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Online Trends

Published April 28th 2023

A Month of Marathons and Pure Joy Online

How did the Paris Marathon, London Marathon, and Boston Marathon fare online?

April was a month of sweat, sore hamstrings, and victory laps. It held three of the most prestigious marathons in the world: The Paris Marathon, the Boston Marathon, and the London Marathon. And, of course, it was all documented on social media. 

Today we take a look at the online conversations of all English social mentions for the Boston and London Marathons, and English and French mentions for the Paris marathon.

The April online marathon conversation

Using Consumer Research to track the daily mentions, we see that the London Marathon had the largest conversation of the three this year. 

Certainly the volume of each discussion indicates how each marathon grabbed the attention of not just the running world, but of popular culture as well.

Here is a brief overview of the mentions and conversations around the events:

  • London Marathon - nearly 69,000 mentions
  • Boston Marathon - over 62,000 mentions
  • Paris Marathon - over 6,600 mentions

Marathons are on the rise in 2023

Interestingly, the marathons got more attention and conversation in 2023 than in 2022. 

The mentions of the Boston and London marathons increased by 20,000 between 2022 and 2023, indicating an uptick in attention to the sport. Furthermore, the Paris Marathon’s discussion grew by a few thousand mentions. 

With each marathon gaining more conversation, it’s clear that running is growing in popularity.

There’s joy behind the marathons

But what feelings does running a marathon spark in online conversations? We looked at the emotion behind the marathon mentions, and the most prominent one is overwhelmingly Joy. 

On a race-by-race basis, we find people expressing joy at:

  • Paris Marathon: 75% of the mentions that express emotion were joyful
  • London Marathon: 66% were joyful
  • Boston Marathon: 56% were joyful

The winner takes it all

The marathon winners this year didn’t only prove themselves in the running race but also won people’s hearts on social media with notable mention volumes.

  • Evans Chebet: Boston Men’s Winner got over 11,700 mentions.
  • Kelvin Kiptum: London Men’s Winner received over 10,400 mentions.
  • Sifan Hassan: London Women’s Winner sparked over 9,200 mentions.
  • Hellen Obiri: Boston Women’s Winner got nearly 8,900 mentions.
  • Abeje Ayana: Paris Men’s Winner with nearly 600 mentions.
  • Helah Kiprop: Paris Women’s Winner with over 500 mentions.

The winners enjoyed more joyous conversations than the marathons themselves. The dominant emotion within each winner’s discussion was joy, with the lowest amount of joyous mentions being (a still impressive) 62%.

Show me the emotion

The online marathon chatter wouldn’t be complete without the emojis in them. We looked at the ones used in the marathon conversations and found the usual and expected hands clapping and first-place medals.

Also big in conversations this year was the Flag of Kenya, as four of the six winners were Kenyan.

This emoji was used more than 4,600 times – more than any other flag emoji. In fact, the only other flag emojis within the top 50 most used emojis were those of the nations that hosted the marathons.

Round up

The April marathons brought us excitement and moments to remember from around the running world.

If you are looking for a tool to analyze events like this one, feel free to contact us.

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