Running a half marathon — 13.1 miles — is an incredible feat of endurance that shouldn’t be taken lightly. As an event that takes anywhere between one hour (for elites) and four hours (for back-of-the-pack runners), the half-marathon is no walk in the park.
As a significant level-up from 5K and 10K races, the half-marathon has become one of the most popular distances among runners with nearly double the participation since the early 2000s. But while participation has grown, the average half-marathon time among participants has declined.
What’s the Average Half-Marathon Time?
The average time for women to complete a half-marathon is 2:24:03 hours, which divides to an even 11-minute-per-mile pace. For men, the average time for a half marathon is 1:59:48 hours or a nine-minute and nine-second pace per mile.
Elite runnings are much faster. To compete with elite women, you’d need an average pace of eight minutes and 56 seconds per mile, providing a finish time of 1:57:01 hours. Elite men run an average half-marathon of 01:40:35 for an average pace of 7 minutes and 41 seconds per mile.
What’s a “Good” Half-Marathon Time?
According to RunRepeat data, a well-received half-marathon finish time is below two hours. Different times are considered good for different age groups and running levels. Here are the average times for intermediate men:
- Ages 10-20: 2:05:00
- Ages 20-30: 1:43:33
- Ages 30-40: 1:44:63
- Ages 40-50: 1:51:22
- Ages 50-60: 2:28:11
- Ages 60-70: 2:13:59
- Ages 70-80: 2:32:10
- Ages 80-90: 4:03:10
The following are the average times for women at an intermediate level:
- Ages 10-20: 2:14:28
- Ages 20-30: 2:00:44
- Ages 30-40: 2:02:02
- Ages 40-50: 2:10:57
- Ages 50-60: 2:25:03
- Ages 60-70: 2:46:00
- Ages 70-80: 3:01:04
- Ages 80-90: 4:16:30
A good half-marathon time depends not just on the average completion time but the conditions during the race. Many things can impact race completion time, including the temperature, humidity, wind speed, lighting, and the material of the course.
Remember, the best half-marathon time is the one that gets you across the finish line. You can always work to beat your personal record in future races.
What’s the Fastest Half-Marathon Time?
Letesenbet Gidey set the women’s world record on October 24, 2021, completing the race with a finishing time of 01:02:52. She set the record at the Valencia Half Marathon, also becoming the first woman to legally finish the race in under 64 minutes.
What’s the Average Half-Marathon Time for 70.3 Triathlon?
These times are slower than a typical half marathon due to the other elements of this race. Runners expend energy during the swimming and biking portions of the half Ironman as well.
The world records for the half and full Ironman races were both set on March 5, 2022, at the Ironman 70.3 Dubai by Belgian runner Marten Van Riel. He completed the half marathon portion at 1:07:56 and the entire race at 3:26:06. 
Laura Philip from Germany set the record for women of the same race. She completed the half-marathon portion in 1:19:31 and the entire race in 3:53:03.
Will the Average Half-Marathon Finish Time Continue to Improve?
The average half-marathon time will likely improve as research advances and more talent participates in the race.
Research shows that the average half marathon time is faster than it was decades ago, steadily improving since the 1990s. Around 30% of runners participate in half marathons, which is an increase of 17%. As more runners enter the pool, genetics, and talent will increase the likelihood of better times.
Improved science also plays a part in half marathon times. As research into nutrition and conditioning improves, individual runners will improve their times. More companies focus on race nutrition, including quick-release energy gels and gummies to have en route. The best training plans are also constantly improving.
As scientific advancements continue, it’s hard to know just how much the average time will change.
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Jack Shaw is the senior writer at Modded.com. Jack has a passion for topics about health and fitness. When not writing, he enjoys exercising, hiking, and camping.
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Experienced endurance athlete, pro cyclist, and sports writer, Tyler Tafelsky participates in long-distance multisport and cycling events. He competes in ultra-distance cycling races at the professional and elite amateur levels. Since starting Better Triathlete in 2014, Tyler has been the head of content and leads the site's editorial team.