Heard of the SuperHalfs? If not, you should prepare to add a new challenge to your bucket list. Much like the six World Majors marathons, the SuperHalfs consists of a series of races which, once you have done all of them, entitle you to bragging rights and an additional medal. Or more accurately, a SuperMedal.
But while getting the big bling from the World Majors can be a tricky and expensive endeavour, the SuperHalfs series is far more achievable goal for most runners. All the races are, naturally, half marathons, and all take place in Europe. Originally consisting of Lisbon, Prague, Copenhagen, Cardiff and Valencia half marathons, yesterday a sixth race – Berlin – also entered the SuperHalf fold.
These are some of the best races in Europe, in some beautiful destinations. There is, of course, still travel involved, but those in the UK who may baulk at the carbon footprint of the long haul air travel involved in getting to the World Majors may prefer the option of train travel to at least a few of the races – Cardiff, of course, but also Berlin, Prague and Copenhagen (Lisbon and Valencia still being possible, but certainly trickier).
All the SuperHalfs destinations are also fantastic places for a city break – and while a full marathon can be both daunting and require rest both before and after, a half marathon is a little less exhausting and stressful on the body, so runners can really enjoy their time in the cities, and combine a race with a proper city holiday.
Another point in the SuperHalfs favour is that as long as you are reasonably quick off the mark, it's pretty straightforward to snap up a place. Many offer early-bird pricing, and while they may eventually sell out, as long as you are organised you'll have no difficulty getting a sport.
Super speedy runners may be able to claim a spot on the start line via their fast times, but otherwise these are events open to all, with generous cut-off times (three hours plus) and no qualifying times are needed. Prices, of course, vary according to the destination, but as a guide, the early bird price for Valencia half this year was €35, Prague was €50, and Lisbon next year is €60.
All of the SuperHalfs events are also World Athletics' Elite races or are run on World Athletics (IAAF) World Championship courses – which means you could well find yourself in a race where a world record is set. For mere mortals, they are certainly all PB-friendly too, with flat, wide courses. Lisbon Half is the home of the current men's half marathon world record (set by Jacob Kiplimo in 2021) and Valencia the women's (set by Letesenbet Gidey in the same year).
What do I need to do to enter the SuperHalfs?
First, you can sign up online (free) for a SuperHalfs passport. This gives you a passport number. Then, when you enter the individual races via their own sites (see below) you can enter this number and your SuperHalfs passport will automatically be given the race result when you finish.
But if you've already done one of the races in 2022 or 2023, but didn't know about the SuperHalf medal, fear not – you can create an account on the website and claim your results retrospectively. You can also do this, of course, if you've just forgotten to enter it at the time.
How long do I have to do all the races in the SuperHalfs series?
Initially runners had to complete all the races within 36 months, but with the addition of Berlin half to the series from next year, you now have more time. From 2024 you will have 60 months (aka five years) to complete the series. With three races in spring and three in autumn, that should give those bucket list medal chasers plenty of time to go SuperSonic.
Valencia - October 22, 2023
Lisbon - March 17, 2024
Prague - April 6, 2024
Berlin - April 7, 2024
Copenhagen - September 15, 2024
Cardiff - October 6, 2024
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