15 Half Marathons Worth Traveling For Across the U.S.

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Dreamstime

“It’s very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.” — George Sheehan

1) Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon • Brooklyn, NY

Organized by the New York Road Runners, this race takes runners past Brooklyn’s most famous sights and attractions, including Prospect Park, the New York Aquarium and the Coney Island boardwalk, where you’ll finish the race overlooking the beach.

May • Race info & signup >>

2) The OC Half Marathon • Newport Beach, CA

A gorgeous, scenic course that unfolds through Southern California’s coastal communities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa awaits at this race, which starts just down the shore from Huntington Beach and spends part of its early miles along the Pacific Coast Highway.

May • Race info & signup >>

3) Disney Tinker Bell Half Marathon • Anaheim, CA

Designed for women runners of all ages — moms, daughters, aunts, wives, sisters, nieces, grandmothers and granddaughters — this race runs through the heart of Disneyland, where every runner who crosses the Fairy Finish line earns her “wings” with a Tinker Bell-themed medal.

May • Race info & signup >>

4) Tuck Fest Trail Half Marathon • Charlotte, NC

The challenging hills and trails that wind through the U.S. National Whitewater Center — a 400-acre training facility on the Catawba River used by the U.S. Olympic whitewater team — are the setting for this series of running, kayaking, whitewater and obstacle races for runners, hikers and families.

April • Race info & signup >>

5) Marin County Half Marathon • San Rafael, CA

Run along a course that’s both breathtakingly beautiful and filled with challenging uphills and downhills, this race takes runners through the hills and among the mountains overlooking San Pablo Bay, where the organizers also seek to stage an event with sustainability at its forefront.

April • Race info & signup >>


6) Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon • Oklahoma City, OK

Run as a tribute to the 168 people who lost their lives in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995, this race features the sight of 168 banners flying throughout the course, to remind all of the runners, volunteers and spectators of life’s precious gifts.

April • Race info & signup >>

7) Steamboat Half Marathon • Steamboat Springs, CO

Named years ago as one of Runner’s World’s top 10 destination marathons in North America, this ace takes runners on a tour of this gorgeous Colorado mountain town, through the Hahns Peak Village and Elk River Valley. It starts at 8,128 feet above sea level, and finishes downtown at 6,728 feet.

June • Race info & signup >>

8) Asheville Half Marathon • Asheville, NC

A course that starts and finishes in downtown Asheville, runs around the campus of UNC-Asheville and includes a nearly four-mile-long stretch along the French Broad River awaits runners at this race in gorgeous western North Carolina.

June • Race info & signup >>

9) 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 here at the home of L.L. Bean at this race, whose final few miles feature some of the course’s most scenic terrain along the city’s waterfront.

July • Race info & signup >>

10) Anacortes Art Dash Half Marathon • Anacortes, WA

Timed to coincide with this small coastal city’s annual Anacortes Arts Festival — which draws some of the region’s best painters, musicians, artisans and culinary artists — the Art Dash Run takes runners along the gorgeous, scenic waters of Fidalgo Bay and the Tommy Thompson Trail.

August • Race info & signup >>

11) Charlotte Covered Bridge Half Marathon • Shelburne, VT

Surrounded by the rolling green Adirondack Mountains and the deep blue waters of Lake Champlain, this race starts and finishes at Shelburne Beach and features the peaceful, bucolic scenery of western Vermont, with wide-open farm fields specked with rolled hay bales and tree-lined roads.

September • Race info & signup >>

12) The Giant Race Half Marathon • San Francisco, CA

If you’re a baseball fan, this is probably the race that’s perfect for you — runners finish the race by crossing home plate inside San Francisco’s gorgeous AT&T Park, the home of its San Francisco Giants baseball team. Most of the race runs through the city’s northeast side, along stretches of the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf and Fort Mason.

September • Race info & signup >>

13) Key Biscayne Half Marathon • Key Biscayne, FL

Palm trees, white sand beaches and a run over a pair of bridges that span the causeway between the Florida mainland and the islands of Virginia Key and Key Biscayne are just a few of the scenes that await runners at this race, which starts on the grounds of Virginia Key Beach Park.

October • Race info & signup >>

14) Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah Half Marathon • Savannah, GA

More than 14,000 runners and walkers each year run the streets of the city immortalized in John Berendt’s 1994 classic Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil at this race, which runs at a time when this normally hot and humid city will have finally cast off the heat of summer.

November • Race info & signup >>

15) Rehoboth Beach Seashore Half Marathon • Rehoboth Beach, DE

This out-and-back race starts and finishes along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, a wooden boardwalk that spans multiple city blocks and features shop after eclectic shop along the beach. Sign up early, however; this small race sells out quickly every year.

December • Race info & signup >>

2 comments… add one
  • Evonn July 9, 2019, 2:39 pm

    The Zoe Loren Foundation 5K is a local fundraiser that provides scholarships to area students. Proceeds from this annual fundraiser also go toward supporting enrichment programs for at-risk children, after-school programs and more. This year, we look forward to seeing you and your friends/family at the starting line and giving back TOGETHER to a wonderful cause! Visit https://www.zoelorenmakeadifference.org/ to learn more about our race.

  • Julia Boas May 15, 2016, 9:38 pm

    The Blue a Ridge Half Marathon in a roanoke VA should definitely have made the cut. Read the reviews they blow these other races out of the water on customer service, beauty and ecclectic festival feel.

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