Event Overview

Registration includes short sleeve (gender specific) technical tshirt, other swag (we are working on it), free entry to the runner expo to all and food and beverages at the finish.  Purchase a parking pass ($10) if you need parking at the race venue, but note:  There are only 900 available. If you don't purchase a parking pass or parking passes are sold out, we offer a free shuttle service to and from the event from the NetApp parking lot in Morrisville about 6 miles away. The shuttle can also be used by your friends and family for free (although runners have priority) to come see you finish your event!

Course Maps and Description
The Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon features over 20 miles of the American Tobacco Trail (ATT), a former railroad line turned rails-to-trails.  The Altra Tobacco Road Half Marathon includes 8 miles of the ATT and overlaps with the southern portion of the marathon course. Both races start and finish at the USA Baseball/Thomas Brooks Park.  The course is mostly flat with only gradual inclines and declines ending with a fast downhill finish.  Typically, as many as 18% of marathoners qualify for the legendary Boston Marathon, and all runners benefit from that fast course and ideal temperatures (averaging in the 40's and 50's Fahrenheit).  It is a great setting for your personal record; we even have a bell for you to ring and celebrate your BQ or PR at the end!

Note:  While the course is called a "trail," it is NOT a trail like an unpaved single-track course.  It is more like a greenway and is wide enough to pass other runners throughout the course.



Both courses are USA Track & Field (USATF) certified.  (Certification numbers - Full Marathon 13106NWHalf Marathon 13105NW).  They start together and share the same paved road for slightly over two miles.  Upon reaching the American Tobacco Trail, the full marathon turns north and the half turns south.  For the Full Marathon, the north leg is a paved greenway with crushed granite on the side which gives runners a choice of surfaces to run on through mile 14, returning to the point where the two courses diverged.  From there, the two distances share a surface of crushed granite "compacted screenings," and both end returning the two miles to the finish at Thomas Brooks Park.  The races begin at 7:00 AM, and the course closes at 2:00 PM providing seven hours for either distance.  A total of up to 4000 participants will run these events.

Course Highlights:
  • Full and half marathon run the same course for 2.5 miles to and from the American Tobacco Trail (ATT)
  • Full marathon has 21 miles on the ATT and the half marathon has 8 miles on the ATT
  • Boston Qualifier (Typically 18% of marathon participants)
  • Mostly flat with only gradual inclines and declines...and a downhill finish that help runners achieve their fastest times
  • Few turns and minimal vehicular traffic on the course
  • Bell at the finish line to ring when you finish with a Personal Record or Boston Marathon qualifying time!

Race Day Info
Both the full and half marathon begin at the same starting line at 7am. The course closes at 2pm and runners on the American Tobacco Trail or roads at that time will be picked up and brought to the finish line.  If you are within Thomas Brooks Park at 2pm, you will be allowed to finish

Walkers are encouraged to participate as long as you are able to finish the course by 2pm.  This time limit will be strictly enforced due to traffic concerns.  Runners crossing the finish line after 2:15pm will not receive a time.

See the full schedule at https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/schedule.

Pace Groups

The North Carolina Roadrunner's Club (NCRC) Pace Team provides pace teams/groups for the full and half marathon with the full marathon pace groups matching up to the Boston Qualifying time requirements. It is free to join a pace team so stop by the NCRC Pace Team booth at the pre-race expo to sign up and meet your pacers.

Race Switching

Registrants who sign up for the full marathon but choose to only run the half will not receive a finishers time or medal for either race. You must run the race for which you are registered. Please read the FAQs section about Transfers, Switching, & Deferrals for details.

If you are registered for the full and do not feel like you can complete it, do NOT turn on to the half marathon course at the split.  (The trail does not have capabity/width to accommodate extra runners on the half marathon course.)  Instead, keep on the FULL marathon course until you get back to the split and then return to the finish – that will be about 17 miles. Please do not cross the finish line with your race bib; doing so will distort the ranking results for all other runners.  You will not receive a time, but you will enjoy the day and sense of accomplishing many miles!

NO LITTERING

It is an enormous effort to clean up after the runners due to the limited access to the trail. There will be garbage containers after every water stop. You may drop your cup on the ground within 100 yards of the stop but If you still have your cup when you pass the garbage can HOLD IT until the next stop. Do not litter gel packs/tops at any time! Drop it in the can or hold it to the next stop! Violators can be disqualified.  

Race Site Layout

The start/finish line area can be a busy place on race day. Take a moment to look at the general site map so you know the whereabouts of important things like Bag Check, the start/finish line, post-race food, the awards table, and more.

If you are looking for a good spot to meet your family after the race, we recommend you meet in the space beyond the beer garden and music or down the driveway across from where the port-o-johns are located.

Bag Check

We do provide a secure Bag Check area on your way to the start/finish line. You must provide your own bag. We recommend something secure with a zipper so that your personal belongings (keys, phone) don't fall out. We will provide tags for you to label your bag with your bib number.

While your bag is in an area that is monitored by volunteers and under the supervision of a Tobacco Road Board Member, we do advise against putting valuables in your bag. Tobacco Road is not responsible for lost or broken personal belongings.

Post-Race Massage

We have a group of independent, licensed massage therapists on hand after the race ready to help you relax. We highly recommend pre-purchasing a massage at the pre-race expo as priority is given to runners with a pre-purchased massage ($20 for 20 minutes).

If you are not able to purchase your massage at the expo, you will be served in the order in which you arrived at the tent. The massage area is located between bag check and the beer garden; you won't be able to miss it!

Travel
Flying into Raleigh

The closest airport is Raleigh Durham International (RDU). It is located about a 5-minute drive from the hotel, about 15-20 minutes from the race site.

Getting to the Hotel

Our host hotel is the Embassy Suites located at 201 Harrison Oaks Blvd., Cary, NC just off Interstate-40. For more information on booking a room, check out Where to Stay.

Runner Drop Off

There will be a runner dropoff area near the USA Baseball entrance on Green Hope School Road at Hilliard Forest. Signs and volunteers will guide you to the race site. Please be dropped off by 5:30am to avoid traffic backups.

Bus Transportation to the Race

Our buses are available to shuttle runners and spectators to and from USA Baseball from 4:00am until 2:30pm.

Event Overview
Registration includes short sleeve (gender specific) technical tshirt, other swag (we are working on it), free entry to the runner expo to all and food and beverages at the finish.  Purchase a parking pass ($10) if you need parking at the race venue, but note:  There are only 900 available. If you don't purchase a parking pass or parking passes are sold out, we offer a free shuttle service to and from the event from the NetApp parking lot in Morrisville about 6 miles away. The shuttle can also be used by your friends and family for free (although runners have priority) to come see you finish your event!

Directions

Note:  NC 540 south of NC 54 is a toll road (The "Triangle Expressway").  As of 2019, the fee is $0.65 (for NC Quick Pass or E-ZPass) or $1.00 (for bill-by-mail based on your license plate) when travelling south from I-40 to NC 55.  If you travel one exit further to Green Level West Road (which should not be required, but your GPS may direct you that way), the fee is an additional $0.81 (or $1.25 for bill-by-mail).  If you want to avoid tolls entirely, get off at NC 54 and follow your GPS.

Here are the locations as shown by Google Maps for USA Baseball, Thomas Brooks Park, and Net App. For the most accurate directions use those sites to plan your route.  A Parking Pass is required for parking (but not for runner drop-off) at the first two locations.
 

  • USA Baseball:  (Runner Drop-Off and Parking) Brooks Park Lane & Green Hope School Road, Cary, NC
  • Thomas Brooks Park:  (Addiitonal Parking a little further away from the start line) 111 Brooks Park Lane, Cary, NC
  • NetApp (Remote parking to catch shuttles):  7301 Kit Creek Road, Durham, NC


General Driving Directions to USA Baseball

From Cary:

  • Take High House Rd. towards Hwy. 55
  • Turn Right onto Hwy. 55
  • Drive to the next stop light, turn Left at the stop light onto Green Hope School Rd.
  • Drive approximately 1.5 miles, turn Left into USA Baseball

From Chapel Hill/Durham via Interstate 40:

  • Take I-40 east towards Raleigh
  • Take exit 278 for Hwy. 55 and go towards Apex
  • Drive approximately 7.5 miles, turn Right at the stop light onto Green Hope School Rd.
  • Drive approximately 1.5 miles, turn Left into USA Baseball 

From Pittsboro via US-64:

  • Take US-64 towards Raleigh
  • Take the Hwy. 55 exit towards Apex/Durham
  • Turn Left towards Durham
  • Drive approximately 4 miles, turn Left at the stop light onto Green Hope School Rd. 
  • Drive approximately 1.5 miles, turn Left into USA Baseball 

From Garner via US-70:

  • Take US-70 west towards Raleigh
  • Turn left onto the I-40 W ramp to I-440/US-64 W/Cary Durham/Farmers Market
  • Merge onto I-40/US-64 W
  • Take Exit 293A for US-1 South
  • Take exit 98B for US-64 W toward Pittsboro/Asheboro
  • Take the NC 55 exit towards Apex/Durham,
  • Turn Right onto Hwy. 55 towards Durham
  • Drive approximately 4 miles, turn Left at the stop light onto Green Hope School Rd. 
  • Drive approximately 1.5 miles, turn Left into USA Baseball

From North Raleigh via 540 (Note:  This route has a toll):

  • Take 540 west/south past I-40
  • Take exit 66A for NC 55 East towards Apex
  • Turn Left onto Hwy. 55
  • Turn Right onto Green Hope School Rd. 
  • Drive approximately 1.5 miles, turn left into USA Baseball

Promotions
From time to time you'll find special information here regarding news and deals from the Tobacco Road Marathon. 

Event Deals 2