Rehoboth Beach Marathon
03 October 2021
More than 2,000 runners cross the finish line each year in both races combined at Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon & Half Marathon, which marks just the 6th time the event featured an individual half marathon after the previous years’ running. The out-and-back course for the race starts and finishes along the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk, a real wooden boardwalk that spans multiple city blocks and features shop after eclectic shop along the beach. The area’s charm helped the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk earn Reader’s Digest Magazine’s “Best of America” designation in 2006, as well as being named as one of the nation’s best places to retire by AARP in the same year. As you might expect with a smaller size field of runners, this is a smaller race without the huge crowds and plentiful amenities that races in larger cities have, so bring along your own energy gel packets with you for the race. However, runners who’ve taken part in the race report that it has a very friendly atmosphere, and also offers gorgeous scenery along the trail.
From the starting line along the boardwalk, runners in both the half and the full marathon share the same route for the first nine miles of the race. After about the mile 9 marker, those running the full, 26.2-mile marathon continue on into the nearby town of Lewes and into Cape Henlopen State Park, while those running the half marathon make the turnaround and head back along the route they’ve just run back to the finish line along the boardwalk. In between these stretches, both the half and the full marathon runners get to see a combination of both residential neighborhoods along the seashore as well as more of a backcountry run, as the second half of the race takes runners onto the Junction & Breakwater Trail. The trail is a former railroad corridor that once served as the Penn Central Rail Line ferrying passengers back and forth between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach as well as several other stops along the coast here in southern Delaware. Runners spend about half of the overall time in the 13.1-mile half marathon route on the Junction & Breakwater Trail, running about three miles out onto the trail from the turnoff point off Hebron Road, and then back again on the return route back into town. The race course finishes with a straightaway stretch along State Highway 1A back to the starting line area on the boardwalk.
Participants will receive race bibs, wristbands, t-shirts, certificates and medals.
Marathon course is very scenic. The stretches along the Ocean Drive in Rehoboth Beach and Gordon Pond area, Cape Henleopen in Lewis are quite nice. Breakwater Trail is quite nice as well, but at that point in the race (21 miles onward), you want to just get done with the race and so not in a mood to appreciate the natural preserve that this trail is. Overall an excellent, flat, course. If you're lucky and the day is sunny and not too cold, you will have a blast.