Do you have a race review for a USA half marathon? If so, feel free to submit a half marathon review for consideration! Here are some great topics runners like to read about in your half marathon review:
Was the race website organized and informative? Distances visible on home page, full address of location for out of state visitors, city and state visible of non-local participants, details about course, critical info easily found, etc.
Was the race well organized? Packet pick up, expo, start time, timing, support?
Did this race have an expo, or just a small packet pickup?
Were enough volunteers recruited? How was on course support? Enough food? Enough water?
How was the post race party? Good food? Music? Enough food? Enough refreshments & recovery food or drinks? Describe.
How was the medal? below average? average? excellent? beyond excellent, pretty cool?
Do you have a photo to share of your bling to include?
How was the swag? Any awesome swag? Brand of shirt?
How was the cost of the race compared to most half marathons? about average, a great deal, way too expensive for the swag, bling and support that was provided, well worth the cost for the swag, bling, post race party and support received?
Was this a small race, a medium sized race, or large race?
Was the course scenic? What was the highlight of the course (or highlights of the course)?
What made the course fun (or totally boring)?
Do you have any good scenic course photos to send us?
Describe the course. Was it flat? Rollers the whole way? Flat with one big monster hill? All up? All down? All up then all down? etc. Was it shaded? Trees, dessert, mountainous, city streets, all neighborhoods, through a park, etc?
We love to hear from our half marathon runners about all the half marathon races out there that you love, like, or didn't care for, and appreciate your feedback. We may share your review in multiple locations such as our half marathon blogs, or possibly even on Halfmarathonsearch.com. You can ask to be published anonymously if you'd like, but we do need your information in order to publish.
Half Marathons continue to grow across the USA and around the globe. The current totals of half marathons in the USA equal well over 2000 events, with recent industry leaders’ claims of close to 2 million half marathon finishers over the past year. The number of half marathon events, and the number of finishers continue to increase annually. The 13.1 mile distance is perfect for the traveler, allowing the ability to enjoy a weekend destination with little recovery time, contrary to the full marathon distance. In 2008, Fifty States Half Marathon running club was founded, and has now grown to become a central bonding ground for bringing half marathon runners together from all over the USA, and even some from other countries. The club also has members from Canada, and as far away as UAE. The club features over 300 running event discounts (mostly half marathons), and a fabulous high end gold cup trophy for members who finish a 50 states journey, or 100 half marathons. The challenges also allow for ironman distance and half ironman distance triathlons to count in totals of various challenges. The 500 endurance challenge and a 7 Continents endurance Challenge was added as well over the past year, an enticer to go above and beyond 50 states or 100 halts. Members meet up for dinner and race photos all over the USA throughout the year, and enjoy an unprecedented camaraderie! The bonds of the members seem to get stronger every year, and more keep joining due to the positive energy the club and members spark amongst others! The annual meet up and awards, which is held in a new destination every year, has also been an exciting event. Members drive and fly in from all over to see one another, celebrate membership and awards for challenge finishers, and enjoy a weekend of socializing. The half marathon club is a welcoming organization with both walkers and runners of all abilities, and is a fabulous running club to meet other likeminded individuals, from some just normal everyday folks, to some with amazing inspirational stories of overcoming adversity. In 2015, Fifty 50 States Half Marathon Club will hold their annual meet up event at Kooky Spooky Half Marathon in Golden, Colorado, with expectations of close to 200 members attending. The weekend will consist of a planned light group hike up the scenic Table Mountain, social night of mingling, a Coors Brewery tour, an evening of dinner and awards to be presented to all the 50 States and 100 Half finishers, a race day with mingling at post race tent upon finishing half the half marathon, and another final social gathering the last evening of the weekend. Join the challenge and a great half marathon group!
The most up to date, complete and accurate listing of half marathons on the web is the Halfmarathonsearch.com half marathon calendar, featuring search by state and search by month capabilities for runners. The calendar also features a symbol for trail running half marathon events, and has been working on implementing walker friendly symbols throughout the calendar, which will continue to roll out through 2014. The walker friendly races adhere to the new standard in the half marathon industry, supporting a 4 hour / 18:32 minute mile minimum to be officially considered walker friendly. The races must be fully supported the full minimum of 4 hours, including the same road support and aid station support that the fast runners receive, to be “official walker friendly”.
While there is still continued growth in half marathons across the USA, there were also a good number of half marathons that were cancelled, and some discontinued for 2014. There are also still a fair amount of half marathons that fail to update their upcoming half marathon dates in an acceptable time frame prior to the race, however great improvements have been observed rolling into 2014.
Areas of which some half marathon race directors could improve with online presence (half marathon websites) are: 1) updating half marathon event dates close to a year ahead; 2) making sure the half marathon is listed on the home page if it is an addition to a marathon event; 3) listing the full date with the year fully visible, so runners and calendars can decipher if it is the old date or new date; 4) listing the “day” of the event is helpful (such as Saturday or Sunday); 5) Listing the city and state, clearly on the home page; 6) Listing an address to the event so out of state travelers can use GPS; 7) Submitting event date immediately to online half marathon calendars when date is identified; 8) Don’t change link annually, only change the information on the page (having ONE link or website that remains the SAME annually is important. 9) Clearly identify on home page if event is walker friendly of 4 hours or longer to finish; 10) Do not take your event page down when it is over, similar to #8, there is nothing worse than clicking on a site and no information exists any longer; 11) Make sure to have a link on website to Facebook page (make sure it’s a Facebook page and not a Facebook event, and not a Facebook group. Races should have a Facebook PAGE to build community); 10) Support local and national running clubs such as Fifty States Half Marathon Club, that support the half marathon running community. It will go a long way having that camaraderie and support for your event. Providing a discount may draw in runners from out of state that may not otherwise have even seen or heard of your event, or considered traveling to your event.
Many races do not take into consideration details, especially for out of state runners and for walkers, and checking off the above list of items can improve presence, and draw in a bigger following of runners.
As we approach the last quarter of 2013, it is safe to assume about 99% of the 2013 half marathons are published, with 2014 event dates now starting to roll in. Hence, we have totaled the current number of half marathons listed across the USA to evaluate the half marathon growth from 2012 to 2013.
Last year Fifty States HALF Marathon Club & Halfmarathonsearch.com's CEO Nicole Blomgren, USATF Certified Official, analyzed and provided a count of approximately 2005 half marathons, officially listed on the Halfmarathonsearch.com Half Marathon Calendar, a complete listing of half marathons across the USA with both search by state and search by month features. The new approximate total for half marathons in the USA (total listed on Halfmarathonsearch.com) has now reached a total of approximately 2200 half marathons. This is growth of approximately 200 half marathons added across the USA over the past year.
With no doubt, half marathon events offering an exciting venue with beautiful scenery, or out of the ordinary swag and medals to attract runners, typically sell out year after year. However, we have also seen some events cancel over the past year due to low attendance, observed a few go out of business, and several states with a decrease in half marathons over the past year. This could be evidence of increased competition in some regions, and the importance of planning and a well thought out schedule, a great website, and cool swag and medals to attract runners. Runners will travel from all over to attend a race that has an awesome course or great swag, but it has to be well portrayed on a website to attract runners. Having a race listing on a race calendar registration site alone will not do the job. Additionally, with more races to choose from comes higher expectations from runners and the importance for half marathon events to list their upcoming event dates 8 months to 1 year out in this growing half marathon running era.
The growing half marathon running era shows no slowing trend, and Halfmarathonsearch.com predicts further continuous growth at approximately the same growth rate over the next year. While half marathon events continue to grow, the half marathon runners and clubs such as Fifty States Half Marathon Club, also have seen significant growth over the last 2 years. The half marathon 13.1 mile distance is a fun distance, long enough for a challenge, and short enough to recover quickly and still enjoy an evening out on the town at a weekend destination. Many first timers immediately catch the half marathon addiction once they complete their 1st. We look forward to another exciting year of half marathon growth and are so honored to be a part of this fabulous half marathon running community.
Join in runners and triathletes, and take the Challenge! Whether you are a half marathon runner, a full marathon runner, a half ironman triathlete or go long for the full ironman triathlons, OR like to do a little bit of all, ... we have a challenge for you! Choose from 3 challenges .........