The Most Expensive Half Marathons in the USA

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Disney races like the Walt Disney World Marathon & Half Marathon (shown above) are some of the most expensive in the nation. They’re also among the most popular, selling out every year. (Photo by Joseph Brent/flickr)

The list of most expensive half marathons is far from comprehensive, but there are a few takeaways from the races with hefty registration fees. Keep in mind that costs can vary from year to year and registering early often provides runners with price breaks.

Big Cities

Big cities require big resources. From road blockages to police presence, big city half marathons can cost race directors thousands of dollars in pure logistics. If the race takes place in congested downtown streets, safety and security are a huge concern and liability.

The larger the race, the more complicated everything becomes. Races like the Detroit Free Press International Marathon add an extra layer of complication with runners crossing into another country for a portion of the race.

Big race companies

ZOOMA, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Vacation Races, and runDisney occupy most of the spots on the list below. They have well-oiled machines coordinating their races and runners should expect their experience to be fairly seamless. Race companies attract popular sponsors that provide plenty of swag both on and off the course.

Big “bucket lists”

Vacation Races and runDisney offer not just the opportunity to run a half marathon, but a chance to enjoy a runcation as well. For runners looking for destination races, these companies provide a broader experience than just 13.1 miles on pavement.

Though Disney has some of the steepest racing fees, they also have very little problem filling spots. Basic economics teaches us that the demand still outweighs the supply as long as runners continue to register to capacity. There are still plenty of less expensive races out there — runners always can vote with their wallets.

Here’s the list, with each race’s starting (lowest) to ending (highest) prices:

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