The OBX Marathon is an almost completely flat point-to-point course. There are two points of course elevation. The first is in Nags Head Woods Preserve around mile 12 of the marathon course. The second is crossing the 35 foot tall Washington-Baum Bridge leading to Roanoke Island at mile 23. The bridge is tall (stats: 1.05 mi long, 82' high, with a 650' climb to the top at a 4% grade).
In addition to those two changes in elevation, part of the marathon course is on a trail. The first section from about mile 10 to 12.5 is on a packed dirt road through the maritime forest of Nags Head Nature Preserve. The other section at about 12.5 miles runners leave the Preserve and get back on the road via a narrow, more difficult sandy trail.
The course can be fast, but wind, trail sections and the climb up the Washington-Baum Bridge near the end of the race (approximately mile 23) can be challenging.
The Outer Banks Marathon was the 107th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 114th largest in 2016.
Last year 10.2% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 9.1% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.
This gives the Outer Banks Marathon the 194th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 234th highest percentage in 2016.
Its Course Score of 99.51 ranks it as the 93rd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest course in North Carolina.
The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are slightly above the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Outer Banks Marathon a PR Score of 98.81. This PR Score ranks it as the 170th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 5th fastest in North Carolina.
Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.