Learning the average half marathon time can help runners understand how they compare to the general population. It’s a helpful guideline to determine how long you should expect your first half marathon time to take, as well deciding what a good half marathon time would be.
Being aware of the average time to run a half marathon is beneficial for both beginner and seasoned runners. Discovering where your finish time stands in relation to others of the same age and gender can help set goals and celebrate accomplishments.
What is the average time it takes to run a half marathon?
According to Run Repeat, the average half marathon finish time for all ages and genders is 2:10. This data also reports that the average pace for a half marathon is 9:07 minutes per mile for men, while females run a 10:16 pace.
This puts the average half marathon finish time at 1:59 for men and 2:14 for women. These finish times include athletes of all ages and ability levels, which can make it a bit more difficult to determine what a good half marathon time may be for your particular circumstances.
What is a ‘good’ half marathon time?
Classifying something as a ‘good half marathon time’ depends on a variety of factors. Most first-time half marathon runners are focused simply on completing the distance, as opposed to running a certain pace.
Runners who already have one or many half marathons under their belt are often training to beat a certain time. Some choose to simply try to run a faster half marathon, while others want to know how their time compares to others.
A good half marathon time could be considered something that is ‘above average’, or faster than the overall finish time of 2:10.
Run Repeat has a calculator that allows you to plug in your own results to see how it compares to the average half marathon finish time. See how you compare using the calculator here.
Below is a break down of the average time to run a half marathon by age and gender. This chart does not take into account fitness or ability level, but gives a helpful perspective for how finishing times compare between male and female, as well as different age groups.
Average Half Marathon Time by Age and Gender
|20 – 24||2:06||2:20|
|25 – 29||2:06||2:21|
|30 – 34||2:06||2:23|
|35 – 39||2:07||2:24|
|40 – 44||2:06||2:26|
|45 – 49||2:08||2:29|
|50 – 54||2:14||2:38|
|55 – 59||2:19||2:48|
|60 – 64||2:26||2:58|
What is the average pace for a half marathon?
When creating a training schedule, it can be helpful to break a finish goal down into paces to get the exact speeds you’ll need to run. Taking the data a step further, we can dig into the average pace for a half marathon.
In 2019, the average pace for a half marathon was around 9:07 minutes per mile for men, while women finished with an average pace of 10:16.
These paces vary by country, demographic, age and much more. Although results have fluctuated over the years, the United States consistently has one of the slower average half marathon finish times. Russia, Spain and Belgium continue to clock in with the top three.
What is the average half marathon time for beginners?
If you’re a new runner or first-time half marathoner, it can be helpful to compare your time to other beginners, without advanced runners in the mix.
According to the 2019 data, the average time it takes to run a half marathon for beginner males is between 2:05 and 2:15. Beginner females clock in somewhere between 2:20 and 2:30.
It’s important to remember that these averages include runners of all ages and fitness levels, even though they are beginners at the half marathon distance. Many would consider a decent half marathon time for beginners to be anything under 3 hours.
What is a good half marathon time for intermediate runners?
Once most runners finish their first half marathon, they usually want to improve. The intermediate runner classification covers a wide group of abilities, but usually pertains to those who have previously completed the distance and have continued to run consistently.
A popular goal for the half marathon is to finish in under 2 hours. Many intermediate runners strive to accomplish this goal, whether it takes one race or many. A sub 2 hour finish requires a half marathon pace of 9:09 minutes per mile or less.
What is the average half marathon finish time for elites?
Anyone who has run a half marathon understands just how challenging, both mentally and physically, the distance is. For most runners, completing the distance at an elite level is unimaginable. These professional athletes finish 13.1 with incredibly fast paces.
In 2019, the average half marathon time for elite men was less than 60 minutes. Elite women finished slightly slower (far be it from slow, though), in 1:10.
The half marathon world record for men was set by Kibiwott Kandie in 2020 at 57:32. The world record from women was set by Ababel Yeshaneh in 2020 at 1:04:31.
How to Determine Your Half Marathon Time
Estimating your half marathon time can be tricky if it’s your first one or you haven’t been paying close attention during training.
Some runners mistakenly assume that they’ll be able to maintain the same pace as a quick, easy 4 mile run. Others estimate using their long run pace but forget to account for the fact that they were struggling after 8 miles at that pace.
Trying to accurately estimate what your half marathon finish time will be requires some awareness throughout at least a few weeks of training. In general, most runners can assume that they will be able to finish a half marathon at their easy run pace, plus about 15 – 30 seconds per mile.
This extra time will account for water stops, any unplanned bathroom breaks, a congested course or running on the outer edge during turns.
For example, if you’re regularly completing long runs at a 10:00 minute/mile pace, you can safely estimate that you’ll finish a half marathon with at least a 10:30 pace. Multiply this by 13.1 to get your overall finish time, or use this handy half marathon pace chart.
Running a half marathon is no easy task. It takes grit, willpower and strength. However, most runners still are willing to take things to the next level to improve their finish time. While many of us will never win an award, there is nothing that compares to the satisfaction of a shiny new PR.