Trail Running Trade Show Set to Debut in 2025, Preview Launches in June

June 7, 2024
 
trailcon

Along with two partners, trade show industry veteran Doug Emslie, an avid runner and the majority owner of Raccoon Media Group, is launching TrailCon, the trail running industry conference, which will be held June 25-26, 2025, at The Village at Palisades Tahoe, Calif. 

A Taste of TrailCon, a preview event to be held June 26 at The Village at Palisades Tahoe, Calif., will feature panel discussions focused on four key growth areas in trail running. When asked about the four key growth areas, Emslie said, “Trail running is the fastest-growing segment of running, so it’s races then shoes, equipment and nutrition.”

Feedback from the event will help shape the programming for TrailCon 2025, said Emslie, who has participated in a number of trail races, including the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, which Runner’s World reported is the largest and oldest ultramarathon in the world at 85.9K, and the West Highway Way Race, a 96-mile ultramarathon in Scotland. 

"As the trail running industry matures, TrailCon serves as a rallying point for all stakeholders to envision and create a brighter future for trail running," Emslie said. “Amidst the rapid growth and global reach of trail running, we're proud to introduce a groundbreaking event that celebrates the spirit of unity, innovation, and collective progress within our beloved sport.”

Emslie told us the initial event will be B2B, but the plan is to build into a series of events that will include B2C. Here’s what you need to know.

doug
Doug Emslie is launching TrailCon with two partners.
 

Backstory: Emslie is the former CEO of Tarsus, which was sold to Informa in 2023 for $940 million. He currently serves as the chairman of Cuil Bay Capital, which acquired Raccoon Media Group in September 2023. Raccoon’s U.K. and U.S. show portfolio includes events in the health and wellbeing market, including Snowbound Expo, The Boston Run Show and The Boston Outdoor Expo. In January, CBC expanded in the U.S. with the acquisition of Abilities Expo.

The ownership: Emslie is partnering with Brendan Madigan, owner of the 49-year-old specialty retailer Alpenglow Sports and event creator and race director of Broken Arrow Skyrace, and Dylan Bowman, a professional runner and CEO of Freetrail, a community dedicated to the sport of trail running. Bowman is also co-race director of Gorge Waterfalls and The Big Alta events.

The market: The trail running shoes market was valued at $7.3 billion in 2022, and is estimated to reach $12.4 billion by 2032, growing at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5% from 2023 to 2032, according to an April 2024 report by Allied Market Research.

The details: A Taste of TrailCon begins at 3 p.m. on June 26, featuring a panel discussion and insights from industry luminaries. Confirmed speakers include Craig Thornley, Sally McRae, Catherine Poletti, Tim Tollefson and Zoë Rom. This will be followed by a networking event. A full lineup of events and speakers can be found here.

broken arrow
TrailCon will be held between the Broken Arrow Skyrace (pictured) and the Western States 100.
 

The location and timing: Scheduled between the iconic Broken Arrow Skyrace and Western States 100, TrailCon organizers hope to harness the energy of these premier races to create a transformative experience. 

The attendees: TrailCon aspires to provide a vibrant forum where passionate trail enthusiasts, industry senior executives and visionary leaders converge to chart the course for an even brighter future. As the trail running landscape evolves, TrailCon will provide an inclusive platform for dialogue, collaboration and inspiration.

What they’re saying: "Running Broken Arrow has shown me the power of our community coming together,” Madigan said. “TrailCon is our chance to shape the future of our sport through meaningful dialogue and collaboration." Bowman added, "In a time of rapid change, TrailCon unites us in our shared passion for trail running. Together, we can overcome challenges and propel our industry.”


 

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