13 Coastal Half Marathons Perfect For a ‘Run-cation’

Courtesy Encinitas Half Marathon

“That, perhaps, is the essence of the running experience for me… The lack of anxiety, the complete acceptance, the letting go and the faith that all will be well. In running, I feel free. I have no other goal, no other reward. The running is its own reason for being.” — George Sheehan

1) 26.2 With Donna Half Marathon • Jacksonville, FL

One of my favorite races runs this weekend, a 13.1-miler that features more than a mile along the beach and raises money for a great cause — to help those fighting breast cancer today and for research to find new ways to combat it.

Sun, Feb 12 • Race info & signup »

2) Myrtle Beach Half Marathon • Myrtle Beach, SC

Recognized by USA Today as one of the nation’s “10 great winter marathons,” this race unfolds for a few miles along the oceanfront in its second half, with amusement parks along the way and hotels towering over the beach throughout.

Sat, Mar 4 • Race info & signup »


3) Marathon of the Treasure Coast • Jensen Beach, FL

Named for the ships carrying treasure that ran aground here back in the 17th century, this region along Florida’s Atlantic coast plays host to a race that crosses over bridges and runs along long stretches of the St. Johns River, and along the island known as Sewall’s Point.

Sun, Mar 5 • Race info & signup »

4) Seaside School Half Marathon • Seaside, FL

If you’ve ever seen the Jim Carrey film “The Truman Show,” then you have an idea of the kind of beautiful coastal architecture you’ll find along the route at this race, which unfolds along Highway 30A through several beach towns that stretch along Florida’s Gulf coast.

Sun, Mar 5 • Race info & signup »

5) Seabrook Lucky Trail Half Marathon • Seabrook, TX

With back-to-back half marathons on both Saturday and Sunday, this race takes runners on a route that features gorgeous views of Galveston Bay as well as the forest trails through parkland areas just outside the city.

Sat, Mar 18 • Race info & signup »

6) Encinitas Half Marathon • Encinitas, CA

This all-new race takes runners on a tour of this beach city perched atop the dunes overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Diego, along a course that runs through Encinitas and the nearby towns of Cardiff and Solana Beach.

Sun, Mar 26 • Race info & signup »

7) Great Bay Half Marathon • Newmarket, NH

A race that takes runners on a scenic tour of the 1,000-acre Great Bay Estuary and National Wildlife Refuge, this hilly and challenging course follows paved and gravel roads through this New England town filled with beautiful homes and views of the bay the race is named for.

Sun, Apr 9 • Race info & signup »

8) Whidbey Island Half Marathon • Whidbey Island, WA

Known for its gorgeous views of the nearby ocean, peaceful backroads through the island’s farmland areas, and the snow-capped peaks of the nearby Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges, this race features gently rolling hills and long stretches along the Oak Harbor waterfront.

Sun, Apr 23 • Race info & signup »

9) Ocracoke Island Half Marathon • Ocracoke, NC

A race that spans the length of this tiny island at the southernmost end of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, where the legendary pirate Blackbeard died, you’ll also want to check out the nearby island — it has no bridges, so it’s accessible only by boat, plane or ferry.

Sun, Apr 29 • Race info & signup »

10) Iron Girl Clearwater Half Marathon • Clearwater, FL

Palm trees, white sand beaches, clear blue water and plenty of flat terrain await at this race, where you’ll run close enough to the shoreline to see the beaches and the waves rolling in.

Sun, Apr 9 • Race info & signup »

11) Marin County Half Marathon • San Rafael, CA

Breathtakingly beautiful and filled with challenging uphill and downhill stretches, this race takes runners on a journey through the hills and among the mountains overlooking California’s San Pablo Bay, climbing some 1,500 feet in China Camp State Park.

Sun, Apr 23 • Race info & signup »

12) Maine Coast Half Marathon • Biddeford, ME

This course features the scenery that thousands flock to see every year, especially the rocky coastline along Fortunes Rocks Cove, Horseshoe Cove and Biddeford Pool, a large tidal pool off Saco Bay that lies between Biddeford and Kennebunkport.

Sat, May 13 • Race info & signup »

13) Muir Woods Half Marathon • Stinson Beach, CA

Challenging hills, paired with stunning views of both the Stinson Beach coastline and the immense, dramatic trees and landscapes of Muir Woods National Monument, await runners at this small race that draws a few hundred runners every year, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.

Sat, May 13 • Race info & signup »

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