13.1 Oceanfront Half Marathons for Fall

Dreamstime

Dreamstime

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” — William James

1) Blue Mountain Beach Half Marathon • Santa Rosa Beach, FL

There really aren’t any mountains here along Florida’s Gulf coast, but legend has it that the sailors who once made their way past this area gave it the name thanks to the high sand dunes here, often covered in wild blue flowers.

October • Race info & signup >>

2) Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon • Myrtle Beach, SC

The crown jewel of the 60-mile stretch of coastline known as South Carolina’s “Grand Strand,” Myrtle Beach hosts this annual fall race whose last several miles run a long stretch of the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk along the ocean.

October • Race info & signup >>


3) South Shore 3 Beach Minimum Half Marathon • Hull, MA

This race takes runners on a gorgeous, scenic run along the South Shore of Massachusetts, a string of beaches, inlets and bays that stretch all the way from Boston to Cape Cod.

October • Race info & signup >>

4) Running for the Bay Half Marathon • Apalachicola, FL

This long, straightaway run across the John Gorrie Memorial Bridge gives runners a long look at one of the country’s most beautiful and ecologically important estuaries, where the water flowing in from the Apalachicola Bay’s rivers and streams meets the Gulf of Mexico.

October • Race info & signup >>

5) Cape Cod Half Marathon • Falmouth, MA

Hailed by Runner’s World and New England Runner as one of the country’s most scenic races, thanks its course along the shoreline of southern Cape Cod, running toward the beach on Vineyard Sound, which looks out across the water to Martha’s Vineyard in the distance.

October • Race info & signup >>

6) Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon • Miami Beach, FL

You’ll run across the brilliant blue waters of the Biscayne Bay that separates downtown Miami from the Miami Beach area, and along its walkways and boardwalks along the Atlantic Ocean at this race, which runs on the Saturday before Halloween.

October • Race info & signup >>

7) Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon • Port Orange, FL

Palm trees, ocean breezes and waves crashing along the shoreline of this beach community just south of Florida’s famed Daytona Beach are the setting for this race, which takes runners out to see the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse, standing like a tall red sentry at the end of the island.

October • Race info & signup >>

8) Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon • Santa Barbara, CA

Known for its gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and its signature Spanish Colonial architectural style — featured in countless movies, from The Graduate to It’s Complicated — Santa Barbara offers both natural and man-made scenery aplenty at its annual fall half marathon.

November • Race info & signup >>

9) Big Sur Half Marathon on Monterey Bay • Monterey, CA

The deep blues and greens of the Pacific Ocean crashing the rocky coastline, the kelp beds swaying back and forth with the waves, the sea gulls floating along the breeze and sometimes even seals and sea lions out on the large rocks in the water — you’re likely to see all of it along the course at this race.

November • Race info & signup >>

10) Golden Gate Half Marathon • San Francisco, CA

This spectacular course starts and finishes in San Francisco next to Aquatic Park and then unfolds across the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, to the Marin Headlands and back.

November • Race info & signup >>

11) Seacoast Half Marathon • Portsmouth, NH

Run, walk, or jog through the saltwater marshes, woodlands, and rugged coastline of New Hampshire’s Portsmouth Harbor at this race, which offers runners a scenic tour of Portsmouth as well as the nearby towns of Rye, New Castle and the harbor.

November • Race info & signup >>

12) Lexus LaceUp Half Marathon • Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Full of rolling hills, stunning ocean views, and beautiful southern California weather, this race runs past Palos Verdes Estates Shoreline Preserve, including stretches around Agua Amarga Canyon and the shoreline of Lunada Bay.

November • Race info & signup >>

13) Panama City Beach Half Marathon • Panama City, FL

Temperatures are sure to be mild at this early December race that spends nearly all of its 13.1 miles in front of the Atlantic Ocean, along an out-and-back stretch on Front Beach Road.

December • Race info & signup >>

13.1) Florida Holiday Halfathon • Madeira Beach, FL

Runners get a chance to run along the fast, flat shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico at this race, which takes runners on a point-to-point route from Madeira Beach all the way up to Taylor Park, for a course that mixes stretches along the beach with a run along Florida’s Pinellas Trail.

December • Race info & signup >>

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