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Race Dates

2018: Sunday, November 11, 2018
2017: Sunday, November 12, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Point to Point
Surface: Mostly on Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 53°F (11°C)
Average High: 59°F (15°C)
Average Low: 47° F (8°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 98.81
Course Score: 99.51

Race Size

2017: 665 Finishers
2016: 681 Finishers
2015: 864 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: N/A
2017: 10.2%
2016: 9.1%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

Marathon Pace Bands & Elevation Wrist Bands

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Course Description

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.

Marathon Rankings

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.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 82 feet (25m)
Min Elevation: 2 feet (0m)


Recent Outer Banks Marathon Reviews

4.3 Stars from 3 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2016 Outer Banks Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


Race Tips

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2015 Outer Banks Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


I did this race in 2015 (my first marathon ever) and would definitely do it again. Organized well, good amount of spectators throughout the course, and beautiful scenery.

Race Tips

This race is NOT as flat as the elevation profile says. Most of the hills are small and rolling, though the few miles through the woods is challenging. Thankfully, the pretty scenery will distract you. The biggest hill, the giant bridge just past mile 21, is not as bad as it looks.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2012 Outer Banks Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


I've done the full course 2 times and the half versions about six times. This is a beautiful race, really well organized and small enough not to feel over crowded. There are 3-4 waves and they move fast.

Be warned, the off-road portions can be really challenging. They are huge time sucks, in my experience, particularly the loose sand trail portion. The elevations aren't too major, but combined with the nature of the trail, they are enough to frustrate even strong runners. The Bridge is a good challenge, but after having it under your belt once, it isn't that big of a deal. Aside from the few miles of off-road, the course is flat and fast. Most of the first 13 miles is well-shaded and cool, the second half is more open road.

Overall, this race is well-run, the weather has been consistently beautiful the past 5-6 years and the spectators are great. I'd highly recommend. It is a good for a first timer. In April the first half of the course is run as a 13.1 and in November you can do the second half as a 13.1.

Race Tips

Be prepared for a decent challenge miles 10-13. Every time I've done this course I go into that stretch ahead of pace and come out a good amount behind. It can be frustrating. If possible, train some hilly trails. But also know once you break out of mile 13, the course definitely picks up pace.

Parking and shuttles for both the half and full are super easy, well organized. The only beef I might have is that the shuttles post-race tend to run a little slow. That combined with some extra heavy traffic makes getting back to your car/start/hotel a bit long. Still, it isn't bad and the organizers do a great job. Be warned that because this is a smaller venue, if spectators want to get from any point of the course to the finish point, traffic will be slow going. One lane open for the majority of the trip, with cars moving 10-15mph the entire way. The first year I did the half my family never made it to the finish line.

The expo is typical for a smaller event, about a dozen-plus vendors and a dozen or so local businesses.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

This is an beautiful place to vacation. November is great because the summer crowds are gone, but the weather is still nice enough to enjoy outdoors, beach (not swimming, but exploring/hikes/ect) and most seasonal restaurants and businesses are still open. Because it is officially off-season, you can get a beach rental for a steal. We have family that lives here, but still get a beach front house and make a week of it with our kids. It is the best week of the year for our family and have even vacationed with 2-3 other "running" families in huge homes for an amazing price. If you can't manage the week, definitely swing a long weekend. You won't be disappointed!

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Outer Banks Marathon in 2:49:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.