In times of digitalisation, demographic development and changing consumer behaviour, organisers of running events are also called upon to take part. With new ideas and adaptations, they must ensure that the events remain attractive and innovative. The SwissCity Marathon, which is taking place for the 13th time this year, is also affected by this development. Managing Director Reto Schorno and Project Manager Marco Scherer on this year's adjustments and ideas for the future, which require a great deal of preparation.
Running is the most natural thing in the world. In this respect, it's actually "old-fashioned". How does the SwissCityMarathon make its offer trendy, fresh and dynamic?
Reto Schorno: Running is still booming. More and more people start running. However, many of these runners do not yet take part in an event. We want to motivate people to participate with various distance offers, without pressure to perform, with team opportunities and of course a great supporting programme. In addition, we want to communicate even more strongly in the future that the experience and the experiences are at the centre. We want to motivate and say: No matter what distance and age - you too can make it!
Marco Scherer: The composition of the participants is widely diversified in many respects - be it in terms of age, gender, language, walking distance, use of social media and so on. In this sense the wishes and needs of the runners also diverge and change over the years. It is precisely for this reason that we always try to create innovative offers. For example, we run our homepage in four languages or have introduced a digital starting bag. The proven starting bag for the runners is of course still available.
Are there any other innovations that are tailored to the different target groups?
Reto Schorno: Yes, it starts with the youngest. For example, the Maratholino will now take place on the Seebrücke in the heart of the city of Lucerne. Where else can the little ones run in such a prominent location? This should motivate them to take part and could be their first step into running.
Marco Scherer: Further on there is the possibility to run over all distances without ranking and thus without pressure. This offer is becoming more and more popular. The 10KM run for UNICEF, a charity run, is also very well received. The army category especially for members of the army, special registration for whole companies, team evaluations in all distances are only three of many other offers.
Are there any ideas for adjustments in the future?
Reto Schorno: Anyone who knows us knows that we are constantly evolving and have creative ideas in the pipeline. A big goal is to get away from the two-lap course character of the marathon. This is an effort that has many consequences and is therefore very time-consuming. But if we were to succeed in this, it would be top and extremely attractive for the marathon. For the time being, however, numerous clarifications are pending.
Marco Scherer: A further adjustment is already planned for 2020. Then the DuoMarathon will be expanded into the TeamMarathon. The marathon course can be run by three people as a relay team. In the current DuoMarathon, a two-person team divides the marathon into 21 kilometres each. This creates new possibilities, distances and team sizes. Of course, we still have many ideas for the future in mind. So it always remains exciting for us.