The Best New England Half Marathons

There are six states that make up New England: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. The region was christened for the region in 1614 by Captain John Smith and still carries the name today. The New England region is home to some of America’s finest half marathons specifically because of its world-renown seasons. Half marathons in New England in the spring bring newly blossomed leaves and temperate coastal breezes. Fall New England half marathons bring auburn foliage and crisp air. The toughest part of spring New England half marathons? Training through the New England winter. The best thing? Pretty much everything else. We’ve compiled a list of the best New England half marathons you should have on your calendar this year.

The skyline of Gloucester, MA home of the Happy Holidays Half MerryThon

Photo: gloucester-ma.gov

1. Happy Holidays Half MerryThon • Gloucester, MA

There’s nothing that will get you into the holiday spirit like running through Gloucester, Massachusetts. Gloucester is best known for its picturesque harbor and historic waterfront – which has played a role in American history as being one of the earliest settlements (founded in 1623) and being a fishing hub for the Northeast.

The half marathon course hugs the coastline so most of what you’re seeing (outside of the backs of other runners), is the Atlantic Ocean. The perfect New England race to wrap up your race season.

December 3, 2023 | Register

The starting line of New England half marathons Harborside Half Marathon

2. Harborside Half Marathon • Newburyport, MA

Harborside Half Marathon is in its 9th year of running in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Newburyport has iconic New England vibes – nestled right against the Merrimack River and the boarder between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

The race itself follows a beautiful lollipop loop course that’s fast and flat through  rural fields, old farmhouses, and nature preserves.

The race is produced by Ventures Endurance, renown in the United States for their post-race festivities, so expect a panoramic view of the Merrimack River, local pizza, and complimentary craft beer. 

November 2024 | Read More | Register

3. Providence Marathon & Half Marathon • Providence, RI

Providence is the unsung multi-faceted New England city you didn’t know you needed a half marathon in. While Boston gets lauded as a university epicenter, Providence is home to the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University which, the Providence Marathon and Half Marathon give runners a glimpse at both. You’ll spend much of the first few (and last few) miles of the course along the Seekonk and Providence Rivers at this race, which includes stretches through downtown Providence and two bridge crossings — one on the way out and on the way back. The race is praised for being exceptionally well run and scenic. Providence is only an hour from Boston and three from New York and makes the top of our list of New England half marathons worth running.

Sunday, May 7, 2023 | Read More | Register

Photo Credit: Loco Races

4. Hampton Half Marathon & 5K • Hampton Beach, NH

Come out for a cold, wintertime run along the windswept Atlantic Ocean coastline of New Hampshire’s beachfront towns at this race, which takes runners from Ashworth-by-the-Sea just north of Hampton Beach, along a route that passes alongside the sandy beaches near the area’s summertime resort hotels.

Sunday, March 5, 2023 | Read More | Register

5. Twin Lights Half Marathon • Gloucester, MA

The sounds of seagulls calling in the wind and the waves rushing in along the shoreline will be familiar sounds by the time you reach the finish line at this race, which runs along the Massachusetts North Shore coastline.

Saturday, April 30, 2023 | Read More | Register

Photo by Venti Views on Unsplash

6. Middlebury Maple Run Half Marathon • Middlebury, VT

The rolling green hills, quaint downtown streets and college town atmosphere of this small city in central Vermont — parts of the race run through the Middlebury College campus — are just a few of the charms of this event, nicknamed “The Sweetest Half.”

Sunday, October 2023 | Read More | Register

7. Maine Coast Half Marathon & 5K • Biddeford, ME

The course for this race is filled with the scenery that makes this small coastal Maine town’s population swell every summer, from the rocky shoreline of Fortunes Rocks Cove, Horseshoe Cove and Biddeford Pool to the gorgeous oceanfront homes and cottages along the roads that wind along the shoreline.

Saturday, May 6, 2023 | Read More | Register

8. Mystic Half Marathon • Mystic, CT

You’ll run through a piece of America’s maritime history at this race, which unfolds through a place with gorgeous views of the Connecticut coastline, and where you’ll get to see historic ships sailing in the Mystic Harbor as you run the course.

Sunday, May 21, 2023 | Read More | Register

2023 Steel Rail Half Marathon & 8K in Lanesborough, MA

PHOTO COURTESY ANITA LOUISE PHOTOGRAPHY.

9. Steel Rail Half Marathon • Lanesborough, MA

You’ll run along the gorgeous, tree-covered hills and woodlands of Berkshire County in western Massachusetts at this race, which follows a point-to-point route along the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, whose 10-foot-wide path is paved and flat throughout and features only three turns.

Sunday, May 21, 2023 | Read More | Register

2023 UConn Health Half Marathon, 10K & 5K in Simsbury, CT

COURTESY STEVE LAUGHLIN PHOTOGRAPHY

10. UConn Health Half Marathon • Simsbury, CT

You’ll run between tree-lined roadways and wide-open farm fields here — no doubt part of the reason why famed Runner’s World columnist Bart Yasso selected this race a few years back as one of his favorite races across the country.

Sunday, June 3, 2023 | Read More | Register

2023 Mad Marathon & Half Marathon in Waitsfield, VT

Photo credit Mad Marathon & Half Marathon

11. Mad Half Marathon • Waitsfield, VT

Rolling country roads along a route that alternates between the quaint streets of this small central Vermont town and the countryside framed by the nearby Green Mountains await runners at this race, run through an area well-known as a wintertime ski destination.

Sunday, July 9, 2023 | Read More | Register

PHOTO BY TRACI/FLICKR

12. Blueberry Cove Half Marathon • Tenants Harbor, ME

Run through a Maine town where boats are said to outnumber cars at this late summer race, which starts at Blueberry Cove Camp and follows winding back roads, with views of the ocean crashing against the rocky shoreline.

Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023 | Read More | Register

 

PHOTO BY PAUL VANDERWERF/FLICKR

13. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust Half Marathon • Bar Harbor, ME

You’ll get to run this race through the grounds of a U.S. national park — at Maine’s Acadia National Park, making this the only race of its kind anywhere in the U.S. — at a time when the autumn leaves are turning brilliant shades of orange, red and gold.

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023 | Read More | Register

2023 Jamestown Rhode Races Half Marathon in Jamestown, RI

Photo courtesy Jamestown Rhode Races Half Marathon

14. Jamestown Half Marathon • Jamestown, RI

With its rocky shorelines, historic lighthouses and windmills that still stand as a reminder of the small coastal towns and villages of New England’s past, Jamestown and Conanicut Island make for a beautifully picturesque course.

Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 | Read More | Register

2023 Hartford Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay & 5K in Hartford, CT

COURTESY HARTFORD MARATHON FOUNDATION

15. Hartford Half Marathon • Hartford, CT

The vibrant colors of fall are on display for runners, walkers and relay participants all through Connecticut’s capitol city at this race, which features a mostly fast and flat course and features a stretch along the riverfront, including a run through the city’s Great River Park.

Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023 | Read More | Register

16. Amica Newport Half Marathon • Newport, RI

The beautifully scenic rocky coastline of southern Rhode Island forms the backdrop for this race, which takes runners on an out-and-back course along this town on Aquidneck Island, and features views of the water for nearly the entire race route.

Sunday, Oct. 8, 2023 | Read More | Register

B.A.A. Half Marathon | Boston Athletic Association

Photo courtesy the Boston Athletic Association

17. Boston Athletic Association Half Marathon • Boston, MA

Run by the same athletic organization that stages the fabled Boston Marathon each April, the B.A.A. Half is a much younger sibling of its 26.2-mile-long counterpart, starting from Franklin Park and heading through the city all the way to Roberto Clemente Field in the Back Bay Fens neighborhood near Fenway Park.

Sunday, Nov. 13, 2023 | Read More | Register

Photo by A n v e s h on Unsplash

18. Cape Cod Half Marathon • Falmouth, MA

Hailed by publications like Runner’s World as one of the country’s most scenic marathons, thanks to a course that unfolds along the shoreline of southern Cape Cod, this race features stretches along the beachfront and finishes in front of at Falmouth’s Town Hall Square.

Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023 | Read More | Register

 

What is the best New England half marathon?

Our favorite is the Providence Half Marathon in Providence, Rhode Island taking place May 7, 2023.

What is the most popular New England half marathon?

The Boston Athletic Association half marathon is the most popular in New England. Registration is capped at 9,000.

This content was produced in partnership with Ventures Endurance.

5 comments… add one
  • Paul Roche February 28, 2019, 9:02 pm

    The name of the race is Bay of Fundy International Marathon

    The link is: https://bayoffundymarathon.com

  • Paul Roche February 27, 2019, 5:14 pm

    You missed one of the most beautifu halfs. Scheduled for June 23, 2019 this half event starts in New Brunswick and finishes in Maine.
    A set of unique races for the discerning runner: run across the Canada-USA border without stopping; no crowds or traffic lights; no more than 350 runners in each event; beautiful scenery and the world’s biggest tides; bald eagles, seals, sometimes whales seen from the course; medals and awards handcrafted by local artists; a challenging fully certified, chip timed, Boston qualifying, not-for-profit event organized jointly by the friendly welcoming communities of Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada and Lubec, Maine, USA on the shores of the magnificent Bay of Fundy.

    • Terrell Johnson February 28, 2019, 9:29 am

      Hi there Paul — thanks for the suggestion! It sounds like an amazing race, and I’m really sorry I didn’t include it. Can you reply back with the name and the link to their page? I’ll add it 🙂

      -Terrell

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