The World's 15 Best Half Marathons

The World's 15 Best Half Marathons

1. Star Wars Half Marathon at the Disneyland Resort

There’s a run for Jedi Knights and Padawans of every age and skill level including the Star Wars Half Marathon, Star Wars 10K and Star Wars 5K, and the runDisney Kid Races, according to the event’s website. This January, more than 14,000 runners took part in the 13.1-mile race in and around the Disneyland Resort.

2. Bermuda Half Marathon

This 13.1-mile course will start and finish on Front Street in Hamilton. Participants will enjoy many breathtaking vistas of Bermuda’s South and North coast’s, combining views of the changing shades of the blue ocean with the bright colorful hues of pastel colored houses and buildings, according to the site. Mixed into this are areas of lush greenery and fascinating architecture.

3. New York City Half Marathon

Put simply, there’s just something about running through the streets of New York City that can’t quite compare to any other atmosphere in the world. The electric energy alone is enough to keep you on pace, even for an entire 13.1 miles. People just love running through Times Square. It re-energizes them. For the second year in a row, the leaders in the NYC Half catapulted in tandem around the final turn, setting up a frantic and riveting dash toward a photo finish. This time, however, it was the women who were locked into a shoulder-to-shoulder battle down the stretch.

4. La Jolla Half Marathon

This year the La Jolla Half Marathon is scheduled for April 24. Few other things can beat the stunning views that this tough course offers. More than 5,000 people run it every year. The race will have you see one of Southern California’s most picturesque stretches of coastline. There is a finish line festival with live band, refreshments and local vendors.

5. Paris Half Marathon

Everybody loves the Paris Half Marathon. It boasts a relatively flat route and undoubtedly stunning scenery. The race continues to grow in popularity, attracting as many as 40,000 runners from around the world, including elites aiming to deliver record-breaking performances.

6. Vancouver Half Marathon

This 13.1-mile race is very much liked thanks to the breathtaking natural scenery that lines much of its course. It starts down famous Cambie Street with a view of the cityscape, ocean, snowcapped mountains and cherry blossoms – simply stunning. The course runs through numerous historic and trendy neighborhoods and the award-winning Stanley Park.

7. Gasparilla Half Marathon

Thousands of people race the Gasparilla Half Marathon, which donates a lot of its raised funds to charity. More than 19,000 runners and walkers come out to take the streets of Tampa over the two-day weekend of races in 2013 in all races combined. “Overall, this was a great race to run,” according to the popular Up & Humming running blog. “The course is awesome, crowd support was incredible, the after party was fun.”

8. Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon

Runners continue to rave about this half marathon, which is the flagship event of the entire Wine Country Half Marathon Series. The breathtaking landscapes of California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys certainly help to make this race stand out among the rest, but it’s the entire experience that has participants find it a lot of fun. Race registration includes a wine glass and wine tasting and an epic post-race celebration, which includes more wine (of course), as well as beer from local breweries and live music.

9. Kauai Half Marathon

The Kauai Half Marathon is on Sept. 4, 2016. The pristine sand beaches, lush jungle-like rain forests and massive green cloud-covered mountains, whose waterfalls bring the heavy rains that collect on the peaks cascading down to the beaches below offers one of the most beautiful places anywhere on earth for a running event, according to Half Marathons. That alone is a reason to register.

10. Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Running the Strip happens at night in the Sin City. The race is on Nov. 12-13 this year. “Well organized, plenty of pre-race information, great expo, great crowd support, great medals,” one person said on Yelp. People like the pre-race concert as well. Bonus: This is pretty much going to be you only chance to run on Las Vegas Boulevard with no cars and also at night.

11. Key West Half Marathon

The challenge, which takes place on January, is a flat, fast 13.1-mile course in the beautiful island city. The race has becomes very popular in its 19 years and a lot of people from Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and even Switzerland sign up. You also get to enjoy live music and entertainment along the course.

12. Great Wall Half Marathon, China

No matter how challenging (and this race is considered among the most difficult in the world), there’s still no question as to whether this remarkable race deserves a place on your running bucket list. The event, which includes a full and half marathon, as well as a 8.5km fun run, sells out to 2,500 runners from more than 60 countries. If you’re totally insane determined the full marathon might be more your jam, but the 13.1 miles on this brutal course is more than enough to earn yourself a medal.

13. Hampton’s Half Marathon, East Hampton. N.Y.

Runners absolutely love the Hamptons Half Marathon. Aside from its unbelievably scenic course, perhaps the most incredible thing about this race is the size of its staff. The entire effort was created and is led by two determined women: Diane Weinberger and Amanda Moszkowski. Weinberger said their goal each year is to create a race that they would want to run. “From friendly, personal email support to quality ‘schwag’ to an excellent race day vibe,” she said.

14. Australian Outback Half Marathon

The Australian Outback Marathon was featured in a blog post by Rough Guides for 10 of the world’s most epic marathons. The race this year is on July 30. The half marathon is 21.1 kilometers (13.1 miles) but you can run/walk for 11 km (6.8 miles) or 6 km (3.7 miles). In your spare time, consider going skydiving or camel riding.

15. Reykjavik Half Marathon, Iceland

The Reykjavik Marathon is one of the biggest athletic events in the country. Its smaller version is just as appealing to fans and runners. There is even a very popular kids run. A lot of the finishers of the big events are actually from abroad. The running experience is like no other in the world. The weather and temperatures are perfect and you won’t find a country to run in with cleaner air (thanks to the city’s geothermal energy).