Whether experienced or beginning, these half-marathons are must-runs

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Here are 5 half-marathons you should run after Houston (KTRK)

Congratulations, you've hit foot with pavement and conquered the streets of Houston.

Whether this weekend is your first race or just the latest in your illustrious running life, it can be argued that another dominant run is in order. And if you're inspired to beginning distance running, this is for you.

Besides, the rush of completing something as daunting as a course of at least 13.1 miles may give you the excitement needed to pursue another course.

And with the list below, these races aren't just any regular course carved out from public streets. They carry some extras, chiefly the thrill of destination.

Grand Canyon Half Marathon

This race is more than just beating personal records and keeping pace.

The Grand Canyon Half Marathon is part of a running series that exclusively holds events in national parks, and this one is crown jewel of the series.

The trail race takes place in the fall time, and it takes runners through the Kaibab National Forest, affording them an unreal view.

And if timing isn't a big deal for you, set out with a small camera or your smartphone. Take all of the pictures of this natural wonder.

San Francisco

Speaking of scenic routes, San Francisco is a perennial yet ironic destination for distance running since the city measures seven miles by seven miles.

Nevertheless, experienced runners, especially those who know nothing but the flats of the Texas Gulf Coast, will experience a shock to the legs once they encounter the steep grades of the San Francisco streets.

The challenge, though, has its rewards. Most of the races in the city's yearly slate includes routes for runners to cross the famed Golden Gate Bridge. This would surely be something you can brag about to other friends.

As far as races in the city by the Bay, two come to mind: the United Airlines Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon, which is set for April 8, and the half during the San Francisco Marathon, which is scheduled for July 29.

Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Strip is a famed roadway lined with neon and hulking hotels. And every November, thousands of runners conquer the nighttime course of the Rock 'N' Roll series event in Sin City.

The half marathon runs concurrent with the bigger marathon, starting at the famed "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign and continuing through the Strip and the downtown area.

As with the Grand Canyon and San Francisco, the Las Vegas half-marathon is considered a bucket list event since the Strip area is closed for just two gatherings a year: this race and New Year's Eve.

New York City

If your athletic ambitions have an "Empire State of Mind," you should consider the upcoming United Airlines NYC Half.

Just like the Las Vegas event, the city's most visited area, Times Square, is closed off for the runners, making it one of a handful of times annually that the iconic area is shut down.

And just like the San Francisco race, runners can make it across the Brooklyn Bridge as part of the course.

For the more competitive runners, there are cash prizes to be had, with first place getting $20,000.

RunDisney

The common theme among these races is the opportunity to run through famed destinations that aren't normally afforded to any runner.

The RunDisney series gives runners who grew up on the magic and majesty of Walt Disney a chance to trot through Cinderella's Castle. And who wouldn't want Mickey, Donald, and Goofy cheering you along the way?

There are at least four chances a year to do just that. In 2018, a special theme is attached to some of these races, including one devoted to Star Wars and another dedicated to Disney Princesses.

And, trust us, you'll love the finisher medals for these races.

Disney is the parent company of RunDisney and this ABC station.

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