing guidelines/policies (13.85%)
    4. Temperature checks on arrival (13.30%)
    5. Hand sanitiser stations (4.16%)
    6. Limiting/eliminate spectators (5.26%)
    7. Contact tracing (9.42%)
  • 58.22% of participants said they would feel comfortable participating in a Fun Run this weekend (with the above COVID safety measures in place) with up to 500 participants involved and 18.94% only feeling comfortable with up to 100 participants.
  • In three months time (December) 65.92% of participants said they would feel comfortable taking part in a Fun Run (with the above COVID safety measures in place) with up to 1000 participants involved and another 14.25% of participants would feel comfortable with an event up to 5000 participants.

The plan going forward will be to survey these respondents again at the beginning of each month to track how attitudes evolve as virus hotspots move and restrictions change around Australia.


This data is a reflection of respondents’ attitudes towards returning to participation based Fun Run events and not a reflection of Government restrictions/ permissions. Insights show that a significant portion of previous Fun Run attendees already feel comfortable enough to participate immediately although in smaller groups. The answers also reflect a small drop in confidence and comfortability when participating in events. However, when COVID safety measures are put in place and we are looking forward to 3/6/12 months ahead comfortability greatly increases- a great sign for the events industry.

There is no doubt that new protocols around the operations of events will be required in the ‘new normal’ and it appears that the common concepts being discussed by the industry are resonating with the consumers. As events start to slowly come back in certain states across the country the industry can look forward to a positive future.