13.1 Scenic Half Marathons in the Heartland

13.1 Scenic Half Marathons in the Heartland

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“I always loved running. I wasn’t very good at it, but it was something you could do all by yourself, all under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.” — Jesse Owens

Geist Half Marathon • Fishers, IN

With its tree-lined course around the Geist Reservoir that sits just northeast of the city, it isn’t hard to see what has made this race a popular one — ample views of the 1,800-acre Geist lake throughout most of the course, which takes runners over five bridges and along the winding roads that surround the southern half of the reservoir.

Saturday, May 18, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Seymour Half Marathon & Dog Walk • Seymour, IN

This small Indiana city that’s often called the “crossroads of America” thanks to the north-south and east-west railroad lines that cross in its downtown — and is perhaps even more famous for being the hometown of famed singer-songwriter John Mellencamp — hosts this annual late spring half that starts and finishes at Seymour High School.

Saturday, May 18, 2019 • Race info & signup »

North Shore Classic • Highland Park, IL

The tree-lined streets of Chicago’s Highland Park neighborhoods are the setting for this half marathon, which takes runners on a tour of the areas made famous in movies made by director John Hughes back in the 1980s, including “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club.”

Sunday, June 2, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Pure Pikermi Half Marathon • Aurora, IL

You’ll run this race entirely along the Fox River that flows through the heart of this small Illinois city less than an hour’s drive from downtown Chicago, on the Fox River Trail, a paved pathway for bikers, walkers and runners that stretches more than 38 miles along the river.

Sunday, June 2, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Sour Grapes Run • Brainerd, MN

This year marks the 18th and final running of this beloved half marathon, which follows the wooded trails and tree-lined meadows of the Northland Arboretum, a 540-acre oasis of green space that is also home to a forest of Norway pines, many gardens and 20 kilometers of hiking trails. (More info here)

Saturday, June 8, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon • Duluth, MN

The crystal blue waters of Lake Superior form the backdrop for your run along the entire route at this race — which is named for the former Olympian who twice won the event it’s part of (the Grandma’s Marathon) — that unfolds along the gently rolling hills of Old Highway 61 between the cities of Two Harbors and Duluth.

Saturday, June 22, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Pictured Rocks Road Race • Munising, MI

With its mixture of paved backcountry roads and forest trails, this half offers runners the chance to spend 13.1 miles crossing the hills and mountain ridges of Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Seashore, within sight of its birch forests, sand dunes, cliffs and the beautiful shoreline of Lake Superior.

Sunday, June 30, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Marquette Half Marathon • Marquette, MI

Wide paved pathways and park roads along wooded forests, along with the breezes coming in off Lake Superior, form much of the scenic backdrop at this race along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, a 47-mile-long running, walking and biking trail that commemorates this region’s 160-plus years of mining history.

Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Luce Line Lace Up • Hutchinson, MN

Run along the south fork of the Crow River in southern Minnesota, just over an hour’s drive from downtown Minneapolis, this race follows portions of the 63-mile long Luce Line Trail, a converted railroad whose history dates back to the early 1900s and today is known for its beautifully scenic tree-lined stretches.

Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019 • Race info & signup »

The North Face Endurance Challenge • Eagle, WI

Part of a two-day running event that also features a full marathon, a 50-miler, a 50K, a 10K and a 5K, this half runs through the hills and trails of the 30,000-acre Kettle Moraine State Forest, which owes its beauty to the glacial formations that shaped the region many millennia ago.

Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Run For the Hills • McHenry, IL

Filled with wildflowers, plentiful birds and other wildlife, lakes, ponds, creeks and trails among its many hills, bogs and wetlands areas, the 2,200-acre Moraine Hills State Park offers a race known for its natural beauty that’s also within a short drive of Chicago.

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Sault International Festival of Races • Sault Ste. Marie, MI

You’ll need to bring your travel documents for this run across the International Bridge that stretches between the United States and Canada here along the coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, with views of the ships passing through the locks here in the world’s busiest canal.

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019 • Race info & signup »

Three Eagle Half Marathon • Eagle River, WI

Run along the fast (and very flat) crushed limestone and dirt trails that make up the Three Eagle Trail, built on an old railway line that once stretched between the cities of Eagle River and Three Lakes, this race offers up a gentle course and gorgeous fall foliage, as the leaves here will be turning every shade of red, orange and gold this time of year.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 • Race info & signup »

WhistleStop Half Marathon • Ashland, WI

Run along a crushed limestone gravel trail of the Tri-County Corridor, a 60-mile-long rails-to-trails project that stretches from the lakeshore Wisconsin town of Superior all the way to Ashland, this race is famous for its views of the area’s railroad trestles, wetlands, trout streams and the nearby woods of the Chequamegon National Forest.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019 • Race info & signup »

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