The Ultimate 10K Fact Sheet

If you’re a beginner runner, chances are you’ll start with the good ol’ 5K - and eventually progress to the more challenging 10K. The distance is short enough to be doable for beginners, but long enough for more advanced runners to push the pace. Essentially, it offers the perfect combination of speed and endurance. This is why the 10K race is becoming one of the most popular running distances in the world. In fact, it is the second most popular distance after the half marathon. In Atlanta in the US, nearly 60 000 runners compete in the 10K Peachtree Road Race on the 4th of July.

It’s very likely you would have noticed many running clubs offering popular “Couch to 10K” social running programs. If you’ve decided to join the fun, or even have your sights set on a podium finish - best to check out our ultimate 10K fact sheet to get on top of the numbers so you can be race ready!

World Record 10K Times

The World Record 10K time is 26:17:53 obtained by Ethiopian, Kenenisa Bekele in 2005. This record has gone uncontested up until today. The World Record 10K time for a woman is held by Ethiopian, Almaz Ayana with a time of 29:17:45 in 2016.

The average time needed to reach the podium

Select your gender to find out what your finishing time needs to be to place within the top three finishers of the race. If you’re a male, you have a good chance of finishing in the top three if you have a time under 36 minutes. If you’re a female, you can reach the podium with a finishing time under 42 minutes.

The best times for your age group

Select your age group to see what’s the average best time. The average best finishing time for males is 35:48 minutes in the age group 20-29 years at a pace of 3.58 minutes per kilometer. The average best finishing time for females is 40:58 minutes in the age groups 20-29 and 30-39 years at a pace of 4.1 minutes per kilometer.

The percentage of the pack you would finish in according to your finishing time

Pick your average finishing time to figure out roughly where you’ll be in the pack. For example, if you’re a male athlete with a finishing time of around 1 hour 2 minutes and 47 seconds - then you would be in the first 50% of finishers. So if there were 1000 participants, you would finish among the first 500 runners.

10K Participants By Gender

On average, 53.7% of 10K participants are female, while 46.3% are male.

Male Participants By Age Group

On average, most male 10K participants are between the ages of 30-39 and 40-49 years of age.

Female Participants By Age Group

On average, most female 10K participants are between the ages of 30-39 and 40-49 years of age.

10K New vs Returning Participants

On average, 22.8% of runners will return to run the same 10K race the following year, while 77.2% of race participants tend to be new runners.

*Adapted from meteor.run