13.1 Scenic Fall Half Marathons You Can Run For $50 or Less

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© Dreamstime.com

“Crossing the starting line may be an act of courage, but crossing the finish line is an act of faith. Faith is what keeps us going when nothing else will. Faith is the emotion that will give you victory over your past, the demons in your soul, and all of those voices that tell you what you can and cannot do, and can and cannot be.” — John Bingham

1) Quad Cities Half Marathon • Moline, IL

Sweeping, expansive views of the Mississippi River, along with a course that takes runners through Arsenal Island in the middle of the river, await at this late September race that also features a “micro-marathon” for kids.

September • Race info & signup >>

2) Newport Liberty Half Marathon • Jersey City, NJ

Known by locals as a great prep for November’s New York City Marathon, this race offers a mostly flat and fast route with plentiful views of the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, lower Manhattan and Ellis Island.

September • Race info & signup >>

3) Hairy Gorilla Half Marathon • Voorheesville, NY

A Halloween-themed trail race that takes runners through the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, this race has something for everyone — challenging hills, deep woods forests, wet and inclement weather, and plentiful natural beauty.

October • Race info & signup >>

4) Bizz Johnson Half Marathon • Susanville, CA

Here you’ll get to run one of those rare treats seldom found at any race, whether road race or trail — a course that’s nearly all downhill, gaining it fame as the “fastest marathon in the West,” organizers say.

October • Race info & signup >>

5) TMC Get Moving Tucson Half Marathon • Tucson, AZ

Featuring a run along downtown Tucson’s city streets, the Santa Cruz Riverpath trails and one challenging ascent up the peak known as “A” Mountain, this race runs on an out-and-back route through the city as summer is giving way to autumn.

October • Race info & signup >>

6) Brandon Half Marathon • Tampa, FL

Set for its 10th annual running, the U.S. Ameribank Brandon Half Marathon & 5K sees more than 400 runners each year take to the streets of Brandon and nearby Tampa, and cross a finish line at a fast, flat course that’s considered “ideal” for setting personal record times.

December • Race info & signup >>

7) Gear Western Country Half Marathon • Long Lake, MN

Gently rolling hills along the country roads of this small southern Minnesota town are the hallmark of this race, which also features country music bands playing live at the post-race party and a cowboy hat at the finish line.

October • Race info & signup >>

8) Big Woods Run Half Marathon • Faribault, MN

Runners get the chance to trek through the wooded, tree-lined dirt and gravel trails of southern Minnesota’s Nerstrand Big Woods State Park at this race, whose fees range between $30 and $40.

October • Race info & signup >>

9) Adams Mill Covered Bridge Half Marathon • Flora, IN

Run about an hour’s drive north of Indianapolis at this early October race, which runs along country roads and the Adams Mill Covered Bridge, one of a number of historic bridges across the state.

October • Race info & signup >>


10) Octoberfest Half Marathon • Peru, NY

Nestled among the Adirondack Mountains of northernmost New York state, this small town is perhaps best known today for its abundant apple orchards, which runners will have the chance to run past on their way around the course.

October • Race info & signup >>

11) Summit Challenge Half Marathon • Hot Springs, AR

You’ll run nearly all the way to the top of West Mountain inside Arkansas’ Hot Springs National Park at this race, which unfolds past the park’s historic Bathhouse District and then through Whittington Park before heading onto the roads that climb up to the top.

November • Race info & signup >>

12) Buffalo Creek Half Marathon • Cabot, PA

Most of this race takes runners over the crushed limestone trails of the Butler-Freeport Community Trail, and follows a long, steady downhill descent from the start in Cabot to the finish line in nearby Freeport.

November • Race info & signup >>

13) Run Like a Nut Half Marathon • Florence, SC

Timed to coincide with the city’s annual Downtown Florence Pecan Festival, this small-town race follows a route with numerous twists and turns through mostly flat neighborhood streets, running past two local city parks along the way.

November • Race info & signup >>

13.1) Dixville Half Marathon • Dixville, NH

Perhaps most famous as the site of the first voting in the nation’s first presidential primary election every year, Dixville Notch is the home of this small-town race that usually coincides with the peak of the fall foliage season here in what is known as the Great North Woods region of New Hampshire.

September • Race info & signup >>

1 comment… add one
  • LUIS October 5, 2016, 7:53 pm

    i used to live in NY , and as a citizen (65 years old +) the price of the race was same as the students , why in Florida, is to expensive ?
    Maybe i’m wrong, but really, give me a brake!!!
    Thanks.

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