Global Running Day

Running is one of the most popular ways for people to get exercise in the world. Although no one really knows how many people run on a regular basis around the globe, it’s been estimated that the number is somewhere around 620+ million people who run daily for exercise. There’s also a significant portion of the population that runs races on a regular basis.

Depending on the country, that’s about 0.1% to 0.5% of the population engaged in some form of competitive running. Some countries like Ireland have approximately 0.5% engaged in running races, while countries such as the United States only have 0.1% of the population running races. Of course, people don’t have to join a race to enjoy a brisk run.

Some people like to do a daily run, while others only like to run 2-3 times a week. No matter where a person’s physical activity falls on this running continuum, they can take the time to share their love of this sport with family and friends on the first Wednesday of June. This is when Global Running Day occurs, and it’s a day that’s potentially enjoyed by hundreds of millions of runners every year.

The History Of Global Running Day

This holiday can be traced all the way back to 2009, although at that time it wasn’t referred to by its current name. Back then, it was known as National Running Day. Over time, the popularity of this holiday, as well as the rise in people running for sport and exercise, led to the creation of Global Running Day on June 1, 2016.

During that inaugural event, more than 2.5+ million people from almost 180 different countries made the pledge to run more than 9.2 miles. The following year, the International Association of Athletics Federations officially threw its support behind this holiday. From that moment on, the popularity of this holiday has grown exponentially.

It did suffer somewhat of a setback in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the day to be observed virtually. Fortunately, the following year it bounced back, and it’s been going strong ever since.

Some Fantastic Facts About Running

Below are some of the facts we’ve gathered together for everyone wanting to celebrate Global Running Day. We hope that the following facts not only give people a better understanding of this holiday but also a better understanding of running. At least, that was our aim.

  • The Czech Republic and France have the highest proportions of half-marathon runners in the world.
  • The Philippines is home to some of the slowest marathon runners in the world with an average finish time of 5 hours and 25 minutes.
  • Switzerland has the fastest marathon runners in the world with an average finish time of 3 hours and 50 minutes.
  • The average half-marathon time for women globally is 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  • The average half-marathon time for men globally is 1 hour and 48 minutes.

Observing Global Running Day

All across the globe, there are a variety of different activities planned every year for Global Running Day. One of these activities is The Million Kid Run. This event is focused on not only educating children about how running can improve their fitness level, but it’s also determined to show them that running can be a lot of fun, too.

Although this event fell a little short of its goal of a million kids in 2016 with only about 672,000+ young people taking part, every year they inch a little bit closer to their goal of having a million kids run. There are almost too many different running events to list right here, and that’s complicated by the fact that new ones are added every single year.

All we can recommend people do is search in their local area by using the hashtag #GlobalRunningDay. People all over the world are enjoying this holiday by making running a part of their lives. Will you be one of them

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 5 Wednesday
Next year (2025)
June 4 Wednesday
Last year (2023)
June 7 Wednesday