25 Half Marathons You Can Be Ready For By the End of the Year

Courtesy Laughlin/Bullhead Half Marathon

Courtesy Laughlin/Bullhead Half Marathon

“We’ve got a motto here — you’re tougher than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can.” — Christopher McDougall

1) Hoover Dam Half Marathon • Boulder City, NV

The desert landscape of Southern Nevada — combined with majestic views of one of the most awe-inspiring man-made structures anywhere in the world — are both on display at this annual mid-December race.

December • Race info & signup »

2) Kiawah Island Golf Resort Half Marathon • Kiawah Island, SC

Fast, nearly all-flat paved roads along tree-lined roads, which wind through golf course communities along the beaches of this resort island on the coast of South Carolina, await runners at this race.

December • Race info & signup »

3) Jeff Galloway 13.1 Half Marathon • Atlanta, GA

Run past the home where legendary author Margaret Mitchell penned “Gone With the Wind” and through Piedmont Park, the jewel of Atlanta’s urban parks system.

December • Race info & signup »

4) The North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon • San Francisco, CA

Set to run in the hilly, challenging — and gorgeous — Golden Gate National Recreation Area, this early December race features a full marathon, 50-mile and 50K on Saturday and a half marathon, 10K and 5K on Sunday.

December • Race info & signup »

5) Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon • San Antonio, TX

Run past the Alamo, the San Antonio Museum of Art and the San Antonio Zoo on the first Sunday in December, alongside 20,000 other runners and walkers as live bands cheer you on at nearly every mile.

December • Race info & signup »

6) Laughlin/Bullhead Half Marathon • Laughlin, NV

You’ll run among the casinos here about 90 miles south of the Las Vegas Strip, along the Colorado River in the race’s early going, when the course rises just over 350 feet from the starting line to its highest point.

December • Race info & signup »

7) Rehoboth Beach Seashore Half Marathon • Rehoboth Beach, DE

This out-and-back race starts and finishes along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, a real wooden boardwalk that spans multiple city blocks and features shop after eclectic shop along the beach.

December • Race info & signup »

8) Race 13.1 Baltimore Half Marathon • Baltimore, MD

Start and finish this race in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor at Rash Field, a waterfront park next to the Maryland Science Center and just across the harbor from the National Aquarium.

December • Race info & signup »

9) All-Out Fa La La Half Marathon • Denver, CO

From the mountain-like rocks known as the Flatirons to the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, the scenery along the Big Dry Creek provides the backdrop for this race, which starts and finishes at Westminster City Park.

December • Race info & signup »

10) Death Valley Trail Half Marathon • Death Valley, CA

Held deep within California’s Death Valley National Park and limited to just 250 entrants, this race takes place in winter so that runners can expect both gorgeous views and temperatures comfortable enough for running.

December • Race info & signup »

11) VA Runner Blue & Gray Half Marathon • Fredericksburg, VA

Start in Fredericksburg’s Central Park and then run through the city’s downtown areas, past the campus of the University of Mary Washington and along the Rappahannock River that flows through the heart of the city.

December • Race info & signup »

12) Walnut Creek Half Marathon • Walnut Creek, CA

Beginning in Walnut Creek’s Civic Park, you’ll head into the Lime Ridge Regional Open Space, whose more than 1,200 acres are home to 25 miles of trails through its abundant oak woodlands and grasslands.

December • Race info & signup »

13) Santa Hustle Smokies Half Marathon • Sevierville, TN

Ever wanted to run in a Santa stocking hat and beard? You’ll get your chance at this mid-December jaunt, which makes its 6th annual running in east Tennessee just north of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

December • Race info & signup »

14) Ole Man River Half Marathon • New Orleans, LA

Run the fast, flat streets of Gretna, La. — just across the Mississippi River from New Orleans — at this late December race, which also features a stretch along the river levee.

December • Race info & signup »


15) Santa to the Sea Half Marathon • Oxnard, CA

A race that quite literally lives up to its name, you’ll start at the giant Santa holiday display in Nye Park on the northeastern edge of the city and run its streets all the way to the Channel Islands Harbor.

December • Race info & signup »

16) Dallas Half Marathon • Dallas, TX

Start the race at Pioneer Plaza, the home of the city’s famed Cattle Drive sculpture, and follow the course alongside Turtle Creek and into the city’s ritzy Highland Park neighborhood.

December • Race info & signup »

17) Mount Dora Half Marathon • Mount Dora, FL

Filled with gently rolling hills, historic early 1900s-era homes and long stretches along the shoreline of two of its many lakes, this race starts along the eastern edge of Lake Dora and overlooking the boat docks.

December • Race info & signup »

18) Eugene Holiday Half Marathon • Eugene, OR

This race unfolds along the Fern Ridge Path, a nearly 7-mile-long paved path that winds from the Meadowlark Prairie Trailhead into the area known as the West Eugene Wetlands, where runners will see ponds, forests and hills.

December • Race info & signup »

19) RunGirl 13.1 Women’s Half Marathon • Houston, TX

This women’s-only race takes runners through Houston’s Alexander Deussen Park and Eisenhower Park, which sit side-by-side here on the southern edge of the lake just to the northeast of the city.

December • Race info & signup »

20) Decker Challenge Half Marathon • Austin, TX

Organized by the Austin Runners Club, this hilly race follows an out-and-back loop course through the South Texas countryside, from the start and finish line areas at the Travis County Expo Center all the way around Decker Lake and back.

December • Race info & signup »

21) Holualoa Tucson Half Marathon • Tucson, AZ

Runners make their way along an almost all-downhill course at this race, which starts near the famed Biosphere 2, an earth science research facility that’s within an entirely closed domed ecosystem in the Arizona desert.

December • Race info & signup »

22) St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon • Memphis, TN

From the starting line at 4th and Beale Streets, this race follows a clockwise loop through Memphis, taking runners past Sun Studio, the National Civil Rights Museum, the Gibson Guitar Factory and more.

December • Race info & signup »

23) Lady of the Mountain Half Marathon • Alamogordo, NM

At this race runners will be able to catch a glimpse of the legendary “Lady of the Mountain” for which the race is named, as they can see the figure of a woman lying on her back chiseled into the mountain, looking over the highway from above.

December • Race info & signup »

24) Florida Holiday Halfathon • Madeira Beach, FL

You’ll follow a point-to-point route from Madeira Beach all the way up to Taylor Park, with much of this course run through Seminole’s shaded public parks, especially the stretches along the Pinellas Trail, which offer a welcome respite from the sun.

December • Race info & signup »

25) Spicewood Vineyards Half Marathon • Spicewood, TX

Filled with scenic farmland, vineyards and rural country roads, this race offers some challenging hills as well as some beautifully pastoral views of this corner of the region known as the Texas Hill Country, just a short drive from nearby Austin.

December • Race info & signup »

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