The 2021 Rochester Half Marathon and 5K will take place September 26, 2021.

This annual event for runners is can’t be missed, and to help make the case for you to make the trip to Rochester, we’ve rounded up nine reasons to run the Rochester Marathon (half and 5K) in 2021.

Rochester Marathon Runners Along Genesee River

  1. Beautiful course with majestic views. The Rochester half marathon follows the Genesee River path, and the course crosses over four bridges, and three waterfalls! The views from the Rochester course are breathtaking and make for a visually interesting race.

  2. Different race options for runners of all abilities. Typically, the Rochester marathon offers runners the choice of a full marathon, 5K, half marathon, kid’s races and relay. This range of options means that there is truly an event for everyone during the Rochester Marathon weekend. (*Please note that in 2021 the Rochester Marathon will only be hosting the half marathon and 5K)

  3. Electric cheering sections. Feel the energy around every corner when you run the Rochester Marathon route. Cheering crowds will keep the energy high.  As you run, keep an eye out for the neighbors in the Winona Woods neighborhood in the town of Irondequoit, NY. Each year, these neighbors create a theme around the marathon and decorate their lawns to celebrate and cheer on the athletes running by.

  4. Celebrate your achievements with a post-race craft beverage. Did you know that the Greater Rochester area is home to more than two dozen craft breweries? With this many breweries (plus several wineries and distilleries!) it will be easy to find a spot to celebrate your hard work on race day. Pro tip: the Genesee Brewery (the oldest brewery in New York State and a Rochester institution) is located close by to the finish line of the Rochester Marathon and Frontier Field.   

  5. Rochester’s First-Rate Food Scene. Rochester is home to one of the most surprising and impressive food scenes in the country. Bring your appetite to Rochester for race weekend. The city is home to one of the most surprising and impressive food scenes in the country, offering visitors everything from gourmet to the garbage plate. Make a plan on where to eat with our ROC Foodie bucket list.  

  6. Rochester Festivals & Events on Race Weekend. With more than 140 annual festivals and events there is always something going on in Rochester. Catch a show as part of the Rochester Fringe Festival during race weekend, visit the Community Garage Sale and Superflea at the Rochester Public Market, check out Monroe County Weekend at the Genesee Country Village & Museum, and view the Rochester-Finger Lakes Exhibition at the Memorial Art Gallery, to name a few things to do!

  7. Rochester museums and attractions. Rochester is considered to be the cultural capital of Upstate New York. Plan a visit to one of Rochester’s many museums while you are in town for race weekend. Can’t miss museums include the Strong National Museum of Play, the George Eastman Museum, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Memorial Art Gallery and ArtisanWorks – to name a few!  

  8. Services, shops and facilities for runners. Runners will find the services and stores they need for race day. Fleet Feet Rochester is your one-stop shop for running footwear, apparel and training tips. For questions specific to the Marathon, connect with the race organizers, YellowJacket Racing.

  9. Lodging options for everyone. With more than 7,000 hotel rooms in Monroe County, you will find a lodging choice for every budget. Book a room with a special rate for the Rochester Marathon here.

Make the trip to Rochester in 2021 and join us on this grand tour of Rochester – by foot!