Overview of the digital trail running landscape from January 2021 to January 2022:
Based on web traffic, the following were the top ten trail running websites in March 2022. On average, these trail running resources generate 200K web visits per month.
The United States accounted for 55% of traffic to the top ten trail running websites, followed by the United Kingdom (9%), Canada (4%), and Australia (3%).
Males account for 54% of all top trail running website traffic. As for age, people between the ages of 25 and 44 accounted for 53% of the traffic.
Top 10 trail running social properties by total views*
Between Jan. ‘21 and Jan. ‘22 Greenweez MaXi-Race generated the most views with over 8.7M+ views, 8.4M coming from TikTok.
The United States accounted for 28% of the top ten trail running social properties followers, followed by Spain (14%), France (9%), and the UK (7%).
The followers of the top 10 trail running social properties skew male (88%) and are predominantly aged 18 to 34 years old (69%).
YouTube generated the highest amount of trail running views, accounting for 67% of the total views from Mar. ‘21 to Mar. ‘22. TikTok generated the second highest (20%), followed by Facebook (12%). Twitter makes up 1% of mountain running video views.
Top 15 trail runners by Social Following and Average Engagement
Xander Budnik and Vo2Max Productions have the largest audiences on YouTube with 412K and 215K subscribers, respectively. Emelie Forsberg, SCOTT JUREK, Jim Walmsley, Pau Cappel and Jamil Coury do not currently have YouTube channels.
Kilian Jornet has significantly more followers on Instagram with 1.3M than the rest of the trail runners. All athletes are active on the Instagram platform.
Kilian Jornet has significantly more Facebook followers than the rest of the athletes — 880K as of April, 2022. Scott Jurek and Emelie Forsberg have 193K and 157K respectively. Xander Budnick, Ben Parkes, Jim Walmsley and Jamil Coury don’t have active Facebook profiles.
Kilian Jornet is the only athlete with a significant following on TikTok with 10.5K followers. Vo2max Productions and Jamil Coury have slightly above 1K followers — 1.5K and 1K respectively. All other athletes have <1K followers or are not active on the platform.
Kilian Jornet, Emelie Forsberg and Scott Jurek are the most popular trail running content creators on social. While Kilian Jornet’s average engagement per post is significantly higher than any other ultra runner, Xander Budnick generated the second-highest engagement while having only the fourth highest following size.
Instagram has the largest audience of followers for the Top 15 trail running athletes. Athletes generate social engagement proportional to their following — Instagram generated the most engagements, followed by Facebook and YouTube between Mar. ‘21 to Apr. ‘22.
CONTENT OPPORTUNITIES: YOUTUBE
CONTENT OPPORTUNITIES: INSTAGRAM
CONTENT OPPORTUNITIES: FACEBOOK
2. Training - Athletes sharing tips about their trainings — from music recommendations to how to manage sport life and kids. [Example 1]
3. Community activism – Athletes share their involvement in community initiatives or speaking events. [Example 1]
CONTENT OPPORTUNITIES: TIKTOK
1. Answering questions - Athletes answers the most popular questions they get in comments.
2. Trail running tips - Short tips on more effective trail running, training or even eating habits.
3. Scenic runs - Videos of beautiful scenery taken during the training runs or competitions.
4. Bits from outdoor life - Funny bits of outdoor life.