The big weekend is officially upon us . . . the Outer Banks Marathon is here! And it is a big weekend.

Nine years ago when they ran the first one, it was cold, spitting rain and with a northeast wind. The concept was simple—find an event that will bring people to the Outer Banks at a time they would not normally be here and raise some money for the Dare Education Foundation.

If memory serves, something like 700 hearty souls ran that first race, certainly enough to let everyone know that it was a worthwhile thing to do. What was clear from the beginning was runners come with their families.

Here we are, 2014, four times that many runners will be at the starting line in Kitty Hawk, and that doesn’t include the runners who will be doing the half marathon from Nags Head to Manteo or all the runners participating in everything from a baby dash to a 10K race on Saturday.

The event has far outgrown its roots as a fundraiser for the DEF and is today managed by Outer Banks Special Events who put on three additional  races as well. The proceeds still go to charity—half to the DEF and the other half to the Outer Banks Relief Foundation.