America’s 25 Greatest Half Marathons

Sedona Half Marathon, Photo: Courtesy of Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau

The “half” has become the race to enter these days. Last year, more than 2 million runners finished a half marathon in the U.S.—and due to this distance’s popularity, new races seem to be popping up everywhere. These races typically fill up fast.

Sedona Half Marathon

Sedona, Ariz.

This race has something for everyone—from the ironclad rock formations in Coconino National Forest District to running through a city that’s been declared a top-10 beauty by “Good Morning America.” Because of the high elevation and vertical ascent, the Sedona Half isn’t a place to set a PR, but the views make the trip worth your while.

Ocean’s Run Half Marathon

Westerly, R.I.

This half comes at the perfect time for a pre-
Boston Marathon warm-up. The race’s relatively small field means a more intimate experience. And it boasts a forgiving course that offers water views nearly the entire way. You’ll also pass through the quiet beach communities of Misquamicut and Weekapaug and experience the best Rhode Island has to offer.

Shamrock Half Marathon

Virginia Beach, Va.

You don’t have to be Irish to fall in love with this annual St. Patrick’s Day race. More than 30,000 participants between the full and the half make it a raucous party along a forgiving oceanfront course that passes historical sites like First Landing State Park. 

NYC Half Marathon

New York CIty

It’s a relatively new race (starting in 2006), but the NYC Half has quickly become one of the most in-demand half marathons in the country. Unlike the five-borough NYC Marathon, the NYC Half is entirely in Manhattan. It starts with the famous Central Park loop before heading toward the Hudson River and then taking runners down to lower Manhattan with a finish on Wall Street.

Hoosier Half Marathon

Bloomington, Ind.

Fans of the movie classic “Breaking Away” should don their Cutters jerseys for this annual spring race. The rolling course winds past Indiana University’s majestic campus, which has been called one of the most beautiful in the United States by Travel + Leisure magazine.

Divas Half Marathon

Myrtle Beach, S.C.

While many races are about going as fast as possible, others, like this one, are instead about the bling. All runners receive pink tutus with their registration, and finishers get crowned with a sparkly Diva medal at the end to show off their girl power.

Red River High Mountain Half Marathon

Red River, N.M.

Sometimes the best half marathons aren’t necessarily the easiest. That’s the case for this one, which starts at 8,700 feet and climbs another 700 feet. But the perks, a small-town race with a small field held in a beautiful environment and historic mountain town, easily make up for the effort required to cross the finish.

RELATED: Why Running a Half Marathon is a Huge Accomplishment

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