The Most Fun Half Marathons of 2024

Whether you like it or not, 2024 is almost here, and a new year brings with it the possibility for all kinds of exciting new experiences. Twelve fresh months stand on the horizon so why clutter them up with the same ol’ same ol’? Why not branch out and go on a brand new adventure? And of course the beauty of having running as a hobby is that there are always new frontiers to explore. Whether you’re running your first half marathon, looking for a new race to run, or just creating a bucket list of fun half marathons in 2024, there are thousands of half marathons held every year across the USA to select from.

Perhaps in 2024 you finally run your first half marathon. You’ll pound pavement for 13.1 miles. Longer than you’ve ever gone before! Or if you’ve already run a half, maybe your 2024 goal is to pick up the pace and earn a new PR and run a faster half marathon? Maybe it’s to run a half marathon every season? Do an international running trip? The opportunities are endless.

There are plenty of people out there who would never associate the word “fun” with long distance running. But, we’re here to tell you that there’s an abundance of exceptionally fun half marathons in 2024 you can sign up. 

To that end, we scoured the 2024 half marathon race calendar. We picked out some of the most interesting, scenic, and fun half marathons coming up next year. These 17 races are some of our half marathons run across America. Because, if you’re not having fun, why bother?

Peruse the list, sign up for one (or more) and let’s get running.

The Most Fun Half Marathons of 2023 Calendar

Long Beach, California home of the most fun half marathons of 2024.

New Year’s Day Dash Half Marathon in Long Beach, CA

New year. Same old you out there running fun half marathons for the heck of it. Whether you’re an old pro or a newbie, why not start 2024 off right with a breezy, ocean-side half marathon. Stay up until midnight, grab a quick kiss, swig down a sip of champagne, and then head to bed so that you’re fresh for this New Year’s Day marathon just outside Los Angeles. The flat course follows the beach making this an easy race for beginners. And, you’ll feel strong and empowered going into 2024 if you start the year with half. Better than hanging out in bed hungover. 

January 1, 2024 | Read More | Register

3M Half Marathon in Austin, TX

While running a marathon in the Texas heat sounds like a recipe for disaster. Thankfully Austin planned their marquee half for the middle of January so you (and your sneakers) won’t melt. The point-to-point course winds its way downtown Texas’s “weirdest” city with a finish line next to the State Capitol. On race day expect lots of fans to be lining the course. Plenty of whom will be trying to ply you with beer mid-run. After you finish, snag a pic with the Lone Star State’s gorgeous Capitol in the background. Then, head off to find some brisket. 

January 21, 2024 | Read More | Register

Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA

If you are looking for a beachy LA half that doesn’t require you to take it easy on New Year’s Eve, you can try this half. It also gives runners plenty of stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. While there’s also a full marathon option, the half is mostly along the Pacific Coast Highway which passes the famed Huntington Beach Pier. This fast course is also a great one if you’re looking for a PR. 

February 4, 2024 | Read More | Register

The Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, FL one of the fun half marathons.

Disney Princess Half Marathon in Orlando, FL

Perhaps not the best option if you’re looking to PR, however is the Disney Princess Half Marathon, one of several fun half marathon races that Disney World runs through its parks every year. You don’t run Disney for the run. You run it for the race experience. The Princess Half not only sends runners through Magic Kingdom, but also lines the course with photo ops. Snap pictures in front of Cinderella’s Castle or with the iconic princesses waiting to cheer you on. You’ll get an incredible medal for your efforts and the RunDisney swag is something to behold as well. 

February 25, 2024 | Read More | Register

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

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half is one of a handful of races each year that don’t start early in the morning. Rather to beat the heat, and give runners a full view of the Vegas Strip in all its neon splendor, the race begins as the sun is setting. Like with all the Rock ‘n’ Roll races, you’ll be treated to plenty of incredible music before, during, and after the race, and the post-race festivities are more of a dance party than recuperation. Plus, you’re in Vegas baby! Stay a couple days post race to hit up the spa, a show, and some of the best restaurants in America. This race also made our best half marathons for beginners.

February 25, 2024 | Read More | Register

A couple walking through Times Square at night.

United Airlines NYC Half in New York, NY

If you’re looking for easy, New York City’s signature half might not be your race. Between the bridges, the overpasses, and the Central Park rolling hills, you’re certainly in for a challenging course. But for what the NYC Half lacks in ease, it makes up for in iconic sites. The race starts in Prospect Park in Brooklyn before heading over the Manhattan Bridge with incredible views of the City. Then the course winds through Chinatown, along the East River, past Grand Central Station, and through the heart of Times Square before it’s off to the Central Park finish. The fans are incredible the whole way and you can celebrate with a bagel and schmear.

March 17, 2024 | Read More | Register 

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini Marathon in Indianapolis, IN

While you may be going about 235 miles per hour slower than the Indy 500 winner when they cross the finish line, you can sign up to race around the iconic track. As a part of the leadup to the famed 500-mile car race, the Hoosier state throws a “mini marathon” aka a half marathon every May that allows runners on the course. Lace up your running shoes and kick it into high gear. Hopefully you won’t have to worry about the caution flag or changing your tires. You can certainly down as much milk as you’d like upon seeing the checkered flag though.

May 4, 2024 | Read More | Register

Maine Coast Half Marathon in Wells, ME

Sure not all races are an excuse to either go to the beach or eat great food, but those are two perfectly lovely reasons to sign up for a half marathon, and both apply to the Maine Coast Half. Ran each year in Wells, a tiny coastal town south of Portland, this half sends runners through a National Wildlife Refuge along the Atlantic coast as you head out onto the scenic peninsula. And yes, you get to run along a beach and yes, you can snag a lobster roll when you’re done. You also happen to run through Ogunquit, which Stephen King fans will certainly have read about. 

May 5, 2024 | Read More | Register

Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon in Lexington, Kentucky

Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon in Lexington, KY

This Lexington, Kentucky half boldly claims on its website to be “America’s prettiest half marathon.” I’m sure that other races on this list would like to squabble with that title being awarded to Run the Bluegrass, but a quick scroll through the photos on the website can show you just how gorgeous the rolling hills of Kentucky are. Another point in this race’s favor is that it’s hosted by the Talon Winery meaning that after the race is done, you can immediately start sipping on some of the finest reds and white the state has to offer. 

May 11, 2024 | Read More | Register

Chicago Spring Half Marathon in Chicago, IL

The Chicago Marathon is one of the best in the world (it is one of the Abbott World Majors after all), but unfortunately it only offers a full marathon course. If you don’t feel like working through a full marathon training plan and finishing the 26.2, however, the Chicago Spring Half offers runners a shorter option. Both road races start and end in Chicago’s Millennium Park (get those Bean pictures baby!) and both races send runners on a course along Lake Michigan. You’ll just hopefully have half the soreness the next day with this one.

May 19, 2024 | Read More | Register

The fun half marathons site of the Hibuscus Half Marathon in Honolulu, HI

Hibiscus Half Marathon in Honolulu, HI

You want an excuse to go to Hawaii. I want an excuse to go to Hawaii. We all want an excuse to go to Hawaii. And what better excuse to lay on a beach sipping Mai Tais than having just run fun half marathons? The Hibiscus Half gives runners a scenic tour of Honolulu with a portion of the course tracing the famed Waikiki Beach. Then once you’ve checked the half off your bucket list you can spend the rest of the week eating poke and touring volcanos. I mean you flew all the way there! What are you going to do? Hop on a plane immediately and return home? 

May 26, 2024 | Read More | Register

Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon in Boston, MA

While the Boston Marathon is, of course, the sport’s most iconic and competitive race, it doesn’t actually spend that much time within Boston proper. This half, which honors fallen New England’s first responders, really gives runners with the Boston experience. You’ll run through the historic downtown and pass Boston Commons, but you’ll also get to cruise along the Charles River with gorgeous views of the city’s skyline. Perhaps the best part about this half, however, is that it doesn’t require a BQ to enter.

May 27, 2024 | Read More | Register

Covered Bridges Half Marathon in Pomfret, VT

New England is of course known for its many covered bridges that cross the rivers, streams, and creeks that run through America’s northeast. This small town race in rural Vermont is dedicated to the covered bridges and lets runners cross several as they make their way to the finish line. While the shady course may not be as lined with spectators as the road races on this list, if you’re looking to spend time in nature and get some fresh air, this is a lovely option.

June 2, 2024 | Read More | Register

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon in Napa, CA

Most everything in life is better with a glass of wine, and while that doesn’t really apply to running fun half marathons, it certainly does to the post-race festivities. There’s no better place in the US to snag a glass (or two or three) than in California’s wine country. This half marathon which takes runners from Napa to Sonoma sends runners through vineyards and ends with a wine-heavy fest post-finish line. Just don’t drink too much or you might forget you ever ran the half in the first place. 

July 21, 2024 | Read More | Register

San Francisco Half Marathon in San Francisco, CA

There are few sites in the US as iconic as San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Bridge, and while there is a pedestrian walkway on the landmark, during the half marathon, parts of the Golden Gate are shut down to cars so that thousands of half marathoners can run back and forth across the beauty. If it’s not too foggy you can see stunning views of the city’s skyline. SF is, however, known for its hills and bridges are basically hills over water, so make sure to put some climbs in your training plan. 

July 28, 2024 | Read More | Register

The Rocky Mountains with a lake in Estes Park, Colorado.

Rocky Mountain Half Marathon in Estes Park, CO

While there are very few fun half marathons that actually run through a US National Park, Vacation Races has a series or races that get pretty dang close to the iconic nature preserves. The Rocky Mountain Half, which edges up against Rocky Mountain National Park does send runners up and down the Rocky Mountains. This is not a race for beginners with steep elevation climbs. If you’re a nature lover and experienced runner, however, this course can be very rewarding.

August 3, 2024 | Read More | Register

Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon in Hampton, NH

You can’t get more “New England” than this coastal New Hampshire half marathon. The race is a party from start to finish. With an Elvis-impersonator band that closes the finisher festival, clam chowder, lobster rolls, and craft beer from local Smuttynose brewery – this race has it all.

October 6, 2024 | Read More | Register

Great Turtle Half Marathon in Mackinac Island, MI

Ask any Michigander (including myself) to name the most beautiful locales in the state and you’re sure to get Mackinac Island said over and over again. The tiny island in between the state’s upper and lower peninsulas was home to a military outpost before it became a vacation destination. This trail race winds its way around the tiny island including stints along the trails that crisscross its center. Part trail run, part road race, this course is a hilly, challenging one, but the island is home to some of the best fudge shops in the US, so you’ll earn a tasty reward when you finish. 

October 26, 2024 | Read More | Register

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