The variety of half marathons run in Wisconsin will keep you coming back year after year. Below are the best half marathons in Wisconsin as rated by runners of the events.
Wisconsin Half Marathon – Kenosha
Check out the annual springtime running of Wisconsin’s “cheesiest” half marathon. With its setting on the southeast corner of Lake Michigan, this race showcases the best of Kenosha. Check out more details here.
The course begins near the Kenosha Public Museum and Harbor Park. One of the highlights of the race is a long stretch along the Lake Michigan shore along Alford Park Drive and famous waterfront Alford Park.
“The course is both flat and a lot more scenic the I expected from Kenosha, WI. The views of the lake were beautiful and the neighborhoods we passed through were very very nice.” – B.D., Marathonguide.com Review
“I really enjoyed this race! It’s a nice size; small enough to be very easy logistically and not too crowded, but large enough that I was never running by myself. Course is very pretty, especially the parts right by the lake. There was one small area with some cracked, uneven pavement, but otherwise, nice surfaces and no traffic. Also quite flat, with just a few small hills on the north end.” – M.S., MarathonGuide.com Review
Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon – Milwaukee
Sometimes when you want to run a winter race in the frozen North of the US, folks have to get creative. That’s what happened here with the Icebreaker Half. The race organizers play music over the loudspeakers in the ice-skating arena, and participants can put in their own requests for their favorite motivational songs.
The course is nothing more than 47.7 loops around an indoor track laid out on the surface of the floor of Pettit National Ice Center, which serves as the Olympic training facility in Milwaukee. Run where famous Olympic champions like Bonnie Blair and Apolo Ohno have trained.
“One of the most well organized and run races I’ve ever done. The volunteers and spectators are awesome and having the availability of aid whenever you want is spectacular. Such a unique experience to see the leaders the entire race and have them encourage you along their way as well as being able to encourage them was awesome. The camaraderie before, during and after the event was unmatchable. I will definitely be doing this race again.” – A.B., Marathonguide.com Review
“This race is anything BUT boring! The laps fly by, as you are constantly supported by other runners, volunteers, and things going on around you. Loved having music requests played (only wish the music was louder on the back side of the track). Extremely well organized, energetic volunteers, and definitely a great winter race!” – K.S., Marathonguide.com Review
Cheesehead Run Half Marathon – Hilbert
Witness the beauty of the end of summer in Wisconsin. Truly a unique experience, participants get a cheesehead shirt. Come and be an honorary cheesehead with this great race. Click here for more information.
The course is an out-and-back course that follows a country loop, including portions of the Fox River Trail. There are a number of uphill stretches in this one, so be sure to work on those quads before you come!
Image Source: CheeseheadRun.com
“The branding was fantastic. They did a great job at creating the cheese theme, and sticking to it! The shirt with flying cheese was awesome, along with the medal, and cheese bib. All the extra touches – cheese filled post race grub, cheese starting line, Sarentos truck all added to the fun. It was a great course, and honestly a nice change from running in the city. The race organizers really seem to care about this race.” – J.M., BibRave Review
“Overall it was a great run and great people. I though it was well run.” – T.B., Active.com Review
Fox Cities Half Marathon – Appleton
This race is consistently ranked as one of the Midwest’s best half marathons. A well-run race in a pleasant location, and at a near-perfect time of year, it’s not hard to see why. For more information, click here.
One of the most remarkable aspects of this course is that it is a net downhill course, so it’s a great chance for a personal best. The course begins at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, then winds its way through the streets of quaint Appleton, Wisconsin, a town of approximately 70,000.
Image courtesy: FoxCitiesMarathon.org
“While there are some larger races across the Country (Rock and Roll series, etc.), the Fox Cities event was the perfect size and extremely well-done. The information that was sent out ahead of time via Facebook and email was awesome – I always felt informed. The course was flat and had a lot of community support from start to finish. I will be running this event again and again!!” – D.W., Marathonguide.com Review
“I ran the half-marathon here in preparation for my sixth marathon elsewhere. I must say that the event organizers for this Run Fest in the Fox Cities have done an awesome job! Whether it is your first time in a marathon or in any running event, you can’t go wrong with this one! The elite level marathoners will also find this one challenging enough to make it all worthwhile! Its high ratings in running event surveys from across the country is well deserved. I am just so thrilled that the marathon event in my hometown is so well organized.” – T.P., Marathonguide.com Review
Osh Kosh Half Marathon
Starting at the corner of Ceape and Main, the course continues to include portions of the Wiouwash Trail and ends by passing through the heart of downtown Oshkosh to finish inside Leach Amphitheatre.
Image courtesy: Oshkosh Half Marathon
“I had an awesome time” – S.K., Newspaper Review
“I liked the trails,I liked the breakup between roads and trails” – S.N., Newspaper Review
Runner’s World Magazine has ranked this as one of the best half marathons in the country, and its reputation is well deserved. This half offers a heaping helping of the true American town of Madison and the University of Wisconsin.
The half marathon starts at the Memorial Union terrace, runs up Langdon past Frat Row, cuts over to the Capitol via Wisconsin Ave, gets you a nice view of the Farmer’s Market in the summer before sending you down State Street. Southwest bike trail, Picnic point, Lakeshore Path, UW Arboretum, and ending back at the Memorial union are all highlights of this course.
Image courtesy: MadisonMiniMarathon.com
“Their race course was so well planned out. It hits all the highlights of Madison and ends with a beer on the terrace. It’s by far my favorite half marathon in the Madison neighborhood.- Christine L., Yelp Review
“the course is really pretty nice. a bit hilly, but it’s madison. madison is hilly just driving through it, so you expect that. you run through the farmer’s market and to the capital in the beginning, which i think was my favorite part. you run around the lakes as well.” – RJ. D., Yelp Review
Lake Michigan Half Marathon – Milwaukee
This is a spectacular race along the shores of Lake Michigan. A variety of surfaces and surroundings make for a great race.
The race directors say it best: “All events will take runners on a unique journey on the scenic trails along the South Shore of Lake Michigan. Runners will experience the Oak Leaf Trail and the Seven Bridges Hiking Trail. The course will start and finish at Sheridan Park in Cudahy and also go through four other Milwaukee County Parks: Warnimont Park, Grant Park, Bay View Park and South Shore Park. The majority of the course is on the flat, paved Oak Leaf Trail.”
“Loved it! Loved the mix of wooded trail and lakefront trail, what a unique and fun experience. Except the humidity, which was no one’s fault except Mother Nature. And the best race shirt I’ve ever seen!” – M.S., Facebook Review
“Great race! A little hidden gem soon to be discovered in Milwaukee.” – T.L., Facebook Review