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  • Gary Roethenbaugh

Human Race acquired by Tour de France organiser A.S.O

Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O), owner of the world renowned Le Tour de France, and organiser of some the biggest runs and sportives in Europe, such as the Paris Marathon and L’Etape du Tour, has completed the purchase of Human Race Events. (Terms of the deal were not disclosed.)

Human Race was originally founded by John Lunt, who in his time with the company also oversaw the London 2012 Olympic triathlon as Race Director. (In 2012, Human Race and Participate Sport merged to form the UK’s largest mass participation events company.) For the last 26 years, South West London based Human Race has been organising many of the UK’s most popular and highly regarded mass participation events, such as the London Winter Run, Windsor Triathlon and Dragon Ride L’Etape Wales.

A release from Human Race notes that ‘The new relationship will offer opportunities to further improve participant experiences throughout the 30+ UK events that Human Race run annually, with the prospect of also bringing new and innovative ideas to the UK cycling, triathlon and running markets.’ In addition, Human Race plans to be able to offer its large community of participants ‘unrivalled access and opportunities to participate in the many sold-out events organised by A.S.O. across the world.’

A.S.O and Human Race began working together in the joint organisation on the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire Ride, the public sportive that formed part of Le Tour de France Grand Depart legacy. Through this process it became clear that the two organisations had ‘particularly aligned values, both in ways of working as well as their attitudes towards creating incredible experiences for participants’. Following this they have gone on to create L’Etape London by le Tour de France as well as bring fresh energy into the Dragon Ride in Wales, which has also become part of the global L’Etape Series.

The events that Human Race organise are noted for welcoming amateur athletes to compete alongside world-class talents such as Chris Froome, Victoria Pendleton and Chrissie Wellington; with the recently announced VitalityMove with Jessica Ennis-Hill set to inspire thousands more to get active alongside a national hero.

In addition to helping over 350,000 people complete their personal challenges, the events Human Race organise have raised tens of millions of pounds for charities. The team also work with some of the world’s most respected organisations such as PWC, Cisco and HSBC to help keep their staff fit and healthy.

Human Race adds that the combined event expertise of A.S.O. and Human Race will allow more participants than ever to be involved in the highest quality mass participation events – with both companies ‘sharing a passion for creating and delivering incredible sporting challenges and together they aim to develop new concepts and enter new regions across the UK’.

The deal will immediately extend the A.S.O community to over one million people who will have completed one of the now 70 events in the Human Race portfolio. (Human Race were previously backed by Epsilon Partners and Calculus Capital.)

Yann Le Moenner, Managing Director of A.S.O. said “The relations forged with Human Race through our initial joint projects as well as the impressive enthusiasm and efficiency with which they were undertaken convinced both sides of the possibility and benefits of pooling our skills. Thanks to this merger, we will be able to explore some fantastic possibilities, creating new events for cycling, triathlon and running enthusiasts, inventing new formats and extending our passion for sport to the United Kingdom.”

Nick Rusling, CEO of Human Race said “We developed the business from nothing, 26 years ago, to now delivering 30 events alongside 22 colleagues and hundreds of incredible event crew and volunteers. Our passion for organising exceptional mass sport event experiences has seen 350,000 customers cross a finish line with us in that time."

Nick Rusling added, “To be able to continue this journey alongside our new colleagues at A.S.O. is incredibly exciting as they are an exceptional business. Having worked closely with them already for two years, I am confident our beliefs and values are perfectly matched and the participants will be in for a treat with new and improved events in the future.”

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