Back in the day, only super runners and brave locals would run in half marathons. That’s not the case anymore! Participants often trek across the map to race in coveted destinations, allowing them to do what they love while experiencing an entirely different part of the country. We’ve rounded up some of the top half marathons in the U.S. that feature scenic views and fun, surrounding events – perfect for exploring in your RV rental during your next running vacation.
Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon: Sonoma, California
Picture this – you’re running through rolling farmlands and sprawling vineyards as a touch of morning fog alights with morning glow. That’s the kind of scene that awaits participants in this wine country half marathon. Not only does this race offer stunning vistas, it was also selected by Runner’s World magazine as the half marathon with the “best finish.” That’s because after you work up a sweat with a beautiful run through the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, you can toast your success with some of the best wine in the country at the Wine and Music Festival. This event sells out quickly so plan ahead and sign up early. And the best part – you can rent an RV in Santa Rosa, located just a few miles away from the race.
Cost: Not listed
Time of Year: July
The scenery in wine country is so pretty, you won’t even feel like you’re running.
Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash
Anchorage Mayor’s Half Marathon: Anchorage, Alaska
Alaska is one of the most popular destinations for travelers in the U.S., so why not throw in a half marathon while you’re there? This race features the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail with scenic views of the ocean and cool temperatures. Helpful hint: since the track features uneven trails and gravel, runners should incorporate trail running into their pre-race training program. Get there in your Alaska RV rental.
Time of Year: June
We double dog dare you to not take any pictures of the stunning scenery in Anchorage.
Run Disney Half Marathons: Disney World in Orlando, Florida
We couldn’t possibly choose just one Run Disney half marathons to feature – they are all pure Disney magic! Perfect for those who are young at heart, these fun runs feel like they fly by as you run around the park and stop for photo opps with Mickey and his friends. Each half marathon has a distinct theme and costumes are encouraged. Past races have included themes like Disney Princesses, Star Wars, Marvel superheroes and a Wine & Dine festival. So, strap on your running shoes, reserve your RV rental in Orlando and prepare for a magical time at one of these memorable races.
Time of Year: Year Round
Give all your friends running envy with your pictures from your Run Disney half marathon.
Photo by @RunDisney
Sedona Half Marathon: Sedona, Arizona
There is nothing quite like running through the ancient red rocks in Sedona. The other-worldly scenery and challenging course make this one of the most sought-after races in the Southwest. You’ll want to include incline training in your regimen, as this course features hilly countryside. After the race, be sure to leave time for exploring the city. Shop local wares at the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village, experience the power of the region’s vortexes and watch the sunset at the Sedona Airport Scenic Lookout. Reserve your RV rental in Phoenix ahead of time – it’s a popular time of year for RV travel in Arizona.
Time of Year: February
Sedona – the land of on-fire mountains.
Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon: Lexington, Kentucky
The tagline for the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon says it all – “America’s Prettiest Half Marathon.” Each year, runners celebrate the beginning of spring with this can’t-miss track that takes participants through Kentucky’s famous bluegrass region. There is plenty of swag to go around with each registration and the race ends with a Finish Line Beer and Expo Bourbon Lounge for those who are 21 and older. Since half of the fun of the vacation is getting there, you’ll enjoy the drive through this stunning countryside in your Ohio camper rental or your RV rental from Tennessee.
Time of Year: March
Soak up the Kentucky beauty in the Run the Bluegrass half marathon.
Photo by Chris Abney on Unsplash
Space Coast Half Marathon: Cocoa, Florida
This race offers not one, but two half marathons to choose from, both with gorgeous views of Cape Canaveral off the coast of Florida. Not only are the vistas unforgettable, but this space-themed race is perfect for any science-loving runner. A spaceship launch countdown kicks off the race and participants are encouraged to dress in their best space gear. Awards will be handed out at the end to runners with the best, themed attire.
Time of Year: December
Enjoy a space-themed half marathon just down the beach from Cape Canaveral.
Photo by Bill Jelen on Unsplash
Surf City Half Marathon: Huntington Beach, California
The Surf City Half Marathon features an award-winning course along the Pacific Coast Highway. Known for its flat terrain, this race is perfect for runners of all levels. Just imagine how good your pictures will look with that medal around your neck and the famous Huntington Pier in the background. Participants can celebrate their finish right on the beach with free beer at the “Sand Bar,” live surf band entertainment and a 3-day California lifestyle expo. Start practicing your surfer lingo on the way to the race in your RV rental in Southern California.
Time of Year: February
Enjoy this uniquely West Coast run along the Pacific Coast Highway.
Photo by Alex Rhee on Unsplash
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