Friday, January 3, 2014

Texas Half Marathon Growth, Walker Friendly Half Marathons and Trail Half Marathons

The most up to date, complete and accurate listing of Texas half marathons on the web is the half marathon calendar, featuring search by state and search by month capabilities. The calendar of Texas half marathons 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”. Texas half marathons have grown to a total of 120 half marathons as of January 2014, an increase of over 20 half marathons in Texas since the beginning of 2012.  It is no surprise, being such a large state and all, Texas remains in the top 5 for most half marathons in the United States.

Thus far, some of the most widely known larger races that support a minimum of 4 hours to be considered walker friendly in Texas and across the nation, are the Rock’n’Roll half marathons, and The Biggest Loser Run / Walk half marathons.  As far as the smaller to mid size races, there is still a large quantity of 1/2 marathon events out there that are not supportive of the walking community at all.  There is a very large percent of races that that have a  maximum time limit of 3 hours and 15 minutes, or 3 hours and 30 minutes, which truly isn’t really a walker friendly standard, and certainly shouldn’t be promoted as walker friendly on any event website.  However there are some extremely supportive small to mid size events out there to be found!  Surfside Half Marathon allows up to 5 and a half hours for halfmarathoners.  The 3M Half marathon allows 5 hours for the half marathon.  The half marathon walking community continues to grow, and events looking to gain a larger total participation should definitely consider a 4 hour or longer fully supported race to draw in this growing market share.

Trail half marathons have also been making headway in Texas and across the United States.  While Texas by no means leads the US in percentage of trail events, the state is home of a full Xterra series, which include multiple half marathons, and at least 12 good Trail 21k half marathons across the state.  As mentioned prior, runners can easily scroll right down the half marathon schedule for Texas and identify which events are trail runs by the (T) symbol along side the date at the Texas half marathon calendar.

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