The Biggest Marathons and Running Events in the World

by On Oct 10, 2015
The Biggest Marathons and Running Events in the World

Have you ever been curious about which marathons and running events are the biggest in terms of numbers of participants/finishers? We had enough curiosity about it to take a look at the figures and find out. It can be confusing if you talk only about the running events, because there can be a massive number of participants, but they don't all enter the marathon distance, they are spread across all distances within the event, that is why we are listing both biggest marathons and biggest running events.

In the case of the marathons, in general the number grows each year or remains constant, so the majority in the list show the 2014/2015 figures. In the case of the running events, the organisers may change the amount of distances in the event, or even not hold the event again, therefore, some of those listed are from longer ago.

Biggest Marathons in the World

Here are the top 15 marathons in the world in terms of finishers:

The Biggest Marathons and Running Events in the World

Biggest Running Events in the World

As stated above, the biggest running events in the world are not necessarily annual events – they can be one-off events, also, if the amount of distances included in events is decreased, the number of entrants will also decrease – so an earlier event could be bigger.

The Biggest Marathons and Running Events in the World


So are you surprised? I think it is probably no surprise that the USA features heavily in both lists, and it is good to see that Asia features in both lists also.

Have you participated in any of these events? If so, was it a good experience for you? Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments section below.

Priscelia adores beautiful visuals and has a keen eye for detail. As a smart shopper and avid runner, she assists in the creative direction of RunSociety as well as occasionally conjuring thought provoking articles. Never shy to give constructive feedback, she also manages the product reviews section.

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