The full marathon distance is 26.2 miles
or 41.2 kilometres in length and can take anywhere from just over 2 hours for elite runners to
complete or well over 8 hours for some of the less fitter or under prepared
Taking part in a half marathon race is very often a
lifetime’s ambition for some people as well as a practice run or stepping stone on to the full
marathon for others. It’s a challenging event and a very rewarding one to complete, but exactly
how long is a half marathon?
The half marathon however is not quite
as brutal and covers half the distance of the marathon at 13.1 miles or 21 kilometers and
because of this is sometimes referred to as a 21k race.
At the time of publishing the fastest ever
recorded times for men was - 58:23, set by Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea on March 21, 2010, in Lisbon,
And the best ever women’s finishing time of
1:05:50, was set by Mary Keitany of Kenya on February 18, 2011, in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab
The half marathon is quickly becoming one of
the most popular races in the US with organised races held regularly throughout the
There are tens of thousands of organised half
marathons which take place in some of the most famous cities in the world such as Berlin, Dublin,
New Delhi, Stockholm, New York, Gothenburg and Toronto to name just a few.
Many of these races will have thousands of
runners taking part in and some are so oversubscribed that you actually need to send in entry forms
and get drawn out of a hat to see if you are eligible to run.
Half marathons are also emerging as very good
way for charitable organisations to raise both funds and awareness in their own unique causes. Many
people choose a charity to represent which has a particular relevance to them, for example they
might have lost a relative or friend to a particular disease or know someone that is fighting an
Whichever charity is chosen, the chance to
raise money for others at the same time as completing a lifetime’s ambition makes a half
marathon a very special race to enter and an emotional experience to
Many first timers go on to complete a number of
races after the triumph and satisfaction of finishing their first one.
If you’ve ever thought of running one but ever
worried about ‘how long is a half marathon,’ then don’t let the distance put you
off. 13.1 miles is a long way to run, but if you break it
down in to smaller, more manageable chunks it won’t seem as bad.
If you put in the right amount of effort in to
your training so that you’re ready and prepared, then you should be able to complete one and get
the satisfaction and pride of knowing that you did it... you completed a half
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How to build up to
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