7 Best San Diego Half Marathons, Marathons & More Guide 2024

Lace up your shoes & get ready to feel that pavement your feet. Our runner’s guide covers the best upcoming 7 marathons & half-marathons in San Diego.
Amanda Rosa
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The Marathons, Half-Marathons, and 5Ks You Won’t Want To Miss

Santas Beyond the Eye Can See at the San Diego Santa RunGovx San Diego Half Marathon goes through the Gaslamp Quarter

Imagine your body, mid-stride, suspended in a fraction of a second, a mere moment of time, as your eyes take in the brilliant blues, yellows, and burnt umbers of the Torrey Pines cliffs. Your heart pounding, your feet hitting on the pavement, and the ocean crashing beneath the cliffs.

That can be your reality when you register for one of the exciting runs in the months ahead!

Join me as I walk you through all you need to know about the best 7 races coming to San Diego in 2024.

The 7 Best Marathons, Half-Marathons, and 5Ks!

San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon going through North Park
San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon going through North Park

1) Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon

Neighborhood: North Park
Date & Time: June 1 & 2, 2024 - Starts at 6:15 am
Cost: Marathon is $109; Half Marathon is $99; 5K is $59

Let’s begin with a favorite of both locals and tourists alike - Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego. Not just one of the best races but also one of the best things to do in San Diego, this race brands itself as great for all runners and they’re spot on!

The race begins in Balboa Park and ends in Downtown San Diego, bringing runners through 8 iconic neighborhoods including Old Town San Diego and Overlook.

Curious about the best place to stay while in town for the marathon? The Hilton Garden Inn San Diego Downtown / Bayside easily stands out against the competition in three major categories: location, comforts, and convenience.

The ocean views and iconic San Diego aesthetic only add to the charm.

The Details You’ll Need

  • Race Runs: June 1 & 2, 2024
  • Start Time: 6:15 AM
  • Cost: Marathon is $109; Half Marathon is $99; 5K is $59

Looking at Torrey Pines from the Main Road
Looking at Torrey Pines from the Main Road

2) La Jolla Half Marathon

Neighborhood: Del Mar
Date & Time: May 18, 2024 - Starts at 6:30 am
Cost: Half Marathon is $129; 5K $54

Some have called the La Jolla Half Marathon the most beautiful race in the US and that’s why it easily earned a spot here as well as on our list of the overall best things to do in San Diego. It’s a challenging course that delivers dramatic, scenic coastal views as a reward and residential city streets with a sprinkle of natural reserves.

I want to quote a good friend of GoVisitSanDiego, Dan, here: ‘As far as half marathons go, my favorite is the La Jolla half marathon. I’ll never forget coming around a turn and seeing the gorgeous Torrey Pines Cliffs and the ocean crashing beneath them.

While the climb up to the summit can be brutal, I promise the views are worthwhile. A shorter 5K features a downhill course that still offers spectacular views.

A picture-perfect race requires a well-earned rest at a picturesque hotel. The Grande Colonial Hotel blends La Jolla’s natural beauty with Southern California’s calm and cozy charm in an elegant space that’s perfect for couples.

The Details You’ll Need

  • Race Runs: May 18, 2024
  • Start Time: 6:30 AM
  • Cost: Half Marathon is $129; 5K $54

San Diego Beach and Bay Half Marathon along Mission Bay
San Diego Beach and Bay Half Marathon along Mission Bay

3) San Diego Beach and Bay Half Marathon

Neighborhood: Mission Bay Park
Date & Time: Apr 14, 2024 - Starts at 6:30 am
Cost: Half Marathon is $119; 10K is $55; 5K is $45

Famous beaches, beloved attractions, a flat course, and exemplary support highlight this award-winning race. With 3 different distances to choose from, plus a variety of age category awards, the San Diego Beach and Bay Half Marathon is perfect for runners looking for a more relaxed pace.

The race concludes with a bayside festival that has live music and an award ceremony. If you can’t make it to San Diego, a virtual race is also available.

The start line is right next to the Bahia Resort Hotel, a very nice hotel right on the bayfront. However, I find the newly renovated San Diego Mission Bay Resort is the best hotel to stay in while in town for the race.

And if you choose this hotel, bring the kids! The resort offers activities for kids plus a variety of additional family amenities

The Details You’ll Need

  • Race Runs: Apr 14, 2024
  • Start Time: 6:30 AM
  • Cost: Half Marathon is $119; 10K is $55; 5K is $45

Santas Beyond the Eye Can See at the San Diego Santa Run
Santas Beyond the Eye Can See at the San Diego Santa Run

4) San Diego Santa Run 2024 - 5k

Holidays in San Diego: A Holiday Season Guide to San Diego Christmas Activities 2023
Date & Time: Dec 14, 2024 - Starts at 8:30am
Cost: 5K is $35

Voted the best fun run by USA Today and there’s no question why: The San Diego Santa Run is the best place to see hundreds of Santas. It also features a Speedy Santa Mile run, Santa’s Elves Mile for kids 12 & under, and the Santa’s Little Helper Mile Dog Run.

All 5K runners receive a Sunny Santa Suit plus all participants 21+ will get a free drink ticket. This unique race is certainly one of my favorite ways to jumpstart the holiday season in San Diego.

Looking for the best place to stay and flash some of that Santa themed bling? The Tower23’s distinctive style, luxurious rooms, and beachfront property offer relaxation like no one else.

The Details You’ll Need

  • Race Runs: Dec 14, 2024
  • Start Time: 8:30 AM
  • Cost: 5K is $35

Boardwalk Around Harbor Island in Point Loma
Boardwalk Around Harbor Island in Point Loma

5) America’s Finest City Half Marathon

Neighborhood: Point Loma
Date & Time: Aug 18, 2024 - Starts at 6:15 am
Cost: Half Marathon is $116; 5K is $45

Like Rock ‘n’ Roll above, America’s Finest City scenic half marathon is great for tourists and locals alike. It offers views of Cabrillo National Monument, the Pacific Ocean, Balboa Park, and the remarkable San Diego Bay.

With a course that runs through one of the nation’s oldest military outposts and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse, it’s the perfect race for runners who love history, natural scenery, and plenty of sun!

The Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina complements the race’s waterfront views. This central harbor location is minutes away from all the action San Diego affords and it’s another hotel that’s great for couples!

The Details You’ll Need

  • Race Runs: Aug 18, 2024
  • Start Time: 6:15 AM
  • Cost: Half Marathon is $116; 5K is $45

Govx San Diego Half Marathon goes through the Gaslamp Quarter
Govx San Diego Half Marathon goes through the Gaslamp Quarter

6) Govx San Diego Half Marathon & 5k - 2024

Neighborhood: Gaslamp Quarter
Date & Time: Mar 24, 2024 - Starts at 6:50am
Cost: Half Marathon is $133; 5K is $55

The best place to see San Diego’s historic communities, bustling downtown, and famous waterfront is at Govx. The race begins and ends near the beautiful Petco Park.

A virtual option is available, and a 10% military discount is available for active duty service members.

The marathon is limited to 6,000 participants total, so sign up early!

My favorite choice of a place to stay for the race would certainly be the Pendry. The hotel’s boutique luxury and California charm deliver big on comfort and relaxation. Their signature focus on simplicity and serenity is the recovery you need after the race.

The Details You’ll Need

  • Race Runs: Mar 24, 2024
  • Start Time: 6:50 AM
  • Cost: Half Marathon is $133; 5K is $55

San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Race at Lake Cuyamaca - Photo by Howie Stern
San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Race at Lake Cuyamaca - Photo by Howie Stern

7) San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Race

Neighborhood: Scripps Ranch
Date & Time: Jun 7,2024 - Starts at 6am
Cost: $325 plus the Ultra Signup fee

Ultra Marathons are strictly for the hard-core runners out there! Participants need to finish a 50 mile run as a prerequisite before they can even enter this race.

2024 offers a brand new course covering 5 major areas, including the Mt. Laguna Recreational Area and Lake Cuyamaca. As a result, we recommend carrying a printed copy of the map and course directions.

Please note, the race is open for the first 300 entrants on a first come, first served basis, further entrants will be placed on a waitlist.

The Orchard Hill in Julian combines California’s rustic charm with the best in modern amenities. The 100 mile course is a test of your endurance, but the rest of your trip doesn’t have to be.

The Details You’ll Need

  • Race Runs: Jun 7, 2024
  • Start Time: 6:00 AM
  • Cost: $325 plus the Ultra Signup fee

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