Best Half Marathons in the UK

So, you’re mad enough to attempt a half marathon for the first time? Or maybe you consider 21km a warm up? Whatever your experience, it’s the best feeling in the world to cross the finish line after conquering 13.1 miles (don’t underestimate that last 0.1 mile by the way!)

People taking part in the Brighton Marathon

Your winning moment deserves a winning location, so here’s our selection of the best half marathons in the UK:

Liverpool Rock and Roll Half Marathon

Why we rate it… When’s a better time to be treated like a rockstar than when you’re smashing 13.1 miles of hard running? Starting at Liverpool’s historic waterfront and coming to an epic finish at the Echo Arena, this course is lined with great music and electric support from the crowds.

Feeling keen? Next race is 9am May 26th 2019 and costs £28

Great for… those looking for an all-encompassing weekend experience (as well as the possibility of some pretty tasty cash prizes!)

Leeds Half Marathon

Why we rate it … This well organised run is a great way to kick start your summer. But, beware: this course is a challenging one! It’s perfect for those looking for a real high on completion!

Feeling keen? Next race is 9:30am at 12th May 2019 and costs £37

Great for… those craving the buzz of a city centre run, but on a smaller scale than the London epics!

Cardiff Half Marathon

Why we rate it…  As Wales’s biggest road race (and the 2nd biggest half in the UK), this one is a must for any runner. Whizzing past landmarks like Cardiff Castle and the Wales Millennium Centrecertainly distracts from the burning in your legs!

Feeling keen? Next race is 10am on Sunday 6th October 2019 and costs £42

Great for… those looking for a speedy PB 

Royal Parks Half Marathon

Why we rate it…This flat road course is unlikely to get you a PB due to its huge popularity, but with the run taking you past the finest of London city centre scenery it’s hard to complain. From The Mall to Hyde Park, prepare for huge support, stunning scenery and a Food & Fitness Festival to boot!

Feeling keen? Next race is 9am 13th October 2019

Great for… Beginners, runners with families in tow and anyone who wants to experience the buzz of a city race

Reading Half Marathon

Why we rate it … The Reading half provides roaring crowds, gorgeous university campus scenery and culminates with a spectacular stadium finish! Traffic free and drawing thousands of runners each year, Reading is the place to go for a real buzz!

Feeling keen? Next race is Sunday 5th April 2020 and costs £38

Great for… those battling through Spring marathon training

Brighton Half Marathon

Why we rate it …Brighton boasts a unique seafront view, a massage marquee, a flat course,an awesome Brighton Half Youth Race for budding athletes - and fish and chips to help your recovery!

Feeling keen? Next race is February 2020 and should cost around £35.50

Great for… Young runners and those looking to get away from the city

Birmingham Half Marathon

Why we rate it … As well as the 10k, Birmingham also hosts the Great Birmingham Half Marathon so expect big crowds and lots of hype at this cornerstone of the UK running calendar.

Feeling keen? Next race is 10th October 2019 and costs £36

Great for… those seeking a big city centre event outside of London

Bath Half Marathon

Why we rate it … Bath might be famous for its Roman spas, but the Bath half is anything but relaxing. This fast flat course is the perfect place for a PB - and in a World Heritage City no less! 

Feeling keen? Next race is Sunday 15th March 2020 and costs from £41

Great for… Speedy Gonzales'slooking for a fast run

Bristol Half Marathon

Why we rate it …The Bristol half is a lovely mix of countryside, harbourside and city centre, with spectacular views of the Avon Gorge - not that you’ll be getting much peace and quiet with music points dotted along the course to play you to victory!

Feeling keen? Next race is 15th September 2019 and costs £40

Great for… everyone looking for a mix of city centre hype and country views

If you are looking for your next half marathon, take a look at our event listings to find the perfect event for you - Half Marathon Listings

Related Posts

How long is a half marathon?

Half Marathon Training Plan

Top half marathon running tips

Calories burnt running a Half Marathon

What is the average half marathon time?

How to run a half marathon faster

What to eat before a half marathon

UK Half Marathons

Half Marathons are a great challenge for any runner, if you have successfully completed a 10k run then this type of event might be next on your list. The training will require a lot more effort and time due to the length but it will be even more rewarding when you cross the finish line. For runners who aspire to one day run a marathon, a half marathon is a great bridging event between shorter races like a 5K or 10K and doing a full 26.2 miles.

Why run a half marathon?

Even If you’ve never run competitively before, signing up for a half marathon can be a great way to motivate a change in fitness and lifestyle and push your abilities to run longer distances. You’ll need to stay committed to a good training plan before your race to avoid injury, but it will be totally worth it once you cross that finish line!

Not only is it a great form of cardiovascular exercise, running a half marathon has plenty of other great benefits too. Firstly, if you’re looking to start running as a way to lose some weight, signing up to a half marathon event will give you something to stay committed to, and through your training, you’ll work on getting your heart rate up, burning calories and losing weight in no time.

Another reason to sign up for a half marathon is to raise money for charity. Half marathons are popular options for runners who want to fundraise and there are hundreds happening across the UK every year. Some people even choose to run in fancy dress to keep things fun!
Finally, running your first half marathon is a great way to really challenge yourself and improve your long-distance running ability. Once you’ve finished a half you’re sure to want to take on your next challenge of a marathon.

Half marathons near me

There are lots of well-known half marathon events in the major cities across the UK, but you may not have know that there are also loads of events that take place in smaller towns and villages, including in your local area too. As half marathons are popular events and great for fundraising, you’ll find that there are new events starting in the UK all the time, meaning that there is bound to be one that is easy and convenient for you to get to. Another benefit of joining one of the smaller half marathon events nearby is that you’re less likely to miss out on a place and joining fees are generally lower.

If you’re looking for ways to get more active, or even start exercising more with a friend or partner, training for a half marathon together is a great way to introduce a little friendly competition and also support each other in reaching your fitness goals. Our website has plenty of half marathon events that you can join all over the UK, so be sure to take a look for half marathons near you using the search bar on the left. You can then find races based on location and other options using the filters to find the perfect event for you.

Half marathons near me and fundraising

Running a half marathon to raise money for charity is a fantastic thing to do. As well as the better-known events, such as the Great Run series, there are plenty of smaller local events you can sign up to as well. In fact, a lot of smaller local charities organise their own events to raise money for specific causes, and many of these will have benefits for the local community.

Setting up funding for a half marathon is easy too. Most charities will provide you with a sponsorship pack to get started you can also do online fundraising and share your goals with your friends on social media. Running in a local half marathon race is also an ideal way to raise money for charities that are based in your local community, and also a great way to get more familiar with your local area.

Charity half marathon events are growing in popularity every year, so if you want to get into running then these are a great place to start!

How can I find charity half marathons near me?

If you’ve decided to run a half marathon for a charity, you may be wondering where you can find charity races nearby. You can find them here of course! On the UK Fitness Events website, you’ll find pages of fitness events that are taking place all across the UK. Use the search bar on the left and once you’ve filtered down the type of race you’re looking to take part in, you can then further refine the results by selecting your location and then choosing from a range of charities that you are interested in supporting.

If you’d like to support a charity that isn’t listed, you’re welcome to do that too! Be sure to check the website of your chosen charity to find out more about getting started with fundraising.

Training for a half marathon

Half marathons are a big commitment, and the 13.1 mile race will certainly put your body to the test. I’ve you’re relatively new to running of have only done shorter races previously, you’ll find that half marathons require a much longer training plan, where you have to train both your body and mind to be able to stand up to the length of the race.

If your goal is to eventually do a marathon you’ll need to get lots of training done before you even look at the track! Start off similar to a 5K prep with smaller runs and sprints and then slowly build up the length of the runs you do. Nutrition will also be important as you start to complete longer runs to make sure your muscles have adequate fuel to keep you going. Take a look at our guide for Half Marathon Training.

Where are the best UK half marathons?

With so many half marathon events to choose from all over the country, it’s difficult to choose the best! Each course has its own perks and challenges, but here are a few of the most popular half marathon events on our site:

Cardiff Half Marathon  |  Royal Parks Half Marathon  |  North London Half Marathon  |  Liverpool Rock and Roll Half Marathon  | Reading Half Marathon  |  Leeds Half Marathon  |  Brighton Half Marathon  |  Birmingham Half Marathon  |  Bath Half Marathon  |  Bristol Half Marathon


Related posts

Are you looking for some more information on half marathons? We have some great quick-read articles covering everything from pace, training and nutrition to top tips. See some of our related posts below:

How long is a half marathon?

Half Marathon Training Plan

Top half marathon running tips

Calories burnt running a Half Marathon

Best Half Marathons in the UK

What is the average half marathon time?

How to run a half marathon faster

What to eat before a half marathon