Outer Banks Marathon
09 November 2019
The OBX is a beauty of a place and a beauty of a race. Known for its mixture of fast and flat stretches through unspoiled coastal wilderness and a steep, challenging run over the Washington-Baum Bridge that links the island with the mainland, the Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon takes runners on a scenic tour of this remote stretch of North Carolina’s Atlantic coastline. The Towne Bank Outer Banks Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying race. There is something for Everyone.
The Outer Banks is at sea level and the point-to-point course is mainly flat. There are two points of course elevation. The first is in Nags Head Woods Preserve around mile 12 of the marathon course. The second is crossing the 35 foot tall Washington-Baum Bridge leading to Roanoke Island at mile 23. Begin your journey in historic Kitty Hawk, home to the birth of aviation. Run with the ghosts of the Wright Brothers as you meander the Memorial Trail on the edge of the picturesque Albemarle Sound. This part of the course is flat, but don’t run so fast that you miss the incredible Outer Banks scenery. Sea oats, herons, egrets and sound views create a relaxing start to your 26.2 mile-long journey. After just a few miles you’ll be greeted by the real Outer Banks – the people who make up this warm, close-knit community. Feel the energy boost as they applaud your run down residential Bay Drive on your way towards history. At mile 8 you'll run along the base of the famous Wright Brothers Monument, marking the location of the first flight that took place on December 17, 1903. Look up and you are sure to see planes flying overhead. You'll be running where flight began! Imagine adding wings to your shoes and take flight. Just two miles down the road, yet another surprise is in store. Around mile 10, you’ll enter the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve. This lush maritime forest will amaze you with its understated beauty. All the beauty of trail running, along a well-packed, dirt road. No one said this was going to be easy. At about the 12 1/2 mile, you’ll leave Nags Head Woods on a narrow trail with off-road conditions. Don’t let this short trail slow you down, because you are about to run by the largest sand dune on the East Coast – Jockey’s Ridge State Park.Enjoy the view of hang gliders flying from the mountain of sand and make a mental note to come back later and enjoy the sunset from the top of the ridge. It is breath taking! Ready for more water views? You’re in luck! Enjoy Soundside Road in Nags Head. Make sure you look across the water and spot the Washington Baum Bridge and Roanoke Island. The end is in sight! Miles 14-22 are flat and fast. Every mile along the marathon course will be marked Outer Bank’s style, with Mile Marker Sponsors providing entertainment every mile. From bands to clowns, to cheering squads – you can look forward to a surprise every mile of the way! Crossing the Washington-Baum Bridge at mile 23 will be your next challenge. The bridge is tall (stats: 1.05 mi long, 82' high, with a 650' climb to the top at a 4% grade) - be sure to look down. You’ll see charter boats heading out to catch your dinner! An unbelievable view over the Roanoke Sound, and then downhill onto Roanoke Island where the first English colonists settled in America in 1587. You're now just a few short miles to beautiful downtown Manteo. A small-town festival atmosphere awaits you with more cheering crowds to boost your energy for the home stretch to the Finish in downtown Manteo and the post-race party!
The TowneBank Outer Banks Marathon, follows its way through the natural beauty that is North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Come run with us and cover some spectacular ground! After finishing the Outer Banks Marathon, you will have run one of the most beautiful parts of the East Coast – but don’t take our word for it – come see for yourself!