It’s almost mid April, which means that half marathon racing season is upon us. It’s hard to believe but just about three years ago, I ran my first half marathon in Cleveland. With 14 half marathons under my belt and my 13.1 anniversary right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to share why I love the half so much. Here are my 13 reasons why I think the half marathon is the best race!
- It’s the perfect race distance, just long enough to get a solid workout in, but not too long that you can still function for the rest of the day.
- New running routes. Training for the half requires long runs to be over 8 miles, so when you cover that many miles you have to be creative, and step outside your neighborhood.
- It’s a gateway race. The half can easily lead you to other races, such as the 10 Miler, and then the marathon.
- The mission to break 2:00. Plain and simple.
- Fun race swag. You usually don’t get anything except for a shirt when running a 5k, but with a half marathon, you usually get a shiny new medal to wear.
- Training can fit into a busy schedule and won’t ruin your weeknights/weekends.
- It’s an excuse to eat all the pasta! And then eat more when you’re done running.
- Runcations. Although I’ve only done a few, it’s nice to run a race and then explore a new city or state.
- Meeting new runners. I’ve met some amazing people from training through the online race community and my own MCRR group.
- The views. I’ve seen some amazing views while training and racing the half. My favorite still has to be the Rocky Mountains in the background while running Platte River Half.
- New clothes. Lots of sweaty morning/evening runs mean I always need new running gear, especially for race day.
- You learn about yourself. Every training run or race you discover something new about yourself. It’s my time for just me.
- Training for the half means I usually end up racing a half. I tend to run a few half marathon races, while training for my goal half. It gives me confidence on race day, and I earn a few medals along the way.
What’s your favorite race distance? What’s your favorite thing about the half marathon?