13.1 More Half Marathons Worth Traveling For



“I’ve given up on having a plan to succeed. With each step, with every mile, I am making a new plan … I’ll challenge myself to run farther and faster. Because I know that the only person I will ever have to outrun is the person I used to be.” – John Bingham

1) Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon

Run the crown jewel of the 60-mile stretch of coastline known as South Carolina’s “Grand Strand” at this fast and mostly flat fall race, which finishes at a Myrtle Beach park located right along the shoreline.

Sunday, October 23 • Myrtle Beach, S.C.

2) Pier to Peak Half Marathon

Often called “the world’s toughest half marathon,” this gorgeous race takes runners all the way from the Friendship Dolphins Fountain at the edge of Sterns Wharf all the way up to La Cumbra Peak, which overlooks the city and the water from an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet above sea level.

Sunday, September 4 • Santa Barbara, Calif.

3) Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon

Known for its dramatic landscapes and striking architectural treasures, this city plays host just as summer is giving way to fall in the mountains of northern New Mexico, a short drive from the state’s popular ski resorts.

Sunday, September 18 • Santa Fe, N.M.

4) Healdsburg Half Marathon

A gorgeous run through the valley just north of one of Northern California’s wine capitals awaits the just over 1,000 runners who cross the finish line each year here, at a race that makes its 9th annual running this year and features a post-race wine and beer tent for all finishers.

Sunday, October 9 • Healdsburg, Calif.

5) Key West Half Marathon

More than 2,500 runners cross the finish line each year here, where the wildly colorful sights and sounds of this small island at the far end of the Florida Keys play host to a race that features a stretch near the White Pier, where you can get spectacular views of the sunset later in the day.

Sunday, January 15 • Key West, Fla.

6) Humboldt Redwoods Half Marathon

The majestic redwood forests of Northern California’s Humboldt Redwoods State Park serve as the backdrop for this race along the Avenue of the Giants highway, where you’ll run in the shadow of coast redwood and Giant Sequoia trees that line the road, many of which reach more than 200 feet in the air and are more than a thousand years old.

Sunday, October 16 • Weott, Calif.

7) San Juan Island Half Marathon

Washington state’s San Juan Islands draw travelers by the thousands each year to view the islands’ beautiful seashores, nature trails and wildlife (including killer whales), and welcomes runners back on Father’s Day weekend for this annual race.

Sunday, June 19 • Friday Harbor, Wash.

8) Run Like Hell Half Marathon

Now something of a running tradition in Portland, this race takes runners through the city’s Pearl District and includes scenic views of the changing autumn leaves as well as Mount Hood off in the distance.

Sunday, October 23 • Portland, Ore.

9) Saint Augustine Half Marathon

When you run the streets of Saint Augustine, you’re literally running through the oldest part of American history there is. All of this history will be on display as runners make their way through the streets of its historic downtown and across the intracoastal waterway twice during the race.

Sunday, November 13 • St. Augustine, Fla.

10) The Santa Rosa Half Marathon

The largest city in Northern California’s wine growing region opens up the pathways along its Santa Rosa Creek and Prince Memorial Greenway park areas for this race, which features trestle bridges as runners cross over the creek to the vineyards and farm fields filled with rows of corn.

Sunday, August 28 • Santa Rosa, Calif.

11) Maine Half Marathon

Mostly flat and beautifully scenic thanks to the trails, parks and waterfront of its popular Back Bay area, much of this race follows along the inner bay area near downtown Portland that’s a popular spot for running, walking and biking, thanks to paved trails that hug the shoreline virtually the entire way around.

Sunday, October 2 • Portland, Maine

12) High Country Half Marathon

The rolling Appalachian hills and peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, filled with misty mountain air just a short drive from the Pisgah National Forest and a slightly longer one from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, serve as the setting for this event, part of a race series at Appalachian State University.

Saturday, August 27 • Boone, N.C.

13) Running With the Bears Half Marathon

A mecca for outdoors enthusiasts ever since it was founded back in the late 1840s — thanks to its gorgeous green mountain views and wide, expansive alpine meadows — the Greenville area today attracts thousands of bikers, hikers, campers, skiers and fishermen, where this annual race runs along the edge of the Plumas National Forest.

Saturday, August 20 • Greenville, Calif.

13.1) Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon

Fast and largely flat thanks to its seaside location, this race takes runners across the brilliant blue waters of the Biscayne Bay that separates downtown Miami from the Miami Beach area, and along the walkways and boardwalks along the Atlantic Ocean.

Saturday, October 29 • Miami Beach, Fla.

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