The Best?

If you have followed my journey for a while now, you know that I have a goal to run the best 1/2 marathon or marathon (with the best bling) in every state. As much as I want to “check the box” and finish each one, it’s all about the journey and the trips I get to take. There are a few that I will fly in and out for, but for the most part, I like to spend some quality time in the place of the race (Dr.Suess has nothing on my rhyme).

I was sooo excited to see the list from the dailyburn last week with the 50 Best 1/2 Marathons in the United States. In all reality, I much prefer a weekend trip with a half marathon. It’s a LOT easier than planning an out of town trip for a marathon.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I have completed or have already planned to complete the ones listed for some of the states.

1. Alabama- Mercede’s 1/2 Marathon. Agree- but I like my hometown First Light 1/2 Marathon as well. IMG_3931

2. Alaska- Mayor’s 1/2 Marathon (with Abby in JUNE)

3. Delaware- Rehoboth Beach 1/2 Marathon. Don’t know what to compare it to, but LOVED this race.

4. Georgia- Atlanta 1/2 Marathon. Disagree. I think the Publix 1/2 is better if you are looking for an Atlanta half.

5. Kansas- Garmin 1/2 Marathon (with Kim in APRIL)

6. Kentucky- Run the Bluegrass 1/2 Marathon (with Molly and hopefully Corey in MARCH)

7. Louisiana- RNR NOLA 1/2. This weekend will be my 4TH time running it. Was there last year, but hip kept me out. LOVE this race (well, New Orleans is just hard to beat).IMG_1408

8. South Carolina- Kiawah 1/2 Marathon. My PR race. Great place for a weekend getaway. IMG_2598

I still have another 3o states to go (some included above that I will run in the next few months) but already had my eye on the several of the ones listed for my incomplete states. Jackson Hole, Route 66, Go St.Louis, Indy Mini, Little Rock, Missoula, Fargo, Eugene, Covered Bridges and Hatfield and McCoys to name a few.

I was surprised that Flying Pig and the Wisconsin 1/2 weren’t the ones listed for Ohio and Wisconsin? I also disagree with Mississippi and Tennessee (should be the MS Blues and the Oak Barrel).

Take a peek at the list and tell me….

Have you done any of these races? Do you agree or disagree if it’s a state you know well? Any other recommendations? What’s the BEST 1/2 you’ve done (or top 3 if it’s too hard to choose)?

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  • i’ve actually ran quite a bit of these. I couldn’t disagree with the TN one more- I hate the Country Music 1/2, but maybe its because I live here. Also I know you’re running the Kansas one- the course is boring and runs around mall parking lot for first few miles and some neighborhoods- very boring (but its fast) It was also SUPER cold and windy when we ran which contributed to our misery. Cool backdrop for the after photo.

  • I can’t recommend RNR NOLA enough. It is definitely one of my top races (the course is the best for viewing a city on the run). And, since I ran it entertained by you for 13.1 miles!

    Isn’t Missoula in July? I liked the Montana Marathon in September. The weather has got to be better than Missoula in July, and the medal is awesomely in the shape of the state!

    I want to do Go! St. Louis and the Indy Mini too.

    • Missoula is in July, but it’s also in the mountains and starts really early so 70s, maybe 80s. In the 90s on a really bad day. September in Montana is like Russian Roulette – you either have beautiful weather or snow.

  • I’m from Missouri and I’ve done a lot of the races from the go St. Louis over the years the race is good but hilly the bling is ok. I don’t know though that there is much else that is better in Missouri for a well supported half/marathon with decent bling.

  • I do NOT understand what all the hype about the Garmin 1/2 in Kansas is all about. that was NOT one of my favs at all.

    The Atlanta 1/2 (if this is the one on Thanksgiving) was the hilliest ever, but I liked my medal? And I’ve done NoLA RnR, which wasn’t my fav either.

    I’ve run a bunch of weirdo random races because they fit into my schedule. I do want to run the DE race though, I’ve heard very good things about it!

  • Indy Mini is awesome. Huge but it spreads out and the race track is cool. I’m running Flying Pig in May and I’ve done the full in Columbus. Can’t imagine by everything I’ve heard that FP isn’t better than Columbus. I don’t think the Chicago half is anything too special either. My vote for WI would be either Wisconsin Half or Madison. Have a blast in NOLA!

  • Wow! I clearly need to step up my half marathon game as I’ve only run two of these races: Georgia and New Orleans. I LOVE Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans. I would NOT put the Georgia race as one of the best half marathons though. I loved the recent ZOOMA Florida race and would add that to my favorite half marathon thus far. Good luck this weekend!!!! Can’t wait to read your recap and hear how it goes.

  • Great list! I agree with Little Rock in Arkansas, great race! I thought Big Sur would be #1 for CA, I heard so many amazing things about it. Very interesting they chose the Richmond half marathon for VA, heard good things about it, but I thought The Shamrock Half in VA Beach would be the winner. Both are really great races.

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