My First Half Marathon

Alright y’all!  I’m in need of your help.  I’m going to run (most likely walk/jog) my first half marathon in 2013!  My only problem, is that I don’t know what half to chose to be my first half marathon, or the best way to train.  Therefore, I need every runners input on this one, so comment away!!!

I have always wanted to run a half marathon, and I’m quite excited/nervous about this venture!  Basically this is one of those “life goals” for me that I have been thinking about for years and years.  One year I was training for a half and injured my knee and couldn’t run.  So, I put the whole half marathon thing on the back burner for quite a few years.  Well, it is time for me to get my butt and gear and sign up and do my first half no matter how nervous I am!!


Whichever half I do has to be in the late summer to late fall.  I cannot train in North Dakota in the winter due to the weather.  So, I have been looking at a few half marathons that look like they would be good for my first during this time period. 

Here are the races I’m looking at so far.  They are not in any order.  Also, feel free to let me know of other half marathons I should consider for my first.247702_10151199830357446_1143916430_n

The Women’s Half Marathon in St. Petersburg, Florida is usually in October or November.  My wonderful friend, Kim, ran this for her first half and really enjoyed it.  The course has great scenery and is mostly flat.  Did I mention it is by the beach?  That means that I would have to stay on the beach for this race.  Not too bad huh?  Plus check out the medal and charm you get!


MedalThe second race I’m looking at is the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon.  They have not posted the date for the 2013 race yet, but it is always around the first weekend in November.  I love the Disney races and have done several of them.  They are beyond fun and upbeat.  Plus you get to run through the parks and have all the characters wave at you.  Oh, there is also a party at the end with good food and drinks.  With quite a few of their races you even get to go back into the park and ride the rides!  If you haven’t run a Disney race yet, I highly recommend that you sign up for one (Run Disney).  Disney has races ranging from 5K to their full marathon weekend, and all their races are a blast! 

Then there is the Monster Dash Half Marathon in Minneapolis, MN.  This race looks like a monsterton of fun!  I was supposed to run the 10 miler that is part of the Monster Dash Half this year, but my husband ended up having to travel for work, so I couldn’t run it.  This half is always the weekend before Halloween, so hopefully it won’t be too cold in Minnesota.  The Monster Dash race is full of people dressed up and ready to have fun!  Everyone who has run this half has raved about how much fun they had (in their costumes) during the race and at the party afterwards!

medal rnrFinally, there is the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.  This half takes place in several states throughout America and Europe during the whole year.  I’m not sure which state would be the best to run this race in, but it looks like a ton of fun.  I have heard that the San Diego one is flat and the best for your first half marathon.  The Rock ‘n’ Roll race is a lively race that has local bands playing throughout the race course and a concert at the end of the race.  And, I heard the swag bags are pretty awesome!  I also have to admit the Seattle medal looks pretty cool too…I have a bit of a coffee addiction.

There ya have it folks.  These are the races I’m looking at.  Please feel free to let me know of any others that would be great for my first half marathon, or which one of the halves I’ve listed would be great for me to do.  Also…What was your first half marathon and how did you train for it?

23 thoughts on “My First Half Marathon

  1. peaceloveandoats

    Found on the BBB facebook page! My first half was a small one in March in Chicago and my second was the Chicago RNR half this past summer (SO HOT!). First, I recommend a fall race so it isn’t too hot, it is soooo much harder to run that distance in the heat. I enjoyed the Chicago RNR but I think some of the others your looking for would be more exciting. If you can travel, then I’d go for one of the fun races that you’ll remember forever. I’ve heard great things about Disney halves, although they are HUGE (lots of participants). You just have to think about what you want from the race! I don’t mind big ones, but it does mean you have to get there earlier and it might take a while to start and be crowded for several miles, but if you aren’t in it for time then that shouldn’t matter. Good luck, it will be great!

    1. fromfltond Post author

      Thank you so much for the info! I forgot about the heat factor. I’ll have to make sure the race I do isn’t mid summer. I’m not worried about making a good time either. My concern is with finishing the darn thing:)

  2. Urban Running Girl

    Disney races are a blast and really a great fun run. If one trains according to a good plan, you won’t have any troubles finishing a Disney race. They give extra time too! If you choose to do a regular race, try picking a race with a relatively flat course. Many race websites give their elevations on their site, so researching and finding a good one for you shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Tackling a race with too many hills can be daunting for any runner, and for a first time out, you want to have the best experience. As well, generally speaking take a look at the temperatures of the time of your run. If you don’t like hot weather, it’s better to choose a race during a season you enjoy. Good luck on finding your race! Happy Running.

    1. fromfltond Post author

      I don’t mind the heat too much (I miss living in the Florida heat so much), but running mid summer would not be a good idea for me. Somehow I forgot to take the factor of summer heat into consideration. I didn’t know they posted elevations on the maps. I’ll have to check that out too. I’ve done quite a few of Disney’s 5K and 10K races, but haven’t dared for a half yet. Their races are a ton of fun.

  3. Anna S.

    I think Disney would be a lot of fun, but the Wine and Dine is at night. I’d be nervous about doing a night race just because it is an entirely different beast!

    My first race was a Rock N roll race (for both half and marathon). I loved them both. They are a lot of fun, and they really know what they are doing.

    I think all of your options are great though! I’m running the Disney full in January, and I’m so excited.

  4. Anna S.

    I think my comment just got eaten, but if I post twice I’m sorry!

    I think the Disney race would be fantastic. It seems like a fun race. I would be nervous for it as a first half because it is a night race. I think they are a different beast, but you might love it.

    I did RnR races as my first half and first full, and I loved them. I did the RnR San Diego full, and the course does get a little boring, but it was pretty flat. They are good races. Well run (but so are Disney races too).

    Good luck deciding! I’m doing the Disney Full in January, and I’m excited.

    1. fromfltond Post author

      I have done some of the night races at Disney (Tower of Terror) and was okay with it being at night. I was actually pretty hyper; however, I wasn’t doing 13 miles either.
      Is this your first full marathon? Good luck with your marathon at Disney! The marathon weekend is always a blast there!

      1. Anna S.

        I think if you have done other night races and liked it you would be fine!

        It’s my second full, but I took a while off of running, so I’m pretending it’s my first again with no time goals. I’m super excited! I’ve been to marathon weekend to cheer and did the 5k that weekend before, but never any of the longer races.

      2. fromfltond Post author

        I’ve done the 5K there too!! I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about the half and full during Disney’s marathon weekend. I have a ton of friends who do them every year, and I wish I still lived down there so my first half could be during the marathon weekend. You are going to have such a blast and do so well too!! Are you from FL?

      3. Anna S.

        I’m not from Florida, but we have family in Winter Park! My mom also loves Disney and my dad loves running so marathon weekend is great.

        As far as training goes, I used Hal Higdon’s half training program (the Novice 1). I’m using it for marathon training too and it has always worked well.

  5. Arlene Hittle

    No real advice for you, but I’m considering running a half marathon myself … Since I live in Arizona, the Rock N Roll half in Phoenix (January 2014) is my target race.

  6. Allison

    Thank you for writing this post! I have loved the answers and your questions, I am in the process of getting a workout plan for my first half in March! I was so lost, thank you, thank you! 🙂

      1. Allison

        I am planning to run the Dallas Rock’n’Roll in March 2013. I have heard great things about the race and thing it’s a good fit! Plus not too hot in Texas where I am 🙂 This is my first half so I am just figuring it out and asking lots of questions.

      2. fromfltond Post author

        I have heard and read good things about the RNR one in Dallas too. It looks like we are in the same boat with asking questions. Are you planning on running the whole thing, or doing the walk/jog?

      3. Allison

        My thought as of today is to run it. March is a ways off so I feel like I can get ready for it, HOWEVER I might change my tune once it gets a little closer. What are you planning to do? Have you decided on a race yet?

      4. Allison

        I think that would be fun! I have a friend that ran the Disney and really enjoyed it. I have never been to Disney (shame I know!) My boyfriend however has vacationed there a few times and says how much there is to see and do so I think it would be a great place for a first race! Plus you get a vacation 🙂

      5. fromfltond Post author

        Book that race and vacation now!!! Just don’t go during the summer. It is insane how crowded it gets in Orlando during the summer. Plus there is more to do other than Disney if you go. Check out Discovery Cove. Swimming with the dolphins and all the other things they have there is so amazing!

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