The 25 Fall Half Marathons You’ll Want to Run This Year

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1) The Kauai Half Marathon

You’ll run the Hawaiian island of Kauai — with its pristine sand beaches, lush jungle-like rain forests and massive green cloud-covered mountains — and is one of the most beautiful places anywhere on earth for a running event.

Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 • Poipu, HI


2) Pier to Peak Half Marathon

Run from Stearns Wharf in Santa Barbara, Calif., all the way up to La Cumbra Peak at some 4,000 feet above sea level, this race is often called “the world’s toughest half marathon” and demands plenty of high-elevation and hill training.

Sunday, Sept. 2, 2018 • Santa Barbara, CA

3) Revel Big Cottonwood Half Marathon

You’ll experience an elevation drop of more than 3,000 feet as you descend through Big Cottonwood Canyon on the way from the mountains into the city at this race, which starts “just 11 miles away from Salt Lake City but a million miles away in attitude.”

Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 • Salt Lake City, UT

4) Autumn Color Run Half Marathon

Run through a spectacularly scenic part of central Colorado known as the “Fourteeners Region,” thanks to its 14,000-ft.-high mountain peaks, at this race that marks its 33rd annual running this fall.

Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018 • Buena Vista, CO

5) Navy-Air Force Half Marathon

More than 6,000 runners cross the finish line each year at this race, which takes runners past several of the signature sights of our nation’s capital, including the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall.

Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018 • Washington, DC

6) Hamptons Half Marathon

The tree-lined roads and historic beach town areas along the scenic southern shore of New York’s Long Island are on display at this race, named by Runner’s World as one of the country’s “Top 10 Races to Run” back in 2008.

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018 • Southampton, NY

7) Freedom’s Run Half Marathon

The scenic rolling hills of the lower Shenandoah Valley, as well as four of the country’s most historic national parks, will be the setting at this race through the historic grounds of the Antietam National Battlefield Park.

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 • Shepherdstown, WV

8) Newport Half Marathon

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. 7, 2018 • Newport, RI

9) Towpath Half Marathon

Named for the Native American word for “crooked river,” the 33,000-acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park just outside Cleveland is the setting for this race, which takes runners from the Brandywine Ski Resort onto a winding tour of the valleys and wooded trails inside the park.

Sunday, Oct. 7, 2018 • Sagamore Hills, OH

10) Lake Tahoe Half Marathons

Run along the stunning shoreline of California’s Lake Tahoe, these three half marathons — one each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday — are part of a weekend filled with rugged trail events, bike races and a 72-mile ultramarathon.

Friday-Sunday, Oct. 12-14, 2018 • Lake Tahoe, CA

11) WhistleStop Half Marathon

Run along a crushed limestone gravel trail, this race marks its 21st annual running this fall along the Tri-County Corridor, a 60-mile-long rails-to-trails project that spans from the lakeshore Wisconsin town of Superior all the way to Ashland.

Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018 • Ashland, WI

12) City to the Sea Half Marathon

More than 2,000 runners and walkers come out each year to run the long, scenic point-to-point course from San Luis Obispo to the coastal town of Pismo Beach at this race, which has become a local tradition over the past decade in this Southern California town.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 • San Luis Obispo, CA

13) Iron Horse Half Marathon

Nestled in the heart of Kentucky’s bluegrass country — at the midpoint of the railroad line between the cities of Lexington and Frankfort — Midway hosts this race along a route that shows off the rolling green hills of its thoroughbred horse farms and rural countryside.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 • Midway, KY

14) The Other Half

Rising red canyons and stunning rock formations provide the backdrop for this race, which features gorgeous views of the surrounding terrain, including prominent landmarks Fisher Towers, Castle Rock, and the La Sal Mountains.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018 • Moab, UT

15) Urban Bourbon Half Marathon

The banks of the Ohio River as well as this famous Kentucky city’s downtown streets and parks are the setting for this race, which features a finish line along Louisville’s Liberty Street, just down from the Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse.

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018 • Louisville, KY

16) Columbia Gorge Half Marathon

Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, whose roughly 80-mile-long stretch of river serves as the border between the states of Washington and Oregon, serves as the gorgeous setting for this race, which features spectacular views of Mount Hood off in the distance.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018 • Hood River, OR

17) Cape Cod Half Marathon

Often called one of the country’s most scenic marathons, thanks to its course that unfolds along the shoreline of southern Cape Cod, this race features views of an 1876-era lighthouse and a stretch past the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute on the way back into Falmouth.

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 • Falmouth, MA

18) Valley of Fire Half Marathon

It’s “the hardest race you’ll ever love,” organizers say, and the route lives up to the description at this race, a difficult and challenging one filled with hills and dramatic scenery within driving distance of Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, with red rock formations all around.

Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 • Overton, NV

19) Happy Girls Sisters Run Half Marathon

This race offers stunning views along the Peterson Ridge Trail, a more than 20-mile-long network of mountain biking and hiking trails built on old forest service roads and single-track trails that, depending on the season, can be dusty and loose or packed with snow.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018 • Sisters, OR

20) Golden Gate Half Marathon

Run across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin Headlands and back at this late fall race, which begins and ends at the city’s historic Muni Pier and features a stretch running near the beach in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 • San Francisco, CA

21) Malibu Half Marathon

Rocky bluffs, sandy beaches, waves crashing against the shoreline, and plenty of rugged hills await on a gorgeous point-to-point route along the Pacific Coast Highway at this race, which starts and finishes at Point Mugu Beach.

Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018 • Malibu, CA

22) Old Koloa Sugar Mill Run Half Marathon

Surrounded by the mountains of Kauai as well as the wide-open fields of the plantations that once operated here, this race shows off the scenic countryside, beachfront resorts and tree-lined roads that have kept tourists coming here since the 1830s.

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 • Koloa, HI

23) Monterey Bay Half Marathon

The deep blues and greens of the Pacific Ocean crashing the rocky coastline, kelp beds swaying back and forth with the waves, sea gulls floating along the breeze and maybe even seals and sea lions — you’re likely to see all of it along the course here.

Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 • Monterey, CA

24) Mississippi Gulf Coast Half Marathon

Set for its second annual running along the shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico between Pass Christian and Biloxi, this race features a fast and flat course and plentiful views of the ocean throughout, as well as gorgeous historic homes.

Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 • Gulfport, MS

25) Hoover Dam Half Marathon

The desert landscape of Southern Nevada — combined with majestic views of one of the most awe-inspiring man-made structures anywhere in the world, the Hoover Dam — are both on display at this annual mid-December race.

Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018 • Boulder City, NV

2 comments… add one
  • Angie Misaghi December 29, 2019, 11:39 am

    The malibu half marathon had moved a few years ago and isn’t at point mugu anymore but starts and finishes at Zumba Beach in Malibu (south of Point Mugu).

  • Ken E May 25, 2019, 8:29 pm

    You missed adding the Bar Harbor Half that runs through Acadia National Park.

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