16 Amazing All-Downhill Half Marathons

Photo courtesy Mountain to Valley Races.

1) Fontana Days Run Half Marathon • Fontana, CA

Recognized as “the world’s fastest half marathon course” by USA Track & Field back in 1985, the Fontana Days Run takes about 2,000 runners on a fast downhill course that starts in Lytle Creek and finishes at Fontana’s City Hall.

Sat, Jun 3 • Race info & signup »

2) Downhill @ Dawn Half Marathon • Ridgecrest, NC

Paved mountain roads and wide gravel trails that wind through the majestic wooded forests of North Carolina’s Black Mountains are the setting for this race, which starts quite literally as dawn is rising, at 6:01 AM to be exact.

Sat, June 3 • Race info & signup »

3) Equinox Half Marathon • Fort Collins, CO

Known both for its whitewater rapids and for the plentiful trout that make it a mecca for fishing, Colorado’s Cache la Poudre River and the Poudre River Canyon serve as the setting for this race that takes place around the autumnal equinox.

Sun, Sep 17 • Race info & signup »

4) Revel Canyon City Half Marathon • Asuza, CA

The fourth in a four-race series, the Revel Canyon City Half offers stunning scenery and breathtaking views of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest, which look out onto the valley below and the urban sprawl of Los Angeles off in the distance.

Sat, Nov 4 • Race info & signup »

5) Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon • Crazy Horse, SD

The gorgeous and oftentimes stark and jagged natural scenery of South Dakota’s Black Hills will be on display at this early fall race, which starts at the majestic Crazy Horse Memorial and finishes in nearby Hill City, S.D.

Sun, Oct 8 • Race info & signup »

6) Slacker Half Marathon • Georgetown, CO

Billed by race organizers as the “highest downhill half marathon in the country,” the aptly named Slacker Half Marathon features a starting line at the lofty elevation of 10,630 feet above sea level and a running course that is entirely downhill.

Sat, Jun 24 • Race info & signup »

7) Bryce Canyon Half Marathon • Bryce Canyon, UT

Run through portions of Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park, which lures visitors from around the world with its stunning red rock formations, this point-to-point course offers a flat and downhill run with a net elevation loss of 1,800 ft.

Sat, Jul 8 • Race info & signup »

8) Sandhills Half Marathon • Valentine, NE

Filled with a combination of pristine prairie grasses and hilly sand dunes that lie atop the massive Ogallala Aquifer, this race features a long, gradual downhill point-to-point route that unfolds along the Brownlee Road in Cherry County, Nebraska.

Sat, Jun 3 • Race info & signup »

9) Catherine Creek Classic Half Marathon • Union, OR

Ready for a long, gradual downhill run through some of northeast Oregon’s most scenic forests and mountains? This race takes runners on an almost all-downhill route that starts in the Wallowa National Forest and finishes in downtown Union.

Sat, Aug 5 • Race info & signup »

10) Utah Valley Half Marathon • Provo, UT

The green natural beauty of the Utah Valley, which has been the home over the centuries to Native Americans, Spanish explorers, rugged mountain men and even U.S. troops back in the mid-1800s, serves as the setting for this long, sloping downhill race.

Sat, Jun 10 • Race info & signup »

11) Wineglass Half Marathon • Corning, NY

Run through the wine country of the New York Finger Lakes region along a very gradual downhill course, much of which unfolds along the winding Chemung River, this race features a run past the famed Corning Museum of Glass.

Sun, Oct 1 • Race info & signup »

12) Holualoa Tucson Half Marathon • Tucson, AZ

Runners start this point-to-point race on Biosphere Road, just a short drive from Biosphere 2, the Earth science research facility in the Arizona desert. From there, this almost all-downhill race unfolds in the shadow of the nearby Santa Catalina Mountains.

Sat, Dec 9 • Race info & signup »

13) Rim Rock Half Marathon • Grand Junction, CO

Get ready for a stunning – and all-downhill – half marathon inside Colorado National Monument, whose stunning multi-colored rock formations and canyon walls span more than 20,000 acres near Colorado’s border with Utah.

Sat, Nov 4 • Race info & signup »

14) Deckers Creek Trail Half Marathon • Morgantown, WV

Hill training, specifically for downhill running, is a must if you’re thinking of running this race, which follows a long, gradual and mostly downhill descent of roughly 800 feet from the start to the finish line at the riverfront in downtown Morgantown.

Sat, Jun 3 • Race info & signup »

15) Emerald Bay Half Marathon • Lake Tahoe, CA

Hailed by its organizers as perhaps the “most beautiful race in the world,” this half marathon along the shores of Lake Tahoe drops about 600 feet in elevation from the start overlooking Emerald Bay to the finish line at the California-Nevada state line.

Sun, Oct 15 • Race info & signup »

16) Nevada Half Marathon • Incline Village, NV

The second of two races in our list that are part of the Lake Tahoe Marathon & Half Marathons race weekend, the Nevada Half Marathon unfolds along the Nevada shoreline of the lake and features a 700-foot drop from start to finish, with gorgeous scenery as far as the eye can see.

Fri, Oct 13 • Race info & signup »

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