Top Half Marathons based on Finishers in India

Akriti AroraEvent Management

As suggested by the name, a half marathon is half of a Marathon (a 42 km running event). A Half marathon is therefore, approximately a 21 km road running event. While few countries like US have been early adopters of such fitness events; marathons, half marathons and other running events have also gained visible popularity all over India in the last 5 years. While the number of participants has increased over time, the number of participants doesn’t necessarily mean number of finishers.

From the time organisers open registrations for their running event, till the completion of the event, there are three types of participants’ categories – the ones who register, the ones who participate, and the ones who finish. In this brief report, we will focus on and analyse the number of finishers in half marathons in India.

Popularity of Half Marathons Across India

People all across India are more fitness conscious now than ever before. While half marathons have gained popularity in multiple Indian states and cities, there are few that have shown the highest participation from runners and beginners, and few cities that organise half marathons more frequently than other cities. On analysing the finishers’ data of the half marathon category of India’s leading running events for 2017-18 we found:

  1. Out of the top 30 half marathons in India, majority of them were organised in the state of Maharashtra including cities like Mumbai, Satara, Thane, Pune, Kolhapur and Solapur.
  2. Within Maharashtra, most of the half marathons took place in Mumbai.
  3. Other main city half marathon organisers include New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Raipur, Rajkot, Vishakhapatnam, Goa, Ladakh, Cochin, Indore, Rupnagar, Surat, Gurugram, and Coimbatore.
  4. The top 3 half marathons with the highest number of finishers in 2017-18 were: Tata Mumbai Marathon with 12,233 finishers, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon with 9,464 finishers, and PNB MetLife Satara Hill Half Marathon with 5,360 finishers.
  5. The range of number of finishers in top 30 half marathons varied from 12,233 in Tata Mumbai Marathon to 628 in Kochi Navy Marathon.

Top 10 Half Marathons in India With the Highest Number of Finishers

The top half marathons in India were organised in big cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Thane with a notable exception of Satara. In this section we will discuss the top 10 Half Marathons in India in detail. The data from various timing and results platforms for 2017-2018 suggests the following number of finishers in the top 10 half marathons in India in 2017-18:

  1. Tata Mumbai Marathon: Taking place in Mumbai, Tata Mumbai Marathon recorded 24.6% of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons with 12,233 finishers. Out of this, 81% i.e. 9886 finishers were males while remaining 19% i.e. 2347 finishers were females.
  2. Airtel Delhi Half Marathon: Taking place in New Delhi, Airtel Delhi Half Marathon recorded total of 9464 finishers equivalent to 19.0% of total finishers in the top 10 half marathons in India. Out of this, 87% i.e. 8187 were males and 13% i.e. 1277 were females.
  3. PNB MetLife Satara Hill Half Marathon: Taking place in a surprisingly smaller city – Satara, as compared to other cities in top 10 half marathons category, PNB MetLife Satara Hill Half Marathon recorded 5360 finishers. This forms 10.8% of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons in India. Out of this total finishers, 83% i.e. 4441 were males and 17% i.e. 919 were females.
  4. Wipro Chennai Marathon: Organised in Chennai, Wipro Chennai Marathon witnessed 4409 finishers. A total of 8.1% out of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons in India. Out of this total finishers, 92% i.e. 4048 were males and 8% i.e. 361 were females.
  5. Shriram Properties Bengaluru Marathon: Organised in Bengaluru, Shriram Properties Bengaluru Marathon witnessed 3669 finishers. A total of 7.4% out of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons in India. Out of this total finishers, 84% i.e. 3085 were males and 16% i.e. 584 were females.
  6. AU Bank Jaipur Marathon: Organised in Jaipur, AU Bank Jaipur Marathon witnessed 3298 finishers. A total of 6.6% out of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons in India. Out of this total finishers, 76% i.e. 2515 were males and 24% i.e. 783 were females.
  7. IDBI Federal New Delhi Marathon: Organised in New Delhi, IDBI Federal New Delhi witnessed 3151 finishers. A total of 6.3% out of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons in India.
  8. IDBI Federal Mumbai Half Marathon: Taking place in Mumbai, IDBI Federal Mumbai Half Marathon recorded 5.7% of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons with 2,827 finishers. Out of this, 89% i.e. 2510 finishers were males while remaining 11% i.e. 317 finishers were females.
  9. WNC Navy Half Marathon: Taking place in Mumbai, WNC Navy Half Marathon recorded 5.6% of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons with 2,780 finishers. Out of this, 91% i.e. 2531 finishers were males while remaining 9% i.e. 249 finishers were females.
  10. Airtel Hyderabad Marathon: Organised in Hyderabad, Airtel Hyderabad Marathon witnessed 2621 half marathon finishers. A total of 5.3% out of the total finishers in the top 10 half marathons in India. Out of this total finishers, 83% i.e. 2179 were males and 17% i.e. 442 were females.

Three Interesting Observations
  1. Male & Female Percentage: The highest percentage of male finishers in top 30 half marathons across India was witnessed in Rajkot Marathon recording 98% of males while highest percentage of female finishers was witnessed in Tata Mumbai Marathon and Naya Raipur Half Marathon recording 19% of participation from females.
  2. Female Participation: While you’d normally expect marathons with more number of finishers to have greater number of female finishers, this isn’t the case in many of the top 30 half marathons. For example, Shriram Properties Bengaluru Marathon ranked at 5, witnessed 584 female finishers while Wipro Chennai Marathon ranked at 4, reported 361 female finishers.
  3. Cities That Stood Out: While participation from bigger cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru etc. is well expected, few cities that stood out in our study include Satara (Maharashtra), Thane (Maharashtra), Raipur, Rajkot (Gujarat), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh), and Cochin (Kerala).
Conclusion

The growing number of half marathons in India reflects the increasing awareness of our country’s people towards physical fitness and a determination to achieve a target. The current scene looks very encouraging with an increasing number of organisers putting in tremendous energy to organise these marathons meticulously and make it a lifetime experience for all the participants. While a lot is already being done to encourage more and more people to participate, there’s still a lot of scope to involve more smaller cities and to encourage more women participants and participants across all age groups to participate.

 

Data sources: Sports Timing Solutions, Timing Technologies India, RP Sports