Which channels do ultra runners use most?

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our recent survey. Many congratulations to our winner Chris Worton who is currently awaiting his chosen running shoes.

Our research showed that our respondents use social media channels in different ways to both find and share runner information. They are multiple users of different devices and one respondent commented on the lack of other responsive running sites which will work on a smartphone – signalling a call to running sites to raise their game.

Runner use of Facebook

Facebook is used more than once a month by 69% of ultra runners. Many would not perhaps have regarded Facebook as a search channel and yet 29% of those surveyed1 used Facebook to find runner information whilst 23% also use it to share runner information. 


           
Runner use of Twitter

Twitter was not used by 38% of those surveyed and used much less often than Facebook. 20% used it as a way of finding runner information and slightly less (18%) to share runner information.  

Runner use of blogs 

Blogs were popular with 21% of those surveyed and more popular than podcasts as a way of finding runner information, which may come as a surprise for those who thought that other channels would have been more popular.

RunUltra has seen the importance of blogging to ultra running and launched a Blogging Award in 2016 to recognise the best bloggers in ultra running and the winning blogs can be found here. For those of you hungry for runner stories and experiences, you may find this link useful.


Runner use of podcasts

Over half of the ultra runners surveyed (57%) do not use podcasts, but of those that do, 16% use podcasts more than once a month.

Runner use of Instagram

Instagram was used regularly by just over a quarter of ultra runners (26%) but used much less often than Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to find (12%) and share (11%) runner information.

Runner use of YouTube

YouTube was the second most used channel after Facebook, used at least once a month by 46% of those surveyed and used by 19% to find runner information, whilst Twitter came out in third place.

Runner use of Pinterest

The least used channel amongst ultra runners appears to be Pinterest, which was not used at all by 72% of those ultra runners surveyed. This could reflect the dominant male profile of the ultra runners surveyed who were 72% males with over 76% of respondents aged between 35 and 54 years, as shown below.

Runner use of Google+

Whilst many recognise that this channel is popular for optimising your website, the research showed that this is not a channel used by runners. More than half were not using it at all with only 9% using it to find and 4% using it to share runner information.


       
Ultra runners’ use of different devices

Given that ultra runners are often on the move the importance of having a responsive website and responsive emails is paramount as shown in the high number of ultra runners using their smartphone to access the RunUtra website.

Interestingly one runner commented as follows:

Love the responsive mobile friendly design, so often lacking in running related sites

__

Note: Research was carried out by Face Marketing between 1 June – 8 August 2016 with 209 ultra runners with the following profile as shown below.

Research was carried out between 1 June and 8 August 2016 with 209 ultra runners with the profile shown at the end of this article.

"Many would not perhaps have regarded Facebook as a search channel and yet 29% of those surveyed used Facebook to find runner information"

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An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

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Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

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Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

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Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

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Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

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First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.