10 Great Half Marathons For 1st Timers

April 23rd, 2017

by Michael Ryan


While there is no dearth of marathons around the US, you are advised to start off with a half marathon, especially if you are a 1st timer. Pounding the pavement in a group atmosphere to enjoy stellar sights along the way, almost all events host thrilling post-race celebrations. It doesn’t matter if you need another excuse to travel the country or want to tag along with a friend, here are 10 great half marathons for 1st timers: 

1.  Dole Great Race of Agoura Hills - CA 
Date: 1st April, 2017
Location: Agoura Hills
The Great Race of Agoura Hills is a running event loaded with half marathon fun, brought to you by Dole. Participants can choose between two half marathons and two 1-mile races. The Half Marathon begins on an old movie set and runs through the Chesebro Half and Malibu wine country. The race follows one of the nation's largest trails and goes down the Palo Comado Trail and the Cheeseboro Canyon Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. 
There is a Sports Academy Team Marathon challenge that you can sign up for. Also, enjoy the post-race party which offers a concert, great food with dozens of fun activities, including giant blowup slides and rock climbing, making this one of the great half marathons for 1st timers. 



2.  One America 500 Festival Mini-Marathon 
Date: 6th May, 2017
Location: Indianapolis, IN
This is one of the biggest half marathons in the US that feature over 35,000 runners every year. You get the chance to run on the 2.5-mile Indy 500 track. The course is flat and all conditions are ideal for a perfect half marathon event. Participants enjoy the local bands which play all along the course. 



3.  Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon 
Date 20th May, 2017
Location: Brooklyn, NY 
This half marathon ends at the beach at Coney Island. This is where numerous NYC running groups end up partying with food, beer and the Famous Nathan's Hot Dogs. A perfect half-marathon for first timers, you can also get tips and all you need to know about Brooklyn Half prior to the event. 



4.  Acadia Half Marathon 
Date: 4th June, 2017
Location: Bar Harbor, ME
The half marathon takes you through the amazing Acadia National Park in Maine and the rocky coastline. Athletes run through and around Cadillac Cliffs and Champion Mountain. As the race begins and finishes at the local YMCA, you have the chance to use a proper ‘bathroom’ before and after the race. You can add to your level of enjoyment by driving up to the location and camp on Mount Desert Island to spend some time close to nature.  



5.  Bryce Canyon Half Marathon 
Date: 8th July, 2017
Location: Cannonville, UT 
If you are a first timer, you may be a little discouraged by the 6 am starting time. However, this is one of the most spectacular half marathons for 1st timers you can participate in. Take pleasure in the spectacular scenery the park offers. You might be tempted to stay on for camping to fully relish the park.



6.  Chicago Half Marathon 
Date: 24th September, 2017
Location: Chicago, IL 
The Chicago Half Marathon covers several breathtaking views and locations, including Hyde Park, Lake Michigan, Lake Shore Drive, and even the campus of the University of Chicago. After the race, you will get the chance to attend an after party at Jackson Park, where you can sample the local beer.  


7.  Queen Bee Half Marathon 
Date: 6th-7th October, 2017
Location: Cincinnati, OH 
If you are looking for a frolic weekend trip destination with your girlfriend this year, Queen Bee half marathon is just the race for you. Feel free to sign up for the Queen Bee Half Marathon organized by the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon for offering an exclusive women-only half marathon experience. The expo is packed with awesome goodies and post-race party celebrations featuring chocolates and massages. If you are a first-time participant, you may explore downtown Cincinnati with your gal pals.



8.  Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll Georgia
Date: 4th November
Location: Georgia
Around 14,000 participants take part in this half-marathon, which leads you through South Savannah. The course passes through the historic downtown district of the city. Start from the city’s eminent, gold-domed City Hall and enjoy live music as you move along the race.



9.  Space Coast Half Marathon 
Date: 26th November, 2017
Location: Cocoa, FL 
The Space Coast Half Marathon is just another fun-filled event that is well organized. You will have fun while not just running but enjoying a costume contest after the event. You might win the best space-themed costume! You will also be handed a beach towel at the finish line if you plan to head over to the beach. Enjoy delicious free finisher food including pizza, eggs, pancakes and beer. To get an instant shower, head over to the one of the many local YMCAs for a free post-race shower. What more can you ask for after your first half-marathon? 



10.  Intertrust Cayman Islands Half Marathon 
Date: 3rd December, 2017
Location: George Town, Cayman Islands
This half-marathon takes place in George Town, the capital city of Cayman Islands. It makes a remarkable destination race for all professional and amateur runners. Running along the stunning waterfront, through South Sound for taking in more ocean views at the end, makes the race a pleasurable experience, particularly for first timers.


These are the top 10 half marathons for 1st timers you can select from to start your running experience.

Keywords: 10 half marathons for 1st timers

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