The Best Philadelphia Half Marathons

History buffs, movie buffs, sports buffs—all find common ground in Philadelphia. In this article, running buffs will find common ground in their love for a Philadelphia half marathon. 

The City of Brotherly Love is where the Liberty Bell stands. It’s where the Declaration of Independence was signed. It’s also the backdrop to famous movies like Rocky and Creed and home of the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies, and 76ers. 

Tour all the city has to offer as you pound the pavement during the half marathons of 2022 and 2023.

Philadelphia Half Marathon, Marathon & 8K

The Philadelphia Half Marathon Weekend

There’s a race for the whole family at the Philadelphia Marathon Weekend. The Weekend features an 8k at the shorter distance and a kids dash, half, or full mile for the youngest competitors. The course, write organizers, is “beautiful, fast, and scenic,” recognized for “flat terrain, mellow weather, and spirited fans.” Regardless of what distance you select, you’ll be running adjacent to over 30,000 others through the Philadelphia city streets.

You’ll see the best of what the city has to offer, from bucolic views in Fairmount Park to peaceful Schuylkill River waterfronts to the historic downtown. 

Want to run for a cause? Join the AACR Runners for Research fundraising team and use your race to support their journey to prevent and cure cancer.

November 18, 2023 | Race info & signup

Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon

Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon

Flat, fast, and historic—the Love Run Philadelphia Half Marathon is the best spring half marathon in Pennsylvania. Throughout this out-and-back course, runners will follow the Schuylkill River, West Fairmount Park, and the Independence Mall, where the Liberty Bell is housed and the Declaration of Independence was drafted. 

If you feel like conquering a few more steps after your run, pay homage to Rocky: the start and finish line is in the scenic location in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. 

March 26, 2023 | Race info & signup

Philadelphia Distance Run Half Marathon & 5K

Philadelphia Distance Run Half Marathon & 5K

If you’re planning to run the Philadelphia Marathon in November, consider the Philadelphia Distance Run Half Marathon tune-up race. This city race takes runners through parts of Philadelphia best experienced on foot. The out-and-back race begins across the street from the Rodin Museum, where The Thinker sculpture philosophizes outside. (You’ll enviously remember him sitting as you grind through mile 12.) 

Other highlights of the course include touring past Independence Mall, Philadelphia City Hall, Civil War-era Laurel Hill Cemetery, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

September 18, 2022 | Race info & signup

Half Sauer Half Kraut Marathon & Half Marathon

Half Sauer Half Kraut Marathon & Half Marathon

Philadelphia has a strong German influence, as migrants who were welcomed to the city in the 1700s. Organized by Uber Endurance, which presents “fun affordable races with a German twist,” the $85 race fee for the Half Sauer Half Kraut Marathon & Half Marathon won’t break the bank. 

This trail race will tour runners through Pennypack Park, a 1,600-acre public park northeast of Philadelphia’s downtown. Expect plenty of Bavarian influence—including an Oktoberfest-themed aid station—and beer and brats at the finish!

June 10, 2023 | Race info & signup

Rocky Run Half Marathon, 10M, & 5K

Rocky Run Half Marathon, 10M, & 5K

Rise up to the challenge of your rivals during the Rocky Run, which starts and ends in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, site of the famous training sequence from Rocky. (Organizers note that the steps are not included in the official course; you can climb those in your own time.)

Unlike other half marathons, which tackle 13.1 miles all at once, the Rocky Run’s “Italian Stallion Challenge” is split into two races. Runners will first tackle the 5K, which they’ll need to complete at a minimum of a 13-minutes per mile pace in order to line up again for the 10 mile start. (For those looking for a shorter challenge, both the 5K and the 10M are available as individual races, as well.)

November 12, 2022 | Race info & signup

Bird-In-Hand Half Marathon

Bird-In-Hand Half Marathon

Tour the rolling hills of Amish country by foot during the Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon. This village of approximately 300 residents dates back to the early 1730s, when it was founded by small communities of Quakers and Mennonites. 

This quaint vibe still permeates the race day experience, as runners pass family farms and friendly Amish supporters, many of whom stop to offer refreshments along the way. Bird In Hand, PA is just 1-hour outside of Philadelphia.

September 9, 2023 | Race info & signup

St. Luke’s Half Marathon

St. Luke’s Half Marathon

Sixty miles north of Philadelphia, the Lehigh Valley offers runners a much different race day vibe. Race over rolling hills and through a covered bridge on the St. Luke’s Half Marathon course. Along the way, you’ll soak up scenic natural beauty as you conquer the city’s streets and riverside park pathways.

Not feeling up to a half marathon? The event also offers a 1.5-mile fun run, free of charge. Allentown is just 1-hour outside of Philadelphia.

April 23, 2023 | Race info & signup

Scranton Half Marathon

Runners down the stretch of Scranton, PA.

It may not be Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin Scranton Meredith Palmer Memorial Celebrity Rabies Awareness Pro-Am Fun-Run Race For the Cure, but the Scranton Half Marathon is still a can’t-miss for fans of The Office.

The race begins and ends at PenFed Credit Union Field at Lackawanna College’s Memorial Stadium. The course itself winds through the historic Green Ridge neighborhood, downtown Scranton, and along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail for a perfect combination of city running and a nature trail respite. Scranton, PA is just 2-hours outside of Philadelphia.

March 26, 2023 | Race info & signup

God’s Country Half Marathon

The runners of God's Country.

Coudersport is the county seat of Potter County, which gains its nickname of God’s Country from its natural beauty and remote setting, as the county dips into the protected lands of the Susquehannock State Forest.

But don’t let the soothing natural setting fool you. You’ll be working hard during the God’s Country Half Marathon, which begins at Ski Denton and features a challenging 5-mile uphill push, followed by a gentler 8-mile descent.  Cloudersport, PA is 260+ miles (4-hours driving) outside of Philadelphia.

June 3, 2023 | Race info & signup

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