10 Georgia Half Marathons You'll Love Running
Big races, small races, trail races + road races
Tybee Island, Ga. | Saturday, February 3, 2024
Nestled just off the coast of Savannah near Wilmington Island and the mouth of the Savannah River along the border between Georgia and South Carolina, Tybee Island still has much of its wild, untamed natural beauty, which you’ll get to take in at this race that dates back to the 1970s. From the start near the Tybee shoreline at Memorial Park, runners make their way up and down its city streets, passing by local landmarks like the Fort Screven historic district and the historic Tybee Island Light Station, one of handful of 18th-century-era lighthouses still in operation in the U.S. (While you’re in town, you’ll likely also see signs or hear stories about the “Tybee Bomb,” an unexploded atomic bomb that was dropped into the ocean off the coast of Tybee in the late 1950s and never recovered, even after multiple attempts to find it.)
Skidaway Island, Ga. | Saturday, February 24, 2024
Located just over a 20-minute drive from downtown Savannah, this island that’s home to the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and Wormsloe Plantation, whose live oaks draped in Spanish moss frame a state historic site that was built in the early 1700s, Skidaway Island plays host to what is undoubtedly one of the flattest races you’ll find. There’s almost no elevation change throughout the out-and-back course, which starts along the banks of the Skidaway River near the north end of the island, and runs all the way into the high-end residential community known as The Landings, before heading back along the river to the finish line.
Rome, Ga. | Saturday, March 2, 2024
Nestled among 28,000 green, hilly, wooded acres in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Rome’s Berry College is thought to be the largest college campus in the world, and you’ll get to take it all in at this late winter/early spring race about an hour and a half from Atlanta. You’ll run entirely on roads within the campus, which will take you past Berry’s Frost Chapel and its nearby middle and elementary schools, through the Winshape dairy barns and along a stretch of trail known as the Viking trail. The time limit is 4 hours, so it’s open to walkers as well as runners.
Chatsworth, Ga. | April 2024
A route of breathtaking beauty up in the mountains of northwest Georgia, about an hour and a half from Atlanta. Starting from the top of Fort Mountain, at an elevation of about 3,000 feet, you’ll run an out-and-back around the top of the mountain for the first half of the race, and then descend into the Cohutta Wilderness Area before crossing the finish line at scenic City Park in Chatsworth, Ga. — dropping about 2,000 feet between the start and the finish. The race takes its name in part from its connection to the Trail of Tears, as the historic route for the Trail intersects with the route you’ll run at the race.
Savannah, Ga. | Saturday, April 6, 2024
On this springtime run through Savannah’s downtown historic district, along streets shaded by ancient live oak trees draped in Spanish moss, you’ll make your way past several of its historic squares laid out when the city was designed on a grid back in 1733. The early going takes you through Savannah’s historic district, where scenes from the movie Forrest Gump were filmed, while the second half of the race features a run inside Daffin Park, whose 80 acres are home to Grayson Stadium, the home of minor league baseball’s Savannah Bananas. You’ll finish at the city’s Forsyth Park in front of its famous fountain.
Jekyll Island, Ga. | October 2024
One of the most beautiful and historic of Georgia’s “Golden Isles,” the string of barrier islands along the state’s roughly 100-mile long coastline, Jekyll Island also is one of its best-loved state parks, as more than 1,000 acres of its maritime forest are protected from the development that has gobbled up much of the Atlantic coast. The course for this half is about as flat and fast as you can find, run just a few feet above sea level with plentiful views of the marshes, forests and beaches that Jekyll is famous for, out in the sunshine on the paved roads that circle the island.
Mableton, Ga. | October 2024
Long stretches of paved trails that snake through the lush, green, wooded forest areas of the northwest Atlanta suburbs are what you’ll find at this race, which follows the Silver Comet Trail, named for the old railroad that now is a paved multi-use trail for bikers, joggers and walkers and winds nearly 40 miles from Atlanta to the Georgia-Alabama state line. Run on the weekend before Halloween, the race takes place at a time when the weather in Atlanta should be perfect for running, with the sun streaming through the trees along the trail.
Atlanta, Ga. | November 2024
Cross the starting line under the iconic Olympic rings that hang above Hank Aaron Drive — a reminder of the Centennial Olympic Games that took place here back in 1996 — at this longstanding tradition on Atlanta’s running calendar. The course retraces many of the same stretches that runners in the Olympic marathon took more than two decades ago, including runs through Piedmont Park and past the Georgia State Capitol building, the Margaret Mitchell House and the famed Oakland Cemetery, before bringing you back to the baseball stadium downtown for the finish.
Helen, Ga. | December 2024
Tucked away in the north Georgia mountains near Helen, a small town that refashioned itself years ago into a Bavarian-style tourist destination and draws thousands every year to its annual Oktoberfest festival, Unicoi State Park and Lodge plays host to this race along more than a dozen miles of single-track hiking and mountain biking trails. And with a 6-hour time limit, the race is open to walkers as well as runners.
Rising Fawn, Ga. | December 2024
A handful of spots remain for this stunning run deep into one of the most beautiful places in Georgia, the 3,500-acre Cloudland Canyon State Park — home “to thousand-foot deep canyons, sandstone cliffs, wild caves, waterfalls, cascading creeks, dense woodland and abundant wildlife.” You’ll run down inside its canyons for many of your miles, passing by waterfalls as you run over hills and alongside streams throughout. As the organizers say, “we can not reiterate how beautiful this course is!” (There will also be a 50-miler in addition to the half on Saturday, followed by a 50K and full marathon on Sunday.)
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