Best Beginner Half Marathons For Runners

If you are a newbie and want to know what are the best beginner half marathons to try out in your first 13.1 mile race you, have come to the right place.

United States Best Beginner

Half Marathons

Rock and Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon

One of the fastest half-marathons courses in the United States.

This is where I ran my personal best of 1.07.06 and took 28th overall with that time to give you an indication of how competitive it is.

The race takes place in September and has great weather conditions. The course is one of the flattest courses in the United States and is first on my list of best beginner half marathons.

Beginners seeking to run a fast debut on an absolutely flat course must put this half marathon on their list.


Rock and Roll Seattle Half-Marathon - Number two on the list of the best beginner half marathons takes place in Seattle.

A relatively flat course that takes place at a great time of the year. If you prefer cooler conditions and have your eyes set on a flat course for a fast time, Seattle is a great race suited for you.


IMS Arizona Half-Marathon

I ran and won this race back in 2010 during a 120 mile week . Outstanding crowd and race support. The race was relatively cool at the start but warmed up a bit at the end which can be beneficial or not depending on the runner you are.

The course is absolutely flat and runs throughout the neighborhoods and main streets of Phoenix, Arizona. I would highly recommend this race and name it in the top three best beginner half marathons to run. Great post race entertainment and food resupply. Hope to run this race again in 2013.


Germantown Half-Marathon

One of the best beginner half marathons in the country. The race takes place in beautiful Germantown, Tennessee. I ran this race in 2011 taking 2nd in 1.08.44 to  Kenyan Micah Tirop’s 1.08.28 and was impressed with how well layed the course was.

The volunteer support at this race is the best you can find anywhere. Well layed out course and marked well. The course is rolling so if you want a more challenging course this race will be a perfect fit for you.

I consider it a hidden gem among best beginner half marathons. It is a small town race and one any beginner should try out. The crowds will get you through to the finish.


Hospital Hill Half-Marathon

This is one of the best beginner half marathons for those brave souls wanting a challenging course to run their debut half-marathon on.The downside to this half marathon is, of course, the enormous hills and second it takes place in June and is usually run under warm conditions.

If you think you can take on both this may be the half-marathon for you.

The Hospital Hill Half Marathon race staff have done an outstanding job over the years making this the second most run half-marathon in the country going on 38 years.


Rock and Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon

What makes this one of the best beginner half marathons for any newbie? Weather and an absolutely flat course run along the beautiful Virginia Beach coastline and nearby neighborhood streets.

The Rock And Roll Competitor Group already has some of the best half-marathon and marathon races in the United States.


Rock and Roll Savannah Half-Marathon

This is one I have my eyes on for 2013. Takes place in early November and is pancake flat.

The only downside is November in Savannah can be still warm or could be run in cooler conditions. Weather is certainly something we cannot control.

I am, without a doubt, a cold weather runner and if it is over 60 degrees and the race exceeds 10K in distance length I will look elsewhere.

This race is on the list of the best beginner half marathons for beginners for the overall flat layout of the course and the outstanding pre and post race support the Rock and Roll Competitior Group always provides for the running community.

European Best Beginner Half Marathons

City-Pier-City Half-Marathon

Location- The Hague, Netherlands I have raced numerous times in the Netherlands and I can tell you from experience the dutch know how to out on road races. The crowd support is absolutely refreshing and the entire country is pancake flat.

This is a half marathon I have wanted to run for years and hope to in 2013 to try to improve my 1.07.06 personal best.

Lisbon Half-Marathon – Location – Lisbon, Portugal

Year after year I have read up on the race results of this race, the race support given to the runners and certainly would put this race very high on the list for best beginner half marathons.

It is great time of year to race taking place in March and to boot, is a predominately downhill course. What could be better for a debut half-marathoner?

The stockholm marathon is considered the best marathon in the world, hefty accolades considering it’s competition.

This is certainly a race I would run if my locality wasn’t so far away. Europe is a great place to live and race.

I lived and trained in Belgium for nearly two years and can say Europe has some of the best fans, crowd support and races you will find anywhere in the world.

  • Kerri

    Kiawah island half and full early Dec. is a great flat scenic course too. Just did my 1st half there and it was a fantastic beginner course.

  • Nathan

    Hey Kerri. I will have to look into those races as possible races for next December. Thanks for the message and best wishes for a blessed 2013.

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