The Best Half Marathons to Get a PR
If you're a half marathon veteran looking to set a personal best, you'll want to choose your next race wisely. These eight races offer the perfect chance to run a fast time and clock a new PR.
Fontana Days Half MarathonJune 4, 2016; Fontana, Calif. 1 of 9
The Fontana Days Half was once named the World's Fastest Half Marathon Course by USATF, thanks in part to a net 2,100-foot descent from start to finish. During the first half of the race, runners will careen down steep hills in the San Bernadino National Forest and then continue down more gradual hills in the back half of the course. With a finish at Fontana City Hall, this race has the potential for serious PRs, but only if your quads are trained for all that downhill running.
Slacker Half MarathonJune 25, 2016; Georgetown, Colo. 2 of 9
Attention altitude junkies: This race is billed as the highest downhill half marathon in the country. Racers begin at over 10,600 feet and finish around 8,400 feet, for a net elevation loss of over 2,200 feet. The scenic downhill course features a mix of dirt roads, paved bike paths and asphalt roads, as well as views of the Continental Divide, Georgetown Loop Railroad and Bighorn sheep herds.
Area 13.1 Half MarathonAug. 13, 2016; Roswell, Ga. 3 of 9
This race, set in a suburb of Atlanta, takes runners along the Chattahoochee River and through Roswell's Riverside Park. With a flat course profile and a 7 p.m. start time, this race is one of the most unique in the state. Runners toe the line just as the sun is setting, so the spooky atmosphere will encourage you to finish even faster.
Myrtle Beach Mini MarathonOct. 23, 2016; Myrtle Beach, S.C. 4 of 9
This pancake-flat course includes five miles of oceanfront running and minimal turns. The finish, on Myrtle Beach's iconic boardwalk, leaves you just steps from the ocean, perfect for a celebratory dip. Surf-style bands on the course, a surfboard-themed finisher's medal and post-race beach party all provide great motivation for a fast time.
Disneyland Avengers Super Heroes Half MarathonNov. 13, 2016; Anaheim, Calif. 5 of 9
With a 5:30 a.m. start time, ideal weather and a flat looped course, runners will be well on their way to a PR before most people are awake. Superhero characters and on-course entertainment will keep you on pace, while a superhero-themed after-party and a finisher medal will help you celebrate.
Looking for a different type of PR? You can also run the Doctor Strange 10K the day before to earn the Infinity Gauntlet Challenge medal.
Brooklyn Greenway Half MarathonOct. 16, 2016; Brooklyn, N.Y. 6 of 9
Running along the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, this flat course features views of the East River and Manhattan skyline, as well as the historic Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. With ideal mid-October temperatures and fewer crowds than some other NYC-based half marathons, this race is just begging for a PR.
Photo Credit: Will Ragozzino.
Rehoboth Beach Half MarathonDec. 3, 2016; Rehoboth, Del. 7 of 9
The Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon offers one last chance for east coasters to run a fast time before winter arrives. With cool weather (average December temperatures are in the 40s) and a flat course that runs along the beach, this relatively small race is the perfect opportunity to PR.
Photo Credit: Game Face Media.
3M Austin Half MarathonJan. 22, 2017; Austin, Texas 8 of 9
For over 20 years, this well-organized race has offered runners temperate weather and flat terrain. The point-to-point course loses over 300 feet in elevation before finishing at the Texas State Capitol building. Once you nab a fast time, indulge in treats from local food trucks at the finish.