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The 50 Best Half-Marathons in the U.S.

If it seems like everywhere you look someone is running a half-marathon, that’s because it’s becoming increasingly true. According to Running USA, 1.9 million runners finished a half-marathon in the U.S. in 2016, with a record 2,800 half-marathon events in the country that year. While running 13.1 miles can still sound plenty intimidating, many runners see it as a way to work toward a full marathon, or as a more feasible (and still impressive!) goal to check off the bucket list. With the proper training (around 16 weeks for beginners), anyone really can run a half-marathon.

Whether you’re a running newbie or a seasoned pro who wants to run a half in every state of the nation, we’ve narrowed down the thousands of options. Trust us, these 50 half-marathons (listed in alphabetical order by state) are well worth the training and registration fees. You’ll know it as soon as you cross that 13.1-mile finish line!

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The Best Half-Marathons Across the Country

1. Alabama

Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon
Location: Birmingham, AL
Date: Sunday, February 11, 2018
Four thousand runners will take on this popular half-marathon course through Alabama’s largest city. Scan for sights on-the-go including the Birmingham Museum of Art, 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the very hilly Highland Park neighborhood around mile 8. Registration fee: $70-$120

2. Alaska

Anchorage Mayor’s Half-Marathon
Location: Anchorage, AK
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018
Celebrate the extra daylight hours of the summer solstice at Alaska’s largest half-marathon. With stunning views of Mt. McKinley on the clearest days, you’ll experience the wilderness and tough trails of the Last Frontier — in a whole new light. Registration fee: $60-$100

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Photo: Sedona Half Marathon

3. Arizona

Sedona Half Marathon
Location: Sedona, AZ
Date: Saturday, February 3, 2018
The 4,590 feet above sea level elevation may make it hard to catch your breath at this challenging half-marathon. The scenic red rocks and gorgeous valleys along the 13.1 miles of paved and dirt roads are worth the extra effort, and may also take your breath away. Registration fee: $50-$80

4. Arkansas

Little Rock Half Marathon
Location: Little Rock, AR
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018
Up to 4,600 runners will trek through downtown Little Rock and along the Arkansas River to earn the “appropriately large” (at 4 ½ inches and 11 ounces!) finisher’s medal. It’s one of the state’s most popular running events with a fun, new theme each year and a new 2018 course. Registration fee: $70-$125

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5. California

Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon
Location: Sonoma, CA
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Like running? Love wine? Those are the only requirements for this point-to-point half-marathon through the rolling vineyards of California wine country. It starts at Cuvaison Estate Wines and ends with tastings in Sonoma Plaza. But don’t worry, there’s also a special wine stop around mile 10! Registration fee: $180 for individuals and $175 for team participants; sold out

6. Colorado

Golden Leaf Half Marathon
Location: Snowmass Village, CO
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
Hailed by magazines like Colorado Runner and Trail Runner, this Snowmass Village-to-Aspen half-marathon attracts 1,000 serious runners and leaf peepers alike. Expect major elevation changes and tough backcountry trails through the Rocky Mountain ski areas, all surrounded by the brilliant colors of the fall foliage season. Registration fee: $80

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7. Connecticut

Faxon Law Fairfield Half Marathon
Location: Fairfield, CT
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
This beachfront half-marathon has been a popular annual event since 1981. These days, up to 4,000 runners come out to Jennings Beach each year. You’ll race along Long Island Sound, over a few bridges and past the impressive area homes on this out-and-back course. Registration fee: $40-$65

Photo: Dave Frederick / A Simple Running Log

8. Delaware

Rehoboth Beach Seashore Half Marathon
Location: Rehoboth Beach, DE
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
It may be a chilly, little winter race but this coastal half-marathon has a lot of charm. The out-and-back course starts and finishes on the beach town’s historic boardwalk and features a stretch along the Junction and Breakwater Trail, which used to serve as a railroad line. Registration fee: $90-$160

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Photo: Disney Sports

9. Florida

Disney Princess Half Marathon
Location: Orlando, FL
Date: Sunday, February 25, 2018
Show off your sparkliest tiara and join Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and the rest of the Disney princesses (plus some 13,000 other runners) at this magical 13.1-mile run. You never know which of your favorite characters might be hanging around Cinderella’s Castle, Magic Kingdom® Park and Epcot®, so be sure to bring a camera! Registration fee: $160-$195; sold out

10. Georgia

Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon
Location: Atlanta, GA
Date: Thursday, November 22, 2018
Get a head start on burning off the gravy-soaked calories with this popular Thanksgiving Day race. You’ll have to make your way past Atlanta landmarks like Centennial Olympic Park before getting to the finish line — and the turkey and pie! Registration fee: $60

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11. Hawaii

The Hapalua
Location: Waikiki, HI
Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018
Its name means “half” in Hawaiian so it’s no surprise this five-year-old race (organized by the same team behind the Honolulu Marathon) already considers itself the half-marathon to run in the Aloha State. The 13.1 miles of paradise on Oahu’s south shore includes a loop around Diamond Head, Honolulu’s most famous volcano. Registration fee: $85-$180

12. Idaho

Race to Robie Creek Half Marathon
Location: Boise, ID
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Considered the “toughest half-marathon in the Northwest,” this race has been a spring tradition in the Boise foothills for more than 40 years. Keep your head up as you climb, climb and climb some more — all the way to Aldape Summit, for an elevation gain of 2,072 feet in the course. Registration fee: $55

RELATED: 15 Best Destination Half-Marathons in the World

Photo: Chicago Half Marathon

13. Illinois

Chicago Half Marathon
Location: Chicago, IL
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018
Take an exclusive tour of the Windy City (by foot) at the only race in Chicago that shuts down the busy Lake Shore Drive completely. This traffic-free stretch offers runners views of the city skyline and Lake Michigan, but you’ll also get to visit Jackson Park and Hyde Park along the way. Registration fee: $75-$135

14. Indiana

OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018
Start your engines for one of the largest half-marathons in the country, with more than 24,000 participants! Just don’t waste all of your fuel on the lap around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway at the halfway point. There’s still the “Victory Mile” to the finish line on New York Street in downtown Indy. Registration fee: $72-$100

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Photo: Dam to Dam

15. Iowa

Dam to Dam Half Marathon
Location: Storm Lake, IA
Date: Saturday, June 2, 2018
This year marks the last (damn) time 8,000 runners will run this flat and fast half-marathon from one dam outside the city to another in the downtown Des Moines. Along the way, they’ll pass through Birdland Park, along the Meredith Trail and over the Iowa Women of Achievement Bridge as a fond farewell to the beloved 39-year-old fall race. Registration fee: $40-$60

16. Kansas

Garmin Half Marathon
Location: Olathe, KS
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
There’s no place like… Kansas for a half-marathon that’s fit for fans of The Wizard of Oz. Fly through the speedy, flat race (with a few wicked rolling hills) alongside some costumed Dorothys and Cowardly Lions. The loop course also travels along some historic wagon trails early settlers used to go west to California, Oregon and Santa Fe. Registration fee: $70-$120

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Photo: Run the Bluegrass

17. Kentucky

Run the Bluegrass
Location: Lexington, KY
Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018
Join 5,000 runners and horse racing enthusiasts for one of “America’s prettiest half-marathons” through the picturesque Thoroughbred Farms of Kentucky. The rural race starts at Keeneland Race Course, where the 2003 film Seabiscuit was filmed. While there may not be many spectators, expect plenty of horses that’ll motivate you to keep trottin’. Registration fee: $90-$125

18. Louisiana

Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon
Location: New Orleans, LA
Date: Sunday, March 4, 2018
Put on your party pants (and beads) to hightail it from downtown New Orleans, to the beautiful Garden District, back through the world-famous French Quarter and to the finish in New Orleans City Park. The Rock ‘n’ Roll race series is known for its high-energy entertainment, so you’ll love running to the tunes of local Big Easy jazz. Registration fee: $90-$100

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19. Maine

Shipyard Old Port Half
Location: Portland, ME
Date: Saturday, June 23, 2018
It’s like you’re running through a New England postcard (with 3,500 other runners) at this coastal half-marathon through Portland. If the nautical sights of sailboats, lobster boats and tiny little islands all around Casco Bay aren’t enough, how does Shipyard Brewing Company beer at the finish line sound? Registration fee: $59

Photo: Baltimore Half Marathon

20. Maryland

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Baltimore Half Marathon
Location: Baltimore, MD
Date: Saturday, October 20, 2018
More than 11,000 runners come out each year for a loop around Charm City at this popular urban half-marathon. You’ll pass Patterson Park, climb the hills up to Lake Montebello and run by Johns Hopkins University before cruising into the new finish line at the iconic Inner Harbor. Registration fee: $80-$130

Photo: Run to Remember Boston

21. Massachusetts

Run to Remember Boston
Location: Boston, MA
Date: Sunday, May 27, 2018
For more than 10 years, this half-marathon honors Boston’s fallen law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty and takes thousands of runners on a trip around downtown Boston. The race starts and ends at the Seaport World Trade Center, and includes city landmarks like the Charles River, Massachusetts State House and Boston Common. Registration fee: $100-$120

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22. Michigan

Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank International Half-Marathon
Location: Detroit, MI
Date: Sunday, October 21, 2018
Technically, this may be one of the best half-marathons in the U.S. and Canada. So bring your passport, because this fast race will motor through mostly flat urban streets and cross the Detroit River (and international border) twice via the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Registration fee: $90-$115

Photo: Jeff Frey & Associates / Grandma’s Marathon

23. Minnesota

Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon
Location: Duluth, MN
Date: Saturday, June 16, 2018
The half-marathon counterpart of the beloved Grandma’s Marathon, this 13.1-mile race covers the second half of the gorgeous course. The point-to-point run is named after a local Olympian and follows Old Highway 61 along the beautiful, shimmering waters of Lake Superior. Registration fee: $95

Photo: Mississippi River Half Marathon

24. Mississippi

Mississippi River Half Marathon
Location: Greenville, MS
Date: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Imagine the mighty views as you run right up and over the Mississippi River on the Highway 82 Bridge at the start of this point-to-point half-marathon. In fact, it’s the only actual hill in the entire course! In its sixth year, the race continues to make new additions—like this year’s Arkansas side half-marathon. Registration fee: $60-$105

Photo: Karen Martinez

25. Missouri

GO! St. Louis Half Marathon
Location: Louis, MO
Date: Sunday, April 8, 2018
The runner’s high comes early in this half-marathon, which hosts 12,000 runners. Catch a straight-on view of The Lou’s Gateway Arch in the first few miles. Hear the roar of the crowd outside Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals, at mile 5. And smell the hops from Anheuser-Busch Brewery right around the halfway mark. And Registration fee: $55-$110

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Photo: Missoula Marathon

26. Montana

Missoula Half Marathon
Location: Missoula, MT
Date: Sunday, July 15, 2018
Often called the “Hub of Five Valleys,” Missoula hosts 4,000 runners in its scenic, high-elevation Rocky Mountain town. Though it’s not completely closed to traffic, this rural point-to-point half-marathon starts in the countryside, travels along the Bitterroot River and rolls into the downtown area for a memorable finish. Registration fee: $77-$127

27. Nebraska

Lincoln Half Marathon
Location: Lincoln, NE
Date: Sunday, May 6, 2018
Join thousands of Cornhuskers (and maybe some out-of-towners) for this popular 40-year half-marathon in the heart of the Great Plains. The flat and fast course starts and ends at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and passes the historic State Capitol in the first mile out. Registration fee: $60

Photo: Pond5

28. Nevada

Twilight Red Rock Half Marathon
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Date: Saturday, October 13, 2018
Seventeen miles west of the glitzy Las Vegas strip, experience Red Rock Canyon’s colorful sandstone, Joshua trees and Mojave Desert vistas under the moonlight at this nighttime (BYO-headlamp!) half-marathon. There will be a new course this year, but the same sunset start time that night runners love. Registration: $75-$90

Photo: Loco Races

29. New Hampshire

Big Lake Half Marathon
Location: Alton, NH
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018
Need to escape city life? With the glistening waters of Lake Winnipesaukee and the majestic views of the White Mountains, this small annual half-marathon is fit for nature lovers. The “lollipop loop” course runs right along the lake, over many rolling hills and among the nearby cozy vacation cottages. Registration fee: $49-$79

Photo: RunAPalooza

30. New Jersey

Asbury Park Half Marathon
Location: Asbury Park, NJ
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
Greetings from Asbury Park, home of a true Jersey Shore half-marathon! (No, not the TV show.) This flat and fast race is in the land of Bruce Springsteen, with local icon Tillie as its funny-faced mascot. You’ll run through the area beach towns, along the historic boardwalk and finish with the “RunAPalooza” post-race party at Convention Hall. Registration fee: $50-$65

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Photo: Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon

31. New Mexico

Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Date: Sunday, September 16, 2018
Surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountains, you can’t beat the vistas at this point-to-point half-marathon in the Rio Grande Valley. Unless of course, if it was also downhill. And it is! After a short two-mile climb, you’ll drop 1,300 feet overall, passing other sites like Camel Rock and the open-air Sante Fe Opera House. Registration fee: $55-$75

Photo: NYRR

32. New York

United Airlines NYC Half
Location: New York, NY
Date: Sunday, March 18, 2018
Elite runners lead a pack of more than 20,000 runners through 13.1 miles of the Big Apple. With a new course in 2018, you’ll start in Brooklyn, cross the Manhattan Bridge, and head north along the East River to the tourist-filled Times Square, before finishing with four miles in the world famous Central Park. This tour definitely beats any double-decker bus! Registration fee: $130-$145

Photo: Southern Fried Half Marathon

33. North Carolina

Southern Fried Half Marathon
Location: Nags Head, NC
Date: Sunday, November 11, 2018
We love the sound of this point-to-point half-marathon — especially with the promise of southern fried sweet taters at the finish line! To earn ‘em, you (and more than 4,000 other runners) will take on the second half of the Outer Banks Marathon course, from the Nags Head sand dunes to the enchanting coastal village of Manteo. Registration fee: $60-$75

Photo: Fargo Marathon

34. North Dakota

Fargo Half Marathon
Location: Fargo, ND
Date: Saturday, May 19, 2018
With only a few hundred at the very first half-marathon in 2002, up to 6,500 runners now take to the streets of North Dakota’s largest city each spring. Starting and finishing inside the Fargodome (smile for the jumbotron!), the flat and fast course travels through the “Gateway to the West” and feels like a giant dance party with live bands at every mile. Registration fee: $65-$85

35. Ohio

OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon
Location: Columbus, OH
Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018
This 15th annual race promises a whopping 14,500 runners “the best tour of Columbus on two feet” with a new course for 2018. The loop course hits city hotspots like The Ohio State University campus, the Short North Arts District, German Village and downtown Columbus. It also promises a pizza and margaritas at the finish line. Who can argue with that? Registration fee: $60-$115

36. Oklahoma

The Williams Route 66 Half Marathon
Location: Tulsa, OK
Date: Sunday, November 18, 2018
This beloved, high-energy race rocks the streets of downtown Tulsa. Get ready for a fast (though pretty hilly first half) run among Art Deco architecture, bustling neighborhoods and a cross over the famous Route 66 — twice! Registration fee: $90-$105

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Photo: Eugene Marathon

37. Oregon

Eugene Half Marathon
Location: Eugene, OR
Date: Sunday, April 29, 2018
What better place for a speedy PR than TrackTown USA itself? Along the course you’ll see the Willamette River and the historic Hayward Field Track, home to Olympic trials, countless record-breaking events and the old stomping grounds of legends like Steve Prefontaine. Finish strong on those last 200 yards on the track — just like Pre himself! Registration fee: $70-$120

38. Pennsylvania

Dietz & Watson Philadelphia Half Marathon
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Date: Sunday, November 20, 2016
Do the steps at the starting line look familiar? That’s because they’re the same steps Rocky sprinted! You can become a champ too with 13.1 miles through Philly’s historic streets of Old City, the high-energy of Center City and the fall trails along the Schuylkill River, before rounding the corner back to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Registration fee: $60-$115

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39. Rhode Island

Amica Newport Half Marathon
Location: Newport, RI
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
You’ll hardly notice all the rolling hills with so much to look at during this picture-perfect oceanside race. The half-marathon, voted best in the Northeast by Competitor magazine in 2016, starts at Easton’s Beach and makes its way around Fort Adams State Park and past the larger-than-life Bellevue Avenue mansions. Registration fee: $65-$85

Photo: Kiawah Island Golf Resort

40. South Carolina

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Half Marathon
Location: Kiawah Island, SC
Date: Saturday, December 8, 2018
How does an early winter runcation sound? Plan a getaway to this luxurious golf resort for a relaxing retreat and its 41st annual half-marathon. The flat-as-can-be race attracts more than 3,000 to run around the island community, among oak, maple and pine tree-lined streets and scenic marshlands. Just save a little energy to hit the links, too. Registration: $60-$115

Photo: Action Sports Images

41. South Dakota

Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon
Location: Hill City, SD
Date: Sunday, October 7, 2018
The colossal Crazy Horse Memorial directs you to the start of this half-marathon through the Black Hills country. After a very short stretch uphill, the course is nearly all downhill for the remainder of the race, as it leads runners to the limestone and gravel trails of the scenic George S. Mickelson Trail. Registration fee: $65-$90

42. Tennessee

St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Half Marathon
Location: Nashville, TN
Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018
Leave the headphones at home for 13.1 miles through Music City! On-course rock and country tunes will carry 18,000 of y’all from the honky tonks of Broadway to Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans. Just save some energy for the two-steppin’ at the post-race party. Registration fee: $90-$100

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Photo: Mario Cantu

43. Texas

Austin Half Marathon
Location: Austin, TX
Date: Sunday, February 18, 2018
Up to 12,000 runners get to see what keeps Austin weird at this urban half-marathon. You’ll pass Lady Bird Lake, Congress Avenue, the Colorado River and the Texas State Capitol. But it’s the extraordinary crowd support from friendly Austinites, Longhorns and local entertainment that makes this race most memorable. Registration fee: $70-$140

Photo: Salt Lake City Marathon

44. Utah

Alaska Airlines Salt Lake City Half Marathon
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Date: Saturday, April 21, 2018
The snow-capped Wasatch Mountains and budding flowers create a beautiful contrast at this annual springtime half. The point-to-point race starts at Olympic Legacy Bridge at the University of Utah, which served as the 2002 Winter Olympic Athlete Village. Maybe the slightly downhill course will help you make it to a medal podium, too! Registration fee: $70-$140

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45. Vermont

Covered Bridges Half Marathon
Location: Woodstock, VT
Date: Sunday, June 3, 2018
How does such a small town race sell out 2,300 spots in 30 minutes? It might have something to do with the classic New England point-to-point course, with popular ski areas, open farmland, shimmering rivers and covered bridges along the way. Bonus: Age group winners take home Vermont maple syrup and cheese as prizes! Registration fee: $75; sold out

46. Virginia

 Markel Richmond Half Marathon
Location: Richmond, VA
Date: Saturday, November 10, 2018
Get the whole family together for this first-timer-friendly younger sibling of the Anthem Richmond Marathon (always a favorite fall race). There are plenty of downtown city sites, residential tree-lined streets, a loop in Bryan Park and even a sweet junk food mile stop (think gummy bears and cookies!) to keep you smiling along the way. Registration fee: $60-$115

Photo: Adrenaline Event Photography

47. Washington

Bellingham Bay Half Marathon
Location: Bellingham, WA
Date: Sunday, September 30, 2018
Down by the bay (Bellingham Bay, of course), you’ll find a tranquil half-marathon that offers more than 1,000 runners impressive mountain and seaside views. The waterfront course captures the sights, sounds and smells of the Pacific Northwest, courtesy of San Juan Island and Mount Baker vistas, short trails and small bridge crossings. Registration fee: $70

Photo: Hatfield McCoy Marathon

48. West Virginia

The Hatfield McCoy Half Marathon
Location: Matewan, WV
Date: Saturday, June 9, 2018
There are two important choices to make in this 15th annual half. Which of the course options will you run? And, are you a Hatfield or a McCoy? Read up on this famous American family feud before taking on the scenic course(s) near the Blackberry Mountains and Tug River. No matter which side you’re on, you’ll feel like family. Registration fee: $60-$85

RELATED: 7 Common Fears for Runners (and How to Overcome Them)

Photo: Race-Brewers

49. Wisconsin

Brewers Mini-Marathon
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Date: Saturday, September 22, 2018
In just a few years, this half-marathon has become a fall tradition — especially for baseball fans. The hilly course passes the Harley Davidson Museum and runs through Miller Valley, but runners finish with a trip ‘round the outer track of Miller Park, where they’ll earn a voucher for a free Milwaukee Brewers spring home game. Registration fee: $65-$110

50. Wyoming

Hole Half Marathon
Location: Jackson, WY
Date: Saturday, September 1, 2018
Discover the thrill of adventure at a destination half-marathon in the heart of the Jackson Hole valleys. It’s small, quiet and somewhat serene, but the point-to-point course’s jaw-dropping mountain views of Grand Teton and the brilliant, natural colors sure pack a punch. Registration fee: $89-$125

Originally published January 2014. Updated January 2018. 

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