Running Events

Bet You Didn't Know: Halloween Is One of the Top Race Dates

30 Oct, 2015

So Get Ready for a Host of Trick or Treat and Themed Runs

While Thanksgiving continues to hold top billing as the most active holiday for road race participation in the United States, Halloween sits a close second, with 722,237 finishers in 2014.

Costume races, monster dashes, zombie runs and a host of other Halloween-themed events have generated an increased amount of participation across the country, creating runner experiences similar to those generated by events such as The Color Run and Santa dashes.

"Halloween continues to be one of the most active holidays in the United States for a variety of reasons," said Rich Harshbarger, Running USA CEO. "The growth we've seen reflects the year-round trend of greater numbers of runners seeking out events which are themed, social and festive."

Since 2011, Halloween race participation has grown nearly 60%, from 469,602 race finishers in 2011 to 722,237. However, race participation decreased 4% from 2013 to 2014, after finisher totals hit an all-time high of 758,038.

The reduction in participation reflects a nation-wide trend, as overall yearly finisher total were down 1% in 2014, according to the Running USA U.S. Race Trends.

The number of Halloween running events have followed a similar chart, nearly doubling from 1,128 in 2011 to 2,042 in 2014, while decreasing 10% to 1,843 in 2014. Of note, Halloween dominates Thanksgiving in terms of number of events, as 1,032 turkey trots were counted in 2014.

Halloween participant totals take into account a number of days around the holiday, as it often falls during the week.

For more information on Halloween races, visit

About Running USA: Running USA is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization devoted to improving the status and experience of distance running and racing in the United States through collective marketing and promotions, information and communications within the industry and to the national media, services to events and industry members, and the development of American world class stars. It seeks the advancement of the sport and the provision of value to each of its members' events and businesses. For more information, visit


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