13.1 Reasons to Love Half Marathons

So during my mid-year goal setting I decided to tackle 28 half marathons before I turn 28 (I'm at 24 now!). I LOVE the half marathon distance. It’s long enough that I feel really pushed and challenged but not so long that it takes the entire day to complete. It’s long enough that I feel totally badass but not so long that my body completely hates me for DAYS on end after finishing. And most importantly, it makes that finish line beer taste, oh, so sweet.

Whether you’ve run 50 half marathons or you are thinking about running your first, here are 13.1 reasons that half marathons rock!

13.1 Reasons to Love Half Marathons

1. It’s a Popular Distance

It’s a distance that a lot of people are drawn to for the challenge and because of this you’ll connect with a lot of people that are taking on the challenge. It’s a great way to make some running friends!

2. A Great Challenge

13.1 miles is nothing to sneeze at, not that any distance really is. It is a great step into long distance running without eating up as much time as marathon training and it's a serious challenge! Like, whoa, it's a long race!

3. Training Won't Consume Your Weekend

It’s long enough that it takes dedicated training but not so long that it consumes your weekends with 20+ mile long runs. You can have a life and take on a serious challenge!

4. The Medals and Swag

These tend to be large races with lots of organization which means nice medals and nice swag. Since they are so popular there is a lot of competition between race directors to make sure you have a great time and that means they want to make sure you tell all your friends about how amazing it was!

We are a third of the way through this list, time for a dance break!

We are a third of the way through this list, time for a dance break!

5. Training Can Be More Balanced and Fun

This is a great distance to be able to mix in speedwork and cross training. The distance is long but not so long that you can’t have some training balance! You'll have to slog through some long runs but on the whole you'll be able to keep things in check.

6. They Are Run EVERYWHERE!

The half marathon is one of the most popular distances and because of that you can race in nearly ANY city. It’s a great reason to set up a run-cation or I bet you can find one in your own hometown!

7. Variety is the Spice of Life, errr… Running

Because it’s a popular distance it has inspired a variety of themed races. From runDisney to Rock 'n’ Roll, from women’s races to obstacle events, you can find the right “flavor” for you and for the seasoned runner it’s easy to mix it up! Not every race needs to be serious, some can include a character stop or two!

8. Bragging Rights!

13.1 miles is a really long distance no matter the speed. You always get major bragging rights. Make sure to tell everyone of your awesomeness!

Time for another dance break!

Time for another dance break!

9. Challenge Opportunities (aka More Bling!)

For the seasoned runner, many race weekends offer challenges where you can combine the half marathon with other race distances. Keeps it new for you and you’ll walk away with some serious bling! (Pst you can register for the Runner's World Half and save 10% with code RWHalfAngie)

10. Finish Line Parties

Run a half and there are lots of people who want to celebrate their finish. Grab a beer (hopefully provided by the race!), hang out, meet some runners and enjoy your victory!

11. A Good Reason to Eat All the Food!

13.1 miles is a long, long, long run and for that you should eat all the waffles, fries, burgers, ice cream, or anything else your heart desires. You earned it!

12. Races Are A Great Goal

Having a race, especially a half marathon, is a great fitness goal and always motivates me to get out there. Choose a goal race and I bet it will help you stay motivated to meet your fitness or running goals!

13. They Are Addicting

Most courses cut off somewhere between 3 and 3 and a half hour mark so even if the race doesn’t start until 8am, you’ll be done by lunch. Not a bad way to spend a morning and I bet you’ll want to sign up for another!

And finally the .1 reason, the real reason to run not 13 but 13 point 1 miles...

Running a half marathon makes you feel like a badass rockstar!

So look for that next half and don't even hesitate signing up, go get it!

Check out my discount page to see if there is one ther that catches your eye!


Training for a race is hard, you should check out Elizabeth's post on how to keep your body (aka that big ol' bag of water) happy and hydrated!

Train with Bain: Do you want to be a ‘pod person?


Have you run a half marathon? Why do you love the distance or what's holding you back from taking on the challenge? Leave me a comment below!