Most widely known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin—the funky and fun Texas capital city—has a lot to commend it for runners, too. From big city urban race day experiences to challenging lakeside trail courses, the running scene in Austin is as vibrant and weird as the city itself. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best half marathon Austin and within a driving distance for Austinites to enjoy.
Experience Austin up-close-and-personal as you trek through city streets and neighborhoods during this popular big city race. The Austin race often sees upwards of 8,000 participants in the half marathon alone.
The half marathon begins in downtown Austin at the corner of 2nd Street and Congress Avenue. Along the course, runners will cross the Colorado River twice, pass through Town Lake Metropolitan Park, and climb nearly 200 feet as they tour past attractions like the Texas State Capitol building, the University of Texas, and numerous downtown parks.
Sunday, February 18, 2024 | Austin, TX | Race info & signup
It’s all (mostly) downhill in this point-to-point urban half marathon event—one of Austin’s most-established running community traditions.
While the course is hilly, the elevation drops from nearly 900 feet above sea level at the Stonelake Boulevard starting line to 500 feet at the finish, where runners cross into the Texas Capitol Square, in front of the capitol building.
Along the route, participants will enjoy passing sights of the Austin Arboretum, the Stack Valley Greenbelt, and the University of Texas campus. On race day, the funkiness and vibrancy of downtown Austin is on full display, and with nearly 7,000 runners participating each year, this half marathon is a great way to feel connected to the city and your fellow runners alike.
Sunday, January 21, 2024 | Austin, TX | Race info & signup
This St. Patrick’s Day themed race may bring you the luck of a PR. Half marathoners will run this mostly flat out-and-back course twice to gain the full 13.1 miles of distance. The race departs from Pflugerville’s Pfenning Park, near the soccer fields. The route follows Gilleland Creek for the majority of the course, offering a tranquil racing experience.
Families are encouraged to enjoy race day together. Special pricing is offered for youth 12 and under who want to tackle the 10K or 5K courses.
March 2024 | Pflugerville, TX | Race info & signup
The half marathon is one offering of this trail race that offers a distance for everyone. From a beginner-friendly 4-miler to a challenging 52.4-miler.
Held at Reveille Peak Ranch, the race is an exciting exploration of Texas Hill Country. The half marathon features meadows, creek crossings, and a crossing over and down one of the largest granite domes in the country.
Half marathoners will complete one full lap of the winding course. The course is well-marked and carries runners across a combination of packed Jeep roads and technical single track.
Bring the family for this one—spectators get in free. There will be plenty of food trucks, games, and amusements for participants and spectators alike. Spectators will particularly enjoy going for a swim as they watch runners come in. There’s a pool strategically located nearby the finishers shoot.
Saturday, April 29, 2023 | Burnet, TX | Race info & signup
Billed by organizers as a “lake party with a trail run,” the finish line for these races stands directly over the edge of Lake Travis. Runners can get their float on and cool off immediately!
The main course of the race is a 13.1 mile loop of the Pace Bend Park trail system. Full marathon participants will run Pace Bend Park twice. Runners will enjoy lakeside views off this twisty, rocky, and rooty peninsula-based course. The course offers zero-entry shores on one side and rocky cliff edges on the other.
While the course can be a bit technical, the vibe is mellow. So enjoy the experience more than the PR, and bring your swimsuit for a post-race dip!
Saturday, September 9, 2023 | Spicewood, TX | Race info & signup
Get into a spooktacular Halloween spirit with this half marathon!
The race has changed locations several times over its history. The latest iteration of the course departing from and returning to the Central Texas BMX sports complex. Runners and spectators alike will enjoy music, a costume contest, and a “headless horseman start” as part of the pre-race festivities.
Tracing a route through the Pflugerville area, this course offers peaceful sights. It winds along several area parks, including Gilleland Creek Park, Bohls Park, and Windermere Park. Spectators are encouraged to join runners along the course at those points, as well, to provide a cheering section boost.
October 2023 | Pflugerville, TX | Race info & signup
Nothing’s sweeter than this Sugar Land race, which takes place in a city that got its start as a company town for the likes of Imperial Sugar. Now, the community is a booming suburb of Houston, and home to the Sugar Land campus of the University of Houston.
The out-and-back half marathon course begins and ends at this U of H campus. Runners will enjoy a generous time limit (6 hours for the half marathon) to tackle this course, which is mostly flat and fast, with the exception of a few rolling hills.
This winter race is also the hallmark event for USA FIT, which offers fitness coaching and running training nationwide across 19 states.
Sunday, January 28, 2024 | Sugar Land, TX | Race info & signup
Feeling nostalgic during the new year? Travel back in time with the Austin installment of the Time Travel Half Marathon, 10K & 5K series. (And yes, you’ll have to run on foot—no drag racing your DeLorean!)
The half marathon begins and ends in Northeast Metropolitan Park in Pflugerville. Throughout their race, runners will get a scenic tour of the sights along the park’s tree-lined walk and bike trail.
If you’re feeling particularly groovy, in addition to the complimentary race shirt, organizers offer a swag pack that can be added on with sunglasses, socks, and a fanny pack to complete your vintage race day look.
January 2024 | Pflugerville, TX | Race info & signup
Celebrate your hometown (or mingle with locals) during the Austin offering of this increasingly popular race series.
With races ranging from a kids’ dash to a 5k, 10k, and half marathon, there’s a distance for the whole family. The half marathon course involves four laps of the 5k route, which takes off from Meadowview at Sunset Valley shopping center.
Participants will enjoy encouraging aid station volunteers (replete with pom poms and costumes), great swag, and a can’t-miss post-race party.
Saturday, May 20, 2023 | Sunset Valley, TX | Race info & signup
If you like rolling hills and lakeside views, the Decker Challenge Half Marathon is your perfect winter race.
The out-and-back course sets off from the Travis County Expo Center. Runners will traverse the hilly South Texas countryside before circling around Decker Lake and back. Though much of the course features rolling hills, steep climbs come into play at significant moments in the course—including a climb over Blue Bluff around mile 6 and a daunting stretch around mile 10, when the end is (almost) in sight.
Sunday, December 10, 2023 | Austin, TX | Race info & signup
“Good things are on the horizon for 2024!” tout organizers of this New Years tradition, which makes its annual running in 2024 at a new venue near Lake Pflugerville.
Flat and fast, the half marathon course begins by following scenic Lake Pflugerville before carrying runners through an out-and-back course around nearby neighborhoods.
With a generous 4 hour time limit, both walkers and runners are invited to tackle both the course and their own resolutions. If you’re feeling creative, organizers also award “Best Costume” to a participant whose race day apparel goes above and beyond.
Sunday, January 7, 2024 | Pflugerville, TX | Race info & signup