Previously, our FAQs were sentences and lots of words--and most of you didn't read them. We are now trying to be very crisp--which also means a bit terse. As a result, we do not try to explain everything; we are just stating things as they are CURRENTLY planned. All of this is subject to review and modification as needed to hold a safe event.
You may want to particulalry review the list of "NOs" at the bottom of this page to avoid disappointments and surprises.
Packet pick-up: At Expo at Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham-Research Triangle (201 Harrison Oaks Blvd, Cary, NC 27513). Exact hours being finalized, but likely to be: Friday, March 15, 2024 from 3pm - 8pm
Saturday, March 16, 2024 from 10am - 5pm NO RACE DAY BIB PICKUP for runners who live in the Research Triangle Area.
Full and Half Marathon: Sunday, March 17, 2024, starting at 7:00am. Course closure time is 2:00pm for both distances.
- Full: Flat and Fast with 21 miles on the Rails-to-Trails American Tobacco Trail...a mix of paved and crushed granite screenings.
- Half: Flat and Fast with 8 miles on the Rails-to-Trails American Tobacco Trail. The trail is crushed granite screenings. The 5 miles of road is paved.
BQ? Yes, the Full Marathon is a Boston Qualifier. We typically have ~18% of runners qualify.
You may pick up other runners' bibs. To pick up bib(s), you will need to show either:
- The custom email we send to you shortly before the race. (A friend may forward you their custom email.)
- Your ID, e.g. Driver's License (cell phone picture or photocopy permitted. A friend may forward you a picture.)
Race day packet pickup is available for the first 50 people you request it who live more than two hours away. If you cannot pick up your bib by 5:00pm on Saturday, please complete https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/lateppu . Once you submit this form, you can pick up your bib at the race site on race day BEFORE 6:00am! (If you do not pick up your bib before 6:00am, you will not be given a bib for timing or results purposes.)
Average high for mid-March in Cary, NC, is 64°F. Average low is 40°F. Sunrise is 7:24am. First light is 6:56am, just as the National Anthem is playing (so it will be dark until the race starts).
If the weather conditions are extreme, the Race Director reserves the right to cancel or suspend the race. (We have never had to, however.)
Start / Bag Check:
Our "casual start" option (no special registration required) allows you to start at your convenience anytime from the official the race start at 7:00am but before 7:15am.
We offer a "bag check." Please bring a bag for your jackets and items, then label it with your bib number using a tag we provide and drop by the bag check tent before 6:45am. Please do NOT include valuables as Tobacco Road Marathon is not responsible for lost or damaged items.
Starting at mile 2.5, there are 15 aid stations on the Full course and 8 aid stations on the Half course spaced about 2 miles apart. See https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/maps for exact locations.
Planned hydration/nutrition: Water, Orange Gatorade, Gu Gel (Salted Caramel, Vanilla Bean, and Strawberry Banana), and (still TBD) Stroopwafels (Salted Chocolate and Wild Berry) at all aid stations.
Medical issues: Please ask a volunteer for various supplies.
Port-o-johns: A limited number at each aid station.
On the course:
Headphones permitted but discouraged. Using just ONE ear pod or using bone-conducting headphones is recommended. Please be sure you can hear all verbal instructions as well as traffic. Call out issues and obstacles to other runners.
Passing: Please allow room for other runners to pass. Stay no more than two people abreast.
Open Course: The course/trail is not closed closed to other users. Be alert for walkers, runners, cyclists, and (even possibly) horses.
Runner Tracking: We do not have a runner-tracking app. We recommend using an app like Life360. The tinming mats and Live Results may give you a rough idea of where runners are, but they are not good for detailled planning for spectators.
NOs: (This list of "NOs" is intended to provide a safe and efficient race balacing costs with benefits.)
NO refunds for any reason.
Race day bib pickup (unless explicitly requested and approved)
NO deferrals after planned dates, typically January 31 unless specifiied otherwise. When permitted, the cost of the deferral may increase to represent costs incurred in our planning for you to run. Defer early if needed. Note: Doctors' / employers' notes or military deployments DO NOT change this restriction.
NO repeat deferrals. (For instance, if you deferred from 2023 to 2024, you may not defer that registration again to 2025.)
NO runner or spectator parking near the start/finish (unless you have a Parking Pass). Take our shuttle or get dropped off.
NO parking on the sides of roads or in nearby neighborhoods. You may be towed.
NO Parking Passes available for purchase except for as part of a NEW registration with the race.
NO shuttle from the host hotel.
NO change of shirt size at the Expo. You may exchange your shirt AFTER your race for whatever sizes we have remaininng.
NO registering for one distance and running a different distance. If you do not run the distance you are registered for, please DO NOT CROSS the finish line. It messes up the results for everyone.
NO early start (i.e. before 7:00am).
NO runner on trail or roads after 2:00pm. (Once inside Thomas Brooks Park, you may continue the last half-mile to the finish, even if after 2:00pm.)
NO pacing runners by anyone who is NOT registered for the race or by someone on a bicycle. You may be disqualified. Since the trail is open to the public, other runners and cyclists may be out on the trail, but a good, unofficial rule-of-thumb is that runners should NOT run with unregistered runners for any more than one mile, and the non-registered runner may not provide ANY assistance (e.g. nutrition or water).
NO runner tracking except at the limited number of timing mats.
NO special accommodations (athletes with disabilities needing special equipment...or costumes) unless requested two months in advance of the race date.
NO pandemic-related precautions planned at this time.
NO banditiing (running without a registered bib). Yes, the trail is open to the public, but taking advantage of ANY race-provided servics (not just limited to aid stations, food/medals, and post-race activities, but also road closures and police protection) is stealing and reduces the gift to local charities. Please don't.
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