Why you should plan a half marathon

Yeah, I know, it’s more work, but could the half marathon be the new 5K? We think so. This data is a wee bit old (isn’t all data?), but in Running USA’s Annual Half Marathon Report (by the way, not so annual since I can’t find the past two years,) 2 million finishers ran in United States half marathons. That’s a lot of runners.


Since 2003, says Running USA, “the half-marathon has been the fastest growing standard distance in the US,” and “from 2006-2012, the number of 13.1 mile finishers grew a noteworthy 10% or more each year.”

And I would imagine those numbers have continued to grow in the past few years, too. From a sheer competition aspect, it’s an absolute win. For every one half marathon, we probably time about twenty 5Ks. Think of all the races you wouldn’t need to go head to head with! It’s true that not as many people can run a half as those who can run a 5K, but a well executed half really stands out – believe me.

Another thing to consider is the price of a half marathon versus a 5K. According to Esquire (again, this is not the newest data) for the top 25 U.S. half marathons, the average price is now doubled what it used to be, at $94. Don’t even get me started on the price of marathons! So while you may have a bit more work from a course/water/food perspective, you could certainly charge more. Also, half marathoner’s usually get medals, and if they do, you can drive your price up even more. Personally, I don’t believe in medals for 5Ks. Let’s save that one for a rainy day though, shall we?

So when planning a race, seriously, consider a half. DO IT.