America's Finest City Half Marathon & 5KAug. 21, 2016; San Diego, Calif. 1 of 14
San Diego regularly contends for "fittest city in America," and its fitness population is undoubtedly inspired by unforgettable views encountered all along this race's course. Regularly recognized as one of the country's top half marathons, the race begins at the historic Cabrillo National Monument, follows along the scenic bay and harbor, then winds through downtown and finishes at Balboa Park, which—for those who've never visited—might be incentive enough to finish this beauty of a race.
Motor City Half Marathon & 5KAug. 21, 2016; Detroit 2 of 14
Detroit is a city experiencing a renaissance of sorts after being hit particularly hard during the economic downturn. And it's exactly that never-quit spirit that race organizers want participants to bring to the starting line for this inaugural 13.1: Grit, pride, power and momentum. Runners will be rewarded with gear that embodies that mindset. Rev up those engines and go get 'em.
Portneuf Medical Center Pocatello Half MarathonSept. 3, 2016; Pocatello, Idaho 3 of 14
This 13.1 covers the second half of the full marathon course, offering beautifully serene vistas and a relatively flat net elevation with only a couple of small hills Post-race trinkets include a glass mug adorned with the race logo and key chains.
Labor Day Mini MarathonSept. 5, 2016; Parker, Colo. 4 of 14
Enjoy the three-day weekend and say goodbye to summer with this Labor Day 13.1 in Parker, Colorado, a short jaunt southeast of Denver. This race welcomes runners of all abilities with a route that runs along scenic Cherry Creek. Finisher's medals for all and great food offerings await at the finish. Saying goodbye to summer was never more fun.
2016 Bird-In-Hand Half MarathonSept. 9, 2016; Bird-In-Hand, Pa. 5 of 14
This half marathon has sold out the last five years, so you'll need to be quick on the draw to claim your spot. The surrounding landscape and events are something out of a storybook: hot air balloons, Amish farmlands and rest stops at one-room schoolhouses. The hundreds of racers around you and that pesky timing chip might be the only reminders that no, time hasn't stopped. Pinch yourself and keep going!
Chicago Mini-Marathon & 5KSept. 17, 2016; Chicago 6 of 14
This Windy City race wants you to beat the wind, not run like it—and with the wind gusting off Lake Michigan, you'll have plenty of opportunities to do just that. The looped course begins and ends at Chicago's front yard in Grant Park. Refreshments and live music await participants at the finish line.
Adirondack Marathon Distance Festival (Half)Sept. 25, 2016; Lake, N.Y. 7 of 14
This race bills itself as "the most beautiful 26.2 miles you will ever run," and those running the 13.1 version are in for plenty of natural eye candy, too. The route takes runners through the Adirondack Forest Preserve, which is full of lush, green vegetation and gurgling water sources. If that's not enough to compel you, proceeds from the race benefit college scholarships and nonprofits.
Harwich Cranberry Harvest Half Marathon & 10KOct. 2, 2016; Harwich, Mass. 8 of 14
Harwich is a quiet little town with a year-round population of about 12,000 that nearly triples during peak season. The quaint agriculture community has an extensive shoreline along the Nantucket Sound and the race route takes full advantage.
If the picturesque landscapes couldn't get any more perfect, one of its primary economic drivers is cranberry harvesting, from which the 13.1 race derives its name.
2016 Healdsburg Half Marathon & 5KOct. 9, 2016; Healdsburg, Calif. 9 of 14
Be sure to explore charming Healdsburg after the race, because its food and wine offerings might be too tempting to abstain from leading to race day (that is, if you cut such things from your pre-race meal plans). Otherwise, enjoy! The looped course winds its way around 100-year-old mansions, acres of vineyards and just a fraction of the town's 100 world-class wineries.
Newport Bay to BrewsOct. 15, 2016; New Port, Ore. 10 of 14
You might excuse the hungry gleam in the eyes of race participants once you realize what awaits them at the finish line: Mo's World Famous Clam Chowder, chased with Rogue Ales & Spirits craft beer. While the food offerings might be really exciting, the views aren't too shabby, either.
The two-loop course takes participants along the bay, through the forest and onto the beach path in South Beach Park. The race finishes along the jetty and under the famous Bay Bridge. Live music will accompany the beer and clam chowder—and given that you just ran 13.1 miles, who's to judge you for asking for seconds (or thirds)?
West Texas Half MarathonOct. 16, 2016; San Angelo, Texas 11 of 14
This half marathon takes place in the heart of the West Texas ranching community in San Angelo, Texas. The race oozes the town's downhome vibe, with a beautifully scenic course that meanders across the handsome Celebration Bridge and concludes at the San Angelo River Stage, which hints at what to expect as part of the post-race amenities: a roaring good time with food, drink and live music.
Celebration Run San DiegoNov. 6, 2016; San Diego 12 of 14
This half marathon wants participants to keep "celebration" top of mind when racing: Whether it's celebrating a new job, good health, family and friends or life itself. The fast, flat course begins and ends in Bonita Cove in Mission Bay.
Surfer dudes and beach girls will be at the finish line to drape finisher medals around participants at the completion of their run. There's also a fun run for the kids, enabling the whole family to find something worth celebrating. Insider tip: The race caps registrations, so don't procrastinate.
Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half MarathonNov. 12, 2016; Santa Barbara, Calif. 13 of 14
It might be hard not to stop and take in the views at this destination city, so we recommend drinking in as much as you can pre-race. But don't completely get your fill, because you're in store for a treat.
This point-to-point course begins at UC-Santa Barbara, offering 13.1 nonstop miles of the picturesque Santa Ynez Mountains before descending toward the pristine Santa Barbara coastline that frames the Pacific Ocean. The race is a breathtaking way to honor America's military veterans.