With thousands of half marathons held globally each year, picking a race can be challenging in and of itself. Luckily, we’ve found 26 of the best half marathons in the world so you can focus on the things that matter most – training and achieving your half marathon goals! Not ready for a full marathon? You might love running in the Dolomites, Sahara Desert, or the Emerald Isle.
Commonly referred to as the sweet spot of distance running, the half marathon is perfect for those looking to test their endurance, and maybe, see the world while doing it.
More challenging than the 10K but less demanding than a full marathon, it’s no wonder that the half marathon has become such a beloved race distance.
If you’re looking to join the annual 2 million half marathon participants and sign up for a 13.1 mile race, you’ve come to the right place!
Our Top Picks for the Best Half Marathons in the World
Featuring races all around the world, many of these half marathons are the perfect excuse to turn running a half marathon into a destination race.
Given that there’s typically less recovery time than after a full marathon, a half marathon is a great distance to incorporate into your itinerary while traveling.
Keep reading to find the best half marathons in the world to fill every month of your 2024 race calendar!
2024 Best Half Marathons in The World Calendar
- Polar Night Half Marathon in Tromsø, Norway | January 6th, 2024
- Aramco Houston Half Marathon in Houston, TX | January 14th, 2024
- Kilimanjaro Half Marathon in Tanzania | February 25, 2024
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon in Las Vegas, NV | February 25, 2024
- RAK Half Marathon in the United Arab Emirates | February 2024
- Napa Valley Half Marathon in Napa Valley, CA | March 3rd, 2024
- EDP Lisbon Half Marathon in Portugal | March 10th, 2024
- United Airlines NYC Half in New York, NY | March 17th, 2024
- Berlin Half Marathon in Germany | April 7th, 2024
- Santiago Half Marathon in Chile | April 28th, 2024
- BMO Vancouver Half Marathon in Canada | May 5th, 2024
- The OC Marathon in Costa Mesa, CA | May 5th, 2024
- The Great Wall Half Marathon in China | May 18, 2024
- Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon in Sweden | May 18th, 2024
- RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon in Brooklyn | May 18th, 2024
- Everest Half Marathon in Nepal | May 29th, 2024
- Bank of America Chicago 13.1 | June 9th, 2024
- Slacker Half Marathon in Georgetown, CO | June 2024
- Victoria Falls Half Marathon in Zimbabwe | July 7th, 2024
- Sunshine Coast Half Marathon in Australia | August 2024
- The Kauai Half Marathon in Kauai, HI | September 1st, 2024
- The Great North Run in Newcastle, England | September 8th, 2024
- Royal Parks Half Marathon in London, England | October 2024
- Valencia Half Marathon in Valencia, Spain | October 2024
- Point to Pinnacle Half Marathon in Tasmania, Australia | November 2024
- The Frozen Continent Half Marathon in Union Glacier Camp, Antarctica | December 2024
Polar Night Half Marathon
- Where: Tromsø, Norway
- When: January 6th, 2024
- The course: Icy, snow-covered paths lined by torches
- Expect: Freezing temps and a chance to see the Northern Lights
As Norway’s biggest winter running event, people flock from all over the world for this one-of-a-kind race. Although the Polar Night Half Marathon takes place in the middle of the day, it feels like nighttime because of Norway’s long winter darkness. Best for adventurous runners ready to brave the cold, this half marathon’s lively atmosphere makes up for the subzero temperatures.
Aramco Houston Half Marathon
- Where: Houston, Texas
- When: January 14th, 2024
- The course: Extremely flat roads with spectators everywhere
- Expect: Elites hitting record-breaking race times and perfect running conditions
Known as the fastest winter race in the US, the Aramco Houston Half Marathon has become one of Texas’s most popular running events. Given the cool weather and pancake-flat course, this race is perfect for anyone hoping to hit a PR.
Kilimanjaro Half Marathon (Tigo Kili Half Marathon)
- Where: Moshi, Tanzania
- When: February 25th, 2024
- The course: Rugged terrain in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro
- Expect: Life-changing views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and incredible wildlife sightings
Experience the magic of Mt. Kilimanjaro while running around its base during the Tigo Kili Half Marathon. Not only will you get to enjoy Africa’s highest mountain and its amazing wildlife, but you’ll also get to run along dirt roads through local villages. Sign up for a safari package to make the most of this legendary African race.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon
- Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
- When: February 25th, 2024
- The course: Flat, fast, and unbelievably exciting
- Expect: An electric atmosphere, post-race parties, and entertainment throughout the course
Running should be fun, and at this race, it definitely will be! Full of racers decked out in costumes and live music and games all throughout the course, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon is sure to keep you entertained and energized. This race is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to run through the shut-down Vegas Strip at night.
RAK Half Marathon
- Where: Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
- When: February 2024 (TBA)
- The course: Incredibly flat with desert passes and sea views
- Expect: Fierce competition between world-class runners and breathtaking views of Al Marjan Island
Said to be the world’s fastest half marathon, the RAK Half Marathon attracts some of the world’s best road runners. Limited to only 5,000 runners, this is one of the most competitive half marathons in the world.
Napa Valley Half Marathon
- Where: Napa Valley, California
- When: March 3rd, 2024
- The course: A few gentle uphills with a long downhill stretch at the end
- Expect: A beautiful tour of wine country with plenty of scenic views
Run first, wine later. Luckily, the Napa Valley Half Marathon is the perfect place to do both. As one of the most picturesque half marathons, this race does an excellent job of showing off Northern California’s beauty. The cool race swag, kind event staff, and efficient organization of this event are all praiseworthy bonuses as well.
EDP Lisbon Half Marathon
- Where: Lisbon, Portugal
- When: March 10th, 2024
- The course: A flat and fast course that crosses the 25 de Abril Bridge
- Expect: Stunning views of Lisbon while running alongside the world’s top runners
Think you have what it takes to be a record-breaking half marathon runner? If so, the EDP Lisbon Half Marathon is the place for you. With a €50,000 prize for anyone who breaks the world record, it’s no wonder so many elites flock to this race each year. Plus, as a part of the SuperHalfs series, many runners sign up for this race to complete the SuperHalfs Challenge.
United Airlines NYC Half
- Where: New York City, New York
- When: March 17th, 2024
- The course: A hilly start and end with a flat stretch in the middle
- Expect: An epic tour of NYC full of energetic crowds
As one of only two events that shut down Times Square each year, the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon is clearly very special. Starting in Brooklyn and ending in Manhattan’s Central Park, the 13.1 miles of this race take runners through some of New York City’s most amazing neighborhoods. Between the lively atmosphere and abundance of sights to be seen, the miles just fly by during this race!
Berlin Half Marathon
- Where: Berlin, Germany
- When: April 7th, 2024
- The course: A very flat loop course perfect for a fast performance
- Expect: A huge race expo, busy streets, and amazing crowd support
The Berlin Half Marathon is one of Europe’s biggest half marathons. Attracting 30,000+ runners annually, many runners sign up for this top international race year after year due to its flat course and iconic sights. A well-established season opener, the Berlin Marathon is a great race to start out 2024 with.
Santiago Half Marathon
- Where: Santiago, Chile
- When: April 28th, 2024
- The course: A mostly flat urban route with some relaxed climbs
- Expect: A running celebration with live music and entertainment throughout the course
Along with the Santiago Marathon, the Santiago Half Marathon is part of the largest running event in Chile, and it’s become one of South America’s most prominent races. Weaving through some of the lesser-known parts of Santiago, this race takes runners on an authentic tour of the city. If you enjoy urban runs, this is another great race to add to your list.
BMO Vancouver Half Marathon
- Where: Vancouver, Canada
- When: May 5th, 2024
- The course: A downhill start followed by rolling hills to the finish
- Expect: A mix of city views and breathtaking nature
Even though this is technically a city race, the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon is still one of the most scenic races on our list. A perfectly balanced tour of the city’s bustling streets, peaceful waterfront paths, and serene parks, this award-winning course has earned the Vancouver Half Marathon a spot on our list.
- Where: Costa Mesa, CA
- When: May 5th, 2024
- The course: Picturesque course with Orange County’s legendary homes and ocean views of the Pacific Ocean
- Expect: One of the prettiest courses in America
The OC Marathon is a dreamy combination of land and sea. Attracting over 10,000 runners (and even more spectators), the OC Marathon is the 2024 Road Runner’s Club of America Championship Event course. The RRCA knows races. The half marathon course will guide runner’s past the Pacific Ocean, the seaside village of Corona Del Mar, Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs, and the bluffs of Newport Bay.
The Great Wall Half Marathon
- Where: Huangyaguan, China
- When: May 18th, 2024
- The course: A few miles of steep climbing up and down the Great Wall’s stairs followed by a relatively flat village run
- Expect: Lots of sweat, burning calves, and unrivaled support from the local villagers
Ready for an adventure? Well, this is the ultimate one. Even if you’re not up for the 5,164 steps of the full marathon, the Great Wall Half Marathon is still guaranteed to challenge you. As difficult as it may be, experiencing the Great Wall and its awe-inspiring surrounding scenery makes finishing this race so worth it.
Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon
- Where: Gothenburg, Sweden
- When: May 18th, 2024
- The course: Ever-changing with slights hills, turns, and sights to see each step of the way
- Expect: 50 live bands throughout the course and a stadium finish
Rivaling the Great North Run for the title of largest half marathon in the world, 60,000 runners gather for the Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon each year. Not only that, but 200,000 supporters attend the race to cheer runners on. Overwhelming in the best way, this half marathon is a high-energy race that you’ll never forget.
RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon
- Where: New York City, New York
- When: May 18th, 2024
- The course: A largely flat point-to-point race
- Expect: Lively energy all the way from the expo to the 13.1 miles to the after-party
As one of the US’s largest half marathons, the RBC Brooklyn Half Marathon is a seriously iconic race. A true tour of Brooklyn, racers loop around Prospect Park, run down Ocean Parkway, and cross the coveted finish line on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Known for its high-energy atmosphere, this big city half marathon is a running experience like no other.
Everest Half Marathon
- Where: Mt. Everest Base Camp, Nepal
- When: May 29th, 2024
- The course: A downhill trek on rocky terrain
- Expect: Unparalleled views, spiritual moments, and challenging conditions
Take your trail running to the next level at the Everest Half Marathon. Instead of climbing up Mt. Everest, you’ll actually be trekking down it during this race. But don’t let that fool you- it’s still an extremely challenging course. This half marathon requires lots of training and preparation, but there’s just no better feeling than conquering Everest and crossing the finish line at Namche Bazaar.
Bank of America Chicago 13.1
- Where: Chicago, Illinois
- When: June 9th, 2024
- The course: Fairly flat from start to finish
- Expect: A unique Chicago running route through lovely parks and diverse neighborhoods
Hitting the Chicago half marathon scene in 2022, the Bank of America Chicago 13.1 has quickly gained traction amongst the running community in Chicago and beyond. While most of Chicago’s races showcase the city’s lakefront, the BOA Chicago 13.1’s course takes runners through lesser-known parts of Chicago’s West Side instead. Weaving through lush parks and vibrant neighborhoods, this half marathon is a lovely way to explore Chicago.
Slacker Half Marathon
- Where: Georgetown, Colorado
- When: June 2024 (TBA)
- The course: Huge descents on dirt paths and paved roads
- Expect: Stunning views of wetlands, waterfalls, and the Continental Divide
Claiming the title of the highest downhill half marathon in the US, the Slacker Half Marathon is ideal for anyone who loves beautiful scenery and hates hill climbs. While this race attracts lots of runners from the local Colorado running community, it also makes a great destination race, especially for trail runners and outdoors enthusiasts. From Loveland Ski Area to Georgetown, you’ll be enamored by Colorado’s natural beauty during every step of this course.
Victoria Falls Half Marathon
- Where: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
- When: July 7th, 2024
- The course: Gravel and dirt roads with occasional hilly segments
- Expect: Epic views of Victoria Falls and possible wildlife run-ins
Victoria Falls Half Marathon has been coined the happiest race on Earth, and we can see why! Crossing the impressive Victoria Falls Bridge while watching the breathtaking waterfalls in the distance is sure to make just about anyone smile. Taking place in the adventure capital of Africa, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear after this epic journey and unbeatable destination race!
Sunshine Coast Half Marathon
- Where: Sunshine Coast, Australia
- When: August 2024 (TBA)
- The course: A flat, fast, and scenic loop course
- Expect: Excellent running conditions and jaw-dropping views of gorgeous beaches
Growing in numbers each year, the Sunshine Coast Half Marathon is becoming one of the most beautiful half marathons that Australia has to offer. Taking place during Australia’s mild winter, you can expect blue skies, sunshine, and cool temperatures. With inspiring scenery each step of the way, this flat course might just lead you to a PR!
The Kauai Half Marathon
- Where: Kauai, Hawaii
- When: September 1st, 2024
- The course: Challenging and hilly, but full of natural beauty to keep you distracted
- Expect: Striking views and an encouraging atmosphere full of aloha spirit
Not much explanation is needed as to why the Kauai Half Marathon made it onto our list of best half marathons in the world. Between the lush landscapes, positive energy, and lively Hawaiian entertainment, this half marathon is just a no-brainer. Plus, signing up for this race is the perfect excuse to finally go on that tropical Hawaiian vacation you’ve always dreamed of.
The Great North Run
- Where: Newcastle, England
- When: September 8th, 2024
- The course: A downhill start across the Tyne Bridge followed by several hills
- Expect: Massive crowds, supportive spectators, and an air show from the Red Arrows
The Great North Run has earned its name for a reason. It’s seriously amazing. Bringing more than 60,000 runners together is no easy feat, but this race does it flawlessly. Finishing this incredible race will earn you the bragging rights to say that you ran in the biggest half marathon in the world!
Royal Parks Half Marathon
- Where: London, England
- When: October 2024 (TBA)
- The course: A flat loop course that starts and finishes in Hyde Park
- Expect: World-famous landmarks around every corner
If you want to explore Central London, there’s no better way to do it than with the Royal Parks Half Marathon. Passing by Buckingham Palace and through four of London’s eight Royal Parks, this half marathon will take you on the most iconic running tour of London.
Valencia Half Marathon
- Where: Valencia, Spain
- When: October 2024 (TBA)
- The course: A flat and fast road race
- Expect: Warm temps, fast finishes, and tons of options for delicious post-race tapas
Home to several world records, the Valencia Half Marathon draws an impressive crowd of elite runners year after year. Thanks to its well-organized production and its beautiful course that winds around the city center, the Valencia Half Marathon has been voted the best half marathon in Spain. As the final event of the SuperHalfs series, it’s an amazing season closer.
Point to Pinnacle Half Marathon
- Where: Tasmania, Australia
- When: November 2024 (TBA)
- The course: A challenging course with a steady uphill ascent
- Expect: Unrelenting elevation and maybe even some crawling
Climbing 1,270 meters from start to finish, there’s a reason that the Point to Pinnacle Half Marathon has been named the world’s toughest road half marathon. If you’re up for the challenge, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of this Australian island from the top of Mt. Wellington.
The Frozen Continent Half Marathon
- Where: Union Glacier Camp, Antarctica
- When: December 2024 (TBA)
- The course: Snowy, icy trails made even more brutal by the unpredictable weather conditions
- Expect: A surreal running experience in one of the most remote parts of the world
There’s literally no cooler way to wrap up 2024 than with the Frozen Continent Half Marathon. The world’s southernmost half marathon, this is one of only two races on Antarctica’s mainland. Check Antarctica off your bucket list and squeeze in a half marathon while you’re there. It’s a win-win!
Preparing for Your Next Half Marathon
We hope our list of the best half marathons in the world helps you find an exciting race to sign up for in 2024!
If you’ve already signed up for a race, give yourself a pat on the back and capitalize on your excitement by starting your training early. Check out this article to find a complete list of training plans, injury prevention tips, and additional half marathon advice.