Palm Desert Half Marathon, Relay & 5K

Sunday, January 24, 2016 • Palm Desert, CA • Course Map

With a flat and fast course that will give many experienced half-marathoners a chance to set personal record times, the New Balance Palm Desert Half Marathon, Relay & 5K Run/Walk takes runners through the streets of this oasis city in California’s Mojave Desert, within full view of the nearby San Jacinto Mountains to the west, the Little Bernardino Mountains to the north and the Santa Rose Mountains to the south.

More than 1,600 runners crossed the finish line in both the half marathon and 5K combined at the race’s 2014 running, with more than 1,100 of those finishers competing in the half marathon alone.

The race begins in downtown Palm Springs’ Ruth Hardy Park, and takes runners along a winding out-and-back route that loops through the city’s Las Palmas neighborhoods, and includes views of famous celebrities’ homes like those of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.

Though much of the race follows through residential neighborhoods and urban areas, there’s plenty of scenery especially in the distance, from the snow-capped mountains that look over the course and the desert flora and fauna along the way.

Both the half marathon and the 5K courses are certified by USA Track and Field, and there are many twists and turns during the race including several short out-and-back stretches along neighborhood streets. There’s little change in elevation throughout the race, though — thanks to the course’s location in the desert — so runners don’t encounter significant uphill or downhill stretches during the race.

The event moved to nearby Palm Desert, CA for the 2016 event. More information about the new course will be available soon.

Windmills near Palm Springs, Calif. (Photo by Sam Howzit/flickr)

Windmills near Palm Springs, Calif. (Photo by Sam Howzit/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Set in the Southern California desert about two hours east of Los Angeles and just miles from nearby Joshua Tree National Park, the city of Palm Springs tends to experience dry and very hot summers and mild winter seasons, with little wet weather at any time during the year.

In January, temperatures average between 42°F and 71°F, while rainfall amounts average about 0.78 inches for the month. On the day of the race (Jan. 24), the average low is 43°F and the average high is 72°F.

Course Map

See the race route map for the Palm Desert Half Marathon here.

Past Results

Starting Time

  • 7:00 AM – half marathon
  • 7:15 AM – 5K


  • $55 for the half marathon, if registered by November 15, 2015
  • $65 between November 16 – December 31
  • $70 between January 1 – January 23, 2016
  • $75 on the day of the race


To reserve your spot in the late winter 2016 running of the Palm Desert Half Marathon, Relay or 5K race, register online at here.

Official Race Website

See more races in: January, California

1 comment… add one

  • Karin Obermeier January 27, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Question: Is there a group rate available? We have one half-marathon runner (14 years old) and possibly 3-4 adults for the 5K. Is there a minimum number to a group? What would the group rate be per person?

    Thanks very much! Karin


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