19 Wild West Half Marathons You Can Run in 2018

Jumping for joy during the Grand Valley Half Marathon

Photo courtesy Grand Valley Marathon & Half Marathon.

Like to be where the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word and the skies are not cloudy all day?

If you love running out in the “wild west” of America’s western states, these races might just be perfect for you — they’re all run in places where the buffalo roam, and at some of them you might catch a glimpse of real cowboys.

1) Trail Trashed Half Marathon

Get ready for plentiful views of the mountains and hills all around, the gorgeous rock formations that this region is known for, and lots of rocky, desert terrain as you run through the hills and canyons just outside Las Vegas.

Saturday, March 24, 2018 • Henderson, NV

2) Comb Ridge Classic Half Marathon

A stunningly gorgeous run through the canyon country of southeastern Utah awaits runners at this race, which unfolds along an ancient geological formation that stretches some 80 miles across the Colorado Plateau.

Saturday, April 14, 2018 • Blanding, UT

3) Revel Mt. Charleston Half Marathon

Runners follow a fast, stunningly scenic and all-downhill course at this race, which starts in Kyle Canyon just outside the city and finishes at Centennial Hills Park in Las Vegas.

Saturday, April 28, 2018 • Las Vegas, NV

4) Grand Valley Half Marathon

One of the nation’s most scenic geographic treasures will be every runner’s companion — from a distance, that is — at this springtime half, which takes runners on an out-and-back tour of this region’s peach orchards and vineyards.

Saturday, May 5, 2018 • Palisdade, CO

5) Pengelly Double & Single Dip

Named in honor of Dave Pengelly, an avid outdoorsman and frequent hiker in the mountains where the race takes place, this race takes runners through the twists, turns and challenging ascents and descents of Missoula’s Mount Sentinel and University Mountain.

Saturday, June 2, 2018 • Missoula, MT

6) Governor’s Cup Half Marathon

Surrounded by mountains, this race unfolds through the area known as the Helena Valley in the western part of the state, a region whose history began in 1864 during the Montana gold rush and where a mining camp early settlers named “Last Chance Gulch.”

Saturday, June 9, 2018 • Helena, MT

7) Steamworks Half Marathon

Runners need to be ready for a high elevation race at this event, as Durango sits at just over 6,500 feet above sea level, and the race takes runners alongside the Animas River that cuts a ribbon-like path through the valley just north of the town center.

Saturday, June 9, 2018 • Durango, CO

8) Mancos Cowboy Half Marathon

Run just as summer is beginning here in this tiny town in southwestern Colorado known as the “Gateway to Mesa Verde,” this half marathon unfolds along a combination of gravel roads, off-road trails and paved roads, with views of the mountains all around.

Saturday, June 23, 2018 • Mancos, CO

9) Bryce Canyon Half Marathon

This fast, scenic race that takes you through Utah’s spectacular Bryce Canyon National Park, a geologic wonder that lures visitors from around the world with its incredible red rock formations, stunning views of amphitheater-like canyons like Inspiration Point, and wide-open skies.

Saturday, July 14, 2018 • Bryce, UT

10) Madison Half Marathon

Ready for a seriously high elevation race? You’ll need to be ready for high mountain running here, along a point-to-point course that averages over 9,000 feet above sea level and features some of the most spectacular natural beauty in the western United States.

Saturday, July 21, 2018 • Ennis, MT

11) Timpanogos Half Marathon

Runners get a chance to trek through some of northern Utah’s most beautiful scenery here, as the mountains of American Fork Canyon rise over both sides of the highway during the first half of the race, down from Tibble Fork and onto the Alpine Scenic Highway.

Saturday, July 28, 2018 • American Fork, UT

12) Run With The Horses Half Marathon

Unless you’re a native of the high country of southwestern Wyoming, this is likely to be one of the most challenging races you’ll ever run, as it takes runners high into the mountains overlooking this small city in Wyoming’s southwestern corner.

Saturday, August 18, 2018 • Green River, WY

13) Bozeman Half Marathon

Surrounded by mountains and located just over 90 miles north of Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, this southern Montana town — known as the “Valley of the Flowers” — starts just outside town and finishes in Bozeman’s Bogart Park.

Sunday, September 9, 2018 • Bozeman, MT

14) Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon

Dramatic landscapes and striking architectural treasures are a big part of the appeal of this race, run just as summer is giving way to fall here among the mountains of northern New Mexico.

Sunday, September 16, 2018 • Santa Fe, NM

15) The Scenic Half Marathon

Runners get ample exposure to what makes this area such a mecca for tourists when they cross the bridge over Lake Pend Orielle, a pristine, 43-mile-long lake carved by glaciers, whose shoreline wraps for more than 100 miles along the Kaniksu National Forest.

Sunday, September 16, 2018 • Sandpoint, ID

16) Buffalo Bill Cody Races Half Marathon

When you run the streets of this city out on the edge of the Bighorn Basin, you’ll experience the feel of the Old West and what it must have been like in the era of “Buffalo Bill” Cody, the legendary scout, soldier and showman for whom this town is named.

Saturday, September 22, 2018 • Cody, WY

17) Crimson Canyons Half Marathon

Get ready for a run through the canyon country of southern Utah, a region known as “Panoramaland” for its stunning scenery of red rock formations, canyons and mountains.

Saturday, September 29, 2018 • Richfield, UT

18) Monument Half Marathon

Run through a gorgeous, rocky landscape that’s home to historic stretches of the Oregon Trail and the Mormon Trail, this race unfolds through the 3,000-acre Scotts Bluff National Monument, an area used by expedition parties going all the way back to the early 1800s.

Saturday, September 29, 2018 • Scottsbluff, NE

19) Valley of Fire Half Marathon

It’s “the hardest race you’ll ever love,” organizers say, a difficult and challenging one filled with hills and dramatic scenery near Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, which usually sees between 100 and 200 runners cross the finish line in all three races combined each year.

Saturday, October 27, 2018 • Overton, NV

2 comments… add one
  • JoAnna Magelitz March 15, 2018, 5:53 pm

    I love your lists!!! I have planned several half marathons from information on your lists. I have a list idea that I would like to pass along (because I would love to find more marathons like this!): A history related list. I just finished the Alamo half marathon – complete with cannon fire to start the race, a cannon finisher’s medal, and a course that passes directly in front of the Alamo. In April I’ll be competing in the Abraham Lincoln Half Marathon. The course passes by Lincoln’s Home, tomb, and Statehouse, plus the medals include a penny. I know there are lots more races with an historical theme, and I would love to find them! Thanks for all the motivation to keep moving!

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