10 Perfect Places to Add a Half Marathon to Your Vacation

© Epicstock | Dreamstime.com

© Epicstock | Dreamstime.com

1) Cruise: The Great Alaskan Running Cruise

Cruises are a fantastic way to see many different places, but only needing to unpack your bag once. This Alaskan cruise aboard the Radiance of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean ship, features 4 stops in the southeast portion of the state.

Each runner registered for the trip will have an opportunity to finish either a half marathon or a full marathon by the time the vacation is complete. In Juneau, runners can choose from either the 5K or half marathon distance. It will be one half marathon runners will not forget!

2) Disney World: Disney Princess Half Marathon

What better way is there than to combine a Disney family vacation and your love of running than with the Disney Princess Half Marathon? As one of the many running events sponsored by Disney, this one caters to female participants. The first 2 corrals are designated for elite and faster female runners.

Runners will race from just outside Epcot to the Magic Kingdom and finish inside Epcot with characters cheering racers on along the way. Disney races are notorious for selling out quickly so register early to enjoy a slice of the magic.

3) With family: Hershey Half Marathon

It can be difficult for runners with families to find destination races that makes the whole crowd happy. But the Hershey Half Marathon is a great way to spend a long weekend for both runners and kids. A Kids Run on Saturday is open to children ages age 2 and up and each kid gets a medal and t-shirt for participating.

Half marathon runners will start and finish at Hersheypark Stadium and see sections of Hersheypark, Chocolate Avenue, and High Point mansion along their journey. Stick around Hershey after the race with two complimentary tickets to Hersheypark included in the race packet.

4) On your honeymoon: Maui Half Marathon

Cross off two bucket list items in the same trip by completing the Maui Half Marathon. This beautiful Hawaiian island has hosted a full marathon for 45 years and introduced the half distance in 2004. Runners will race an out-and-back course in the southwestern portion of the island. Live Hawaiian entertainment will keep things going after the race until runners are ready to go back to their relaxing vacation in one of the most scenic spots in the world.

5) NYC: United Airlines New York City Half Marathon

The Big Apple was the 6th most visited city in the world in 2014. Home to Broadway, the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more shopping than you can ever imagine, this city truly has something for everyone.

The United Airlines NYC Half takes over Manhattan in mid-March with a course that races through Central Park, Times Square, and South Street Seaport. Plus, with a $100,00 purse in prize money, you might be even see a few famous runners amid the regular New York celebrities.

6) At a beach: 13.1 Marathon Miami Beach

With a start/finish line on South Beach, the 13.1 Marathon Miami Beach half marathon keep vacation on the brain. Runners start on Ocean Drive and cruise past some of the infamous homes of Miami’s elite.

They cross over the water and into the city of Miami for a few miles before returning to Ocean Drive via the South Point Park baywalk. The finish line festival in Lummus Park is a perfect transition to spending the rest of the day (and week) lounging in the sand.

7) National Park: Grand Canyon Half Marathon

Though the Grand Canyon Half Marathon doesn’t actually take place in the park, it does allow runners to enjoy a course showcasing the beauty of the region. The course is on the border of the park, in the Kaibab National Forest, right outside the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

The loop course at an elevation of over 6,500 feet has only 279 feet in total elevation gain. Runners will still have plenty of energy after the race to cover trails inside the National Park.

8) Las Vegas: Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

As one of the few half marathons held at night, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon truly embraces the spirit of its’ city. Beginning at 4:30p.m., runners race up the strip on an out-and-back course. In a race that only Vegas can produce, runners are encouraged to dress as Elvis or tie/renew the knot. Plus, with Rock ‘n’ Roll as the host, expect plenty of on course entertainment that will rival the shows taking place indoors.

9) International: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon

Toronto is a great place for runners looking to dip their toes into racing internationally. Canada is easily accessible by car or plane for U.S. residents and good relations between the countries makes border crossings quick.

The loop course of the half marathon takes runners through portions of downtown Toronto and later offers views of Lake Ontario. Post-race, runners can enjoy plenty of big city attractions as Toronto is the most populous city in Canada.

10) Golf: Kiawah Island Half Marathon

For runners with golf as their other hobby, the Kiawah Island Half Marathon is the perfect recreational vacation. The race is held on a loop course that takes runners past marshes, maritime forest, and the beautiful beach homes of Kiawah Island.

Refuel at the finish line party with complimentary food and beer before heading out on the golf course. Kiawah Island offers 90 holes of golf on five separate championship courses and is consistently highly ranked by multiple publications.

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