Running Races With The Most Participants In History

Participants in Auckland 2012 Round the Bays race.   Editorial credit: GlobalTravelPro /
Participants in Auckland 2012 Round the Bays race. Editorial credit: GlobalTravelPro /

In calculating the largest running events in the globe, the number of participants is used. In some cases, the number of participants who registered for an event and the number of people who actually finished the race is used. On average, according to the Running USA's Road Running Information Center, between 15 and 20% of the registered participants do not finish a race. This data is stored by the Guinness Book of World Records and is updated accordingly if new events happen. The ten largest running races are discussed below, with four having over 100,000 participants.

The Largest Running Events in the World

Data shows that the Philippines holds the first two places as being the host of the first two largest running events globally. The largest event was the Kahit Isang Araw Lang Unity Run, which was held on January 22, 2012, in Pasay and had 209,000 participants. The second-biggest event was the Run for the Pasig River, which was held on October 10, 2010, in Manila and had 116,000 participants. In the third position is the Bay to Breakers event that took place on May 18, 1986, in California and had 110,000 participants. The Cursa El Corte Ingles event in Barcelona on June 5, 1994, had 109,000 people making it the only other race with more than 100,000 participants.

Kahit Isang Araw Lang Unity Run

Held in Pasay, Philippines, this race was organized by UNTV, which is one of the leading broadcasters in the Philippines. Another organizing partner was the Department of Education in the country. The goal of the run was to organize a run to be remembered in history in order to improve education in the country. The run went through a number of cities such as Cebu, Davao, Puerto Princesa, Taclobam, Butuan City, and the Bacolod Panaad Stadium. The money generated was used to do a number of projects such as build two-wheeled classrooms, seven classrooms for Apalit National High School, and other projects.

Run For The Pasig River

This event attracted a mammoth crowd in Manila back in October 2010. The event had a number of key sectors participating such as non-governmental organizations, government sectors, religious groups, and others. The run was organized in order to create a sensitization for the environment. This event is a global event that is held every October under the global community event known as the Global Work Party 10-10-10 Day of Climate Action. The race had four different starting points namely SM Marikina, Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Star City in Pasay, and Bayshore Boulevard in SM Mall of Asia. However, they all had a common finish line at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.

Bay To Breakers

This event is also held annually in San Francesco although the most historic was the one held in 1986. The race is held on every third Sunday of the month of May. The race begins at the area close to The Embarcadero and ends at the Great Highway next to the Pacific coast. After running for about 7.46 miles, the participants end up taking a swim at Ocean Beach. Established in 1912, the race was intended to boost the city’s mood after the disaster it endured from the San Francisco earthquake of 1906.

Running Races With The Most Participants In History

RankRace, Location, DateParticipants
1Kahit Isang Araw Lang Unity Run; Pasay, Philippines; January 22, 2012209,000
2Run for the Pasig River; Manila, Philippines; October 10, 2010116,000
3Bay to Breakers; San Francisco, California, US; May 18, 1986110,000
4Cursa El Corte Ingles; Barcelona, Spain; June 5, 1994109,000
5Broloppet Half Marathon; Sweden and Denmark; June 12, 200080,000
6Dam tot Damloop; Amsterdam, Netherlands; September 20, 200974,000
7Hong Kong Marathon; Hong Kong SAR China; January 15, 201573,000
8Round the Bays; Auckland, New Zealand; March 10, 201370,000
9City 2 Surf; Sydney, Australia; August 14, 201169,000
10Lilac Bloomsday Run; Spokane, Washington; May 5, 199661,000

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