The 26.2-mile event is no longer limited to tourists and the upper classes.
Running mania isn’t limited to the West. According to Stride Nation, the world’s most populous country, China, is undergoing a marathon boom.
As evidence, the Beijing International Marathon, with a field of 30,000, sold out in a matter of hours. Additionally, the Hong Kong and Guangzhou Marathon’s websites crashed due to traffic once registration was opened.
In the past, marathons held in China targeted international runners, but with the rise of that country’s middle class, this isn’t the case anymore.
This surge in popularity has driven up the average field size of races. Seventeen of the 33 marathons held last year boasted field sizes greater than 10,000 runners.
But racing in China isn’t without controversy. Poor air quality in urban areas have forces some runners to wear masks during their runs.
For More: Stride Nation