Parking and Directions
Parking, Directions, and Transportation
Note: All parking passes for 2023 are SOLD OUT. Please plan to use our remote lot and shuttles--or plan to be dropped off.
The FULL and HALF Marathons start together at 7:00am. While most runners will likely line up for a 7:00am start, you may start ANYTIME, AT YOUR CONVENIENCE prior to 7:15am. This should be of particular interest to those of you who (a) still prefer some degree of social distancing, (b) didn't get in the port-o-john line soon enough, or (c) arrive to the race site a bit later than our recommended 5:30am arrival time.
- Important note 1: Age Group awards are based on bib/chip time, so starting later won't affect your placement. However, the monetary awards for the top 3 (by gender) Overall, Masters, and Military divisions are based on gun time.
- Important note 2: We still have a firm 2:00pm cut-off, so if you are concerned about that cut-off time, please start as close to 7:00am as possible.
You have three options to get to our start line:Option 1: Parking Pass. Purchase one of our 600 for 2023 parking passes so that you can park on-site. NOW SOLD OUT.
If you have a parking pass, there are two "sides" to our parking area, and you CANNOT drive within the park between the sides. Each side has roughly 300 for 2022 availalbe parking spaces:
Option 2: Shuttle Buses from RTP. Take our YMCA-provided shuttles from NetApp in Research Triangle Park, NC to our start/finish area. The shuttle is a 6 mile / 15 minute trip and runs continuously from 4:00am to 2:30pm. These shuttles are for RUNNERS and VOLUNTEERS ONLY until 5:15am. After 5:15am, the shuttles are first-come, first-served for runners, volunteers, and spectators. The address of NetApp RTP is:
Please plan to arrive on NetApp RTP by 5:00am. This will give you time to walk to the shuttle busses, wait in a hopefully brief line for the bus, and get to the start/finish area with plenty of time for final preparations, porta-potties, bag drop, and pre-race selifes!
Not permitted on the shuttles: Pets, Bikes, or Wheelchairs.
Option 3: Drop off. Be dropped off. Runner drop off is a bit west of USA Baseball on Green Hope School Road near the entrance to the Hilliard Forest subdivison. The address of drop off is approximately:
Here are two BAD OPTIONS. Try to avoid these!
1. Park in nearby neighborhoods and/or churches or businesses. Please don't do this. These residents and establishments are already being gracious neighbors having their Sunday disrupted by our road/lane closures, traffic, and activitites. We want them to accept and embrace us, not dislike us. Additionally, you may return to where you parked and find that your car has been towed.
2. Take Uber or Lyft. How many Uber or Lyft drivers do you think are available at 5:00am on a Sunday morning? We've had runners report bad results with trying to use these services, and when Uber/Lyft drivers learn that there is a long backup that will turn an easy fare into a long ordeal, they have cancelled on the rider. That's not stress you want just before a race. If you use this approach, please be sure to book a reservation in advance.
If you don't have a car and have to use ride-sharing, you could have them take you to the remote parking, and you can then take our shuttle. We also don't recommend having them dropping you a distance away from the start/finish area and walking because there aren't sidewalks, and it is still very dark out.
Note: Using Uber or Lyft AFTER the race should not be a problem.
NC 540 Toll Road
NC 540 south of NC 54 is a toll road (The "Triangle Expressway"). When heading south on NC 540 (as of January, 2022), the toll is $0.74 (for NC Quick Pass, E-ZPass, SunPass, or Peach Pass) or $1.13 (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 Morrisville Parkway or two exits further to Green Level West Road (which should not be required, but your GPS may direct you that way), there are additional moderate ($1-$2) fees. If you want to avoid tolls entirely, get off at NC 54 and follow your GPS.
When heading north on NC 540, we recommend avoiding the tolls and taking NC 55. If you take NC 540 from NC 55 south of route 1, the max toll is $2.04 (using a pass) or $3.13 (using bill-by-mail).
Spectators may also park at various marked locations long the course. Refer to the maps on https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/maps for recommended spectator locations. Please note that some of these locations are not particularly convenient to get to.
The Latitude/Longitude of the Start Line is approximately 35.798, -78.894--which is just northeast of the mark that Google Maps shows for "Tobacco Road Marathon". However, if you plug this into your GPS, it's hard to know which "side" of the park it will direct you to.
Our host hotel is the Embassy Suites, located at 201 Harrison Oaks Avenue, Cary, NC 27513. It is very close to the airport--less than 10 minutes away. For more information on our host hotel including the link for our negotiated rate, please see https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/travel.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Our host 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 on race day.
Road ClosuresFor the duration of the race (from roughly 6:30am to 2:00pm), Green Level Church Road will be closed to traffic between Green Hope School Road and Brooks Park Lane.
Other lane/road closures will only be temporary but could add delays to your travels with the greatest temporary closure between immediately after the 7:00am start time. Specificlaly, the intersection of Green Hope School Road and Green Level Church Road will likely be closed from 7:00am to about 7:30am. After that, you should be able to travel on Green Hope School Road and Green Level Church Road, but it would be best to avoid travelling north on Green Level Church Road or west on Morrisville Parkway from 7:00am to 8:00am even though they are not fully closed.
Road closures and lane restrictions are subject to change based on race-day conditions for the safety of our runners.