11 Half Marathons Walkers Will Love

Runners make their way down a Miami Beach street in the 2011 13.1 Marathon Miami Beach. (Photo by Curtis Alan Jackson/flickr)

Runners make their way down a Miami Beach street in the 13.1 Marathon Miami Beach. (Photo by Curtis Alan Jackson/flickr)

“Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” — Henry David Thoreau

1) Grand Rapids Half Marathon • Grand Rapids, MI

There’s an early start for the “velocity-challenged” at this late October race, which is considered an excellent first-timer’s race thanks to its gentle, forgiving, fast and flat course, and features the bulk of its mileage inside the city’s Millenium Park.

October • Race info & signup >>

2) Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half Marathon • Columbus, OH

Runners and walkers start this race near the city’s Bicentennial Park, just a few blocks away from the Scioto River, and run (or walk) along a course that features only gentle hills in its first few miles, followed by an almost entirely flat final few miles.

October • Race info & signup >>

3) Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon • Indianapolis, IN

Named for the tour on which it takes runners and walkers past the city’s Indiana State Capitol, Monument Circle and other federal monuments, this race begins near the Indiana State Museum, and is mostly fast and flat with a number of small hills thrown in.

October • Race info & signup >>

4) Amica Insurance Seattle Half Marathon • Seattle, WA

Run each year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, this event takes participants on a course through Seattle’s city streets in the shadow of the famed Space Needle and features beautiful views along Lake Washington and Lake Union, and features an early start for walkers.

November • Race info & signup >>

5) Surfers Point Half Marathon • Ventura, CA

Lined with palm trees along the Southern California coastline, Ventura’s Promenade Park serves as the start and finish line for this out-and-back race, which features a generous 7-hour course time limit.

November • Race info & signup >>

6) Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon • San Antonio, TX

You’ll have 4 hours to finish the half marathon (and 7 hours for the full) at this early December race, which runs near the legendary Alamo and unfolds past several of San Antonio’s best-loved sights.

December • Race info & signup >>

7) Eugene Holiday Half Marathon • Eugene, OR

Runners and walkers get the chance to trek the mostly flat, fast terrain of Eugene’s biking, walking and running trails at this race, which features wide-open views of prairie and wetlands areas just outside the city, as well as bridge crossings over creeks and railroad crossings.

December • Race info & signup >>

8) Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon • Phoenix, AZ

The streets of the “Valley of the Sun” fill with as many as 30,000 runners and walkers at this New Year race, which feature live bands playing music throughout the course, stationed roughly every other mile, along with cheerleading squads from local high schools.

January • Race info & signup >>

9) Sarasota Music Half Marathon • Sarasota, FL

You’ll pass by 20 bands at this late winter race, which sports a long out-and-back along the John Ringling Causeway bridge and long stretches along the Sarasota bayfront.

February • Race info & signup >>

10) Austin Half Marathon • Austin, TX

Walk or run through green, tree-lined city parks, cross bridges over the Colorado River, and trek through Austin’s city streets and neighborhoods at this race in Texas’s capital city, which features a 4-hour time limit for the 13.1-miler.

February • Race info & signup >>

11) Miami Beach 13.1 Marathon • Miami Beach, FL

A mostly fast and very flat — and highly scenic — run through the streets of Miami and Miami Beach await the more than 3,000 runners and walkers who come out each year for this race, which offers up ample views of the ocean waves crashing against the shore.

February • Race info & signup >>

12) New Albany Walking Classic Half Marathon • New Albany, OH

Something of a rare breed in the world of road races, Ohio’s New Albany Walking Classic is a walkers-only event that takes between 2,000 and 3,000 walkers each year through the streets of this small city that lies just outside Columbus and the rolling farmland just outside town.

September • Race info & signup >>

(Editor’s note: The New Albany Walking Classic now offers only the 5-mile distance, but it’s still a scenic event that’s perfect for walkers.)

2 comments… add one
  • Mike Rademacher November 29, 2017, 8:28 am

    As a walker I’m a big fan of the Run the Bluegrass in Lexington, KY, in March, the Urban Bourbon in Louisville, KY in October, and the Flying Pig in Cincinnati, OH, in May. All VERY walker friendly!

  • Beth July 9, 2017, 10:27 am

    What about the Mount Desert Isle Half Marathon in Maine? The MDI Marathon gets listed as one of the best in the nation for walkers and one of the most scenic for walkers and runners. Although I haven’t done either event, I don’t see why the Half Marathon isn’t listed on here. Bar Harbor is beautiful!

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