13.1 Stunning September Half Marathons To Start Training For

Runners along the trail in Davidson, N.C., at the Run for Green Half Marathon. (Photo courtesy Run for Green Half Marathon)

Runners along the trail in Davidson, N.C., at the Run for Green Half Marathon. (Photo courtesy Run for Green Half Marathon)

“I am not afraid of storms. I am learning how to sail my ship.” — Louisa May Alcott

Here in the peak of the summer heat, it’s easy to lose sight of how much fun it can be to run and train for a goal, especially when the mercury rises as high as it has where I live, in Georgia.

That’s why this week we look at some races that will keep your eyes on the prize — fun races in gorgeous places that will give you something to shoot for, and with plenty of time to get ready for them especially if you use our 8-week, 9-week or 10-week half marathon training schedules.

1) Run for Green Half Marathon • Davidson, NC

Part of a day filled with live music and a festival devoted to environmental sustainability, this race starts on the Village Green here in the home of Davidson College, and then winds along the South Prong of the West Branch of the Rocky River, seen in the photo above.

Sat, Sep 17 • Race info & signup »

2) Surftown Half Marathon • Westerly, RI

Featuring a breezy, sunny stretch along the Rhode Island beachfront, this out-and-back race starts in and finishes near Misquamicut State Beach, one of the state’s more popular summertime beach resorts, and includes a stretch with the waters of Winnapaug Pond on one side and the ocean on the other.

Sun, Sep 11 • Race info & signup »

3) Beat the Blerch Half Marathon • Carnation, WA

“Run a fast, beautiful course through the woods. Eat lots of cake. Avoid a sasquatch.” That’s what you get to take in at this gorgeous race near Seattle organized by the cartoonist Matthew Inman, who we’re a huge fan of for his “The DOs and DO NOTs of running your first marathon” and “The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances.”

Sat & Sun, Sep 17-18 • Race info & signup »

4) Little Grand Canyon Half Marathon • Huntington, UT

Run through eastern Utah’s San Rafael Swell, also known as the “Little Grand Canyon,” this race offers up some of the southwest’s most pristine natural beauty, including majestic towering red rocks and the chance to see actual dinosaur footprints on the side of the road along the race route.

Sat, Sep 10 • Race info & signup »

5) High Bridge Half Marathon • Farmville, VA

Known for its beautiful rolling green hills and horse farms, this city of just over 8,000 souls hosts this race on the 31-mile-long High Bridge Trail, a former railroad bed that dates back to the mid-1800s and is famous for being the longest recreational bridge of its kind anywhere in Virginia.

Sat, Sep 10 • Race info & signup »

6) Great Smoky Mountains Half Marathon • Maryville, TN

A gorgeously scenic run through the Blue Ridge Mountains that straddle the Tennessee-North Carolina border await runners at this face, which makes a very gradual climb near the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park just outside Knoxville.

Sat, Sep 10 • Race info & signup »

7) Swanzey Covered Bridges Half Marathon • Swanzey, NH

The mostly flat, fast course for this race features views that capture perfectly the quaint, authentic feel of New England, taking runners through covered bridges with names like Thompson, Slate, Carlton and Cresson, most of which date to the pre-Civil War era.

Sun, Sep 4 • Race info & signup »

8) Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon • Virginia Beach, VA

While they’re out on the course at this Labor Day weekend race, runners encounter local bands playing from stages set up throughout the race, from the starting line near the Virginia Beach Convention Center all the way out to the Oceanfront Boardwalk, where the finish line lies.

Sun, Sep 4 • Race info & signup »

9) Old Stone House Fall Foliage Run • Brownington, VT

Run as summer is giving way to fall here in this tiny town in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, this race features views of Lake Memphremagog and Lake Willoughby along the way, as well as Jay Peak, the popular wintertime ski resort.

Sun, Sep 11 • Race info & signup »

10) Golden Leaf Half Marathon • Aspen, CO

Timed to start runners off just as fall is arriving on the leaves, trees and slopes of this Rocky Mountain town, this race starts in Snowmass Village and finishes in Aspen, and has been lauded by Colorado Runner and Trail Runner magazines as one of the country’s most scenic trail races.

Sat, Sep 24 • Race info & signup »

11) Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon • Bird-in-Hand, PA

A couple thousand runners make their way to the Amish country every fall for this race, along rolling country roads in and around this small village of roughly 300 residents, whose history dates all the way back to the early 1730s, when it was founded by small communities of Quakers and Mennonites.

Sat, Sep 10 • Race info & signup »

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

Something of a rare breed in the world of road races, this walkers-only event 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, and also features a 10K.

Sun, Sep 11 • Race info & signup »

13) Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon • Salt Lake City, UT

Get set to experience an elevation drop of more than 3,000 feet as you descend through Utah’s Big Cottonwood Canyon at this race, which starts high up in the mountains of the Wasatch National Forest, “just 11 miles away from Salt Lake City but a million miles away in attitude.”

Sat, Sep 10 • Race info & signup »

13.1) Chicago Half Marathon • Chicago, IL

Thousands of runners take to the streets of the Windy City every fall at this race, which takes you along Chicago’s famed Lake Shore Drive for more than half of the 13.1 miles of the course, offering up breathtaking, scenic views of the city’s lakefront parks and downtown skyscrapers.

Sun, Sep 25 • Race info & signup »

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