The Outer Banks Marathon may be the most beautiful 26.2 mile run around. Certainly its course beginning under the towering trees and the green canopy of Kitty Hawk Woods is as lovely a beginning to a race as there could be.
As the course parallels Kitty Hawk Bay, the open expanse of the Outer Banks sounds open to the west. The route then weaves its way to the Wright Brothers Memorial, though a residential area leading to Nags Head Woods.
Passing through Nags Head Woods the course follows dirt roads past ancient cemeteries in an old growth forest.
At the halfway point, where the Half Marathon began earlier in the day, Jockey’s Ridge rises to the west.
The race ends in downtown Manteo on the waterfront, as pretty a small town as there is.
Looking for a place to stay during the race? Check out our Outerbanks oceanfront rentals!
Marathon Course–the Challenges
As marathon courses go, it certainly is not the most challenging around. It does have its moments, though.
The Nags Head Woods portion is surprisingly hilly and some sections of the dirt road are soft, almost sandy.
By all accounts though, the heartbreak hill of the run is the Washington Baum Bridge spanning Roanoke Sound. At 82’ feet it is the highest point of the run and by far the most sustained incline. It is possible that some of the hills in Nags Head Wood are steeper, but this one seems to go on forever.
At the end of the race there is a wonderful party atmosphere in Manteo, the streets filled with runners, spectators and well-wishers.
Happening Sunday of Veteran’s Day Weekend, the Outer Banks Marathon has become a wonderful part of local tradition.
The Marathon is the premier event of a weekend that includes the 5K, 8K and a half marathon race.
The Outer Banks Marathon is a Boston Marathon qualifying race.
There is still plenty to do on the Outer Banks. Plan your stay with Brindley Beach and stay at one of our Brindley Beach vacation rentals.