Running a half marathon is an incredible achievement for any runner. Those exhilarating 13.1 miles help you become a more seasoned runner and is great prep for a full marathon. If you’re new to running, we suggest safely building up to a higher weekly mileage and longer runs. Starting with a smaller goal, like a 5K, and increasing from there will help you to have a sustainable and successful running career. Once you’re ready to run 13.1 miles, these Washington DC half marathons are the best in the city. Not only are these races meant to be fun, most are also for great causes. You can feel good knowing that you’re contributing to a noble charity as you run!

Want more outdoor activities in Washington DC?

The Best Washington DC Half Marathons

1. Georgetown Half Marathon

When: Saturday, October 8th, 2022

Where: C&O Canal Towpath at Fletcher’s Cove, 4940 Canal Road, Washington DC

Time: 9 AM to 1 PM

This charity race along the scenic C&O Canal Towpath helps support girls’ education in Kenya and Nepal. All proceeds from the race support the Mercy Center Foundation’s work in Kenya, and the Himalayan Children’s Foundation’s work in Nepal. 

The course for this Washington DC half marathon has a mostly flat, dirt-packed gravel trail, making for a great place to run. Whether you’re an experienced runner or a first-timer, the Georgetown Half Marathon is a great way to put your skills to the test.

Even though the race is open to anyone who can complete it by 1 PM, medals are only given to the first 250 finishers. There’s also RFID real-time timing by the Safety and Health Foundation throughout the race. If you’re planning to register, the online entry closes on October 6th at 6 PM. After that, you can still register at the Georgetown Running Company on October 7th between 3 PM and 6 PM. 

2. Racin’ to Beat Cancer Half 

When: Saturday, October 15th, 2022

Where: Burke Lake Park, 7315 Ox Rd, Fairfax Station, Virginia

Time: 7 AM

Everyone knows October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so the Racin’ to Beat Cancer Half marathon aligns well with other cancer support initiatives. All proceeds from this marathon go to We Rock Cancer – a charitable organization that enables early cancer detection. This year, the half marathon is supporting the early detection of skin cancer. You can come out and run to support the cause and get a free skin cancer screening from their dermatology partners.

The marathon is open to anyone who wants to enjoy 13.1 miles of trails through Burke Lake Park. Even walkers and strollers are welcomed with open arms to attend this event. Runners will get a finisher’s medal, a technical event shirt, and a chip-timer. If you’re worried about signing up in time, then don’t fret! Race day registration is open to any participant who arrives around 45 minutes before the race begins. 

3. Laufvergnugen

When: Sunday, October 16th, 2022

Where: 3401 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Time: 12 PM

Laufvergnugen means ‘Fun Run’ in German – and that’s exactly what this half marathon is all about. This festive season, Old Dominion Racing and The Berliner have joined forces to give every runner in DC a great Oktoberfest experience. The race starts and ends at The Berliner, and goes along the incredibly beautiful C&O Canal Tow Path. At the end of the run, The Berliner has a free meal or beer waiting for every runner. 

Additionally, all participants get a commemorative shirt for the run, a finisher’s medal, a voucher for The Berliner’s food and drinks, and mouth-watering treats from Great Harvest Bread and Girl Scout cookies at every rest area. They’re also raffling cool prizes like a Garmin GPS watch, ODR t-shirts, and free registration for future ODR races. If you’re looking to get into the autumn spirit with a fun run, look no further than the Laufvergnugen.

4. 2022 Semper Fi 5K and Half

When: Saturday, October 29th, 2022

Where: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Path, 3530 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Time: 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM 

The Semper Fi marathon is another great way to support a noble cause while running your heart out! Semper Fi and America’s Fund take care of our nation’s critically wounded and injured service members, including veterans and military families. They support all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces by providing one-on-one case management, connection, and support that lasts a lifetime. 

The Semper Fi Half marathon lets every runner come out and enjoy scenic views in the heart of Georgetown on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Path. Runners will get a finisher’s medal, and a technical drift event shirt to commemorate their experience. All points from this marathon count towards the Back of the Pack and Fall Series by Bishop’s Events. If you’re a seasoned runner, then completing a full set of series can help you win several prizes. 

Once you complete 20 races, you get an invite to their free series lunch in January. If you’re able to complete 75 or 100 races by the end of the year, then you get a huge prize from the organization!

5. Turkey Tumble for Autism

When: Saturday, November 19th, 2022

Where: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Path, 3530 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Time: 8 AM 

When it comes to Washington DC half marathons, no list would be complete without some kind of turkey run. The Turkey Tumble for Autism run is in the heart of Georgetown near the Nation’s Capital, and it is a great way to get into the Thanksgiving spirit. 

This charity run supports the Organization for Autism Research (OAR), which is dedicated to improving the lives of everyone affected by autism. OAR is led by parents and grandparents of children on the autism spectrum, and they use applied science to answer difficult questions that these families face every day. They also keep educators, advocates, families, and professionals informed by providing free resources. 

Turkey Tumblers can expect to get a finisher’s medal at the end and a technical event shirt in their runner’s pack. Even if you cannot make it on race day, you can join the fun virtually and still receive a medal for your contribution!

6. EOD Warrior Holiday Dash

When: Sunday, 4th December 2022

Where: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Path, 3530 Water St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Time: 8 AM 

If you want to get into holiday mode, consider participating in one of our favorite Washington DC half marathons, the EOD warrior holiday dash. Not only do they offer a 13 mile race, they also have a 7k and full Boston-Qualifying marathon. This charitable run supports Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD), which is the disarming and safe disposal of explosive hazards. They provide financial assistance to every active-duty, reserve, national guard, retired, and veteran EOD technician across the country. 

This half marathon winds through the scenic trails of the C&O Canal Path, making for a beautiful race. Once you finish, you will receive a finisher’s medal to commemorate your experience and a technical event shirt. If you’re trying to qualify for a full marathon next year, try completing this run within the 6-hour time limit to build endurance!

More Resources for Washington DC Half Marathons

Related Articles