11 Great Half Marathons to Run With Friends

Runners on the course at the Malibu Half Marathon.
(Courtesy Malibu Half Marathon)

1) Seaside Half Marathon

Whether you go with a friend or a group, the Seaside Half Marathon is a perfect getaway at the end of winter. Held at the beginning of March, the sleepy town of Seaside, Florida comes to life during race weekend.

Enjoy a flat and fast course along the panhandle coast and take your complimentary Vera Bradley tote bag to the beach with you after the race.

Sunday, March 4, 2018 • Seaside, FL

2) Cedar Point Half Marathon

Do you like half marathons? Do you like roller coasters? The Cedar Point Half Marathon is your race! No one should have to visit a theme park alone so bring a friend or group to run 13.1 miles and ride roller coasters all day.

Located in Sandusky, Ohio, along a Lake Erie peninsula, the course is as fast as the rides. A weekend park pass is included in the race entry fee and can be used Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Just remember to save some strength to finish your half marathon on Sunday morning.

Sunday, June 10, 2018 • Sandusky, OH

3) Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

New Orleans is perfect for a guys weekend, a girls weekend, or just a weekend with friends. Throw a half marathon into the mix and you’ve got a great “race-cation.”

The point-to-point course travels through all the hot spots of the city and strategically crosses through the French Quarter right before mile 10 to give racers a boost to the finish. After 13.1 miles, runners can spend the day eating beignets and shrimp po’ boys with a little less guilt.

Sunday, March 4, 2018 • New Orleans, LA

4) San Francisco Half Marathon

When it is hot and muggy in the middle of summer, escape to the oasis of San Francisco. The San Francisco Half Marathon is held at the end of July and runners from all over come to enjoy a weekend of (usually) cooler temperatures.

With two courses to choose from and 2 separate start times, runners can race with their friends or choose an entirely different race on the same day. Afterwards, there are plenty of touristy things to do such as visiting Alcatraz, seeing a Giants baseball game, or eating at some of the best restaurants in the country.

Sunday, July 29, 2018 • San Francisco, CA

5) New York City Half Marathon

With nearly 20,000 entrants, running with a friend or group at the New York City Half Marathon is very popular — just remember to be mindful of other competitors and allow people to pass easily!

Runners in the northeast can make a day trip of the event and those traveling further can make it a long weekend. The Big Apple is always more fun to explore with a friend or group and there are thousands of thing to choose from.

Sunday, March 18, 2018 • New York, NY

6) Kiawah Island Half Marathon

If you like running and golf, the Kiawah Island Half Marathon should be on your race calendar. Bring a friend or a few buddies along and enjoy the South Carolina coast in December.

Temperatures are often brisk in the morning, but can still make for a nice afternoon out on the golf course.

The flat and fast course brings out great competition among runners in the southeast, but the lazy island in the winter is perfectly relaxing both before and after the race.

Saturday, December 8, 2018 • Kiawah Island, SC

7) Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

The is a pretty large contingent of runners who also love wine. They are both good for your heart, right? The Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon is the ultimate destination race for wine lovers who appreciate a glass or two after covering 13.1 miles.

Of course, both of these things are better with a friend or group, so make sure to put this on your calendar early as it sells out fast!

Sunday, July 15, 2018 • Sonoma, CA

8) St. Jude Half Marathon

If you and your running friend(s) have big hearts when it comes to charity, the St. Jude Half Marathon is the place to be in early December.

Held in Memphis, Tennessee, home of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, this race is not only inspiring, but raises an astonishing amount of money.

In 2017, $10.3 milion was raised for the charity which ensures that families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food.

December 2018 • Memphis, TN

9) Grand Circle Trailfest

The Grand Circle Trailfest is actually three races of 13 miles, 12 miles, and 12 miles held on consecutive days near Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and the Grand Canyon.

For you and your adventurous friend(s), these races offer runners some of the most scenic views in the United States. Runners can camp out at the headquarters each night and enjoy the early October weather of the desert.

October 4-6, 2018 • Kanab, UT

10) Malibu Half Marathon

Rocky bluffs, sandy beaches, waves crashing against the shoreline, and plenty of rugged hills await on a gorgeous point-to-point route along the Pacific Coast Highway are the setting for this early fall race, which offers up spectacular views that are best enjoyed while sharing them.

November • Malibu, CA

11) Portland Half Marathon

Wine lovers flock to Napa, but where is the best place for beer lovers to visit? According to a 2017 article by Business Insider, Portland, Oregon is home to the most breweries in the United States.

Call up your beer-drinking, distance-running friends and invite them to join you in early October for the Portland Half Marathon. This iconic event has been held for 40 years and on course entertainment is unmatched by anyone in the race industry.

After the race, call an Uber and began checking out those microbreweries!

Sunday, October 7, 2018 • Portland, OR

Carissa Liebowitz has run the Boston Marathon as well as dozens of marathons and half marathons. You can follow her running adventures on StravaInstagram and her blog.

1 comment… add one
  • Kathryn Muniz February 7, 2018, 3:49 pm

    The Napa to Sonoma half marathon sells out quick and sometimes theee is a lottery for it. It is well worth it and if you run in California it should be bucket list race.

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