2018 “Best Of” Races Member Survey Results

100 Half Marathons Club 2018 “Best Of” Member Survey Results

Our members fill out an annual survey to recognize their favorite half marathons by state and by category.  These are the results of our member voting for 2018 races.

View prior year voting results here:
2017 Results
2016 Results
2015 Results
2014 Results

2018 was another challenging racing year.  A number of events were cancelled, rescheduled or altered in the United States due to extreme weather conditions.  Travel was interrupted or cancelled for many athletes.  From east coast storms to west coast forest fires, weather and environmental conditions skewed event participation.

Just like in 2017, we definitely saw a decrease in the number of races our members participated in during the year.  Based on feedback and statistics, this drop in participation was due to a variety of reasons, including: weather cancellations and travel disruptions; a decline in the number of events offered; financial/economic concerns.

We continue to see a “leveling off” in racing industry in the United States with a continued decline in the number of events offered and the number of participants/finishers.  This is not a surprise as the market is still correcting from the “racing boom” that happened in 2012-2016.   Some events are being sold or transferred to other race organizers. Some races are being discontinued.  Meanwhile, a racing boom has developed in other countries and parts of the world. Obstacle race events have also increased and drawn the interest of traditional road race participants. 

Through it all, some races remain classic “go-to” events that always stand out. Other races that were once known to be amazing or top-notch have significantly dropped in quality after being sold to new management.  Always treat races as “buyer beware” and know that issues (both preventable and uncontrollable) can impact a race.  If there is a change in race ownership or management, there a chance the quality of an event can decrease or increase.

2018 Member Voting “Best of” Survey Results

How to read these results:

1. Members voted on their own personal experiences with races.  These are the races they identified as the “best of” in the categories listed below.

2. If multiple races are listed in a category, they are in no particular order.  We’ve listed multiple winners where there were votes that were too close to designate an overall winner, or where there were multiple races repeatedly recommended. 

3. While our club has over 200 discounts for races nationwide, we do not accept paid advertisements from race directors. Our member’s responses are based strictly on their opinion and experiences.  We’re not paid to promote any of the events listed below, nor has any race paid us to be on this list.

4. If there is a race you are considering and you don’t see it on the list- remember, this vote is based on actual race experiences, so if no one in the club has completed the race, they’re not voting for it. 

Results Summary
There are some half marathons that really stood out in our member’s responses.  These are the races we’d call the “best of the best” based on the number of repeated praise for these events.  In no particular order, these are the races that were highly recommended by state and were nominated for several other categories.  If someone were to as if they should do these races, the answer would be- yes, absolutely. 

Overall Top Ten Best-Rated Individual Events (in no particular order):

Flying Pig Half Marathon, Ohio

Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon, Delaware

NYRR United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, New York

Fargo Half Marathon, North Dakota

Key West Half Marathon, Florida

Missoula Half Marathon, Montana

Space Coast Half Marathon, Florida

Route 66 Half Marathon, Oklahoma

Anthem Richmond Half Marathon, Virginia

Little Rock Half Marathon, Arkansas

Section 1: Best Half Marathons in US Each State, Best of Canada, and Best International

We asked our club members to list what they consider to be the best half marathon in each state.  In cases where there’s a tie, or members listed multiple events (such as in large states or states with the highest amount of races, such as California or Florida), we’ve noted them all below. 

There are many races that have similar names.  We have done our best to make sure it is clear what race we are referring to by adding city names or the month of the race to try to avoid any confusion.

Again, if there is more than one race listed per state, these races listed are in no particular order.


Mercedes Half Marathon; Magic City Half Marathon


Anchorage Mayor’s Midnight Sun Half Marathon


Lost Dutchman Half Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Half Marathon


Little Rock Half Marathon


La Jolla Half Marathon, Surf City Half Marathon, Long Beach Half Marathon, Carlsbad Half Marathon


Revel Rockies Half Marathon, Colfax Half Marathon


Hartford Half Marathon, SoNo Half Marathon, Hogsback Half Marathon


Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon, Delaware Running Festival Half Marathon


Space Coast Half Marathon, Gasparilla Half Marathon, Key West Half Marathon, RunDisney events


Jeff Galloway Half Marathon, Georgia Peach Jam Half Marathon


Maui Half Marathon, Kauai Half Marathon, Mainly Marathons Aloha Series Races


Bear Lake Half Marathon


Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicago, Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, Whiskeydaddle Half Marathon


Indy Mini 500 Half Marathon, Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon


Des Moines Half Marathon


Garmin Oz Half Marathon, Running with the Cows Half Marathon, Hangover Half Marathon, Prairie Fire Half Marathon


Kentucky Derby Festival Mini Marathon, Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon, Urban Bourbon Half Marathon


Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans, Baton Rouge Half Marathon (January/tied to the Louisiana Marathon)


Mount Desert Island Half Marathon (October), Maine Half Marathon (Portland, October)


Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon, Fredrick Running Festival Half Marathon


Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon


Detroit Free Press Half Marathon


No clear consensus winner for 2018.


Tupelo Half Marathon


Kansas City Half Marathon, GO! St. Louis Half Marathon


Missoula Half Marathon


Omaha Half Marathon, Lincoln Half Marathon


Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas, Saints and Sinners Half Marathon

New Hampshire

Wallis Sands Half Marathon, Clarence DeMar Half Marathon

New Jersey

Atlantic City Half Marathon (October), April Fools Half Marathon

New Mexico

No clear consensus winner for 2018.

New York

Wineglass Half Marathon, NYRR United Airlines NYC Half Marathon (New York Road Runners), Celebrate Life Half Marathon

North Carolina

Ashville Biltmore Half Marathon, Tobacco Road Half Marathon, Southern Fried Half Marathon (Outer Banks)

North Dakota

Fargo Half Marathon


Flying Pig Half Marathon


Route 66 Half Marathon, Oklahoma City Memorial Run Half Marathon


Bridge of the Gods Half Marathon


Bird in Hand Half Marathon, Runner’s World Half Marathon, Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Half Marathon

Rhode Island

Newport Half Marathon (April); Surftown Half Marathon

South Carolina

Kiawah Island Half Marathon, Palmetto Half Marathon

South Dakota

 Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon


 St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon; Race 13.1 Nashville


 Austin Half Marathon, Chevron Armaco Houston Half Marathon


Bear Lake Half Marathon, Salt Lake City Half Marathon


Covered Bridges Half Marathon, Mad Half Marathon


Marine Corps Historic Half, Anthem Richmond Half Marathon, Shamrock Half Marathon


Amica Seattle Half Marathon (November), Jack and Jill Downhill Half Marathon

West Virginia

Hatfield & McCoy Half Marathon, Marshall Half Marathon


Brewers Mini Marathon, Cellcom Green Bay Half Marathon


Bear Lake Half Marathon


Niagara Women’s Half Marathon, ScotiaBank Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon


Disneyland Paris Half Marathon; Reykjavik Half Marathon

Section 2: General Categories

The races listed below were our “top mentioned” in these categories.  We included the all of the most-frequently voted for races. Again, the winners are listed in no particular order.

Best Medal (Excludes RunDisney events)
Space Coast Half Marathon (FL); Route 66 Half Marathon (OK); Key West Half Marathon (FL); Little Rock Half Marathon (AR)

“Must Do In Your Lifetime” Half Marathon
Boston’s Run to Remember Half Marathon (MA); NYRR United Airlines NYC Half Marathon (NY); Flying Pig Half Marathon (OH); Missoula Half Marathon (MT)

“The Course Almost Killed Me, But It Was Soooo Worth It” Half Marathon
Mad Half Marathon (VT); Celebrate Life Half Marathon (NY); Bird in Hand Half Marathon (PA); Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon (KY)

Most Scenic Half Marathon
Avenue of the Giants Half Marathon (CA); Newport Half Marathon (RI); La Jolla Half Marathon (CA)

Favorite Flat Half Marathon

Tobacco Road Half Marathon (NC); Indy Monumental Half Marathon (IN); Space Coast Half Marathon (FL); Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon (PA); Reboboth Beach Half Marathon (DE)

Best Big Bucks Race That’s Worth the Registration Fee ($100 or more)
New York Road Runners United Airlines NYC Half Marathon (NY); Detroit Free Press Half Marathon (MI/Canada); Space Coast Half Marathon (FL); RunDisney events

The Half Marathon You’d Do Every Single Year If You Could
Flying Pig Half Marathon (OH); Route 66 Half Marathon (OK); Space Coast Half Marathon (FL); Missoula Half Marathon (MT)

Best Multi-Day Event or Race Series (includes weekends that have a half marathon plus other distances as a part of a challenge or event race schedule)
Mainly Marathons Series (nationwide); Flying Pig Half Marathon (OH); Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Dopey Challenge (FL); Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series

Best Spectators / Community Support
Fargo Half Marathon (ND); Flying Pig Half Marathon (OH); Anthem Richmond Half Marathon (VA); Route 66 Half Marathon (OK)

Best Volunteers

New York Road Runners races (multiple events) (NY); Richmond Half Marathon (VA); Route 66 Half Marathon (OK); Flying Pig Half Marathon (OH)

Best On-Course Entertainment (music, live bands, displays, etc.)
Fargo Half Marathon (ND); Anthem Richmond Half Marathon (VA); Flying Pig Half Marathon (OH); Rock ‘n Roll Race Series (multiple events)

Best Destination Half Marathon (as in doing a race where there are lots of tourist activities and sightseeing opportunities)
Key West Half Marathon (FL); Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon (NV); RunDisney events

Best “Is This A Race Or Just Really A Huge Party?” Half Marathon
Route 66 Half Marathon (OK); Shamrock Half Marathon (VA); Mainly Marathons races (nationwide); Flying Pig Half Marathon (OH)

Best Race for a PR Attempt
Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia (PA); Shamrock Virginia Beach (VA); Wineglass Half Marathon (NY); Fargo Half Marathon (ND)

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