La Cursa del Corte Inglés 2015 // Photo: El Periódico, Albert Bertran

If you think that your last race was overcrowded, imagine yourself taking part in a running event together with another 100,000 people! We here take a look at history’s largest races around the world.

Various distance races

In the top of the list, we find “A Run for the Pasig River” that was held in Manila, The Philippines, on October 10, 2010. A massive 160,000 runners registered for this event, out of which 116,086 finished the race. Run for the Pasig River was certified by The Guinness World Records as having the most participants in a racing event on December 26, 2010. It should be noted, though, that this event included multiple categories and as such, the number of participants per category was diluted.

In terms of a single-category race, the “Bay to Breakers” race that was held on May 18, 1986 in San Francisco, California holds the record of most participation with 110,000 runners.

The largest Marathon

Unsurprisingly the record comes from one of the world’s most famous marathon, that of New York City Marathon, and specifically, its 2016 edition. Early morning on Sunday the 6th of November 2016, 51,388 runners crossed the finishing line, an amazing percentage out of 51,995 people who started.

The top 10 largest Running Events

Position Race Name Location Date Distances Participation*
1 A Run for the Pasig River Manila, Philippines 10 October 2010 10 km, 5 km, 3 km 116,086
2 Bay to Breakers San Francisco, California, United States 18 May 1986 12 km 110,000
3 Cursa El Corte Ingles Barcelona, Spain 5 June 1994 11 km 109,457
4 Broloppet Malmö / Copenhagen, Sweden / Denmark, 12 June 2000 Half-Marathon 92,26679,837
5 City2Surf Sydney, Australia 14 August 2011 14 km 86,69668,930
6 Dam tot Damloop Amsterdam, The Netherlands 20 September 2009 10 miles, 4 miles and kids runs 74,020
7 Hong Kong Marathon Hong Kong, Hong Kong 15 January 2015 Marathon, half-marathon, 10 km, 10 km wheelchair race, 3 km wheelchair race 73,070
8 Round the Bays Auckland, New Zealand 10 March 2013 8.4 km 70,000
9 Lilac Bloomsday Run Spokane, Washington, United States 5 May 1996 12 km 61,298
10 United We Run Beirut, Lebanon 10 April 2005 5 km, 60,000


bold indicates number of race registrants, and italics the number of race finishers
** “Kahit Isang Araw Lang Unity Run” (Just For A Day: Unity Run) was a running event held in The Philippines on January 22, 2012 that reportedly had over 300,000 participants. That would bring it to the top of the list, however, the event was spread to different venues and there is no proper documentation.




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