19 Unforgettable Summer Half Marathons in 2018

Photo courtesy Revel Rockies Marathon.

“This is what you have been waiting for. No doubt you are nervous, but you know that you are ready. You earned this opportunity. And you were born to fly… you are ready, you are powerful, and you belong. Now go get it.” — Kara Goucher

1) Covered Bridges Half Marathon • Woodstock, VT

The scenic, pastoral beauty of rural Vermont is on display at this race, which unfolds through four of its famed covered bridges, along a point-to-point course on open farmland alongside the Ottauquechee River.

Sunday, June 3, 2018 • Race info & signup »

2) Revel Rockies Half Marathon • Evergreen, CO

With a stunningly gorgeous route set in the Rocky Mountaints just outside Denver, this all-downhill half starts at 7,410 feet above sea level and finishes at 5,759 feet, still more than a mile high.

Sunday, June 3, 2018 • Race info & signup »

3) Hatfield McCoy Half Marathons • Goody, KY

A run through the hills and hollows of eastern Kentucky — and yes, through the real “Hatfield-McCoy” feud country — this race features two 13.1-milers, the first and second halves of the full marathon course.

Saturday, June 9, 2018 • Race info & signup »

4) Mayors Midnight Sun Half Marathon • Anchorage, AK

Framed by spectacular mountains all around the city and forested trails along the course, this race offers breathtaking views of the nearby Alaska wilderness as it unfolds through Earthquake Park, Point Woronzof and the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.

Saturday, June 23, 2018 • Race info & signup »

5) American Fork Canyon Half Marathon • American Fork, UT

Starting at Tibble Fork Reservoir high above the city in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, this race too follows an all-downhill route that drops about 1,800 feet between the start and the finish.

Saturday, June 23, 2018 • Race info & signup »

6) Pictured Rocks Road Race Half Marathon • Munising, MI

With its mixture paved backcountry roads and forest trails, runners here will tramp through the hills and mountain ridges of the Pictured Rocks National Seashore, within sight of its birch forests, sand dunes, cliffs and the shoreline of Lake Superior.

Sunday, June 24, 2018 • Race info & signup »

7) Morgan Valley Half Marathon • Morgan, UT

Situated at just above 5,000 feet in the mountains to the northeast of Salt Lake City, Morgan offers some truly breathtaking scenery, framed by green, tree-covered hills and mountains of the Cache National Forest to the north and the snow-capped peaks of the Wasatch Mountains to the east.

Saturday, June 30, 2018 • Race info & signup »

8) Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon • Portland, ME

Runners get the chance to look out onto the beach, run across bridges and around the popular Back Cove Trail along the Portland waterfront at this race, which starts overlooking the Casco Bay and East End Beach, the city’s popular public beach.

Saturday, June 30, 2018 • Race info & signup »

9) Fueled By Fine Wine Half Marathon • Dundee, OR

Framed by the rolling vineyards and farmlands of northwest Oregon’s Willamette River Valley and the majestic peaks of Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson and the Cascade Range off in the distance, this race shows off several of the city’s wine-growing areas.

Sunday, July 8, 2018 • Race info & signup »

10) Aspen Valley Half Marathon • Aspen, CO

More than 7,000 feet up in the Rockies, this race takes runners off the highways and onto a converted rail corridor trail, along gorgeous scenery thanks to the Roaring Fork River alongside the trail, and an almost all-downhill course from the start to the finish.

Saturday, July 14, 2018 • Race info & signup »

11) Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago Half Marathon • Chicago, IL

With more than 14,000 finishers, this race is a big one. But the course is worth it, taking you from Grant Park through Chicago’s city streets and over the river several times, before finishing in front of the lake next to the famed Buckingham Fountain.

Sunday, July 22, 2018 • Race info & signup »

12) Urban Wildland Half Marathon • Richfield, MN

Promoted as “Minnesota’s Green Race,” this event is perhaps unique in that all waste generated during the event — from cups thrown on the ground by runners to food and packaging discarded at the race start and finish lines — is recycled, re-used or composted.

Saturday, July 28, 2018 • Race info & signup »

13) The San Francisco Half Marathons • San Francisco, CA

Both of the two 13.1-mile routes here show off different parts of what makes the city what it is, from the Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf in the first half to the scenery of the second half, including gorgeous Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury district and AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

Sunday, July 29, 2018 • Race info & signup »

14) Tread Nightly & Tread Brightly Half Marathons • Charlotte, NC

The trails of the U.S. National Whitewater Center near Charlotte offer stunning views by the morning light for the “Tread Brightly” half, and ones you can only see wearing a headlamp at night at the “Tread Nightly” Half (the night before).

Friday, August 17 & Saturday, August 18, 2018 • Race info & signup »

15) Monkey Face Half Marathon • Terrebonne, OR

At first, this race’s name might seem strange, but when you understand where the name comes from it makes perfect sense — the “Monkey Face,” a 350-ft.-high rock pillar in Oregon’s Smith Rock State Park.

Saturday, August 18, 2018 • Race info & signup »

16) Running With The Bears Half Marathon • Greenville, CA

Known for its gorgeous green mountain views and wide, expansive alpine meadows, Northern California’s Indian Valley is a mecca for outdoors enthusiasts and this race features gorgeous views in all directions.

Saturday, August 18, 2018 • Race info & signup »

17) Catharine Valley Half Marathon • Watkins Glen, NY

A gentle ascent of less than 250 feet from the start to the half-way point, followed by an equally gradual descent in the second half, await runners at this race through the green, lush parks of the Catharine Valley Trail in New York’s Finger Lakes.

Saturday, August 25, 2018 • Race info & signup »

18) Blueberry Cove Half Marathon • Tenants Harbor, ME

Run through a Maine town where boats are said to outnumber cars, from the startling line at Blueberry Cove Camp to the winding back roads with views of the ocean crashing against the beaches and rocky shorelines.

Sunday, August 26, 2018 • Race info & signup »

19) Jackson Hole Half Marathon • Jackson, WY

Home to stunning views of the nearby Grand Teton mountains that tower over 13,000 feet above sea level, while the surrounding countryside remains relatively un-commercialized among one of the nation’s most scenic regions, this race offers a beautiful way to spend 13.1 miles.

Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018 • Race info & signup »

5 comments… add one
  • Cara May 23, 2018, 10:50 am

    I’ve run #3, #8, #9 and #19. All are great races, but of my almost 100 half marathons Fueled by Wine is one of my all time favorites. Gorgeous views throughout, great swag and an awesome finishers party with lovely wine. I can never say enough about this race.

  • Russell June 21, 2017, 12:39 pm

    Ran the Mayors 1/2 Marathon in Anchorage last weekend. What a spectacular event. Sunshine for 22 hours a day and the weather was magnificent. Highly recommend this event.

  • Dave @ Run The Money April 25, 2017, 8:57 am

    #1 and #13.1 sound like they are set in some beautiful scenery. I should add them to my half marathon bucket list.

    When I lived in Bucks County, I was a part of a Winter Series set in Tyler State Park. One of my favorite races was the Covered Bridge 5K. There’s something about the setting of a park with a covered bridge. Just another great thing you get to experience as a runner.

    Thanks for sharing,


  • Dave @ Run The Money April 25, 2017, 8:54 am

    I always enjoy these round-up posts of top races. #1 and #13.1 sound like a lot of fun with some beautiful scenery. When I lived in Newtown, PA, I was part of the Winter Series races in Tyler State Park. One of my favorites was the Covered Bridge 5K. Not sure what it is about a covered bridge set inside a beautiful state park. It’s just one of the many wonderful things about being a runner!

    Thanks for sharing,


    • Kelly May 22, 2017, 8:55 am

      I grew up in Newtown, PA, but wasn’t a runner. Now I am, and I feel like I missed out on a lot of great stuff there!

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