The Best Half Marathon in Every U.S. State

Whether you’re hoping to find the best hometown race, heading out on a long awaited vacation, or trying to check off every half marathon across the USA, consider this the go-to list for the best half marathon in every state. This definitive list includes a good mix of fast races, challenging courses that test your limits, races drawing in large crowds, serene small town events, best first half marathons for beginners, and bucket list destinations. 

We’re not going to lie, it was hard to choose a single race. So, each state also includes a runner up. In some cases–like Alaska, Pennsylvania, or Wyoming, for example–the first place and runner up options were very close choices. A winner had to be chosen nonetheless.

The half marathon was selected by referencing runner reviews to assess quality of race experience and one-of-a-kindness.

Get ready for your 13.1 tour of the United States.  


The Rocket City Half Marathon

Rocket City Half Marathon | Huntsville, AL

Perfect for: Road Runners, PR-Seekers

The Huntsville Track Club and Huntsville Sports Commission are not only race organizers, but tour guides of Huntsville, Alabama for the Rocket City Half Marathon. In a fun twist, half marathon ‘travelers’–in keeping with the theme–have the option to choose their route, either the front or back half of the full marathon course. The front half features the Cosmic Christ mosaic, Veterans Park, and a tour of downtown. The back half swings past the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and the Botanical Gardens. 

No vacation would be complete without a souvenir. Runners of this travel-themed race earn passport stamps for the miles logged along their trip. 

Race info & signup | December 10

Runner Up: Race to the Cave in Woodville, AL | March 19


Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon | Anchorage, AK

Perfect for: Road Runners, Destination Race

Once called the Midnight Sun Mayor’s Marathon, if you’ve run this summer solstice race before, you might recall that it used to start early in the evening. Now, the starting gun fires at 8:30 a.m. for half marathoners. The slightly hilly course is quite scenic, starting in Kincaid Park, heading to the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail with 8 miles run along the Cook Inlet, finishing at Delaney Park downtown. 

Race info & signup | June 19

Runner Up: Juneau Half Marathon in Juneau, AK | July 29


Sedona Half Marathon | Sedona, AZ

Perfect for: Trail Runners, Difficult Course

Run along the scenic Dry Creek Road of Sedona’s backcountry, the Sedona Half Marathon course is nestled amongst a truly awe-inspiring landscape. Picture rusty red rocks accented by the standout greenery of alligator juniper, ponderosa pine, and Arizona cypress. The sights serve as a worthy distraction on the challenging out-and-back. The race starts with running at high altitude (4,450 feet above sea level) and peaks at 4,650 feet. Sedona Half Marathon is often featured on the short lists of one of the best half marathons in the US.

Race info & signup | February 3

Runner Up: Mesa Half Marathon | Mesa, Arizona | February 10


Little Rock Half Marathon | Little Rock, AR

Perfect for: Road Runners, Crowd Chasers

The Little Rock Half Marathon is one of the friendliest and most welcoming races out there. Entertainment along the course and a reasonably priced VIP package, elevate the race day experience. 

The weaving course passes by some notable Little Rock spots like the MacArthur Park Historic District, the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, and the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. Is it a hilly course? Here’s how the race organizer’s describe it: “There are some bumps in the road, but life is full of bumps in the road.”

Race info & signup | March 2-3

Runner Up: Russvegas | Russellville, AR | April 22


Monterey Bay Half Marathon | Monterey, CA

Perfect for: Road Runners, Destination Race

Along the central coast of California sits Monterey Bay, teeming with aquatic life. On land in Monterey, a true bucket-list race takes place each November: the Monterey Bay Half Marathon. On the out-and-back coastal course runners get views of rocky beaches, the occasional whale or dolphin sighting, a tour of Monterey’s illustrious real estate, and music along the way.

Race info & signup  | November 12

Runner Up: OC Half Marathon | Newport Beach, CA | May 7 


Boulderthon | Boulder, CO

Perfect for: Destination Race, Small Town

In its second year running (no pun intended), Boulderthon is making a name for itself. The course gives runners a sampling of all that Boulder has to offer – beginning at the Boulder Reservoir, taking runners along the Flatirons, and finishing at the historic Pearl Street Mall. The race has been touted as having the charm of a small town race with the production quality and amenities of a larger one. The town is a welcome alternative to ski towns like Aspen and Vail.

Race info & signup | July 29

Runner Up: Steamboat Half Marathon | Steamboat, CO | June 4  


Mystic Half Marathon | Mystic, CT

Perfect for: Road Runners, Small Town

Mystic, Connecticut is a quaint and historic seaside town. Runners of the Mystic Half Marathon can experience that charm along the meandering point-to-point course. Along the way racers are taken over the Mystic Drawbridge, along the Mystic River, past the Mystic Reservoir and Peace Nature Sanctuary, and finish at the aquarium. Expect a flat first half and hilly second half. 

Race info & signup | May 21

Runner Up: Hartford Half Marathon | Hartford, CT | October 14


Rehoboth Beach Seashore Half Marathon | Rehoboth Beach, DE

Perfect for: Road Runners, Small Town

This point-to-point course is the epitome of a coastal town race. The Rehoboth Beach Seashore Half Marathon starts near the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand and finishes on 4th street near the shops at the Pearl, passing by the lush Gordon Pond State Park, and running along the coast for about three miles. Though there are some small hills, it is relatively flat. It’s a smaller race, so expect fewer amenities along the course, but the same high quality organization you’d find at large legacy races. 

Race info & signup | December 2

Runner Up: Coastal Delaware Running Festival | Rehoboth Beach, DE | April 14-16 


Miami Half Marathon | Miami, FL

Perfect for: Destination Race, Crowd Chasers 

Tropical winter races don’t have to try very hard to put on a good show, but the organizers of the Miami Half Marathon go all out anyway. The large race typically boasts a field of about 20,000 runners. In the point-to-point course, members of the 13.1 club follow the same course as full marathoners, only breaking away at mile 13 to head to the finish. The mostly flat course only has a few hills–notably, on the bridges that take you to and from Miami Beach–and gives runners ample views of the ocean. 

January 28 | Race info & signup

Runners Up: Walt Disney World Half Marathon & Disney Princess Half Marathon | Orlando, FL


Publix Atlanta Half Marathon | Atlanta, GA

Perfect for: Road Runners, Crowd Chasers

Atlanta, Georgia has a rich running tradition with Atlanta Track Club right at the center of it. This ATC event is one of the best (though we also recommend the Peachtree 10K if you’re ever looking for a shorter distance). The looped half marathon course starts and finishes at Centennial Olympic Park, which was conceived as a gathering place for the 1996 Olympics held in Atlanta. The course meanders through the streets of Atlanta, heading east toward Freedom Park then north toward the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Just be prepared for the abundance of heat, humidity, and hills you’ll run through on this Georgia race.

February 2024 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Skidaway Island Half Marathon | Savannah, GA | February 2024


Maui Half Marathon | Kaanpali, HI

Perfect for: Destination Race, PR-Seekers

Rise and shine for an early morning 13.1 mile race on the island of Maui. The course is a mostly flat out-and-back on the western coast along the Honoapiilani Highway. The gun goes off at 5:30 a.m. before the 6:00 a.m. sunrise, so don’t forget your headlamp. When the sun does come up, you can expect some of the most stunning ocean views in the United States.

April 23 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Hibiscus Half | Honolulu, HI | May 28


Coeur D’Alene Half Marathon | Coeur D’Alene, ID

Perfect for: Road Runners, Small Town

This hilly out-and-back half marathon is run mostly along the scenic Spokane River. Runners will also see views of Coeur D’Alene Lake and the Rocky Mountain foothills in the distance. Taking place over Memorial Weekend, there is no lack of celebration afterwards. Each runner also receives a complementary finish line photo before receiving their finisher medal. 

May 28 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon | Boise, ID | April 15


Chicago Bank of America 13.1 | Chicago, IL 

Perfect for: Road Runners, PR-Seekers

Rather than the traditional Lake Michigan that many Chicago visitors are used to, organizers of the Chicago Bank of America 13.1 wanted to showcase a different part of the windy city. Running through the west side neighborhoods of Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Little Village, and North Lawndale, the course is essentially two out-and-backs. Starting in the centrally located Garfield Park, runners head north to Humboldt Park, return back to Garfield, then head south to Douglass Park and finish back at Garfield. When you’re done, enjoy a Goose Island beer, listen to live music, and maybe swing by the Garfield Park Conservatory for its beautiful plant exhibits. 

June 4 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Quad Cities Half Marathon | Rock Island, IL | May 14


Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon | Indianapolis, IN 

Perfect for: Road Runners, Crowd Chasers

Run through a town established in 1843. Run past numerous war memorials and historic monuments. Run through the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon is a true tour of a storied city. Prepare yourself for gentle rolling hills along this looped course. Best of all? A party awaits beyond the finish line. 

October 28 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: 500 Festival Mini Marathon | Indianapolis, IN | May 6 


Des Moines Half Marathon | Des Moines, IA

Perfect for: Road Runners, PR-Seekers

If you’re looking for a flat and fast midwestern race, look no further. The Des Moines Half Marathon, run partially along the Des Moines River, around Gray’s Lake, and past Water Works Park is a looped course. The whole event gives welcoming college town vibes. It’s an especially warm way to dip your toes in the 13.1 distance for first time racers. 

October 15 | Race info & signup 

Runner Up: Drake Relays Road Races | Des Moines, IA | April 23


Garmin Olathe Half Marathon | Olathe, KS

Perfect for: Small Town, PR-Seekers

In the land of Oz, all your PR dreams can come true by following the roads carefully marked by race organizers. The Garmin Olathe Half Marathon in Olathe, Kansas is a mostly flat, fast race on a looped course. After the finish line, join the Emerald Festival for drinks and a post-race meal. 

This year marks the 20th year the race has been open to the public. It originally started in 2002 as the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships. Today, it is the best half marathon in Kansas. 

April 22 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Running With the Cows | Bucyrus, KS | May 13 


Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon | Lexington, KY

Perfect for: Road Runners, Destination Race

Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon is a premium race experience in a beautiful locale. The looped course passes through the pristine grassy knolls of the Lexington countryside. The race is run partly on Old Frankfort Pike–a national scenic byway–and passes by 20 thoroughbred horse farms. 

Race organizers offer additional race weekend perks like chartered tours of the Jim Beam Distillery and Lane’s End Farm. 

May 20 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Urban Bourbon Half Marathon | Louisville, KY | October 14


Louisiana Half Marathon | Baton Rouge, LA

Perfect for: PR-Seekers, Road Racers

This Baton Rouge-based half marathon takes place east of the Mississippi River on a flat  out-and-back course near the Louisiana State University campus. The return trip traverses the eastside of University Lake. After your 13.1 mile feat, join in the fun at the post-race festival with live music, local cuisine, and craft beer. 

January 15 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Zydeco Half Marathon | Lafayette, LA | March 12


Maine Coast Half Marathon | Wells, ME 

Perfect for: Destination Race, PR-Seekers

Why is the Maine Coast Half Marathon the best half marathon in Maine? Because when you’re in the pain cave at mile 10, all you have to do is look over at the pristine white sand beaches and dream about the reward of relaxation to come. The flat sea-level course starts by running between the Atlantic coast and the marshes, crossing over the estuaries several times. 

May 6 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Acadia Half Marathon | Bar Harbor, ME | June 4


Baltimore Running Festival | Baltimore, MD

Perfect for: Road Runners, Crowd Chasers

The Baltimore Running Festival is truly a celebratory event. Starting at the Inner Harbor, at the marathon’s halfway point, the half marathon veers away from the marathon course for three miles before merging at Patterson Park. After finishing your 13.1 mile run, you and your family can enjoy music and food at the Festival’s Celebration Village, which is open to the public.

October 14 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Frederick Running Festival | Frederick, MD | May 7


Baystate Half Marathon | Lowell, MA

Perfect for: Road Runners, PR-Seekers

The Baystate series of races are run on a course so flat and fast, it’s advertised as the place to be to qualify for a Boston Marathon slot. While half marathon times are not considered for BQs, this is still a worthy half marathon to run if you’re looking to see just how fast you can run 13.1 miles. Baystate is the kind of race runners return to year after year. The course is a double loop around a portion of the Merrimack River. The standing course records are 1:05:49 (Stephen Bourguet, 2019) and 1:13:47 (Kristen Beaney 1999). Can you beat that? 

October 15 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Cape Cod Half Marathon | Falmouth, MA | October 7


The Detroit Free Press Marathon | Detroit, MI

Best For: Destination Race, Road Runners

While this list specifically covers the best half marathons in the United States, part of what makes the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon fun is the international twist. There are two half marathons participants can sign up for: 1. The U.S.-only half marathon is exactly what it sounds like. Runners start and finish in downtown Detroit, following a looped course through the city. 2. The International Half Marathon starts in downtown Detroit, but by mile three, runners are crossing the Detroit River into Canada and returning by mile 8. 

Even with the logistics of organizing two half marathons, plus a full marathon, relay, 5K, and fun run, the organizers put on a seamless event for all the runners that turn up.

October 15 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Ann Arbor Half Marathon | Ann Arbor, MI | October 1


Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon | Duluth, MN

Best For: Road Runners, Small Town

Part of the Grandma’s Marathon weekend, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon sells out fast as the capacity is capped at 8,000 runners. The 13.1 mile race was named after the inaugural winner of the full marathon, eventual two-time champion, and Olympian Garry Bjorklund. 

With beautiful views of Lake Superior, the half marathon is a point-to-point course starting on the 13-mile mark of the full marathon on Highway 61. And even though it is hosted in a small town, it’s organized as well as any large metropolitan legacy race. 

June 17 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Med City Half Marathon | Rochester, MN | May 13


Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon | Biloxi, MS

Best For: PR-Seekers, Small Town

This point-to-point race runs along, you guessed it, the gulf coast, offering unobstructed views of the water the entire 13.1 miles. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon is a flat course, with only one slight incline around mile 11, and typically has a small field of runners, making it an ideal race if you are chasing a personal best in the distance. Afterwards, enjoy cold Coors beer and food from Half Shell Oyster House and Murky Waters BBQ. Each runner gets six free food and drink tickets to use post-race. 

December 11 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Hattiesburg Half Marathon | Hattiesburg, MS | April 1 


GO! St. Louis Half Marathon | St. Louis, MO

Best For: Road Runners, Destination Race

We love a race that ends at an iconic landmark. The Go! St. Louis Half Marathon is a hilly point-to-point course that starts in the beautiful Forest Park, winds through well-known St. Louis neighborhoods, and finishes with the Gateway Arch in sight. If seeing St. Louis’s iconic arch is on your bucket list, this is a great way to mark it off the list. 

If you want to see St. Louis through a local’s eyes, join Running Niche for the pre-race shakeout run the day before the 13.1 miles of fun begins. 

April 2 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Kansas City Half Marathon | Kansas City, MO | October 21


Glacier Half Marathon | East Glacier, MT

Best For: Destination Race, Difficult Course

We won’t lie to you, this half marathon is hard. The stunning Glacier National Park views make it worth the challenge. The point-to-point paved course starts at a high elevation of 5,007 feet and climbs to 5,980 feet. That climb happens in the first 4 miles, followed by a steep descent for the next 4 miles, a much smaller climb, and an easy finish. 

Note: due to permitting, the race does not take place in Glacier National Park, but on the outskirts. That technicality doesn’t make the race any less stunning, however. 

June 24 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Missoula Half Marathon | Missoula, MT | June 25 


Lincoln Half Marathon | Lincoln, NE

Best For: Road Runners, Crowd Chasers

This college-town half marathon starts and ends at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, passing by the state capital and Union College along the way. Expect small, rolling hills typical of the plains region of the U.S. (if you’ve ever driven on a highway in Nebraska, you know).

The small to mid-sized race gives both urban and small town vibes. Lincoln Track Club puts on a very well-organized and professional event.  

May 7 | Race info & signup
Runner Up: Nebraska Half Marathon | Omaha, NE | April 23


Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas | Las Vegas, NV

Best For: Crowd Chaser, Destination Race

The Rock ‘n’ Roll race series organizes entertaining half marathons across the country, but none suit the franchise better than Las Vegas. The Sin City race starts at 4:30 p.m., so racers can watch the sunset while they tick off miles. The course is flat, starting on the south end of the strip. It turns around just past the Sahara and finishes in front of Caesar’s Palace. Before you reach the finish, it’s dark out–the lights from the strip and your fellow runners’ glow sticks light your way. A party with live music awaits at the finish line. 

March 2 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Red Rock Canyon Half Marathon | Las Vegas, NV | January 20 

New Hampshire

Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon | Hampton, NH

Best For: PR-Seekers, Destination Race

The serene and beautiful views of the rocky shores of Hampton Beach are punctuated by vivacious music coursing along this New Hampshire half marathon. Taking place in October, the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon has the potential to be cold, but runners have said it’s so fun that they hardly notice. 

The course is flat, starting with two loops around Hampton Beach and then heads north on Ocean Boulevard. There is a short diversion inland, but the majority of the race is run along the waterfront. At the finish line, even more music awaits at the Sea Shell Stage. 

October 1 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Clarence DeMar Half Marathon | Keene, NH | September 24

New Jersey

Atlantic City Half Marathon | Atlantic City, NJ 

Best For: Road Runners, Destination Race

Though it takes place on April Fool’s Day, this Atlantic City Half Marathon is no joke. You won’t be veered off course, given a medal that shoots water in your face, or sit on any whoopie cushions when you’re doing your cooldown stretching. What you’ll get is a fun course–8 miles of which run along the boardwalk overlooking the ocean–with a crowd of dedicated runners trying their best. After the race is over, show your bib throughout Atlantic City to get deals at restaurants, ice cream parlors, bars, comedy clubs, arcades, and more. 

April 1 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: OCNJ Half Marathon | Ocean City, NJ | September 24

New Mexico

Duke City Half Marathon | Albuquerque, NM

Best For: Road Runners

New Mexico’s Duke City Marathon racing series has an interesting history. It was started by former Mayor Harry Kinney who invited Spain’s 15th Duke of Alburquerque to travel from Madrid for the inaugural event in 1984–hence the name. 

The half marathon is an out-and-back, starting at none other than Mayor Kinney Civic Plaza, running along Paseo del Bosque recreational trail before turning around and heading back towards the plaza. Though the city starts at a relatively high elevation of 5,018 feet, the course itself is very flat with only a gradual 20 foot incline. 

October 22 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Great Balloon Chase Half Marathon | Albuquerque, NM | October 8 

New York

United Airlines NYC Half Marathon | New York City, NY

Perfect For: Crowd Chasers, Road Runners

Not only is this the best half marathon in New York City, it’s also the most popular (and no, those two notions are not always the same). The race draws approximately 25,000 runners, including today’s fastest elite endurance runners. 

Put on by the pros at New York Road Runners, this semi-hilly race features a point-to-point course starting in Brooklyn at Prospect Park. Runners cross over the Manhattan Bridge, through Times Square, and finish in Central Park. 

March 19 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Wineglass Half Marathon | Corning, NY | October 1

North Dakota 

Fargo Half Marathon | Fargo, ND

Perfect For: Good Vibes, PR-Seekers

After training hard for your shot at the half marathon, race organizers in Fargo, North Dakota, want you to celebrate for a full week. Starting Monday before race weekend, the Fargo Marathon organizers hold at least one unique event every day and host 50+ live bands throughout the week. Consider Tuesday night’s FurGo run part of your training or the Friday Night 5k your shakeout run. As for the actual half marathon? The flat and fast looped course is a blast. 

May 20 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Bismarck Half Marathon | Bismarck, ND | September 16   

North Carolina

City of Oaks Half Marathon | Raleigh, NC

Perfect For: Road Runners, Crowd Chasers

A good, old fashioned downtown race, the City of Oaks Half Marathon is a highlights tour of Releigh, North Carolina: the State Capitol Building, Meredith College, North Carolina State University, the North Carolina State Bell Tower, as well as some of the areas wooded greenspace. The out-and-back course features rolling hills that add a fun challenge to the race. 

November 5 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Race 13.1 Raleigh Half Marathon | Raleigh, NC | June 3


Flying Pig Half Marathon | Cincinnati, OH 

Perfect For: Road Runners, Crowd Chasers

Before you started running, you probably thought to yourself, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll run a half marathon when pigs fly.’ The Flying Pig half marathon–now in its 25th year–is for all those runners making the impossible happen. 

It’s not all magical wishes here, though. The looped course has some challenging hills that make this course anything but a walk in the park. The race starts and ends downtown by Paycor Stadium and immediately crosses the Ohio River, running into Kentucky for three miles before crossing back into Ohio. The rest is a tour of Cinicinati’s downtown, finishing at the lively Victory Party.

May 7 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Columbus Half Marathon | Columbus, OH | October 15


Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon | Oklahoma City, OK

Perfect For: PR-Seekers

Titled “Run to Remember” the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and Half Marathon are dedicated to the honor of those lost their lives in the tragedy that occurred in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Each year, over 10,000 runners participate in the races with over 9,000 participating in just the half marathon. With only lightly rolling terrain, the Oklahoma City Half Marathon is a fast, flat, fan favorite.

April 28 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Aquarium Run Half Marathon | Jenks, OK 


Eugene Half Marathon | April 30

Perfect For: Road Runners, PR-Seekers

Run the most popular race distance in one of the most popular running towns in the U.S. at the Eugene Half Marathon in Oregon. The course is very flat and fast, touring the southern part of Eugene, part of University of Oregon’s campus, and a small portion of the Willamette River. And while Eugene, home of Nike, is very serious about their running, there is ample entertainment along the course to celebrate the fun of the sport. 

April 30 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Shamrock Run Portland Half Marathon | Portland, OR | March 12  


Pittsburgh Half Marathon | Pittsburgh, PA 

Perfect For: Crowd Chasers, PR-Seekers

What is it like running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon? Imagine the energy of 14,000 runners in pursuit of a common goal, traversing the unique Pittsburgh streets with music and other entertainment along the way. The flat, fast course crosses three rivers–Allegheny River, Ohio River, and Monongahela River–to make a near loop back to downtown. 

In addition to the regular half marathon, runners who want a taste for the second half of the full marathon course (instead of the traditional first half) can raise funds as part of the Run for a Reason charity program for their shot at it.

May 7 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Philadelphia Half Marathon | Philadelphia, PA | November 18

Rhode Island

Providence Half Marathon | Providence, RI 

Perfect For: Small Town, Road Runners

This quaint spring half marathon tours sites of downtown Providence and the Providence River, with a brief foray into Pawtucket. The mostly flat course is an out-and-back, starting and finishing at the Rhode Island State House. For 2023, organizers promise a new and improved post-race party, complete with DJ and free beer for 21+ racers.

May 7 | Race info & signup
Runner Up: Newport Half Marathon | Newport, RI | October 8

South Carolina 

Kiawah Island Half Marathon | Kiawah Island, SC

Perfect For: Destination Race

Have you ever run a half marathon on the grounds of a tropical resort? The Kiawah Island Half Marathon takes place on the stunning Kiawah Island Golf Resort. The looped course meanders back and forth between the coast and the inland marshes and rivers. We highly recommend coming out for the full weekend of pre- and post-race events, like Friday’s Coffee Run, evening Glow Run, or Sunday’s yoga session. It’s also a winning race for spectators who can watch the race from the pool deck. 

December 9 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon | Myrtle Beach, SC | October 14

South Dakota

Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon | Crazy Horse, SD

Perfect For: Trail Runners, Destination Race

The Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon starts at a high elevation of 5,920 feet near the Crazy Horse Memorial. The point-to-point course, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota, climbs slightly, before descending for the majority of the race. Choose your race shoes wisely, though, the course is a mixture of dirt and loose gravel trails with some paved sections. 

October 8 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Deadwood Mickelson Trail Half Marathon | Deadwood, SD | June 4


Great Smoky Mountain Half Marathon | Townsend, TN

Perfect For: Trail Runners, Difficult Course

Running through the woods with the Great Smoky Mountains in sight is exactly the scenery you need on a difficult course like this. The point-to-point course is on a gradual incline for the entire 13.1 miles and is known to be high in humidity. This race, put on by Vacation Races, is perfect for trail runners (the course is a mix of dirt and loose gravel roads) and anyone looking for a challenge. 

September 9 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Nashville Half Marathon | Nashville, TN | October 28


Aramco Houston Half Marathon | Houston, TX

Perfect For: PR-Seekers, Road Runners

Texas is a state known to have some fast races. The Aramco Houston Half Marathon is one of those speedy events and is also considered one of the best half marathons in the world. The half marathon and full marathon start at the same location and make a 13-mile loop through the Houston streets. The half marathon hosts nearly 13,000 runners annually. It’s a lively large race with supportive crowds and exceptional race production. Best of all? The full marathon is touted as one of the winter’s fastest marathons and the half, on nearly the same course, makes it prime for PRs. 

January 21 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Cowtown Half Marathon | Fort Worth, TX | February 25


Ogden Marathon | Ogden, UT

Perfect For: Destination Race, Road Runners

Like Woodstock and Bethel, New York, the Ogden Marathon is one of those events that puts an entire city on the map. The views along the race route are truly breathtaking, race organizers say, as the pine-tree-covered slopes of the Wasatch Mountains give way later in the race to steep, sheer rock faces along the mountains, and runners also get to see small neighborhoods of homes along the edges of the riverbed. The race welcomes 6,000 runners annually and they’ve been in the business of selling out the race months in advance – a testament to its beauty and production prowess.

Runner Up: Zion Half Marathon | Springdale, UT | March 4


Covered Bridges Half Marathon | Pomfret, VT

Perfect For: Small Town, PR-Seekers

This Vermont race is intentionally kept small, with the field capped around 2,300 runners. It’s popularity outpaces its size, however, and registration is typically full within only a few minutes after opening up. 

What makes this 13.1 so coveted? For starters, the location is beautiful. Starting at the Saskadena Six Ski Area, runners traverse verdent tree-lined roads and finish on Quechee Main Street in the town of Hartford. The point-to-point course is mostly run on a descent, with a few small ascents throughout. 

Runners also love the hospitality that this intentionally small race provides. 

June 4 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Mad Half Marathon | Waitsfield, VT | July 9


Richmond Half Marathon | Richmond, VA

Perfect For: Party Vibes, Crowd Chasers

The Richmond Half Marathon’s claim-to-fame is as “America’s Friendliest Half Marathon.” The race organizers own this moniker by putting on a race full of pizzazz and fun. The looped course in mostly flat with some rolling hills and sprinkled with surprise and delights along the way (like a party zone at the halway point, spirit groups, live music, junk food pit stops, and pickle juice at the aid stations). All that makes for a race you won’t soon forget. 

November 11 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: One City Half Marathon | Newport News, VA | March 5


Whidbey Island Half Marathon | Oak Harbor, WA

Perfect For: Road Runners, Destination Race

Whidbey Island is one of the Puget Sounds islands north of Seattle. It’s the second longest island in the United States and a perfect locale for a half marathon. The point-to-point course is mostly run along the coast, occasionally turning inland onto county roads and quaint city streets. The course also features some rolling hills, but is not overly challenging.

April 23 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Orca Half Marathon | Seattle, WA | September 16

Washington D.C. 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington D.C. Half Marathon | Washington D.C.

Perfect For: Destination Race, Road Runners

Spring, when the flowers are blooming, is the best time to run in Washington D.C. That’s also when the Rock ‘n’ Roll franchise of races rolls into town. The course is a near loop and runs along the most recognizable parts of the city: The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Ladybird Johnson Memorial Park, and finishes in front of the Capitol. Runners will pass by 11 band stations rocking out along the way–a true staple of this race series.

March 18 | Race info & signup

West Virginia

Freedom’s Run Half Marathon | Shepherdstown, WV

Perfect For: Trail Runners, Destination Race 

The Freedom’s Run Half Marathon holds a lot of significance in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The racing series was created after West Virginia was named one of the unhealthiest states in the country in an attempt to bring awareness of positive healthy living to the town. It’s since marked a running boom in the area and made a positive impact for many. The race also runs through locales significant to America’s history like the Antietam National Battlefield in memorial of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. 

As for the out-and-back course, it presents a good challenge. It has significant hills totaling 1,000 feet in elevation gain and traverses atypical terrain with a mixture of loose gravel trails, paved road, and more than two miles on grass. 

October 7 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Marshall University Half Marathon | Huntington, WV | November 5


Brew City Half Marathon | Milwaukee, WI 

Perfect For: Road Runners, Party Vibe

The Brew City Half Marathon is a true experience of Wisconsin. The spring race could easily be held in a snowstorm or the lovliest spring weather. The out-and-back course runs along the Milwaukee River Greenway and features a couple big hills. After runners have finished their 13.1-mile journey they can celebrate at the post-run party with beer and brats. 

April 22 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Run Madtown Half Marathon | Madison, WI | May 27


Grand Teton Half Marathon | Jackson, WY

Perfect For: Destination Race | Difficult Course

The Jackson, Wyoming area is well known for its stunning views, making it the perfect place to host a half marathon. The paved point-to-point course has the Teton mountain range as its backdrop. The race starts out relatively flat, but has some serious hills starting at the half point, so be prepared for a tough finish. 

June 3 | Race info & signup

Runner Up: Jackson Hole Half Marathon | Jackson Hole, WY | September 23

1 comment… add one
  • john craven October 13, 2023, 9:45 pm

    great stuff

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