As Jeff Galloway, a 1972 Olympian and popular marathon coach so eloquently put it, “The half-marathon gives you almost all of the satisfaction and achievement of the marathon and far less than half of the aches and pains and fatigue.”
It’s the chance to complete an incredibly adrenalizing race, without having to tolerate many of the sacrifices involved with dedicating yourself to a full 26.2 miles.
According to Running USA and the organization’s annual race reports, the half marathon has consistently been the fastest growing standard race distance in the U.S. since 2006. Between 2006 and 2012, “the number of 13.1 mile finishers grew a noteworthy 10 percent or more each year,” their 2014 report notes.
There are many reasons people should consider the challenge of completing a half marathon. It’s a totally manageable distance; you’re training for a full marathon; the choices are endless; the recovery process is faster; the injury risk is smaller; and it’s a lot of fun.
If that’s not enough, consider the fact that you’re likely going to travel to a city you have not visited before, explore what it has to offer with the new friends you made on race day.