With just over 45,000 finishers each year, the New York City Marathon is the largest marathon in the world! I was a little curious and did a research to find out which are the biggest marathons. Below is the list of World’s and U.S. Largest Marathons compiled by Running USA for the year 2011 based on the number of finishers.
New York City largest ever – again; record 16 marathons had more than 15,000 finishers in 2011
The 2011 ING New York City Marathon was the largest marathon ever with 47,133 finishers and the flagship event has held the #1 title as the world’s largest marathon since 2003. For only 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, and for the first time, 16 marathons had more than 15,000 finishers. In addition, the U.S. had 6 of the 15 largest marathons in the world.
Last year, Japan had two inaugural marathons , Osaka and Kobe, with more than 20,000 finishers, and with 26,175 finishers, Osaka was the largest debut marathon ever (previous record, 15,771 finishers at the 1998 Suzuki Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego).
In 2011, there were a record 11 U.S. marathons that had more than 8,000 finishers, while 26 U.S. marathons had more than 4,000 finishers – tied record set in 2009 and 2010. See rankings below.