Ice hockey and lacrosse may be Canada’s national team sports, but running is definitely the top individual sport in the country. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people take part in over a thousand races all over Canada.

Winter is an off-season for runners, but as soon as the ice melts, people literally run out of their houses. Over the spring, summer, and fall, you will find people competing in road races, mountain trails, and even staircases. One particular race in Quebec sees people clear around 3000 stairs in a competition. Another one, in Kingston, sees competitors try to beat a 50-minute Beethoven symphony over a course of eight kilometers.

These exciting race models ensure that the competitions always have a new touch while, at the same time, maintaining their basic objective. But what are some of the reasons that make running so popular in Canada?

Its a Culture

Outdoor activities- and running in particular- have been commonplace in Canada for as long as anyone can remember. A long time ago, it used to be one of the few leisure activities, especially for kids. The government has also always encouraged running as a way of maintaining healthy habits within the country’s general population. Even with the advent of the widely blamed video gaming, Canada has refused to abandon its running culture.

Challenging Race Tracks

People always love a good challenge; the race routes in Canada present them with just that. The longevity of marathons is a milestone everyone is always proud to hit. Races become even more challenging when they are run in mountainous tracks.

Races for Everyone

There are races for all people, young or old. Some races are as short as two kilometers. Others are simply walks- they focus more on completing distance than beating time. The challenge goes on up to the level of ultra-marathons. This diversity of races makes people feel welcome and keeps drawing them in their numbers.