What Is A Good Half Marathon Time?

Patrick Hanley places second in the Rock 'N' Roll Running Series half marathon on March 18, 2023 in Washington, DC
Patrick Hanley places second in the Rock 'N' Roll Running Series half marathon on March 18, 2023 in Washington, DC. Safe to say his time of 1hr 7min 49sec is a good half marathon time. (Image credit: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images for Rock 'n' Roll Marathon)

The half marathon is a fantastic distance to race. Completing 13.1 miles is an impressive achievement, but it doesn’t require anywhere near the training commitment or post-race recovery period a marathon demands. With enough time to train, it’s a distance most people can complete, and then run the distance significantly faster the second time around.

When you sign up for a half marathon race, you’ll be asked what time you’ll run the distance in so you can be put in the right starting wave. Half marathon training plans are also differentiated by finishing times. In both cases it’s helpful to know what is a good half marathon time to work towards, and a good place to start is with the average time taken to complete a half marathon by people in the same sex and age category. 

To help you understand what is a good time for a half marathon, we’ve searched for data and found useful answers from two sites: Running Level and RunRepeat. Here’s what they say.

What is the average half marathon time?

Running Level has pooled data from 50 UK races between 2016 and 2020 and puts the average half marathon finish time as 1hr 50min 15sec. To us, that feels very fast, and it may reflect the races Running Level was able to acquire data from. 

RunRepeat’s analysis is based on 35 million results from 28,000 races over the past 20 years. It puts the average half marathon time at 2hr 14min 59sec, and reports that only 45% of runners manage to break two hours.

What is the average half marathon time by sex?

According to Running Level, the average male time is 1hr 43min 33sec and the average female time is 2hr 12sec. Running Level splits this data up by both age and, helpfully, by running ability. 

Again, RunRepeat’s data shows considerably slower times, indicating that the average time for women is 2hr 24min 3sec and for men it’s 1hr 59min 48sec.

What is the average half marathon time by age?

Running Level provides a breakdown by age, but only for each level of running experience. We’ve worked out the average of those times and listed them below.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
201hr 48min 15sec2hr 5min 40sec
251hr 48min 15sec2hr 4min 43sec
301hr 48min 15sec2hr 4min 45sec
351hr 48min 51sec2hr 5min 55sec
401hr 51min 38sec2hr 8min 51sec
451hr 56min 15sec2hr 13min 48sec
502hr 1min 19sec2hr 21min 10sec
552hr 6min 51sec2hr 29min 59sec
602hr 12min 55sec2hr 39min 59sec
652hr 19min 35sec2hr 51min 25sec
702hr 26min 57sec3hr 4min 37sec
752hr 37min 3sec3hr 20min 1sec
802hr 53min 16sec3hr 40min 48sec
853hr 19min 16sec4hr 16min 21sec
904hr 3min 28sec5hr 21min 15sec

What is the half marathon world record time?

What half marathon time should I aim for?

If you’ve run a 10K before, take your best time and establish your average pace using our running pace charts. Then add 15 to 30 seconds per mile to work out a target half marathon time, and then choose an appropriate training plan and follow it.

Half Marathon Pace Chart

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Finish timeMin per-km paceMin per-mile pace
2hr 30min7:0711:27
2hr 15min6:2410:18
1hr 55min5:278:46
1hr 50min5:138:23
1hr 45min4:598:01
1hr 40min4:457:38
1hr 35min4:307:15
1hr 30min4:156:52
1hr 25min4:026:29
1hr 20min3:476:06
1hr 15min3:335:43
1hr 10min3:195:20

It’s also worth brushing up on how to pace a half marathon if you want to achieve your best time.

Lily Canter

Lily Canter has worked as a journalist for more than 20 years and currently specializes in running and fitness. She regularly contributes to Coach as well as Runner’s World, Well+Good, Fit&Well and Live Science. Lily is a UK Athletics running coach, the founder of the Great Bowden Runners club and a participant in multi-day ultra races. Her biggest racing achievement to date is placing second at the Ultra Challenge 100km in the Lake District. She has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Print Journalism and a PhD in Journalism Studies. She is also co-host of the award-winning podcast Freelancing For Journalists and teaches feature writing, podcasting and freelancing to university students.