Health & fitness as a product is currently driving the Indian urban market. People now are willing to spend a good amount of their disposable income towards gyms, health devices like Fitbit and many more. The running events or rather the Marathon events are slowly gaining popularity in India, especially in Metros. Not only marathons but obstacle race like Devils Circuit are a huge success in India. Number of professional runners in India who train themselves through out the year to participate in Marathons is increasing by triple digit figures year on year.


Our team at Townscript have done the research on India’s marathon market based on our internal Data after working with four hundred plus running events & also the data available online.

Over the last 3-4 years, we have been observing maximum participation for 5k & 10k runs. 65% of the runs that happen in India are 10K or below. The amateur runners usually undergo a slow transition from spectators to participants in the winter months by calendar around the year, it is clear that the shorter runs are the money-spinners. Out of 1000+ runs, there are 50 full marathons (42.195 km). 

Trend across India

Running in India is still in its inception, and continues to be an urban phenomenon. More and more trail marathons and destination small city half marathons / marathons like the Auroville Marathon, Satara Hill Half Marathon  have become extremely popular in running community. Mumbai & Bangalore have seen enormous growth in running events; close to nearly 150 events were organised in these cities last year. Mumbai enjoys a geographical advantage by virtue of being a linear city (the running route is free of monotonous loops) and can rightfully boast being the most popular marathon destination in the country. Bihar, Arunachal are slowly picking up the marathon trend by organizing 2 marathons last year.

Trend around the Quarter

2nd quarter (April – May) usually finds a dip in marathon events by 40% than the first quarter because of the summer season.

After the dip in the 2nd quarter, the events rise by nearly 150% towards the end of the final quarter. This behavior is majorly due to the weather support. 2nd Quarter brings with itself a blissful summer which causes a lot of obstacle for runners on the field. So all the Marathon organizers consider 2nd quarter as the planning phase for organizing marathons events for the second half of the year.

Trend across Registration Fee

Note: We have taken into consideration the registration fee data analysis for years  2016, 2017 & 2018

  1. 5K runs registration fee is growing by nearly 12.5% every year
  2. 10K runs registration fee is growing by nearly 16% every year
  3. Half Marathons registration fee on average is increasing again by 12.5% every year
  4. Full Marathons on the average increase their registration fee by nearly 20-22% every year

Running events are slowly becoming a lifestyle status as compared to any other sporting event. Coach Ravinder further illustrates this behavioral change in his statement “Running is the new Golf” So yes, we can increase registration fee to INR 20,000 too if people are willing to pay that much amount.

Based on the changing trend in registration fee in last 3 years we calculated the lowest & highest price range per race category for your reference. It’s further illustrated in the table shown below:


Trend based on Gender type:

The ratio of “Male to Female” participants in the runs is usually 4:1. This ratio, however,  is a decreasing year on year based on active participation from women. We have been observing an increased growth every year of female participants. Thanks to organizers like Pinkathon, Womanathon who are taking huge initiatives in promoting fitness awareness among women. They organize this marathon for various causes like; ending violence against women, breast cancer etc.

How Marathons in India can change?

Running Events has been primarily a metro phenomenon. It is a great movement to improve the health and fitness of the citizens. Also, there’s a lot of scopes to make use of the new technologies in running events organising. “Indian running market will keep on growing with the same pace but we need more class apart runs in India to serve the growing market, says Nikhil Shah – Co-Founder of Pune Running & Runbuddies”


Download the Full India Running Events Industry Report 2018 below: