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25 of the best half marathons

Fancy a half marathon but not sure which one yet? You've come to the right place

half marathons near me
Vaclav Mudra

We love a half marathon. Whether you're an old hand or new to racing, it's a challenging, yet completely attainable goal for most, and can bring great structure to your training year.

How long does it take to train for a half-marathon?

Whether this is your first half-marathon, or your thirtieth, both our beginner and improver half-marathon training plans recommend you take around 12 weeks to properly prepare your body for the distance. That said, if you're already clocking up the miles, why not sign up to an event to seek out your next PB?

What are the best half marathons?

There are so many brilliant homegrown races here in the UK and we've listed our favourites below. We've also included a few further afield races, just in case you happen to find yourself, in say, Vancouver or Lisbon, on one of the weekends listed below and feel like stretching your legs...


Best half marathons UK


Cardiff Half Marathon

Where? Cardiff, Wales

When? 2 October 2022

The Cardiff Half Marathon has slowly but steadily cemented its status as an elite international event over recent years – it’s now the UK’s third-biggest race and is broadcast live on the BBC. The course is flat and fast and sells out within hours of entries opening, so speed is required long before you even lace up your shoes

cardiffhalfmarathon.co.uk


Great North Run

Where? Tyne and Wear, England

When? 11 September 2022

With almost 60,000 runners, the Great North Run is the world’s biggest half marathon and is quite simply one of the best mass-participation events on the planet. The streets of Newcastle, Gateshead and South Shields positively hum with activity and support on race day. Unmissable. ‘The roar of the crowds as you run over the Tyne Bridge and the sound of the Red Arrows overhead is guaranteed to give you goosebumps,' says deputy digital editor Jenny Bozon.

greatrun.org


Royal Parks Half

Where? London, England

When? 9 October 2022

The route for the Royal Parks Half is devised to squeeze in as much green space as possible as it winds through Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens, passing Big Ben, Westminster, Buckingham Palace and much more along the way.

It's one of RW's executive editor Ben Hobson's favourites: ‘It’s almost a cliché for this race to be on a list, but as a race that takes in some of London’s best sights and parks, it’s incredibly hard to beat.’

royalparkshalf.com


Hackney Half Marathon

Where? London, England

When? 21 May 2023

A great half that takes place in ‘real’ London, away from all the famous attractions. The Hackney Half's course is fast and flat and the atmosphere is guaranteed to keep your adrenaline flowing. ‘I love the course and how involved and engaged the local community is,' says RW coach Cory Wharton-Malcolm. 'It’s also so nice to see more people that look like me running.’

limelightsports.club


Endurancelife Gower

Where? Glamorgan, Wales

When? 5 November 2022

The Gower peninsula on the south coast of Wales isn’t the first place you think of when you consider the most beautiful places in the country – but that’s only because most people haven’t been there. Of the four distances – 10K, half, marathon and 53K ultra – the half gets the mix of hilly challenge and dramatic yet understated scenery just right. Watch out for the energy-sapping sand dunes.

endurancelife.com/gower


Poole Half Marathon, Poole

Where? Dorset, England

When? 2023 date TBC

Poole's biggest running event, the running festival includes a 5K and a 10K race. The half-marathon is fast and flat, taking in the Poole Quay, Upton Country Park and the harbourside parks.

poolefestivalofrunning.com


Torbay Half Marathon, Devon

When: 2023 date TBC

Where: Paignton, Devon

A traffic-free half-marathon, which will take you on two laps of Torbay, starting and finishing on Paignton seafront. It’s a flat race, with prizes for the fastest finishers and best costume (if you feel like dressing up).

torbayhalfmarathon.co.uk


Hitchin Hard Half Marathon

When? 2023 date TBC

Where? Hertfordshire, England

As the name suggests, it’s no walk in the park, but this hilly half marathon has some beautiful views. The route takes you from Hitchin Priory up to the village of Preston, and a loop round the surrounding hills.

h3m.co.uk


Bath Two Tunnels Half Marathon

Where? Bath, England

When? 21 August 2022

A fast and flat course that takes you through Bath, this run has two of the longest underground sections of any running race in the UK. A two lap out and back half marathon course, with a total of over 8km underground.

relishrunningraces.com


Run Aintree Half Marathon

Where? Liverpool, England

When? 12 February 2023

A chance to run 5K, 10K or 13.1 miles on the famous Aintree Racecourse, the race involves laps around the fast and flat 5K circuit.

runaintree.com


Richmond RUNFEST

Where? London, England

When? 11 September 2022

Taking place in the beautiful Kew Gardens, before running along the Thames Towpath, this mixed-terrain route, over flat path, road, gravel and grass, is wonderfully scenic – and pancake flat. Expect top-notch organistion and a decent goody bag at the end.


Ikano Bank Robin Hood Half Marathon

Where? Nottingham, England

When? 25 September 2022

Starting and finishing in the Victoria Embankment Recreation Ground in Nottingham, join thousands of club and recreational runners on this fast, flat course. A great one for those looking to start the autumn half-marathon season with a PB.

robinhoodhalfmarathon.co.uk


Cheltenham Half Marathon

Where? Cheltenham, England

When? 4 September 2022

This popular half marathon starts finishes at the iconic race course. Expect glorious views of the surrounding Cotswolds and plenty of spectator support as you head through the town. Mostly flat, it's a good option for PB hunters.

runcheltenham.com


Windsor Half Marathon

Where? Berkshire, England

When? 25 September 2022

Royal Wedding fans, get ready to soak up the sights as you start and finish this 13.1 mile race on the Long Walk to Windsor Castle. You probably won’t spot Harry and Meghan, but the 1.5 mile stretch towards the castle is sure to be pretty memorable.


Bournemouth Marathon Festival Half Marathon

When? 9 October 2022

Where? Dorset, England

As part of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival, the half marathon course follows the full marathon, coastal route, which starts at Kings Park, before making its way down to the seafront, taking in Boscombe and Bournemouth pier. The perfect combination of flat and scenic.

runbournemouth.com


Oxford Half

When? 16 October 2022

Where? Oxford, England

The fast and flat 13.1 mile route kicks off from Oxford City centre, and winds past Oxford's museums, universities and parks. Expect live music, local DJ's and a great atmosphere.

limelightsports.club/event/oxford-half-2022


Needles Half Marathon

Where? Isle of Wight

When? 2023 date TBC

The Needles are a row of three chalk stacks rising out of the sea on the west coast of the Isle of Wight, and pop up around the halfway point of this excellently organised race with a welcoming small-scale feel. Expect lovely scenery as well as tough cross-country uphills.

isleofwightfestivalofrunning.co.uk


Manchester Half Marathon

When: 9 October 2022

Where? Manchester, England

A fast, flat course finishing at Emirates Old Trafford, this is a good one to enter if you’re PB hunting. But it's also a very friendly, welcoming and supportive race, so is a great option for your first half.

manchesterhalfmarathon.com


Best Half Marathons Abroad


Berlin Half Marathon

Where? Berlin, Germany

When? 2 April 2023

Berlin is not only a brilliant city for running, it’s also a brilliant city for spectating. Plan your route well on the U-Bahn and you’ll be able to see your friend or loved one at least two or three times as they fly past some of Berlin’s best attractions: the bombed-out Gedächtniskirche on Ku’damm, the stunningly rejuvenated Potsdamer Platz and the iconic Brandenburg Gate right at the end.

It's a race highly recommended by coach and RW columnist Cory Wharton-Malcolm: ‘This is probably the half that I have run the most. It’s very flat, has good crowds and the city is great to explore before and after the race.’

generali-berliner-halbmarathon.de


Achill Half Marathon

Where? County Mayo, Ireland

When? 1 July 2023

There aren’t many roads on Achill Island, on the west coast of Ireland, and you’ll run on
most of them during this half marathon. It starts in the biggest town, Keel, which is, in fact, a very small village, and quickly moves into the countryside. Here you’ll be surrounded by nothing but clean Atlantic air, epic views of big hills and friendly locals –many of whom speak Irish. It will be one of the most memorable runs of your life.

achillmarathon.com


Göteborgsvarvet Half Marathon

Where? Gothenburg, Sweden

When? 3 September 2023

This bustling city-centre half comes with a week of festivities, including a trail run, a relay race and a race for people with learning difficulties. It’s eco-friendly, too: the city offers three days of free public transport for participants and you can book a special ‘Runner’s Train’.

This race is one of RW deputy editor Joe Mackie's favourites. ‘It serves up a fabulous atmosphere and a great course that mixes parks, cafe-lined city boulevards and a bridge crossing or two,' he says.

goteborgsvarvet.se


Lisbon Half Marathon

Where? Lisbon, Portugal

When? 2023 date TBC

The current world record for the half marathon was set on this course in 2021, so it’s definitely a fast one. While you might not come close to Jacob Kiplimo’s 57:31, you’ll enjoy the pancake-flat route that hugs the banks of the River Tagus (a remarkable achievement given how hilly Lisbon is), and running across the 25 de Abril Bridge at the start provides a unique view of the city.

running-portugal.com


Satara Hill Half Marathon

Where? Satara, India

When? 18 September 2022

Uphills are hard and downhills are easy, right? Well, maybe. This event takes both to the extreme, first with 413m of ascent in 10.5km up the hills near the old town of Satara in Maharashtra. You turn at the halfway point to head straight back down – only to realise that constant downhill is painful work, too. At least you have a wonderful view to enjoy.

runsatara.com


Prague Half Marathon

Where? Prague, Czech Republic

When? 2023 date TBC

Prague is as pretty as European cities get, and the route for this half brings you close to some of its best sights. You’ll cross the Vltavariver river no fewer than six times and finish near the Powder Tower of the old city gates. After that: nazdraví (that’s ‘cheers’ in Czech).

runczech.com


Vancouver Half Marathon

Where? British Columbia, Canada

When? 2023 date TBC

This big-city half marathon has a fabulous route that mixes beautiful coastline, mountain and cityscape views, wonderful urban parks and a romping downtown finish among skyscrapers. It’s Canada’s biggest half, offering plenty of excellent options for post-race drinks. And you’ll certainly need them after giving your all on this very quick but undulating course.

bmovanmarathon.ca

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