Overall Rating
Overall Rating (111 Reviews)
4.7
(111 Ratings) 🏆 (111 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.1
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.3
The United States Coast Guard invite you to join us in-person or virtually for the Coast Guard Marathon, Half Marathon, 1K or 5K in Elizabeth City, NC, The Harbor of Hospitality. These races are in collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Base Elizabeth City. Races are open … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Apr 06):
  2024 2023 2022 2021 2020
 
H (°F)  54  79  78  72  76
L (°F)  41  64  55  51  52
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Recent reviews

    massagebyrim FIRST-TIMER '24

    If you are targeting a BQ this race with it's flat course and time of year is about as perfect as you might get. No hills, but the head winds … MORE

    If you are targeting a BQ this race with it’s flat course and time of year is about as perfect as you might get. No hills, but the head winds coming back through north of Coast Guard Base is challenging @mile 17+…with that said, the course still sets you up to PR or shot for that BQ!!!

    DIFFICULTY
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    4
    SCENERY
    3
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    4

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    mnstevens104 REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Everything was fantastic. Loved the medal, swag bag, course. The aid station hydration part was great! The only recommendation I would suggest would be at least one more fuel/gu station … MORE

    Everything was fantastic. Loved the medal, swag bag, course. The aid station hydration part was great! The only recommendation I would suggest would be at least one more fuel/gu station for the marathon distance. I think 3 would work better. Overall great race and I can’t wait to run next year

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    Asclavakis01 FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was such a great atmosphere and great area to run. The course is flat and fast! I loved being able to run on the actual Coast Guard Base, that … MORE

    This was such a great atmosphere and great area to run. The course is flat and fast! I loved being able to run on the actual Coast Guard Base, that was a ton of fun!! Elizabeth City is a beautiful and growing city and the people there really came out to cheer on the runners!! Great job!!! I will be back for this one!! My only complaint is, while on the base it would be nice to have some Coast Guard people lining the runway, helps it not seem so lonely or long, lol. Love this race!!

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    5
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    gretchin405 FIRST-TIMER '24

    We traveled from the Florida Keys to Elizabeth City for this race and would do it again in a heartbeat! E City itself was just as charming as we had … MORE

    We traveled from the Florida Keys to Elizabeth City for this race and would do it again in a heartbeat! E City itself was just as charming as we had imagined and her people, even more so! During the race you found yourself running through neighborhoods with streets lined with residents cheering everyone on. Once arriving at the Coast Guard Station, you run about 3 miles of the race through the station, which was incredible! We will absolutely be back again and again!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    5

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    boxmaster FIRST-TIMER '24

    While the scenery was decent in several sections and the AG awards are quite nice (small wooden paddles), I would advise against running this race again. There were many parts … MORE

    While the scenery was decent in several sections and the AG awards are quite nice (small wooden paddles), I would advise against running this race again. There were many parts of the course that were FULLY open to traffic, in both directions on a road with one lane in each direction. Not only did the runners not know which side of the road to run on in their particular direction (when it was an out-and-back) because of poor marking of the roads, but they did nothing to prevent cars from driving on either side of the street in either direction. Thankfully this was always within neighborhood roads, so cars were driving slowly, but this is still needlessly dangerous.

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    My Report
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    hopps040306 FIRST-TIMER '24

    The course is breathtaking beautiful and the course support is amazing! I have never seen an entire town support a marathon like I did for this one! Everyone was involved … MORE

    The course is breathtaking beautiful and the course support is amazing! I have never seen an entire town support a marathon like I did for this one! Everyone was involved and runners felt welcome everywhere!

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    5

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    relambjr FIRST-TIMER '24

    This is a festive, very well put together race! The town clearly appreciates the Coast Guard, and you feel it throughout the race--the time on base, through the neighborhoods and … MORE

    This is a festive, very well put together race! The town clearly appreciates the Coast Guard, and you feel it throughout the race–the time on base, through the neighborhoods and at the after-party!
    The run around the WWII blimp hanger is a fun plus!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    jkeckpa FIRST-TIMER '24

    Race was well organized and supported. Water, fuel, and restrooms were well placed along the route and course was well marked. Start and finish were efficient and effected for runners. MORE

    Race was well organized and supported. Water, fuel, and restrooms were well placed along the route and course was well marked. Start and finish were efficient and effected for runners.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    kraquadro FIRST-TIMER '24

    This race was fast and flat and the perfect time of year for good weather. It was quite windy in the last half, but that’s not uncommon on a flat … MORE

    This race was fast and flat and the perfect time of year for good weather. It was quite windy in the last half, but that’s not uncommon on a flat course near the coast. Running through the Coast Guard base was cool and local crowd support was pretty good for a small race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
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    4
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    kbaymarine21 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Plenty of course support/aid stations. Swag was very average. Course was pretty barren which was not a surprise. SUPER flat! This is a great PR course. It looks like the … MORE

    Plenty of course support/aid stations.
    Swag was very average.
    Course was pretty barren which was not a surprise.
    SUPER flat! This is a great PR course.
    It looks like the weather in 2024 was a bit of an anomaly. It was perfect – 40’s and 50’s throughout. Definitely made for a pleasurable experience that may not be the case in subsequent years.
    Port-a-johns were not abundant enough at the start/finish area.
    My favorite part of the race was the last 1/2 mile. There were a few turns through the quaint little downtown area and it was a great motivator making the last turn and getting the finish line in view. Definitely helped with my kick.
    I PR’d on 20-25 miles per week and plenty of cross training.
    I stayed in the Outer Banks and would do the same if I ran this race again.

    DIFFICULTY
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    dtroianello FIRST-TIMER '24

    Great town and race and right along the water so you get great views and a breeze. Food or drink every 2 miles. The people of the town were super … MORE

    Great town and race and right along the water so you get great views and a breeze. Food or drink every 2 miles. The people of the town were super friendly and helpful.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Myrr84 REPEAT RUNNER '24

    This was my 3rd year running this half marathon. The t-shirt for this year was t-shirt material instead of the sport t-shirt that we've gotten in the past. I love … MORE

    This was my 3rd year running this half marathon. The t-shirt for this year was t-shirt material instead of the sport t-shirt that we’ve gotten in the past. I love the medal and it’s moving parts. This year we weren’t plagued with the massive winds so running on the runway and then on base was wonderful. There was slight course change because weather caused some flooding in some of the neighborhoods but I loved that we didn’t have that street towards the end where we ran half way down the road and ran around a cone and flipped around. This training cycle for me was filled with illness after illness and ultimately running with an ear infection. My only goal was to finish before the cut off and I accidentally PR’d instead! Can’t wait for next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
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    4

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    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '24

    North Carolina was the 19th different state that I have run a half marathon or further in. If you are traveling from out of state like me you have a … MORE

    North Carolina was the 19th different state that I have run a half marathon or further in. If you are traveling from out of state like me you have a couple options of where you can fly in to. I flew to Raleigh then drove nearly 3 hours to Elizabeth City, Richmond is closer to two hours away and if you are willing to pay a bit of a premium you could fly to Norfolk which is about an hour away. Hotels in Elizabeth city were cheap (though I booked really early, there is a limited supply so the prices spiked closer to race day). Rental car prices in Raleigh were also very reasonable. If you are not from the area do yourself a favor and spend a day or two at the North Carolina outer banks an hour to the east while you are in the state. It is a beautiful area.

    EXPO/PACKET PICK UP:
    This was a pretty small expo but decent for a race of this size. There were probably 15 booths in addition to the race gear vendor. The packet pickup was at the museum directly across the street from the finish line.
    There was plenty of parking (although I went after the Saturday 5k had mostly finished). Bib pick up was an in an out process with no complications.

    Parking/Access: Parking at the start line was not difficult. There was a map provided with many lots around down town where you could park for free as well as street parking. Pay attention to where you are parking relative to the course if you are a fast finisher or only running the half, it might be difficult to get out of down town while waiting to cross a street filled with runners.

    T-Shirts/SWAG: The medal for this race was top quality, it is well made, sturdy and quite heavy. The medal 100% reminds me of the race in that it shows the coastal town you ran in, shows a coast guard ship, and has a coast guard sea plane and helicopter that you can move across the top of the medal. The design for the half and full were identical, excapt that the half medal was lined with silver and silver on the back where is said half marathon. The medal for the full was gold instead of silver. I wish it showed the distance on the front but based on color you could still know which distance each medal represented. (See Attached Photos). The race shirt was a T shirt, I prefer a Tech T that I can race in but I do understand that in the long run I will likely get more use and wear out of a T-shirt.(See attached Photo) As someone who prefers to run in the race shirt to give all of my race pictures a feel unique to that race I was a tiny let down. The shirt however was quite nice and represents the race including a remembrance to the first coast guard solider who died in combat back in 2004.

    Aid Stations: The aid stations were well stocked. There were 6 (7 if you count one that you ran by twice) aid stations on the course. That was plenty considering we had great race day conditions in the 50’s but in the part of the country that depending on the year could be very hot and humid they could maybe use a few more. They all had water and an electrolyte drink that I had never heard of. One of them also apparently had energy gels but I didn’t notice that. I didn’t hear anything about supplies running out at any time during the race. I was near the front so I was never really in a group, but the number of volunteers was more than enough. I’m sure there were some real slow downs at aid station as volunteers were filling and handing out cups as fast as they could pour them at busier times. The volunteers were really clear about who had water or Gatorade. If I could make one critique it would be to have a few more garbage cans 100 yards after the stations so you could have time to finish your drink before trying to toss your cup.

    Course Scenery/Elevation Difficulty: The course starts right outside the museum where you did packet pick up also serves as the finish/post race party area. The race starts at 7:30am which in a warmer year it would be a huge help in beating the heat/humidity, last year it was much warmer but incredibly windy. I found plenty of room to warm up around the large park area. They had a very long start chute with well marked pace groups. The course was extremely flat. I don’t really remember any hills. The condition of the roads in town over the first several miles were in need of being repaved, not terrible but enough that you want to watch your footing. The course is about 2/3 through town and surrounding neighborhoods and 1/3 on an active coast guard base. The town was very pretty and had southern charm with the look of the big trees and pillars on porches of the houses. Running onto the base was a unique experience. There were a wall of guards making sure that everybody who entered the base was wearing a bib. Shortly after running onto the base you turned onto and ran the entire length of the airplane runway. This was a unique experience and I made sure to pay attention to the end where you could see all the tire marks from landing and the course felt a bit sticky from running on the rubber. FYI runways are long, like a mile and a half long. There was zero aid station support on the runway (for obvious reasons they don’t want people dropping trash/cups anywhere near plane engines). You are also extremely exposed during this time, the wind was calm this year but last year I understand this part was a bit brutal with nothing to shelter you from the wind at all. If you take the time to look around in town and on base when you run you will really enjoy the views. The last 2-3 miles of the course could have used another volunteer or two to make sure that you knew you were running the correct route but it still went fine. There wasn’t a ton of crowd support other than the last half mile but I didn’t really mind it. I must add that this seems like a decent BQ course, there were quite a few sub 3 hr marathon finishers.

    Race Management: This Race was very well run, especially so for a small-medium-ish race (450 finishers for the half, closer to 500 for the full, ~600 for the 5k). I found their website to be the best source of info, they also email you a few bits of advice including a race guide and a guide of things to do in the area. Other things to compliment this race on: They had age group awards which were wooden paddles and a ceremony with a podium the top 3 in each group. For the first time I actually won my age group so this part was a thrill for me. The start area had a bag check area by the start line that was open until the start. They did have pace setters for quite a few goal paces, impressive for a race of this size. The finish was about average in terms of the usual finish line fare they had bottles of water and all the electrolyte drinks you could carry (apparently the 5k people didn’t take very many). You had a food toke on your bib which meant you could get a pulled pork sandwich from a local BBQ joint (we ate there for lunch after the race and it was good), your bib also had a free beer token from a local brewery. They had a band playing and some vendors around. One really cool thing that happened was the Commandant of the coast guard (the head of the entire coast guard) was there to take pictures with all of the age group and overall winners. A minor critique, they did not have free race Photos, in my opinion just charge us all an extra $5-$10 and make them free. A minor disappointment was that in 2023 they had a coast guard helicopter fly-over timed with the race start but that didn’t happen this year.

    Overall I would say this race is a very good way to check North Caolina off your 50 state list. I highly recommend this race, there is a reason it is rated so highly.

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    StoneSquarer REPEAT RUNNER '24

    This race was very well organized and such an enjoyable event. It is a smaller event, so there aren’t many crowds to dodge. It’s held in a beautiful little town … MORE

    This race was very well organized and such an enjoyable event. It is a smaller event, so there aren’t many crowds to dodge. It’s held in a beautiful little town and you get the novelty running across the Coast Guard airbase and down one of the runways. It’s a windy course, but very flat. The organizers are great and they treat the runners really well. The T-shirts are nice and the medals are great.

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    cardinalsx FIRST-TIMER '24

    Pros: super easy packet pickup and parking close to start. Everybody is just so nice. Neat course through Coast Guard base and lovely, woodsy neighborhoods. Cons: a bit congested through … MORE

    Pros: super easy packet pickup and parking close to start. Everybody is just so nice. Neat course through Coast Guard base and lovely, woodsy neighborhoods.

    Cons: a bit congested through the first couple miles, not a whole lot of crowd support, and water stations every two miles (I prefer every mile, especially in the second half).

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    As a first-timer, I was so pleasantly surprised by the awesome energy of the pacers, the runners, and the announcers. Special shoutout the main announcer, a woman, that was amazing … MORE

    As a first-timer, I was so pleasantly surprised by the awesome energy of the pacers, the runners, and the announcers. Special shoutout the main announcer, a woman, that was amazing and such a pleasure to listen to. The course was absolutely beautiful and super flat! Overall, I had a great time.

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    Ibobroff FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was a great race. Not too crowded to affect the running pace. Community support was outstanding. Running through the Coast Guard Base was fantastic, the staging was great, got … MORE

    This was a great race. Not too crowded to affect the running pace. Community support was outstanding. Running through the Coast Guard Base was fantastic, the staging was great, got to see alot of equipment and vehicles. The enlisted and volunteers were out in full support. The local community obviously embraces their Coast Guard family and well suupported this race.
    Loved tha band and after party. Lcoation was perfect. Would love to run this again.

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    sarahmarie0024 FIRST-TIMER '24

    Whether this is your 1st marathon or you’re going for a PR, this race is for you! The expo is small but the swag is AMAZING! And that finisher medal…very … MORE

    Whether this is your 1st marathon or you’re going for a PR, this race is for you! The expo is small but the swag is AMAZING! And that finisher medal…very impressive! The course is flat with varying scenery – water views, neighborhoods, country fields, and of course the airstrip on the base. You’ll have plenty of refreshment stations and porta-pots to help you through the race should you need them. The crowds were great even along the country roads. Definitely a race to add to you bucket list!

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    5
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    vtyler97 FIRST-TIMER '24

    This race/run was at an amazing location! All aid stations were perfectly placed along the round and provided great nutrients for runners. With the first 7 miles running with the … MORE

    This race/run was at an amazing location! All aid stations were perfectly placed along the round and provided great nutrients for runners.

    With the first 7 miles running with the half marathon route I was able to participate with my 15 year old son for half his race. This provided him with more motivation to become an avid marathon runner. We are excited to run there again next year.

    For those that are aiding or supporting runners: the route was conducive for them to move along to see the runners in various locations. At the start point there were plenty of things for my little ones to do so they did not get bored while waiting for us to run.

    Over all great run, thank you for putting this on and we look forward to running it again!

    V/R
    Tyler Valentine

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    AJPreble FIRST-TIMER '24

    Well organized, located in a very walkable city, as good a course as they could make with the area. We'd run it again for the challenge, for the ease of … MORE

    Well organized, located in a very walkable city, as good a course as they could make with the area. We’d run it again for the challenge, for the ease of doing both the 5K and the full, the location, and the people we met — runners, race staff, locals. Food at the finish was good. The Wine Bar on the way back to the airbnb was awesome!

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