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Jump to: UK 5ks  •  UK 10ks  •  UK Marathons  •  London Running  •  London Half Marathons
Running EventsHalf Marathons

Half Marathons

A half-marathon is 13.1 miles or 21.1km long. It is a hugely popular distance, and the popularity is only growing. There are over 500 half marathons held in the UK each year, usually in the Spring and Autumn to make the most of the clement weather. Most events are held in big cities, and give a great opportunity to take in major landmarks while exercising. The Great North Run is the world's largest half-marathon, with over 57,000 runners each year. Other events can take you out into the stunning scenery of the UK's countryside, on rugged trails in national parks or along coastal paths. There are sure to be breathtaking views to take your mind off the running! People running their first half-marathon might want to aim for under 2 hours, while those who are experienced runners can set themselves the prestigious challenge of running a half marathon in under an hour and a half (90 minutes). A half-marathon tends to burn anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 calories, so it's a great workout.

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About half marathons in the UK

Half marathons are the among the most popular running events in the United Kingdom. A half marathon is a running race, usually taking place on roads (rather than trails), over a distance of 13.1 miles (21.1km). There are over 500 half marathons happening in the UK every year, including the largest half marathon in the world, the Great North Run which takes place in Newcastle in September and attracts more than 57,000 runners. If you're looking to make the jump to the full 26.2 miles, check out our list of UK marathons, or if you're after something shorter or want a training race, here is our calendar of 10k runs.

Frequently asked questions

What are the best half marathons in the UK?
There are a number of popular half marathons in the UK. For big crowds and closed roads, Hackney Half Marathon, Reading Half Marathon, Bath Half Marathon, The Big Half, and London Landmarks Half Marathon are popular spring choices. To enjoy the summer training, The Great Birmingham Run, Royal Parks Half, Cardiff Half, and, of course, the legendary Great North Run are amongst the biggest autumn races.
For something more local, there are hundreds of smaller races all over the country organised by local running clubs and race directors.
How far is a half marathon?
A half marathon is 13.1 miles or 21.1 km long, exactly half the length of a marathon.
What is the world record for a half marathon?
The men's world record for a half marathon is 58:01 minutes, held by Kenyan Geoffrey Kamworor, and the women's record is 64:51 minutes, set by Joyciline Jepkosgei, also from Kenya.
What is the fastest half marathon in the world?
Both the men’s and women’s world records for the half marathon were set at the Valencia Half Marathon in Spain.
What is the average finish time for half marathons?
The average half marathon finish time across all runners over the last few years is about 1h54m for men and 2h10m for women.
How long does it take to train for a half marathon?
Training for a half marathon takes at least 12 weeks for a beginner, approximately 8 weeks for an intermediate runner, and as little as 6 weeks for a more experienced runner already in the habit of running. There are many training plans available to prepare for a half marathon.
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