List of Long Distance Running Sports A-Z

List of Long Distance Running Sports

Long-distance running sports are sports where athletes run long distances as a test of endurance. Most long-distance running sports are races run on long courses, which often span through cities and the countryside. Such courses can be flat, hilly, or a combination of both. The most famous form of long-distance running is the marathon, a 26.2-mile long race, which has its origins in an Ancient Greek legend about the Battle of Marathon.

Long-distance running sports can be practiced at both the amateur and professional level but require an intense amount of training and preparation. Many people simply enjoy the challenge of races such as a 5K or 10K run, while others pursue them as professional sports. For these runners, competitions are held in various fields of long-distance running, such as track and field, triathlon, and cross-country. Many long-distance running sports, including the marathon, are also a part of the Olympic Games

Long Distance Running Sports List A to Z

  • 10K Run
  • 5K Run
  • Aquathlon
  • Canicross
  • Cross-Country Running
  • Cross Triathlon
  • Duathlon
  • Ekiden
  • Endurance Running
  • Fell Running
  • Half Marathon
  • Indoor Triathlon
  • Marathon
  • Mountain Running
  • Skyrunning
  • Snowshoe Running
  • Track and Field (Athletics)
  • Trail Running
  • Triathlon
  • Ultramarathon


What are long-distance running sports?

Long-distance running sports are athletic competitions where runners travel long-distance on foot, often in the range of 5,000 kilometers (about 3.1 miles) to as high as 42,000 meters (about 26 miles). Long-distance running is a test of endurance and strength, and as such, it requires months of intense training and practice. Long-distance running is popular both as an amateur activity and as a professional sport.

Some of the most popular long-distance running sports are the marathon, the 5K, and the 10K. The origins of the marathon trace back to an Ancient Greek legend about the Battle of Marathon. According to the story, after the Greek army defeated their enemies, a messenger was sent back to Athens to spread the news, running 25 miles to reach the city and proclaiming the victory aloud before dying of exhaustion. Today, a marathon is approximately 26.2 miles long. 5K and 10K races, judged in kilometers, are other popular amateur races, with the 5K being the most popular race distance in the United States. 

What long-distance running sport covers the greatest distance?

Among the standard long-distance running sports, the longest race is the marathon. The modern marathon covers a distance of approximately 26.2 miles and can be run on roads or tracks, although some are also held on particularly long trails. The addition of 0.2 miles to the 26-miles race came during the London Olympics of 1908, where the race began at Windsor Castle and was requested to end at the front of the royal viewing box. Though the marathon is the longest standard race, many other races are longer. Amongst all long-distance races, ultramarathons are the longest. Ultramarathons are known to cover extraordinary distances, with some even reaching hundreds of miles. The longest staged race is currently the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence Race, which lasts for approximately 3,100 miles.

What long-distance running sports are in the Olympics?

There are various long-distance running events in the Olympic Games. Running events fall under the category of athletics, also commonly known as track and field, and can be performed individually or in teams. Long-distance races include the 5,000-meter, the 10,000-meter, the triathlon, and the marathon. The 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter races occur on indoor or outdoor tracks, while the marathon occurs on roads. The triathlon, which merges swimming, road cycling, and long-distance running, is completed on a course.