Top 100 largest timed U.S. road races include 42 half-marathons; for the first time, top 100 exceeds 1.6 million finishers and 5 road races had more than 40,000 timed finishers.
As part of its mission to promote and celebrate the sport, Running USA annually releases statistics for the nation’s top road races including such popular lists as the Top 100 U.S. Timed, Largest by Distance, Largest by State, Largest Festivals, Women-Only, World’s Largest and Youth Runs. Below is a summary of each category.
Top 100 U.S. Timed – In 2011, the Top 100 U.S. Timed list accounted for more than 1.6 million finishers (an all-time high) compared to 922,500 finishers in 2000, a 75% increase. In 2000 the 100th race on the U.S. list had more than 3,600 finishers and by 2011 that number had grown to more than 8,000. Last year, half-marathons accounted for 42% of the races listed in the Top 100, with 15 of these being represented by Competitor Group’s popular Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. As mentioned in previous State of the Sport Reports, since 2003, the half-marathon has been the fastest growing distance in the U.S., with women leading the charge. See Table 1 below.
Also, for the first time in the same year, there were 5 U.S. road races with more than 40,000 timed finishers - Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race 10K, Lilac Bloomsday Run 12K, Dick’s Sporting Goods BolderBOULDER 10K, ING New York City Marathon and Zazzle Bay to Breakers 12K plus a record 11 U.S. road races with more than 30,000 timed finishers.
Table 1: Top 100 U.S. Timed Road Races (2000 vs. 2011)
|OVERALL TOP 100 TOTAL||100||922,500||100||1,611,599|
Largest by Distance – Table 2 lists the U.S. largest races by distance in 2011. For a complete list of rankings by distance, go to: www.runningusa.org/largest-races
Table 2: Largest by Distance (2011)
1 Mile 4,709 NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile (New York, NY)
2 Mile 4,687 Montana Women’s Run (Billings, MT)
5K 34,751E Race for the Cure: DC (6,951 timed) (Washington, DC)
3.5 Mile 15,923 JPMorgan Corporate Challenge: NYC #1 (New York, NY)
4 Mile 22,676 Pat’s Run 4.2 Mile (Tempe, AZ)
8K 32,442 Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle (Chicago, IL)
5 Mile 13,472 75th Manchester Road Race 4.75 Mile (Manchester, CT)
10K 55,077 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race (Atlanta, GA) – largest ever
7 Mile 11,144 Quad-City Times Bix 7 (Davenport, IA)
12K 51,303 Lilac Bloomsday Run (Spokane, WA)
15K 14,979 Gate River Run (Jacksonville, FL)
10 Mile 25,244 Blue Cross Broad Street Run (Philadelphia, PA)
20K 7,037 Dam to Dam (Des Moines, IA)
Half-Marathon 33,257 Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV) – largest U.S. ever
25K 5,586 Fifth Third River Bank Run (Grand Rapids, MI)
30K 3,832 ING New York City Marathon Tune-Up 18 Mile (New York, NY)
Marathon 47,133 ING New York City Marathon (New York, NY) – largest ever
Ultra 864 JFK 50 Mile Trail (Boonsboro, MD)
Relay 14,616 Beach to Bay Relay Marathon (Corpus Christi, TX)
Largest by State – The Race for the Cure: St. Louis Festival ranks Missouri as #1 on the map for largest festival event. Below is a list of the Top 10 states who had either the largest stand-alone or the largest festival events reported in 2011.
Table 3: Top 10 Festival Largest by State (2011)
Missouri 55,393 E Race for the Cure: St. Louis Festival
Georgia 55,077 Atlanta-Journal Constitution Peachtree Festival
New York 53,020 ING New York City Marathon Festival
Washington 51,303 Lilac Bloomsday 12K
Colorado 49,213 Dick’s Sporting Goods BolderBOULDER 10K
California 43,954 Zazzle Bay to Breakers 12K
Florida 43,856 Walt Disney World Marathon Festival
Ohio 42,633 E Race for the Cure: Columbus Festival
Minnesota 42,500 E Race for the Cure: Twin Cities Festival
Arkansas 39,100 E Race for the Cure: Little Rock Festival
E = estimate not all finishers timed
Largest Festivals – Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure events include 8 races in the top 20 festivals for 2011. Festivals continue to experience tremendous growth during the Second Running Boom. In 2009, the Top 50 festivals included approximately 1.5 million finishers, whereas by 2011, the number had increased to 1.6 million.
Women-Only – As reported in previous State of the Sport Reports, females now account for 7.6 million finishers nationwide (a record number) and represent the highest event field percentage ever reported of 55%. Of the largest women-only races (95% or greater female finishers), six of the top 15 were half-marathons in 2011, with the Nike Women’s and Disney’s Princess Half-Marathons dominating spots #1 and #2, respectively.
World’s Largest – With 68,929 timed finishers in 2011, the Sun-Herald City2Surf 14K in Sydney, Australia was again the world’s largest road race. For the second time (also 2010), six marathons – New York City, Chicago, London, Berlin, Tokyo and Paris – had more than 30,000 finishers in the same year.
Also for the first time, there were four half-marathons worldwide that had more than 30,000 finishers (Göteborg, Bupa Great North Run, Zappos.com Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas and OneAmerica 500 Festival) plus a record eight half-marathons worldwide with more than 20,000 finishers, and last year, based on finishers, the United States had 14 of the top 20 half-marathons in the world.
Largest Youth – With the development of the final mile programs and the majority of road race events now incorporating a youth component, youth runs across the nation continue to experience growth. While many youth events continue to be untimed fun runs, making tracking of these events difficult, Running USA estimates that there were more than 35 youth events in 2011 that surpassed 2,000 youth finishers at a single event.
To see where your favorite road races ranked in 2011 or what the #1 race is per the different largest race categories, go to: www.runningusa.org/largest-races