Running a half marathon is no easy feat. It takes high fitness levels, dedication, patience, and desire to cross that finish line after more than 13 miles of running.
As a result, signing up and competing can often seem like a daunting task. We don’t all know what to do, how to do it, or even where we should do it.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The United States blesses runners with an incredibly vast range of different half marathon races we can take part in.
This includes beginner-friendly races that can create a long-lasting love for racing.
If you’re a beginner looking to run a half marathon for the first time, you’ve come to the right place.
In this post, we’re going to show you 10 of the best half marathon races in the US for beginners.
If that sounds good to you, make sure you keep reading!
In A Rush? Here’s A Quick Answer For You!
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to make it through this post, we’ve listed all 10 half marathons from our list just below.
Every half marathon on this list offers a good challenge, camaraderie, runner support, and surrounding attractions.
- Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon
- Disney Princess Half Marathon
- Good Life Halfsy
- Southern Fried Half Marathon
- Kauai Half Marathon
- Chicago Half Marathon
- Run Sedona
- Golden Leaf Half Marathon
- Austin Half Marathon
- North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon
The 10 Best Half Marathons For Beginners In (The USA)
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
The First half marathon on this list is the Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon.
Taking place every June in person or virtually, this race gives beginners the chance to race in a relaxed, friendly, and picturesque environment.
The largest half-marathon race in Alaska, you’ll enjoy the friendly atmosphere, scenic surroundings, and relatively easy route.
Location: Walt Disney World Resort, Florida
If you’re looking for a laid-back half marathon that offers fun, laughter, and entertainment, look no further than the Disney Princess Half Marathon.
Taking place at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, this race encourages fancy dress, letting adults unleash their inner child.
The race route is flat and relaxed, and you even get to enjoy the theme park afterward. This race is perfect for those of you with no racing experience.
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Next up is the Good Life Halfsy half marathon that takes place in Nebraska.
This is a more serious race that suits those of you looking for your first competitive half-marathon experience.
Having said that, the crowd support at this race is fantastic, with race officials even setting up cheer stations.
Aside from being competitive, this race celebrates Nebraska’s people, icons, culture, and landmarks.
The point-to-point race features tree-lined boulevards, landmarks, small hills, and 15,000 friendly fans.
Location: Nags Head, North Carolina
The Southern Fried Half Marathon is a flat marathon that starts at North Carolina’s Jockey’s Ridge.
Seeing as though it’s a flat race, it is perfect for beginners looking for an easier race.
Better still, this race is also a lot quieter with only 4,000 runners tackling the point-to-point track every year.
If you simply want to gain racing experience, this is your best option.
Location: Kauai, Hawaii
The Kauai half marathon gives runners the opportunity to race in paradise. Arguably one of the most stunning races in the world, this half marathon is often seen as a race-cation.
You’ll run through the famous Tunnel of Trees, past picturesque towns, and alongside the Pacific Ocean.
The epic views, fresh sea breeze, supportive spectators, and easy route will power you to the finish line.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
The next race we have for you is the Chicago Half Marathon. If you want to set yourself a PB, this is probably your best option.
The course is flat and fast, giving you the chance to set a speedy time for yourself.
Add the incredible views, Chicago’s best landmarks, and a comfortable route and you’re onto a winner.
7. Run Sedona
Location: Sedona, Arizona
Surrounded by hiking and outdoor attractions, the Run Sedona half marathon is enjoyed by thousands of outdoor enthusiasts every year.
If you’re looking for a half marathon that takes place in nature, this race is perfect.
You’ll be treated to stunning views, eclectic Southwestern charm, and the Grand Canyon National Park.
However, it’s worth noting that this race is hillier than others on this list.
Location: Snowmass Village, Aspen, Colorado
If you have plenty of confidence and experience running but haven’t raced yet, you could dive straight into the deep end and tackle the Golden Leaf Half Marathon.
Best for high-elevation runners, backcountry trails, and mountain views, this race will put your fitness to the test.
The rugged running trail will see you pass through mountain trails that feature elevation gains, and the charming Snowmass Village.
This race better suits those of you looking for a more intense half marathon.
Location: Austin, Texas
If you prefer running through the city, consider taking part in the Austin Half Marathon.
Offering a fairly easy track, refreshments, support, and live entertainment, this racing event is one the whole family can enjoy.
In typical Texas fashion, this race is lined with more than 30 local Austin music groups playing live music to spur you on.
Location: Port Angeles, Washington
The final half marathon perfect for beginners is the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon.
This race is ideal for anyone that wants to run with more privacy and peace.
Offering a scenic point-to-point track, this race is most definitely aimed at nature lovers.
Taking you through rural farmlands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, this race features hard and mixed surface trails of varying difficulty.
At the finish line, you’ll be greeted with a medal, food and drink, massages, and some live entertainment.
There you have it 10 of the best half marathons in the USA for beginners. As you can see from this list, there are a variety of excellent races you can sign up for.
No matter what sort of race you find yourself looking for, you should have found one on our list that suits exactly what you’re looking for.
With that in mind, you should now take some time to narrow down the options and choose the half marathon you want to take part in first.
You could even sign up for multiple races if you’re feeling confident.