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4 Inspiring Half Marathons In Scotland For Your Bucket List

There's loads to choose from - here's our 4 favourite Scottish halfs

Running 13.1 miles across one of the best half marathons in Scotland is a surefire way to soak up the picturesque beauty of Scotland while appreciating its running community.

One of the benefits of trying to choose the best 2024 half marathons in Scotland is that by nature, because Scotland is such a small country, there aren’t all that many half marathons to choose from.

This isn’t to say that the list of the best half marathons in Scotland is a list of dregs compiled from “slim pickings.”

Rather, almost all of the annual half marathons in Scotland are fantastic races that are well organized, held on beautiful courses, and will appeal to different types of runners looking for the best 2024 Scotland half marathons.

Whether you live in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK or have always wanted to run a half marathon in Scotland, picking the best half marathon in Scotland is the perfect way to experience the beautiful rural or urban areas steeped with culture on your own two feet.

In this guide, we’ve rounded up just a few of the best half marathons in Scotland for 2024!

The Scottish countryside.

What Is the Best Half Marathon In Scotland?

Choosing the best half marathon to run is a different process for every runner.

What you may prioritize in selecting from the best 2024 half marathons in Scotland may be different from the main factors to consider when choosing the best half marathon in Scotland for another runner.

Even if you are training for your first half marathon, you are likely aware that every half marathon is different, and there are different types of half marathon races.

Of course, every full half marathon is going to be the same distance—13.1 miles—but where you run those miles and the vibe or atmosphere of the half marathon race can vary greatly.

For example, some people looking for the best Scotland half marathons in 2024 are looking for the big city race that will have an urban feel, a roaring crowd, and a large field with thousands of fellow competitors.

Other people looking for the best half marathons in Scotland want to explore some of the quiet and quaint little towns of the Scottish countryside or some of the half marathons in the Scottish highlands with picturesque views and bare-bones support.

People running a road race.

There are also runners looking for the best Scotland trail half marathons, and countless other criteria that can go into selecting the best 2024 Scotland half marathon race experience you can have.

For that reason, our list of the best half marathons in Scotland isn’t a definitive list that will necessarily apply or appeal to every runner equally.

However, hopefully, the range of Scotland half marathons that we chose for our list will have at least one or two that spark your enthusiasm.

So, take a look at some of the great half marathons in Scotland and be prepared to either grab your passport or get training on your local stomping grounds wherever you reside in the UK as you prep for your next big race.

4 Inspiring Half Marathons In Scotland

There were so many great half marathons in Scotland to choose from, but here are some of our picks for the best ones in 2024:

People running a road race.

#1: Scottish Half Marathon

We can’t have a list of the best half marathons in Scotland in 2024 and not include the Scottish Half Marathon.

This half marathon earns the country’s namesake as it is a fantastic race held in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh in August or September every year.

Even though it might be considered a “city half marathon in Scotland,“ you still get stunning scenery because the course follows the picturesque south shoreline of Edinburgh’s Firth of Forth.

This area is known as the East Lothian Golf Coast, as it is home to more than 20 golf courses. You’ll see sweeping greens along the way.

Many runners appreciate the late morning start time of 11 AM, particularly if you aren’t an early riser. The start of the Scottish Half Marathon is at Edinburgh’s Meadowmill Sports Centre.

The first couple of miles are run inland but you get a nice net downhill as you work your way to the coastline at Prestonpans Beach. 

This is one of the fastest half marathons in Scotland because the course is mostly downhill and the temperatures are usually pleasant, both factors which are excellent for running a half marathon PB.

It also has an exciting finish where the horses race at Musselburgh Racecourse.

A countryside.

#2: Isle of Skye Half Marathon

Even the name of this Scotland half marathon race sounds promising in terms of being a picturesque Scottish half marathon that you’ll never forget.

The Isle of Skye Half Marathon in Portree is one of the most popular half marathons in Scotland. It takes place early in the summer every year and consistently sells out well in advance.

Therefore, if you want to be one of the lucky few to soak in the beautiful hills and cliffs that overlook a harbor where you will run along breathtaking views of Loch Portree below, definitely don’t wait to sign up for this Scottish half marathon in 2024.

The Isle of Skye Half Marathon takes place in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides in a small coastal town that has all of the charms that you would expect from one of the best half marathons in Scotland if not one of the best half marathons in the UK overall.

Even though the race is super popular, the crowd size is manageable and there is a peaceful tranquility to the scenery that transports you to a time when there was much less hustle and bustle in the world and allows you to connect with the beauty and splendor of nature.

The roads are closed to traffic and it is an out-and-back half marathon course, which can be great for first-timers or those looking to run a fast time.

This is because you will have a good sense of where you are in the 13.1 miles and what is to come once you hit the halfway point and make your way back.

This is also a reasonably priced UK half marathon, which means that you won’t break the bank by signing up and even splurging on some special kit for race day (just make sure you break it in before debuting any new shoes or clothing during the race!).

People running a road race.

#3: Run with the Wind Half Marathon

If you are looking for a quiet half marathon or one of the best spring half marathons in Scotland, you might enjoy the Run With The Wind Half Marathon.

It is always held in May, except for one year recently when the race was moved to November.

This is one of the best Scottish half marathons in the spring because you get to enjoy the quiet countryside roads through the farmland in the village of Sandford to the South of Strathaven. 

The scenic course takes you along some hilly areas, so don’t neglect hill workouts in your half marathon training, but you’ll enjoy the peaceful rural roads, the bucolic farmland, and some unforgettable views into the Clyde Valley basin.

Another cool thing about this Scottish half marathon is that you can either opt to receive a technical T-shirt with your registration or that money can go towards planting a tree instead!

Iverness.

#4: Inverness Half Marathon

No good list of the best half marathons in Scotland is complete without a half marathon in Inverness, Scotland, the largest city in the Scottish Highlands.

The Inverness Half Marathon is one of the best half marathons in Scotland in the spring and will give runners the opportunity to see the historic city known for its majestic 19th-century castles.

This half marathon course is quite picturesque, as much of it is run along the River Ness, but you also get to see Inverness Castle and the finish line is at the exciting Queen’s Park Stadium.

There is a manageable field size, which means that the course is not overly congested yet there are enough runners so that it doesn’t feel totally desolate (though the early parts are quite quiet).

Plus, there is a friendly atmosphere, and residents in Inverness are very welcoming to out-of-towners and international runners.

Did you find a half marathon in Scotland that you want to train for in 2024?

Check out some of our free half marathon training plans here to get started today!

A group of people with hands in ready to run.
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Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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