Sam Costa Half Marathon & Quarter Marathon

Saturday, October 9, 2021 • Carmel, IN • Course Map

Note: The 2021 race has been postponed to 2022.

Named for a Chicago police detective who became friends with many of the local area runners who popularized what was known back in the 1960s as the Central Indiana Striders Half Marathon, the Sam Costa Half Marathon will celebrate its 51st annual running in 2020, making it one of the oldest 13.1-mile road race events anywhere in the country.

Its 6.55-mile quarter marathon, sponsored by Mike Helms, was added for the first time in 2006. Thanks in part to its origins as a friendly race among running buddies who knew each other well — back when it started, the winner of the race would time his fellow runners as they crossed the finish line — the Sam Costa is also both a participant- and fan-friendly race, without the hordes of runners crowding the starting line that are such a common feature at big-city races.

Instead, the field is relatively small — in 2018, the event saw around 450 runners cross the finish line in both races combined.

The course itself is also one of the draws for the race, as it takes runners through some of central Indiana’s most scenic suburban and rural country roads. Fast and mostly flat, the course is run entirely on paved surfaces, and starts and finishes at Carmel’s Northview Christian Life Church on 131st Street.

From there, the out-and-back race route proceeds in a northeasterly direction, reaching its turnaround point at East 160th and River Avenue, where runners begin their trek back to the finish.

All half marathon participants need to be aware that there is a 3-hour time limit for the race, which means you should keep a pace of at least 13:45 per mile.

Race Weather & Climate

Located just outside and to the north of the I-465 perimeter highway that circles Indianapolis, Carmel tends to experience crisp, cool-to-mild weather conditions in the early fall. In October, temperatures average between 41°F and 71°F, while rainfall amounts average just under 2.8 inches.

On the day of the race (Oct. 9), the average low is 49°F and the average high is 66°F.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Sam Costa Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 9:00 AM – half marathon
  • 9:10 AM – quarter marathon


  • $52 and up for the half marathon
  • $40 and up for the quarter marathon
  • price subject to increase as race day grows closer


To reserve your spot in the 2021 running of Carmel’s Sam Costa Half Marathon or Quarter Marathon race, visit the event website below.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Sam Costa Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: October, Indiana

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