FAQ

General FAQs

How many participants are expected?
There is a limit of 1500 full marathon and 2500 half marathon participants. The half marathon usually sells out in February so register early!

Is there a pre-race Expo?
Yes, see https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/pre-race-expo/

Is there a pre-race meal?
Yes, the host hotel (where the Expo is held) offers a pasta buffet.  See https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/where-to-stay/#buffet

 Is there a finisher medal for both distances?
Absolutely!  Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon finisher medals are one of the highlights of our race.  For 2019, our initial designs for the medal are:

 

Overall Schedule

March, 2018 Registration Opens with "Early Bird" Pricing
April 15, 2018 Price Increase*
July 1, 2018 Price Increase*
September 1, 2018 Price Increase*
October, 2018 Likely sell out of parking passes
November 1, 2018 Price Increase*
Fall, 2018 Come visit our Tobacco Road booth at various other race expos.  We might even have discount codes for you to sign up for our race!
September, 2018 Now that it's cooler, why not commit to yourself to become more fit and healthy?  Sign up now for the Tobacco Road Full Marathon and have six months to train!
December 1, 2018 Recommended date for all expo vendor requests, subject to space availability.  (If you miss this date, you can ask anyway, but most requests are in before this date.)
January 1, 2019 Price Increase*
January, 2019 Your New Year's Resolution to improve yourself and impress your friends:  Run a Half Marathon!
February 17, 2019 Last day to request a transfer, deferral, or switch distances
February, 2019 Likely sell out of Half Marathon
March 15, 2019 (Fri) Pre-Race Expo and Bib Pick-up:  3pm to 8pm
(Expo vendors may set up starting at 11am)
March 16, 2019 (Sat) Pre-Race Expo and Bib PIck-up:  10am to 5pm
(Expo vendors must be gone by 6pm)
March 16, 2019 (Sat) Pre-Race Buffet (for a fee)
(Available 5pm to 10pm)
Race Day
March 17, 2019 (Sun)
No Race Day Registration or Bib Pick-up
- 4:00am Shuttles from NetApp begin
- 5:00am Recommended last arrival time (no later than) if you are parking at NetApp
- 5:30am Recommended last arrival time if you are parking at USA Baseball/Thomas Brooks Park
- 5:30am Recommend time to drop off runners at USA Baseball/Thomas Brooks Park
- 7:00am Start time for Full Marathon and Half Marathon
- 7:05am Approximate time for ruckers to start (after other participants clear the start line)
- 8:00am to 2:00pm Post-Race Party
Finisher medals and food available
Enjoy the band and the beer
Get a post-race massage (for a fee)
Post selfies of your success!
- 2:00pm Cut off time for both race distances
- 2:00pm Closure of Finish Line, Bag Check,and Race Village.  Note:  Limited volunters, Red Cross, and food will be available after this time to assist the last finishers.  We will stay until you are safe, sound, and accounted for!
- 2:15pm Last shuttle bus departs for Net App
April 1, 2019 Registration open (or sooner) for 2020
March 15, 2020 Tentative date for the 11th annual Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon

*Price increase dates subject to change based on supply and demand.
 

Runner FAQs

Is there a time limit?
Yes. The time limit for all races is seve (7) hours. Any runners on the course after 2:00pm will be picked up by one of the SAG wagons and brought to the post-race party. Please note that the last shuttle leaves USA Baseball at 2:15pm.

Is there a minimum age?
Yes. While the American Association of Pediatrics (re: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/86/5/799.full.pdf) does not preclude younger children from participating in endurance reports, we ask that half marathon runners be at least 12 years old on race day and marathon runners be at least 16 years old on race day.  Given the nature of the trail course and limited road access, it can be hard for parents to monitor their child's progress.  However, running can be a bonding experience, and many parents have run our courses with their teenage children. 

We at Tobacco Road Marathon encourage parents to consider all aspects of the pros and cons of children participating in endurance sports.  One article (that we provide here, not as a recommendation or endorsement, but for your consideration) recommends delaying participation in running a marathon until age 18:  http://aims-worldrunning.org/articles/Children&Marathoning.pdf

Will photographs of my race be avaliable?
Photograrphers will be at the start/finish area and along the course for pictures.  Have your race bib in front and visible!  Pictures will be available for purchase a few days after the race.

Will bag check be available?
Yes. Bag check is available near the post-race food area. Bring a small bag for your items. We are not responsible for lost items that fall out of bags. We recommend using a bag with a zipper to prevent lost keys and phones. Tags will be provided.

What do you do if it rains?
We get wet; we do run in the rain, and we will have our big tent for pre and post race shelter. The safety of our runners and volunteers is our top priority. Dedicated race officials monitor the weather for any threatening issues. In the event dangerous conditions arise, such as lightning, we do have a course evacuation plan.

Consistent with the USA Track & Field position on weather and weather-related cancellations, we do not offer refunds. Participating in an organized run is a "shared risk" event. That is standard practice in our sport and industry and also part of the waiver in forms all participants agree to when they register.

Will there be food on the course?

Yes. For 2018, our Gu Gel flavors were Salted Caramel and Strawberry Banana. We also had Stroopwafel available in Salted Caramel and Campfire Smores.  There may be other snacks at some of the marathon aid stations.

PLEASE DO NOT THROW GEL PACKS OR TABS ON THE TRAIL!  There will be trash receptacles right after hand-out points, otherwise hold them to the next aid station.  Plese leave it clean for other users of the trail.

What is the official race drink?
We will have Diamond Springs water and Gatorade Endurance Formula lemon lime. 

Is the course hilly?

No. A couple rolling hills at start/finish but the Tobacco Trail is all flat or gentle inclines/declines. The course was an old railroad track and trains don't like steep hills (neither do most runners).  This means fast course times!

Are pace groups available?

Yes. The North Carolina Roadrunner's Club Pace Team will be providing the pacers for full and half marathon. Full marathon pace teams will match up to the Boston Qualifying times. Stop by the Pace Team booth at the pre-race expo to sign up and meet your pacers.

May I wear my headphones?
Yes, as long as they don't interfere with your ability to:
- Follow instructions from race staff, police and race volunteers
- Compete safely
- Run respectfully around other participants (don't block faster people coming up behind you)

If you are going to wear headphones, we recommend wearing one ear-bud to hear what is going on around you. Failure to comply with volunteer, lead biker, and police instructions can result in disqualification.

Will port-o-johns be available on the course?
Yes. There will be 9 aid-stations on the course (most of them are run by twice since this is an out-and-back course) and multiple port-o-johns will be at every aid station, as well as near the start/finish line.

Are jogging strollers allowed?
No. USATF does not allow jogging strollers at a sanctioned race. In addition, because of the moderately narrow trail, the volume of runners, and the need to keep access for medical vehicles, we do not allow joggers or strollers on our course. Special consideration for groups pushing a disabled athlete may be requested by emailing the Race Director at Info@TobaccoRoadMarathon.com.

What happens to our discarded clothing?

All items left at the starting line and on the course (throw down shirts, gloves, jackets, hats, etc.) will be picked up and donated after the race. Please try to leave your clothing at the starting line or at the clothing drop located at mile 2 before you enter the trail. This makes it easier for our clean up volunteers to collect these items.


Registration FAQs

Is there a relay option?
No.

Is there a waiting list?
No.

Can I have someone else pick up my race packet for me?
Yes. They must have a photocopy or image/picture of your driver's license or another photo ID.

Can I get a refund?
No. We don't provide refunds as we send 100% of the proceeds to charity. However, you can switch distances, transfer your race entry fee to a friend, or defer to next year...which offers you some of the greatest flexibilty in the running world.  See below for how to do each of those.

When does registration open for "next year?"
Registration typically opens by April 1 with "Early Bird Pricing."  In some years, registration for the next year is available starting at the Pre-Race Expo.
 

Switching, Transfers, and Deferral FAQs


Deferrals

I deferred my 2018 entry; am I automatically signed up for 2019?
No. You must register using the same email address used in your 2018 registration and register for 2019 by December 31, 2018; no exceptions will be made.  During registartion, your race credit will be deducted from the registration fee at the time you register.

I signed up for 2019, but I cannot run.  How do I defer my race entry to 2020?
All deferrals must be submitted by February 17, 2019 (one month before the race). You will not be able to defer after this deadline for any reason, even if you have a doctor's note or other hardship.  This is because all preparations (bibs, t-shirts, water, food, etc.) will have been made planning your participation.  If you choose not to run the race the following year, you will lose your race credit. There is a $15 fee to defer your registration to the next year.

--> To request a deferral to 2020, please use this form:  https://app.racereach.com/form/39208

The 2020 race date is tentatively planned for Sunday, March 15, 2020.
 

Switch My Distance

Can I switch races?
Yes. You can change from the half to the full marathon for a $15 upgrade fee OR from the full marathon down to the half marathon for no charge.  You can NOT switch from the Tobacco Road event to another race; this is the only race affiliated with our organization, and we can not send your registration fee to another company.

Requests to switch between races must be received by February 17, 2019 (one month before the race).  However, once your target distance is sold out, requests to switch will not be accepted. (Normally, the half marathon sells out before February, but the full has typically not sold out.) Email switch requests to info@tobaccoroadmarathon.com.

--> To request a change in your race distance for the 2019 race, please use this form:  https://app.racereach.com/form/39295
 

Transfers

Can I give my race number to someone else?
Yes; however, you must officially transfer your race number so the new runner can register and sign the waiver. The amount you paid for the race, less a 10% processing fee, will be allocated to the new runner to be applied to their registration. All of these details will be emailed to the new runner from our system.

Transfers must be initiated by the registered runner. Please have a valid email address for the new runner. The new runner MUST register using the same address proided during the transfer. The bib does NOT automatically go to them. THEY MUST COMPLETE THE TRANSFER by registering, providing their information, and paying the current registration price minus their transferred race credit amount.

How do I initate a transfer?
All transfers must be completed online (transferred entry and the new runner registered) by February 17, 2019 (one month before the race).

Note that there WILL NOT be any transfers done during packet pickup. No exceptions will be made.

We do not resell bibs for runners who are unable to run; we do not condone selling bibs on Craig's List or any other reselling forum.  Anyone found reselling registrations or parking passes for profit will be asked to donate their proceeds to charity.

--> To request a transfer to someone else for the 2019 race, please use this form:  https://app.racereach.com/form/39209

What if I register for the full marathon but only run the half marathon?  
Per USATF rules, you will only receive a time if you run the event for which you are registered. If you are registered for the full but just run the half, you will be disqualified. You will not get a time; it will be marked as a DNF (did not finish).  You will not receive a medal for either event.

If you are reigstered for the half but run the full, you will have a very slow half time, but hopefully hours of fun!
 

Directions, Parking, and Transportation

Where is the host hotel?
The Embassy Suites, located at 201 Harrison Oaks Avenue, Cary, NC  27513, is very close to the airport--less than 10 minutes. To book a room for our race, please use this link (http://group.embassysuites.com/TobaccoRoadMarathon) to secure our group rate. The room block will sell out so book early. Please note that the hotel is about a 20 minute drive from the race site and also about a 20 minute drive to the remote parking (if you don't buy an on-site parking pass).  Unfortunately, we do not provide transportation to/from the hotel.

Where should I park on race day?
Limited parking is available at the start/finish area, but there are only 900 parking passes for on-site parking.  These are sold for $10 during registration, but they typically sell out by November. The parking passes allow vehicles to park at Thomas Brooks Park/USA Baseball before the race starts.

For the 2019 race, as of November 10, all parking passes have been sold.  They are no longer available.

If you don't buy a parking pass (or once they sell out), there is ample free parking at the remote NetApp lot with free shuttle service to and from the venue for runners and spectators.  The NetApp lot is 6 miles away (so we don't recommend walking/running from there) and the shuttle takes less than 15 minutes.

Spectators may also buy a parking pass (subject to availability) on our registration page.  Additionally, parking passes are not enforced after runners begin to leave the finish area.  That means that parking spaces begin to become available after 10:00am, so if you want to see your 4+ hour marathoner finish, you should be able to park at the Thomas Brooks Park...unless all the half-marathoners are having too good of time at the post-race party!

Maps to the race site and to the remote parking as well as additional parking information including spectator information will be available at the Expo.

Is there transportation provided from the host hotel?
No.  We provide shuttle service from the remote parking area only.
 

Awards & Qualifying for the Boston Marathon


How are awards calculated?
Per USATF rules, gun time will be used for all awards overall, military, masters and any other division receiving monetary compensation for their winning. Age group awards are calculated by chip time.

How do I get my award?
The top 3 men & women overall for the half and full marathon will be announced from the stage. Awards for the half marathon start about 2 hours after the race starts and the full marathon awards ceremony goes out about 4 hours after the race starts. Checks will be mailed out 24-48 hours after the race so we can verify all results.

Age-group winners will be posted at the results tent near the stage and awards must be picked up on race day. You can pick up your award as results are finalized. If you cannot stay, please arrange for someone to pick it up for you. If you cannot stay to pickup your award and don't have someone who can claim it on your behalf, you can email Info@TobaccoRoadMarathon.com for instructions on how your award can be shipped to you for an additional fee.

Is the Tobacco Road Marathon a Boston qualifier?
Yes. The course is USATF certified and is eligible for use as a Boston Marathon qualifier.

Up to one in six of our runners qualify for the Boston Marathon! All Tobacco Road runners who run a qualifying time can go to the results tent after the race for verification. Once your time is verified we will award you our coveted Boston Marathon Qualifier T-shirt!Are pace groups available?
Yes. The North Carolina Roadrunner's Club Pace Team will be providing the pacers for full and half marathon. Full marathon pace teams will match up to the Boston Qualifying times. Stop by the Pace Team booth at the pre-race expo to sign up and meet your pacers.

What happens to our discarded clothing?
All items left at the starting line and on the course (throw down shirts, gloves, jackets, hats, etc.) will be picked up and donated after the race. Please try to leave your clothing at the starting line or at the clothing drop located at mile 2 before you enter the trail. This makes it easier for our clean up volunteers to collect these items.

Will there be food on the course?
Yes. For 2018, our Gu Gel flavors were Salted Caramel and Strawberry Banana. We also had Stroopwafel available in Salted Caramel and Campfire Smores.  There may be other snacks at some of the marathon aid stations.

DO NOT THROW GEL PACKS OR TABS ON THE TRAIL!  There will be trash receptacles right after hand-out points, otherwise hold them to the next aid station.  Plese leave it clean for other users of the trail.

What is the official race drink?
We will have Diamond Springs water and Gatorade Endurance Formula lemon lime.  

Is the course hilly?
No. A couple rolling hills at start/finish but the Tobacco Trail is all flat or gentle inclines/declines. The course was an old railroad track and trains don't like steep hills (neither do most runners).  This means fast course times!

Keep in mind our event is a favorite among those seeking to qualify for the Boston Marathon; we qualify up to 10 percent of our marathon runners!

May I wear my headphones?
Yes, as long as they don't interfere with your ability to:
- Follow instructions from race staff, police and race volunteers
- Compete safely
- Run respectfully around other participants (don't block faster people coming up behind you)

If you are going to wear headphones, we recommend wearing one ear-bud to hear what is going on around you. Failure to comply with volunteer, lead biker, and police instructions can result in disqualification.

Will port-o-johns be available on the course?
Yes. There will be 9 aid-stations on the course (most of them are run by twice since this is an out-and-back course) and multiple port-o-johns will be at every aid station, as well as near the start/finish line.