The Best Phoenix Half Marathons

Whether you’re a desert bloom who thrives in the sunshine or a snowbird who can’t stand the thought of another winter, Phoenix offers a welcome escape. Here, we offer a roundup of the best Phoenix half marathons and in the nearby areas..

The capital city of Arizona is the fifth-largest city in the US—and growing! However, even if you prefer a quieter venue for your runcations, you’ll find magical Southwestern desert landscapes around the city that provide out-of-this-world sights for your latest trail running conquest. 

 

Phoenix 10K - one of the most popular Phoenix half marathons.

Phoenix 10K & Half Marathon

Arizona’s dry and warm climate makes for wonderful fall running, and the Phoenix 10K & Half Marathon is no exception. This November race, an annual event for nearly 50 years. It draws thousands of participants from across the state and farther afield. 

Billed by organizers as “Arizona’s original road race.” The 10K race set the stage for Arizona’s running boom in the late ‘70s. Now, the popular half marathon out-and-back course offers participants seeking a longer challenge an on-foot tour of downtown Phoenix, beginning and ending near City Hall. This is certainly one of the most popular Phoenix half marathons.

November 12, 2023 | Phoenix, AZ |  Race info & signup

Pride Run Phoenix Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Celebrate equality, diversity, inclusion, and acceptance with this Southwestern offering from the popular Pride Run series. 

The race is held in the Melrose District of midtown Phoenix, a vibrant neighborhood known for antiquing, exciting nightlife, and a network of LGBTQ+ friendly businesses. The half marathon course is run point-to-point, beginning at Phoenix’s Solano Park and carrying participants through to the finish line at the Phoenix Art Museum. 

In the spirit of accessibility, organizers note that the flat and fast nature of this course makes it suitable both for wheelchair participants and parents on-the-go who would like to push strollers. 

March 18, 2023 | Phoenix, AZ | Race info & signup

USA Women’s Half Marathon

Gather your best girlfriends and get ready to combine a luxury vacation and challenging sporting event for the ultimate gal’s getaway.

The race begins at the Arizona Biltmore hotel in Phoenix, (which also serves as the host hotel for runners traveling in for the event) before following along the Arizona Canal Trail and Arcadia bike path to the finish at the Scottsdale’s Waterfront. The course is mostly flat and very scenic, with a generous 4 hour time limit for participants. 

Participants are treated to mimosas and massages post-race, and all finishers receive a Kendra Scott custom pendant and necklace and a Lululemon finisher’s shirt. 

2023 TBA; lottery open April 1-May 29, 2023 | Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ | Race info & signup

Rock 'n' Roll Arizona is one of the biggest Phoenix half marathons, just 20 minutes away

Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, Half Marathon & Mini Marathon

As one of the most popular racing events in Arizona, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon, Half Marathon & Mini Marathon draws as many as 30,000 participants each year across all events.

Live bands and local high school cheerleading squads keep the party going and enthusiasm high as participants tackle the course, which now features an out-and-back route that starts and finishes near the Arizona State University campus. Along the way, runners will explore Tempe and Scottsdale, taking in sights like the Salt River and both Eldorado and Papago parks. Tempe is only a 20 minute drive from Phoenix, so with its popularity and size – make this one of the must-run Phoenix half marathons.

January 14, 2024 | Tempe, AZ | Race info & signup

The Saguaro Half Marathon

If you love desert scenery and wild, wild Western vibes, this is the half marathon for you.

Run on a combination of roads and trails, The Saguaro Half Marathon explores the peaceful Sonoran desert through Tucson Mountain Park outside of western Tucson. You’ll roll into the finish line feeling like it’s high noon—the race ends at Old Tucson Movie Studio, the filming location for classic Western movies like El Dorado, Lonesome Cowboys, Calamity Jane, and more. While a two hour drive from downtown, the impressive backdrop and high-quality race production make this one of the must-run Phoenix half marathons on our list.

2024 TBA | Tucson, AZ | Race info & signup

Mesa Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K

Temperatures will likely only crest into the mid-60s for this wintertime race—making it a perfect time to explore the desert city of Mesa.

The half marathon follows the second half of the full marathon course, the latter of which, for those looking to tackle the Boston Marathon in the spring, serves as a qualifying race.

Half marathoners will begin their race on East McDowell Road, which lies near Falcon Field airport and The Boeing Company. This point-to-point race nets an overall downhill as racers tour through the historic Escobedo district that includes the Arizona Museum of Natural History and Fitch Park, the spring training home of the MLB’s Oakland Athletics.

Half marathoners will meet back up with their full marathon compatriots as they cross the finish line at Riverview Shopping Center in Mesa.

February 10, 2024 | Mesa, AZ | Race info & signup

Lost Dutchman Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 8K

Named one of the “Best Little Marathons in the Country” by Runner’s World, this rugged desert race is both scenic and challenging.

Knock on wood or turn around and spit before beginning the race, which takes runners from Prospector Park near downtown Apache Junction east toward the Superstition Mountains. The half marathon course starts out flat for the first part of the race before creeping over and back down the hilly course for the second half of the race. 

While this race is challenging, if you need more time, fear not: there is no time limit for completing the half marathon course.

February 18, 2024 | Apache Junction, AZ | Race info & signup

Arizona Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

A newer half marathon offering in the area, the Arizona Half Marathon, 10K & 5K has been a sellout event for the first few years of its history—so sign up early to guarantee yourself a spot!

The race utilizes the New River Trail System, an asphalt and concrete network of running trails. The out-and-back course begins and ends at Rio Vista Park in Peoria, making this race easy for participants to both find parking and return to their cars at the end of the event.

Organizers note that this event is friendly to both walkers and participants pushing strollers, but racers in these circumstances are asked to start further back in the pack. Friendly leashed pets are also welcome in the race.

2024 TBA | Peoria, AZ | Race info & signup

Scottsdale Half Marathon & 5K

Hosted by Runner’s Den, an Arizona-based running supply store and pillar of the state’s running community, the Scottsdale Half Marathon & 5K is beloved both by locals and tourists alike.

The point-to-point loop course offers a tour of Arizona’s Valley of the Sun—the popular nickname for the greater Phoenix area, which sits in the Salt River Valley. The half marathon is relatively flat, fast, and scenic, departing from the Scottsdale Civic Center and winding past local parks and golf courses before returning to the finish near Scottsdale Stadium. 

2023 TBA | Scottsdale, AZ | Race info & signup

Hippity Hop Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

This out-and-back event begins and ends at the Peoria Sports Complex, the spring training home of the San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners. The half marathon is run on the asphalt and concrete trails of the New River Trail System, which offers a safe and accessible outdoor oasis in the midst of the otherwise populous suburban area. 

There is a generous 4.5 hour time limit for the half marathon, making it suitable for walkers and runners who may need extra time.

Will you have a young one with you at this event? The Cottontail Dash, held shortly after the half marathon departs but before the 10K & 5K take off, is an untimed half mile event. Bring a basket, as children will collect Easter eggs from volunteers along the route. Parents or guardians are welcome to accompany their youth, free of charge.

April 8, 2023 | Peoria, AZ |  Race info & signup

Complete Calendar of 2023-2024 Phoenix Half Marathons

  1. Time to Paddy 5K/10K and Lucky 13.1 – March 5, 2023 | Flagstaff, AZ
  2. Mesquite Canyon Trail Runs – March 11, 2023 | Waddell, AZ 
  3. XTERRA Black Canyon Trail Run – March 12, 2023 | Rock Springs Cafe, AZ 
  4. Pride Run Phoenix Half Marathon – March 18, 2023 | Phoenix, AZ
  5. Tucson Shamrock Half Marathon – March 18, 2023 | Tucson, AZ
  6. Antelope Canyon Ultra Marathons – March 11, 2023 |  Page, AZ
  7. Hippity Hop Half Marathon – April 8, 2023 | Peoria, AZ
  8. Havasu Half Marathon – April 15, 2023 |  Lake Havasu City, AZ
  9. Whiskey Basin Trail Runs – April 15, 2023 |  Prescott, AZ
  10. Santa Hustle 5K & Half Marathon – 2023 TBA | Glendale, AZ
  11. USA Women’s Half Marathon – November 2023 | Phoenix, AZ
  12. Phoenix 10K & Half Marathon – November 12, 2023 | Phoenix, AZ
  13. Scottsdale Half Marathon – December 2023 | Scottsdale, AZ
  14. Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona – January 14, 2024 | Tempe, AZ
  15. Saguaro Half Marathon – January 2024 | Tucson, AZ
  16. Mesa Half Marathon – February 10, 2024 | Mesa, AZ
  17. Lost Dutchman Half Marathon – February 18, 2024 | Apache Junction, AZ
  18. Arizona Half Marathon – March 2024 | Peoria, AZ

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