5 Unique Central PA Half Marathons

I have found myself quite in love with the Half Marathon race as of late.  In the last two years, I have run 5 Half Marathons! 🙂  In my search for the perfect race to add to my yearly calendar, I have come across a few pretty unique and fun races here in Central Pa.  I figured I would share some of them with you! 🙂

Bird in Hand Half Marathon

This race is done to benefit the Bird in Hand Fire Company, and yes, Bird in Hand is the name of the town. 🙂  It’s a small Amish village outside of Lancaster.  One of the super cool things about the race that I loved, is the fact that the majority of the race volunteers are from the local Amish community.  The children help man the water stops, porta-potties are set up at the one room schoolhouses along the route and it’s just a great atmosphere and a great time!  The finisher’s medal is an old horseshoe that has been made by a local Amish blacksmith.  The last but not least awesome thing about this race is, if you run this race and the Garden Spot Village Half Marathon (see below) in the same year, you can earn the coveted Road Apple Award!!  And yes, it is a plaque with a pile of shelacked horse poop!!  (Bird in Hand Half Marathon)

Garden Spot Village Half Marathon

This race is also in Amish Country outside of Lancaster.  This race is of course, the sister race of the Bird in Hand Half Marathon.  So, if you run both of these races in a calendar year, you earn the Road Apple Award! 🙂  This race is held by the Garden Spot Village retirement community and a lot of the race volunteers are the adorable elderly folks living at the village.  🙂 If you are looking for more of a challenge they hold a Marathon that day as well.  (Garden Spot Village Half Marathon)


Squirrely Tail Twail Wun

This race is run in the middle of February at Gifford Pinchot State Park, not far from York, Pa. This is a lot of fun!!  Not only is it a Half Marathon in the middle of winter, it’s a trail run too!! Race registration is quite inexpensive for a half, the experience is well worth it (even if you only do it once), the spread of food at the end is impressive, and you even get a cute little decal for your car!! 🙂  (Squirrely Tail Twail Wun)


Hershey Half Marathon

This race takes place, where? Of course, the sweetest place on earth, Hershey, Pa!! 😉  The race benefits the Children’s Miracle Network and runs through Hershey Park, past Hershey’s Chocolate World, through Milton Hershey School and other Hershey landmarks.  You are gifted with some yummy Hershey chocolate, naturally!  Each registered runner gets two free tickets to Hershey Park in the Dark, another added bonus and something fun to do following race day.  (Hershey Half Marathon)

Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon

This Half Marathon is held in historic Gettysburg, Pa and the course runs past several historic battlefields and sites in Gettysburg.  Another aspect of this race that makes it very unique is that you have the option to “choose a side”, North or South.  There is a scored competition between each side of the “battle”.  Your race shirt and bib number will be uniquely colored to the side you choose. 🙂  This is one I haven’t run yet, but is definitely on my list! (Blue-Gray Half Marathon)

Are there any races you think I forgot?  Have you been a part of any fun, unique races in your area?  Let me know, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂


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