Marathon runners run the combination of both the Clovis Half and the Fresno Half Marathon.
What the Fresno Half is like. Fast and mostly flat, with little change in elevation throughout its 13.1 miles, the Two Cities Fresno Half Marathon course starts on Friant Road next to Fresno’s Woodward Park, where runners will cross the finish line later in this point-to-point course (which looks from above like it’s almost an out-and-back loop course).
From there, the course follows a long straightaway along East Shepherd for the race’s first two miles until it hits the turnaround point at Cedar Avenue, sending runners heading back westward toward Friant Road.
The course then turns right and heads north along Friant for the next 5 1/2 miles or so, taking runners past the Copper River Country Club on the way to the turn onto Old Friant Road, which they’ll follow for the next three miles as the course winds its way through the wide-open fields that border the San Joaquin River.
Runners rejoin Friant Road, which they’ve run earlier in the race, just before hitting the mile 11 marker, and then follow Friant Road southward toward the 300-acre Woodward Park, where they run in to the finish line at the amphitheater inside the park.
What the Clovis Half is like. Runners start the Clovis course from the same starting line as the Fresno Half, but instead follow a long out-and-back stretch along East Shepherd Avenue and the Fresno-Clovis Rail Trail for most of the race.
They’ll make their midpoint turn around Treasure Ingmire Park at 1st Street and Clovis Avenue, and then head back to Woodward Park for the race finish. Really the only hills of any significance occur just as runners are entering and leaving Old Friant Road, as the course falls and then rises on the way out about 60 feet in elevation each time.
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