11 Gorgeous Oceanfront Half Marathons

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Dreamstime

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu


I’ve had the good fortune to run races in the mountains, in big cities and on the beach, and there’s probably nothing as stirring to the soul as a run alongside the ocean.

Here’s a few of the country’s most beautiful races along the seashore:

1) Maui Oceanfront Half Marathon • Lahaina, HI

Maui’s massive Haleakala Volcano rises off in the distance along this stunning out-and-back race, which features spectacularly scenic views of the Pacific for the entire route.

January • Race info & signup »

2) A1A Half Marathon • Fort Lauderdale, FL

You’ll run along the beachfront of the “Venice of America” at this late winter race, named for the north-south highway that runs from Georgia to Key West.

February • Race info & signup »

3) Save the Light Half Marathon • Folly Beach, SC

Start and finish at the Folly Beach Pier for a beachside race that raises funds to prevent the Morris Island Lighthouse from being lost to the sea.

February • Race info & signup »

4) Seaside Half Marathon • Ventura, CA

For nearly the entire route at this Southern California race, runners make their way along the trails and highways that line the Pacific Coast Highway, within sight of the waves crashing along the beach out in the open sun.

February • Race info & signup »

5) Surf City USA Half Marathon • Huntington Beach, CA

Run mostly along the beaches of Southern California’s Pacific Coast Highway, this race also takes runners past the famous Huntington Beach pier, allowing them to enjoy the beauty of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands.

February • Race info & signup »

6) Florida Beach Halfathon • Tierra Verde, FL

Long, wide white-sand beaches are the hallmark of this race in Fort De Soto Park, located just off the coast of St. Petersburg, where you’ll run paved park roadways and recreational trails.

March • Race info & signup »

7) Wallis Sands Half Marathon • Rye, NH

Here in the home of Da Vinci Code novelist Dan Brown, this race is known for the serene beauty of wide sandy beaches, quaint New England homes, and coastal roadways that overlook the waves crashing onto the rocks below.

May • Race info & signup »

8) Maine Coast Half Marathon • Biddeford, ME

The course for this out-and-back race was overhauled last year to feature more of the scenery that people flock here to see — especially the rocky coastline along Fortunes Rocks Cove, Horseshoe Cove and Biddeford Pool.

May • Race info & signup »

9) Southernmost Half Marathon • Key West, FL

You’ll run along the shoreline of the southernmost point in the United States, here along the tip of the island at the end of the Florida Keys, roughly 90 miles across the Gulf of Mexico from Cuba.

October • Race info & signup »

10) Long Beach Half Marathon • Long Beach, CA

With its long stretches along the Pacific coastline, this race unfolds along some of Southern California’s most scenic beachfront neighborhoods and past sights like the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Queensbay Bridge.

October • Race info & signup »

11) Gansett Half Marathon • Narragansett, RI

The stunning shoreline of Narragansett Bay makes up all but a few miles of the course, which takes runners from the Towers (its most famous landmark) down to the historic Point Judith Lighthouse and back.

October • Race info & signup »

9 comments… add one
  • Bethany March 14, 2018, 7:22 pm

    These look like beautiful half marathon options, I’ll have to check them out!

    Another to add – the Newport Half Marathon is in Rhode Island in October and is along the Newport coastline and through historic mansions. It’s stunning and so worth the trip there!

  • Jason C April 20, 2016, 11:38 am

    Saint Augustine has a nice half marathon that I have done a few times. You run along the coast, over two bridges, through historic downtown St Augustine and the St Augustine Lighthouse. http://staugustinemarathon.com/

  • Jennifer Sperry Strang March 29, 2016, 11:11 am

    It would be nice if there was a Northern California half marathon listed.

    • Nancy April 19, 2016, 6:13 pm

      My favorite ocean-view half is the Capitola Half Marathon, in Santa Cruz, May 22, 2016. http://www.surferspathmarathon.com/half-marathon/

      • Teresa Cosgrove February 3, 2018, 2:03 pm

        I wanted to point out that Monterey Bay has a half marathon on the second weekend of November. I have been wanting to try a half and that particular race has been my dream. It starts near the Fisherman’s Wharf and ends at Asilomar Beach (or at least through it) and I goes through Seventeen Mile Drive. Here is the website for 2018. http://www.montereybayhalfmarathon.org

  • Jose Ruiz February 21, 2016, 1:43 am

    It would be soooo nice if the marathons were on Saturday too. I go to church on Sunday and not allowed to run on Sunday. Please have more on Saturday. Thank you.?

    • Sarah March 2, 2016, 2:55 pm

      I want that too. But Jose, could you worship and take a day off on Saturday the week of your marathon?

    • Eric April 29, 2016, 9:51 am

      Yes the Sunday thing is annoying. Some communities don’t want to upset retailers by shutting them down for a race. Some do Sunday races to increase our time in their area to peak revenue. Sunday and worship basically are no longer a concern in our society it appears.

      • Greg July 20, 2016, 12:58 am

        I am also looking for more Saturday races. Always disappointing to find a fun race and then learn it’s on a Sunday.

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