27 Half Marathons At The Beach

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“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Cousteau

1) South Shore 3 Beach Minimum Half Marathon

This race lives up to its name with a gorgeous, scenic run along the South Shore of Massachusetts, a string of beaches, inlets and bays that stretch all the way from Boston to Cape Cod, starting at Nantasket Beach.

Saturday, September 30, 2017 • Hull, MA

2) Blue Mountain Beach Half Marathon

There really aren’t any mountains here along Florida’s Gulf coast in Blue Mountain Beach, but legend has it that the sailors who once made their way past this area gave it the name thanks to the high sand dunes here, where scenes from 1998’s “The Truman Show” were filmed.

Sunday, October 8, 2017 • Santa Rosa Beach, FL

3) Carolina Beach Half Marathon

Run through the heart of North Carolina’s Pleasure Island and Carolina Beach State Park just south of Wilmington at this early-fall race, along a fast, flat course that’s considered an excellent one for runners seeking to PR.

Sunday, October 8, 2017 • Wilmington, NC

4) Long Beach Half Marathon

With long stretches of beachfront making up much of the route, the Long Beach Half also is considered an excellent course for a great finishing time — there’s never more than a 45-ft-high elevation at any point in the course, of which nearly all is visible from the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Sunday, October 8, 2017 • Long Beach, CA

5) Miami Beach Halloween Half Marathon

Run along a course that takes runners across the brilliant blue waters of the Biscayne Bay that separates downtown Miami from Miami Beach, this fast and flat race features some of the most scenic views of Miami Beach that you’ll find.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 • Miami Beach, FL

6) Stinson Beach Half Marathon

Challenging hills, paired with stunning views of both the Stinson Beach coastline and the immense, dramatic trees and landscapes of Muir Woods National Monument await runners at this event, which is limited to a few hundred entrants for all three races.

Saturday, October 28, 2017 • Stinson Beach, CA

7) Monterey Bay Half Marathon

For sheer natural beauty and dramatic coastal scenery, it’s pretty much impossible to top this race, where you’ll get to run past the deep blues and greens of the Pacific Ocean crashing along the coastline, the kelp beds swaying back and forth with the waves, the sea gulls floating along the breeze and sometimes even seals and sea lions out on the large rocks in the water.

Sunday, November 12, 2017 • Monterey, CA

8) Silver Strand Half Marathon

Fast and flat with gorgeous views of both the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay, this race takes runners along the highway by the same name, along a point-to-point 13.1-mile course that runs from Coronado to Imperial Beach, which lies about 20 miles south of downtown San Diego.

Sunday, November 12, 2017 • Coronado, CA

9) Panama City Beach Half Marathon

Featuring an out-and-back course that starts just yards from Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on Pier Park Drive, this very flat and fast 13.1-miler unfolds along Front Beach Road for most of the race, and you’ll be able to see the ocean throughout.

Saturday, December 2, 2017 • Panama City Beach, FL

10) Rehoboth Beach Seashore Half Marathon

The out-and-back course for the race starts and finishes along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, a real wooden boardwalk that spans multiple city blocks and features shop after eclectic shop along the beach.

Saturday, December 2, 2017 • Rehoboth Beach, DE

11) Palm Beaches Half Marathon

Run on a course that winds along the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway next to Lake Worth in West Palm Beach, this race offers no shortage of beautiful vistas for runners, just across the waterway from the coastline on Palm Beach.

Sunday, December 3, 2017 • West Palm Beach, FL

12) Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon

You’ll get to take in the white sand beaches, salt air and the sun rising over the water (the race starts just after sunrise this time of year) as well as plentiful trees and gardens just off the beach along the route, which runs into the streets of Biloxi by the time you reach the final few miles of the race.

Sunday, December 12, 2017 • Gulfport, MS

13) Delray Beach Half Marathon

Set for its second annual running this year along Florida’s famed highway A1A, this small, friendly race unfolds along the sidewalks that line the highway and features views of the ocean and the intracoastal waterway for long stretches between Delray Beach and Highland Beach.

Sunday, December 31, 2017 • Delray Beach, FL

14) Beachside Half Marathon

Featuring an out-and-back course that starts and finishes in Vero Beach, the former spring training home of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers, this fast and flat race unfolds across a pair of bridges and runs around South Beach Park and Jaycee Park before finishing back in front of the Vero Beach Museum of Art.

Sunday, January 7, 2018 • Vero Beach, FL

15) Ocean Isle Bridge Run for Food Half Marathon

Run as a benefit for a local nonprofit organization that distributes food and assistance to those in need in the Ocean Isle Beach and surrounding areas, this race offers runners the chance to see both the calm, peaceful waters of the intracoastal waterway as well as the waves crashing against the shore in from the Atlantic.

Saturday, January 13, 2018 • Ocean Isle Beach, NC

16) Pensacola Beach Run Half Marathon

Run along a fast and flat race route along the Gulf Islands National Seashore here in the Florida panhandle, this race is open to runners and walkers, and unfolds  along this city’s scenic waterfront along paved roads between the Gulf of Mexico and the Santa Rosa Sound.

Saturday, January 13, 2018 • Pensacola Beach, FL

17) St. Pete Beach Classic Half Marathon

Plentiful sunshine, beaches, island parks and some of the world’s most gorgeous sunsets are what travelers come from across the country to visit St. Petersburg for on Florida’s Gulf coast, and they’ll get to see plenty of all of those at this race.

Sunday, January 14, 2018 • St. Petersburg, FL

18) Daytona Beach Half Marathon

Featuring a course that’s quite unlike any other in the world, this race takes runners on a 13.1-mile course from the world center of racing to one of the world’s most famous beaches and back.

Sunday, February 4, 2018 • Daytona Beach, FL

19) Surf City Half Marathon

This is one race that delivers on its name, as it is run mostly along the beaches of Southern California’s Pacific Coast Highway, through the towns of Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach and the Bolsa Chica State Beach, drawing upwards of 20,000 runners each year.

Sunday, February 4, 2018 • Huntington Beach, CA

20) Myrtle Beach Half Marathon

Recognized a few years ago by USA Today as one of the nation’s “10 great winter marathons,” this race unfolds through some of Myrtle Beach’s most notable tourist attractions, including the Family Kingdom Amusement Park, as the miles of hotels tower over the beachfront and look out onto the waters of the Atlantic.

Saturday, March 3, 2018 • Myrtle Beach, SC

21) Half at the Hamptons

Come out and “enjoy” a cold, wintertime run along the windswept Atlantic coastline of New Hampshire’s beachfront towns at this race, which takes runners from Ashworth-by-the-Sea just north of Hampton Beach, along a route that passes alongside the sandy beaches near the area’s summertime resort hotels.

Sunday, March 4, 2018 • Hampton Beach, NH

22) Miami Beach 13.1 Half Marathon

A mostly fast and very flat — and highly scenic — run through the streets of Miami and Miami Beach await the more than 3,000 runners and walkers who come out each year for this race, which offers ample views of the ocean waves crashing against the shore and the art and architecture of the city’s world-famous South Beach.

Sunday, March 4, 2018 • Miami Beach, FL

23) Fort de Soto Half Marathon

The long, wide white-sand beaches of Florida’s Fort De Soto Park, located just a few miles southwest of St. Petersburg, are the setting for this race, which follows a combination of paved park roadways and recreational trails along the beach areas.

Sunday, March 11, 2018 • Tierra Verde, FL

24) Shamrock Half Marathon

Nearly 30,000 runners come out to run the streets of Virginia Beach every year around St. Patrick’s Day at this race, which follows a point-to-point route that starts on Pacific Avenue and finishes on the oceanfront, in front of Neptune’s Park along the beach.

Saturday, March 18, 2018 • Virginia Beach, VA 

25) OC Half Marathon

A gorgeous, scenic course that unfolds through the Southern California coastal communities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa awaits at this race, which features miles that wind their way along Upper Newport Bay and finish at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Sunday, May 6, 2018 • Newport Beach, CA

26) USA Beach Running Championships

Runners get the chance to run along the flat, sandy beaches here on what is known as Florida’s “Space Coast” — thanks to its location just down the beach from Cape Canaveral and NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center — on an out-and-back route along the beach that’s timed to coincide with low tide.

Sunday, May 6, 2018 • Cocoa Beach, FL

27) Mountains to Beach Half Marathon

Towering mountains, green hillsides and valleys, and the waves crashing along the shoreline of the Pacific Ocean are just some of the scenery runners will see at this race between Ojai and Ventura, just as spring is transitioning to summer here in Southern California.

Sunday, May 27, 2018 • Ventura Beach, CA

Editor’s note: We realized we left two races we shouldn’t have off this list, so we added November’s Monterey Bay Half Marathon and December’s Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon.

7 comments… add one
  • Bill HIgley September 17, 2017, 6:18 pm

    No A1A in Fort Lauderdale? One of the best half M I have ever run.

  • Dick White September 16, 2017, 8:04 pm

    I have run 8 of the 27 Half Marathons on your list – Not to take anything away from Rehoboth Beach, Palm Beaches or Myrtle Beach but here we have the Cocoa Beach Half Marathon that BLOWS THEM AWAY!! Imagine 100 (more or less) “I Dream of Jeannie”s (along with several thousand other runners) Running south to north on A1A (Ocean Views along the way), taking a right turn at RonJons Surf Shop to Run on the Beach back south 3 miles to Coconuts on the Beach (another of our FAMOUS Landmarks) then North again on A1A to finish on I Dream of Jeannie Lane! You Really Missed a GREAT one for your list!!

    • Mitch Varnes September 17, 2017, 9:52 pm

      Thanks for the great comments, Dick White. We are so proud of our hometown race that is the ONLY all coastal race in Central Florida!

  • scott m gardner September 15, 2017, 7:47 pm

    The Ventura Half Marathon, October 22, 2017 in Ventura, California. A great beach course, flat and overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It also is a perfect race for a PR. I did so last year ?

  • Daryl Beatty September 15, 2017, 4:18 pm

    Great half-marathons, but you missed the ONE that is actually on the beach. As in, not a single step on a road, all on the sand of the beach. That one is the Surfside Beach Marathon and Half Marathon, in Surfside Beach Texas. We have 13+ miles of continuous public sand beach, both the Marathon and the half are out and back, right down by the surf. You can run in the water if you want. http://www.surfsidemarathon.com

  • Alan Peltzman September 15, 2017, 3:09 pm

    Beach half marathon #22, The Shamrock Half Marathon, falls on a Sunday, not a Saturday. You should correct your description, see below:

    22) Shamrock Half Marathon
    Nearly 30,000 runners come out to run the streets of Virginia Beach every year around St. Patrick’s Day at this race, which follows a point-to-point route that starts on Pacific Avenue and finishes on the oceanfront, in front of Neptune’s Park along the beach.

    Saturday, March 18, 2018 • Virginia Beach, VA
    ^^^^^^^^^ This should be “Sunday”, not “Saturday” [ANP]

  • Edward Jackson September 15, 2017, 2:16 pm

    The Smuttynose Half Marathon, would have been a better choice for New Hampshire. Run, this year, on October 1, 2017, the majority of the race is run on Ocean Blvd, in Hampton, NH.

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