The idea of running a half marathon can be scary, but with the proper training, you CAN cross the finish line after 13.1 miles. Still looking for a little extra motivation to sign up for your first half? We’ve rounded up some of the most fun half marathons from coast to coast that will make you want to start training now. From races that hand out chocolate truffles to band-lined courses, these runs have awesome crowd support, entertainment and, of course, some nice swag.
1. Tinker Bell Half Marathon: This Disney race takes you through Disneyland and into the city of Anaheim. You can stop for photos along the way with your favorite characters too. (Photo via Run Disney)
2. Southern Fried Half: Looking for a beach town run for your first half marathon? Look no further than the Outerbanks North Carolina Southern Fried Half Marathon. You’ll run from Nags Head past the largest sand dune on the East Coast and finish in the waterfront village of Manteo, where you’ll have Southern fried sweet taters to look forward to post-race. (Photo via OBX Marathon)
3. Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon: This flat and fast course is a party disguised as a race. The five-and-a-half-hour course time limit is perfect for those who would like to walk a half marathon as well. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet Blue. (Photo via Baltimore Running Festival)
4. Austin Half Marathon: More than 9,000 runners see what keeps Austin weird at this urban half marathon. You’ll pass Lady Bird Lake, Hyde Park, Congress Avenue, the Colorado River and the University of Texas with support from friendly Austinites, Longhorns and local entertainment. (Photo via Austin Marathon & Half Marathon)
5. Capital City Half Marathon: Run Ohio’s state capital and be entertained by 50+ bands and DJs over the course of 13.1 miles. You’ll pass through Ohio State University’s campus, historic Germantown and the Short North Arts District. If we didn’t already have you convinced, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s also champagne and chocolate at the finish line. (Photo via Capital City Half Marathon)
6. Hapalua Half Marathon: Hapalua means “half” in Hawaiian, and this race is known as THE half marathon to run in Hawaii. We want to run it for the finisher’s malasadas, a Portuguese-style donut that is widely found thoughout the islands. (Photo via The Hapalua)
7. Hershey Half Marathon: Log your first 13.1 in beautiful Hershey, PA. Not only will you experience the fall foliage of the Northeast as you run through this idyllic town, but you’ll also get a complimentary post-race massage from the Hershey Spa and lots of chocolate for your race recovery. (Photo via Active)
8. Brewers Mini-Marathon: Baseball fans will love this half marathon that is quickly becoming a tradition in Milwaukee, WI. Although the course is hilly, you’ll pass by the Harley Davidson Museum, run through Miller Valley and end around Miller Park, where you’ll earn a free voucher to a Milwaukee Brewers spring home game. (Photo via Race Brewers)
9. Chicago Half Marathon: Run the Windy City and earn a medal worthy of the feat. You’ll run down the famed Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan and through Hyde Park and Jackson Park as well. (Photo via Chicago Half Marathon)
10. Philadelphia Half Marathon: We can’t think of anything that would get us pumped for a race more than starting at the stairs made famous by Rocky. Get ready to have the best time of your life completing a race that winds from the history-steeped streets of Old City across the Schuylkill and up through the bucolic trails of Fairmount Park. (Photo via Philadelphia Marathon)
11. Nike Women’s Half Marathon: You can count on a Nike race to have the cutest gear. With varying distances in cities around the globe, the Nike Women’s race series is one not to miss. You can expect goodies like chocolate truffles during the race and Tiffany’s finisher necklaces handed out by firefighters in suits. Yes, please! (Photo via Run Nike Women’s Series)
12. Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco Half Marathon: With this race, you won’t just get to brag about running 13.1 miles, but you’ll also get to say you ran across the Golden Gate Bridge. Performers line each mile during the course, if the “Rock ‘n’ Roll” race name didn’t give it away. (Photo via Run Rock ‘n’ Roll)
Have you ever run a half marathon? Are you planning on running one in the future? Let us know which one in the comments!
(Feature image via @runrocknroll)