Harrisburg Half Marathon & Relay

Sunday, September 11, 2016 • Harrisburg, PA • Course Map

runsignup-blueA beautifully scenic course that unfolds almost entirely along the banks of the Susquehanna River forms the backdrop for runners at Pennsylvania’s Merrill Lynch Harrisburg Half Marathon and Relay, which marks its 20th annual running this year.

Organizers say the race has experienced remarkable growth in recent years, reaching more than 1,000 runners, walkers and relay team members in recent years, a big jump up from the 100 or so runners who completed the race’s inaugural running in 1997.

Of course, it’s easy to see why the race has attracted such a following when you get a look at the route, which starts and finishes on Harrisburg’s City Island, which lies smack in the middle of the Susquehanna and is linked to the mainland by bridge.

After starting off and making a loop around the island, runners cross the Walnut Street bridge and then make a turn toward the right, where they head along the riverfront trails that parallel South Front Street.

There’s a long stretch of the race that winds several miles up along the riverbanks, through Harrisburg’s Riverfront Park, a linear park whose lovingly manicured gardens, brick plazas, gazebos and river overlooks have made it perhaps the city’s most popular outdoor park.

The course continues winding northward all the way up to the Estherton and Windsor Farms neighborhoods, where runners reach the turnaround and make a few turns through the city streets just south of Interstate 81.

After making the turn off North Front Street and onto Montrose, 6th Street and then 2nd Street, runners head back onto Front Street for the last few miles of the race, which take them back along the route they’ve just run toward the finish line back on City Island.

Thanks in part to its location along the river, the course is mostly fast and flat and features paved surfaces throughout. Runners can expect a few uphill and downhill stretches, particularly at the start and near the finish of the race, as the bridge crossing back and forth from City Island will involve some hills.

Race Weather & Climate

Located along the banks of the Susquehanna River in southern Pennsylvania, just over 100 miles northeast of Philadelphia, Harrisburg typically experiences mild to moderately warm weather in September, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 30ºF (in 1963) and as high as 102ºF (in 1953).

On race day (Sept. 11), the average low is 59ºF and the average high is 77ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Harrisburg Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 7:15 AM – walkers
  • 8:00 AM – runners and relay teams


  • $50 for the individual half marathon, if registered by February 28
  • $55 between March 1 – 31
  • $60 between April 1 – 30
  • $65 between May 1 – 31
  • $70 between June 1 – 30
  • $75 between July 1 – 31
  • $80 between August 1 – 31
  • $85 between September 1 – 11


To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of the Merrill Lynch Harrisburg Half Marathon or 2-person Relay race, register online at RunSignUp.com here.


Official Race Website


Facebook Conversations

Ever run in the Harrisburg Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: September, Pennsylvania

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