These are the biggest marathons in the world!

We present you the biggest marathons in the world. The marathons with the largest number of participants in the world are held primarily in the USA, Japan and some European countries.

The leader is the New York City Marathon, which in 2013 became the first marathon in the world to break the 50,000-finisher mark. In Europe, the Paris Marathon is, somewhat surprisingly, number 1. The marathon events in Asia in particular are on a strong upward trend. Although no marathon from Asia is currently in the top 5 worldwide, seven Asian races are now ranked among the world's 20 biggest marathons, six of them in Japan.

The world's biggest marathons with the most participants: Top 10

1) New York City Marathon

Approx. 54,000 finishers (2017: 50,646 || 2018: 50,704 || 2019: 53,627 || 2021: 25,020 || 2022: 47,745)

New York City Marathon

For the first time, the TCS New York City Marathon broke the 50,000 finisher mark over the marathon distance in 2013, and in 2016, the number exceeded 51,000 (51,360). In 2019, another new record was set with 53,627 finishers. Thus, the New York City Marathon has been the undisputed number 1 among the world's largest marathons for many years now, although the profiled course is only suitable for best times to a limited extent.

The marathon is held annually on the first Sunday in November.

2) Paris Marathon

Approx. 48,000 finishers (2017: 42,480 || 2018: 42,522 || 2019: 48,029 || 2021: ~ 27,000 || 2022: 34,405 )


Paris Marathon

According to official data from the organizer, the Paris Marathon in 2019 came to 48,029 finishers, 5,500 more than from the record year 2018, making the "Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris" (as it is officially called) even number 2 in the world for the first time.

The course profile is not quite as fast as in Chicago or Berlin. The course record is 2:05:04 hours, set by Kenenisa Bekele in 2014. Date for the largest marathon outside the United States of America is annually in the first half of April. In 2021, due to the pandemic, it will try to be held in October.

3) Chicago Marathon

Approx. 46,000 finishers (2017: 44,341 || 2018: 44,481 || 2019: 45,956 || 2021: 26,078 || 2022: 39,429)


Chicago Marathon

In 2019, the Chicago Marathon also managed to set a new attendance record with 45,956 finishers, making Chicago duel with Paris for the number 2 spot in the world each year.

The course is also among the fastest in the world; after all, in 2019 Brigid Kosgei ran a brilliant women's marathon world record. The marathon is held annually in the first half of October.

4) Berlin Marathon

Approx. 44,000 finishers (2017: 39,234 || 2018: 40,781 || 2019: 43,990 || 2021: 23,104 || 2022: 34,750)

Berlin Marathon

In 2017, the Berlin Marathon was still just behind London in terms of finisher numbers, but in 2018 and 2019, Germany's marathon had the edge. In 2018, the world's fastest marathon also managed to break the 40,000 finisher mark for the first time.

The BMW Berlin Marathon is held annually in the second half of September. The marathon has been held annually since 1974, before the first interruption in 2020 due to the corona virus.

Zum E-Book Trainingspläne für Läufer und Läuferinnen

The Berlin Marathon has been the scene of numerous marathon world records. In the period from 2003 to 2018, new marathon records were set seven times for men.

5) London Marathon

Approx. 43,000 finishers (2017: 39,487 || 2018: 40,220 || 2019: 42,549 || 2020: 47 Pro Race || 2021: 35,890 || 2022: 40,640)

London Marathon

In 2018, the London Marathon topped 40,000 marathon finishers for the first time, and in 2019 it was even more than 42,000 finishers.

This makes the "Virgin Money London Marathon" number 3 in Europe behind Paris and Berlin. London is also not number 1 on the European level when it comes to the speed of the course. Although the course in the British capital is faster than in Paris, it is still quite a bit inferior to Berlin.

Almost 500,000 runners now apply for the approximately 50,000 starting places each year. In 2020, there were 457,861 applicants. At that time, however, the marathon had to be held as an elite race due to the pandemic. Normally, London marathons are run in mid/late April. For 2021, the date has been set for early October.

6) Tokyo Marathon

Approx. 35,000 finishers (2017: 33,974 || 2018: 34,542 || 2019: 35,460 || 2020: 165 Pro Race || 2022: 18,408).

Several hundred thousand runners apply for the Tokyo Marathon every year. However, as with the other major marathons, the contingent is much smaller than the demand.

In 2019, the Tokyo Marathon managed to break the 35,000 finisher mark for the first time. This solidifies the marathon among the top 10 in the world, even though the race has only been held as an open race since 2007. Prior to that, the Tokyo Marathon was an elite-only race for men from 1981 to 2006.

7) Osaka Marathon

Approx. 30,000 finishers (2017: 30,026).

Outside of Asia, the Osaka Marathon has little relevance. But for Japanese, it is one of the running highlights of the year, even though the event has only been held since 2011. But right at its premiere, there were 26,175 marathon finishers.

In the meantime, there are usually around 30,000 marathon finishers at the marathon in Japan. Date is annually at the end of November or beginning of December since 2017.

8) Xiamen Marathon

Approx. 28,000 finishers (2017: 22,917 || 2018: 20,720 || 2019: 27,304 || 2020: 28,180 || 2021: 10,939)

The Xiamen Marathon is held annually on the first weekend of the year. Usually, the first very fast marathon times of the year are also run there.

With over 25,000 marathon finishers now, the Xiamon International Marathon is the largest marathon in China.

9) Boston Marathon

Approx. 27,000 finishers (2017: 26,411 || 2018: 25,750 || 2019: 26,632 || 2021: 15,385 || 2022: 24,828)

Boston Marathon

The oldest marathon in the world is also one of the largest marathons in the world. In 1996, the Boston Marathon even set a new world record for marathon finishers at its 100th anniversary with 35,868. Although this has long since been broken by the competition, interest in the Boston Marathon is still huge.

The approximately 30,000 starting places are sold out every year, of course. As one of the few marathons in the world, participation is almost exclusively possible via a qualifying time at another marathon.

The Boston Marathon always takes place on Patriots Day in mid-April. In 2021, due to the coronavirus, they are trying with a date in October.

10) Mexico City Marathon *

Approx. 24,000 finishers (2017: 23,877).

*With reservations, we list Mexico City Marathon (original: "Maraton de la Ciudad de Mexico") in the top 10 largest marathons in the world.

This is because the marathon does not enjoy a good reputation internationally. The reason is numerous highly unathletic participants who try to reach the finish line faster by taking shortcuts during the marathon in the Mexican capital. The reason for this is, for the most part, certain qualifying times for participation in the Boston Marathon.

Therefore, the official finisher numbers, which are around 25,000 runners, are highly doubtful. The Mexico City Marathon is held annually in August.

The 21 biggest marathons in the world

1. New York City Marathon 53627 2019
2. Paris Marathon 48029 2019
3. Chicago Marathon 45956 2019
4. Berlin Marathon 43990 2019
5. London Marathon 42549 2019
6. Tokio Marathon 35460 2019
7. Osaka Marathon 30026 2017
8. Xiamen Marathon 27304 2019
9. Boston Marathon 26632 2019
10. Mexiko City Marathon 23877 2017
11. Los Angeles Marathon 23193 2017
12. Valencia Marathon 21234 2019
13. Marine Corps Marathon 20614 2018
14. Honolulu Marathon 20351 2017
15. Walt Disney World Marathon 20092 2018
16. Nagoya Women's Marathon 19328 2017
17 Kobe Marathon 18427 2017
18. Dublin Marathon 17724 2019
19. Kyoto Marathon 16768 2017
20. Athen Marathon 16439 2019
21. Shonan Marathon 16329 2017

Finisher numbers: Since there were not reliable numbers from all marathons from the same year, the maximum value from 2017 - 2019 was taken in each case. 2020 and 2022 were not included as most marathons were cancelled or held in a limited format due to the coronavirus pandemic.

8 of the top 21 marathons are held in North America, 7 of them in the U.S. and one in Mexico. Asia comes in at 7 marathons, of which 6 fall on Japan and one on China. The remaining 6 of the top 20 marathons are held in Europe. USA and Japan are the only nations with more than one marathon in the top 20.

More marathon inspiration:

Kommentar schreiben


Weitere interessante Themen


More sports

Bestzeit-Club Logo