Overall Rating
Overall Rating (20 Reviews)
4.3
(20 Ratings)  (20 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.6
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.4
SWAG
3.8
The Coastal Delaware Running Festival will consist of a 5K on Saturday and a 9K, Half Marathon & a Full Marathon (Boston Qualifier) on Sunday. All four courses are flat and fast and take in the most beautiful landmarks of coastal Delaware, including a Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk start and finish, … MORE
Local Historical Weather (Apr 13):
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H (°F)  85  79  59  70  71
L (°F)  56  53  46  58  62
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Recent reviews

    efulmer FIRST-TIMER '23

    I ran this race April 16, 2023, in perfect spring weather. It was state #16 for me in my quest towards 50 halves in 50 states. The course was one … MORE

    I ran this race April 16, 2023, in perfect spring weather. It was state #16 for me in my quest towards 50 halves in 50 states. The course was one of my favorites: begins along the boardwalk in Rehoboth, follows a couple of town streets past beautiful homes, and into Cape Henlopen State Park. The path here is light cinder (tiny rocks), fairly flat, and mostly shaded. There were a couple spots where it gets narrow, and because it’s an out-and-back, runners were single file going both directions for a bit. This was fine with me, and didn’t mess with my flow or anything, but I know for some runners this can mess with their PR. Scenery was beautiful, coastal, and quiet (despite this being a pretty big race, and lots of normal running chatter, music, etc). At roughly mile 7 or so, a tidal pool overflowed into the path, and a race volunteer directed runners to go through the middle of it, because I guess it got nearly waist deep just off the trail. Glad he was there. Though I hadn’t planned for wet shoes in this race (though I’ve run plenty of trail races, this was my first with a portion through ankle-deep water), but it actually wasn’t as bad as I had feared. I do wish I’d stopped to empty my shoes of the tiny rocks that had crept in, because I ended up with my first race blister — but now I know to take those seriously! 🙂 The timing of this race is prior to busy beach season in Delaware, so it was a pretty perfect season IMO. We stayed at a small Air BnB in nearby Dewey Beach, (Swedes Beach is dog-friendly, but you need to buy a $5 permit online). Everywhere was very family and dog friendly. We brought our bikes, which made travel around the area fun and easy (And, street parking is FREE until May 15, so this makes things even easier). Our rental in Dewey ended up being super close to the running festival’s 5k which took place on Saturday. Completing both the 5k and half earned a medal for each, plus a third medal for the “Fort Miles Challenge.” All the medals were attractive. While the race tshirts ended up being pretty run-of-the-mill cotton and busy with sponsors’ names, etc, the other swag included a pint glass and my FAVORITE new hat of all time: it’s a trucker-style hat with Coastal Delaware Running Festival, Rehoboth Beach on the front in a subtle rectangle. I love the fit and style, and I wear it almost every day. (Nice job, race directors!) Overall the organization and communication on the race was well done and helpful. The emails do get repetitive and pointless after a while (I don’t need an email every week telling me to sign up for a race I’ve already signed up for…), so that was the only minor organization critique I have. All other details were smooth. Post-race celebration was gate-checked, so if you know you definitely want to celebrate with non-running family or friends, you will absolutely want to purchase tickets for them ahead of time. They kept a tight lid on entering and exiting at Grotto Pizza. But, it’s worth it. The beer, drinks, pizza, salad, and wings were plentiful and delicious. If I find myself with available to travel to Delaware in the spring, I would absolutely run this race again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    smearon77 FIRST-TIMER '23

    The course went through a variety of areas, from residential with beautiful beach homes to a park setting and around a large pond to a forest and finishing on the … MORE

    The course went through a variety of areas, from residential with beautiful beach homes to a park setting and around a large pond to a forest and finishing on the boardwalk next to the ocean. It was an uncharacteristically warm day and I would have appreciated one or two more water stations, but there was a lot of course support. The swag included a pint glass (thumbs up) and a cotton tshirt (thumbs down) – I would prefer a performance tank or t. The food and drink at the end was awesome.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    hseitz FIRST-TIMER '23

    Why did this race cost $135 for virtually no production value? Expo was small and crowded; swag only included a cotton tee shirt with cringey distressed shirt decals; aid stations … MORE

    Why did this race cost $135 for virtually no production value? Expo was small and crowded; swag only included a cotton tee shirt with cringey distressed shirt decals; aid stations were too few and far between with not enough water, volunteers, or trash cans; not many spectators and no music along the course; and they didn’t even have good security near the finish line (kids and dogs wandering in front of your path in the final 200 meters).

    The free postrace Grotto’s pizza buffet and THREE beer tickets sort of made up for it, though. MFs were getting plastered at the postrace party thanks to all the free booze.

    Rehoboth Beach is a nice little beach town of 5k people with candy and ice cream shops, boardwalk arcades, and lovely beaches. The expo was a mile away from the beachfront, in a too-small convention center. Don’t try to park in its parking lot! Every space was full. Instead, try parallel parking on the street nearby. The street parking is free until May 15th. The swag consisted of a beer glass and, as I mentioned earlier, an olive cotton T-shirt with the shirt decal graphics butchered in a failed attempt to make it look cool. No coupons or bumper stickers or free samples at the expo. Just a glass and a shirt.

    Marathon started at 7am, and I was still able to find street parking half a mile away 15 minutes before. About 500 runners. Race started and ended on the boardwalk. It was about 60 at 7am, but it had rained yesterday, and was super humid the first few miles. The highlight of the run was through Cape Henlopen State Park from miles 3-10. Absolutely gorgeous sunrise misty wetland vistas. Aid stations roughly every two miles. Didn’t seem too bad at first, but after 10 miles, things got rough.

    See, aid stations often only had one table, so you could only pick up one small cup of water with like 3oz at a time. The last trash can after each table was placed far too soon, so it was impossible to finish your cup in time, leading to a lot of litter. The first ten miles was decently shaded, but around mile 12, the course spit us onto the black tar roads, where there was virtually no shade, insufficient water stops, and no respite from the black tar heat for 8 miles. It was only 72 degrees, but the sun and tar did me in and I slowed to a shameful walk around mile 17. Around mile 20, we finally got to a shaded forest with gravel, and I ran from mile 21 until the finish.

    Other reviewers are talking about how easy the course was. If it had been cooler or cloudier, I would agree–it was very flat. But the sun + tar + no shade + not enough water combo messed up a lot of people.

    Naturally, the weather grew cloudy, cool, and windy around 2pm. Just a few hours too late to save us.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    1

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    lchristensen44 FIRST-TIMER '22

    I ran this as a pacer. It was a great event. The expo was small but near local restaurants and the boardwalk. The race starts and ends on the boardwalk … MORE

    I ran this as a pacer. It was a great event. The expo was small but near local restaurants and the boardwalk. The race starts and ends on the boardwalk next to the beach. The course was a mix of boardwalk, paved roads through residential areas and a state park.
    After the finish line a local pizza shop hosted a buffet lunch for all the runners with a mix of pizza, salad and pasta. There was beer too. The weather was great, the volunteers were wonderful. The course was interesting. Afterwards you can celebrate on the beach.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    kmerskine FIRST-TIMER '22

    I've raced in maybe 40+ half marathons and this is by far the best race I've done. I did this because it fit my calendar and I needed to knock … MORE

    I’ve raced in maybe 40+ half marathons and this is by far the best race I’ve done. I did this because it fit my calendar and I needed to knock Delaware out on my state list.

    Parking is easy and there is plenty of it. Port-a-potties are plentiful both at the start line and on the course. I didn’t stay locally but it looked like there were hotels within easy walking distance of the start line.
    The swag is sweet. The standard metal and shirt, of course, but also a pint glass and a cool hat. Great stuff, all around.

    The course itself was great. There are a few minor hills, if they can be called that. After all, you are on the beach. You start and finish on the boardwalk right next to the sand / beach. It’s a beautiful course, with marsh or beach views for most of it. You do run through a few neighborhoods in the early miles, but these are nicer old homes and it’s quite a nice run.

    The post-race party was far better than I’ve seen anywhere except for a race in Huntsville, AL (Bridge Street Town Center Half). You have four (four!) tickets for beer after the race. Lol, I suppose they could put ten tickets on there and be safe because most runners are not too interested in drinking like a fish after a race. But there is also a pizza / salad / pasta buffet after the race. Right next to the finish line. The race start/finish is right in the middle of Rehobeth Beach shopping and food / touristy area, so you can walk around and shop or eat ice cream, or whatever, all right where you started and finished, and where you parked. I cannot imagine a better race, honestly. This is the race I never knew I needed to do.

    If you like destination races, this is one to travel to. I flew in from Tennessee and I’m glad I did. It’s a race that should be appearing on online bucket lists, but which I’d not heard of until I just randomly found that it fit my free weekend schedule.

    I have only two things about this race that I’d change. Shoes and price. Maybe half of the race is on packed gravel. And the paved part was on a road that could have used re-paving. This is not a complaint, but I would have worn different shoes. The website accurately describes the surface, but perhaps it could emphasize that runners should consider wearing trail shoes. I would have, and I will next time.

    The second thing I’d change would be the price. It’s the most expensive race I’ve ever done. And an extra $30 for race day pickup? That may be common north of the South, but here in the South I’ve never had to pay for for same day pickup. And $30?! I understand that to run an event like this one it needs to be an expensive race, but it did seem to be a bit too much. And maybe mail the packets for a bit cheaper than $30? I drove in from north of DC, 2.5 hours away, on race morning so I couldn’t have picked up the packet any other day than race day.

    Would I do this race again? Yes, but I would arrive the night before and stay at a hotel. I would wear different shoes, and I’d not forget my sunglasses and handheld collapsible water bottle. 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    brianrocknj FIRST-TIMER '22

    I ran the half marathon at the 2022 Coastal Delaware Running Festival. The festival also included a 5k (on Saturday), and a marathon and 9k that went off Sunday morning … MORE

    I ran the half marathon at the 2022 Coastal Delaware Running Festival. The festival also included a 5k (on Saturday), and a marathon and 9k that went off Sunday morning before the half.

    The race starts on the boardwalk in Rehobeth Beach. It’s a cute little shore town, and it’s a great place for a getaway.

    The boardwalk itself is fairly short, and the route quickly leaves the boardwalk for a short loop through the neighborhood. The first two miles or so isn’t particularly beautiful, but they are nice tree-lined streets offering shade.

    The middle chunk of the race (around miles 4 to 11) are run through Cape Henlopen State Park. Here, it’s a packed dirt road. The route goes through the forest for a bit, along the pond, and back. It’s beautiful, scenic, and serene.

    The course is very flat, with a few gentle slopes along the way.

    There are nice crowds along the boardwalk at the start and the finish, but crowd support gets kind of thin after that. The full marathon and 9k start earlier than the half, so for the first three miles or so we ran by the slower participants in those races. But once the routes diverged around mile 4, it was much quieter.

    Aid stations were plentiful, with water and gatorade. Gu was available at mile 8. After the race, we got our medal, a hat, water, and a banana. At check in, I also got a shirt (not a tech shirt, but it is a comfortable cotton tee shirt) and a branded beer glass.

    The race started on time – going off at exactly 7:40. The marathon started at 7:00, and the 9k started at 7:20. This helped spread people out on the course, as opposed to some races that start the marathon and half together.

    The half marathon field was also loosely divided into three corrals. The first corral was designated for those running faster than 8:00/mi. It was based on the honor system, but people respected the rope and stayed behind it if they didn’t think they belonged in the corral. As a result, a much smaller group of 3-4 dozen of us took off at 7:40 – and the other corrals followed at 7:41 and 7:42.

    The post race atmosphere was great. By the time we finished, the 9k finishers had all come in. We started to stream in, followed a little while later by the first marathon finishers. There was a good crowd on the boardwalk, and it added a lot of energy to the last phase of the race. I enjoyed sitting on the boardwalk for 20-30 minutes after I finished, watching the other racers come in and cheering them on.

    There was also a great post-race celebration. Runners got free entry, and friends / family could buy a ticket ahead of time for $30. It was held at Grotto Pizza, a block from the finish, and it lasted from 9 to 3. This gave me time to walk back to the hotel, clean up, check out, and then meander over around 11. As a runner, you get three beer tickets and there’s a decent buffet of salad, pizza, pasta, and chicken. Not gourmet food, and not New Jersey pizza… but definitely enjoyable. The TVs inside were live streaming the finish line, and you could continue to hear the announcer.

    Overall, it was a great race – a scenic route, well organized, with a lot of energy at the start and finish. It’s a little quiet in the middle of the race, and the minimal amount of crowd support out in the park is the only potential downside (if that’s important to you).

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    TomRunning FIRST-TIMER '21

    Race was finally run after COVID delays and moved from the spring to the fall. Fall races are better for me, training wise. The course was mostly flat and scenic, … MORE

    Race was finally run after COVID delays and moved from the spring to the fall. Fall races are better for me, training wise. The course was mostly flat and scenic, starting and ending on the boardwalk and spending miles in parkland.
    The volunteers were top notch.
    The race swag was awesome! Large finisher medal, beer glass and running visor.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    DaveB FIRST-TIMER '21

    There were so many things to love about this race. 1. The scenery. The race started at beautiful Rehoboth Beach, went through a state park filled with fall foliage lakeside … MORE

    There were so many things to love about this race.
    1. The scenery. The race started at beautiful Rehoboth Beach, went through a state park filled with fall foliage lakeside and riverside views, and gave you a number of different views of the Delaware coastline as well.

    2. The aid stations. Volunteers were very well trained at holding cups so that they could be picked up without spillage on runners or on the volunteers themselves (on a flat hand). The one thing I could possibly nitpick here is that the availability of gels could have used a bit more fanfare, as it was hard to see where GU gels were available because the volunteers holding them blended in with everyone else and they weren’t announced.

    3. Organization. The race started like clockwork. All turns were clearly marked. The course was super easy to follow thanks to the work of the volunteers and the race organizers.

    4. Post-Race. Good pizza from Grottos was served along with beers. This is my eighth marathon, and I haven’t seen better post-race offerings as far as food goes.

    Alright. Now let me explain my score on the difficulty of the race. Yes, the race is absolutely pancake flat, but a couple of factors make it a bit more challenging. The first…a large percentage of the marathon takes place not on asphalt or another surface, but instead on dirt, mud, and rock trails. While these trailish sorts of surfaces can definitely be easier on the joints, these surfaces take a lot of energy away from your stride as compared to pure road surfaces. I definitely felt myself working harder to maintain pace on the trail surfaces. The second is that this is a coastal marathon. Expect the wind to be a factor…it’ll be blowing in your face for part of this race. These reasons are why I gave it two “shoes” for difficulty instead of one.

    But all that aside, do this race. Just make the time and sign up. Regardless of whether you PR, you will enjoy yourself.

    If you’re looking for a smaller marathon

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    bertman65 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This is a nice small event with around 500 runners I believe. It was very nice to hear my name called out as I crossed the finish line on the … MORE

    This is a nice small event with around 500 runners I believe. It was very nice to hear my name called out as I crossed the finish line on the boardwalk. Crowd support is light, as this is not a populous area and parts of it is through parks and even on gravel paths. There is one hill to worry about, around mile 16 if memory serves me, where we go up across a bridge over a river. Aid stations and both water and gatorade but were roughly two miles apart, so I carried water. The after party was quite good. I got VIP because this race was on my birthday, so I also got indoor bathrooms and breakfast food before the race, and a free massage after. The medal is quite nice, but the stock shirt given out didn’t have the date on it and has some cotton in it, so I don’t wear it to run.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    LauraRoth FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my 9th marathon and probably the "easiest" (is any marathon really easy?) course I've run so far. The course was really beautiful - some earlier miles we ran … MORE

    This was my 9th marathon and probably the “easiest” (is any marathon really easy?) course I’ve run so far. The course was really beautiful – some earlier miles we ran through a state park and later miles were on a trail which was very nice for my aching legs. The race started right on time at 7am. The volunteers were amazing! Cheering everyone on and helped me get water to refill my bottle. They were all upbeat and smiling and I was so appreciative of that. They handed out Gu at 3 different spots and around mile 21 they had gummy bears and M&M’s. Not much crowd support if you need that but I really don’t. After the race they had a party for the runners at Grotto Pizza with unlimited Pizza, salad, pasta, chicken fingers and 3 beers! It was so much fun! The weather started off mid 50’s and misting but cleared up and was mostly overcast and 60. I loved everything about this race and I highly recommend it!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    vdev3 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Beautiful course with lots of changing scenery and running surfaces. Some out and backs so you could see front runners. Nice after party and great medal! MORE

    Beautiful course with lots of changing scenery and running surfaces. Some out and backs so you could see front runners. Nice after party and great medal!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    BillyD0021 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Cool small town marathon with varing views and terrain. Things get congested at the finish with slow half marathoners walking 4 abreast to the finish. Great atmosphere afterwards and the … MORE

    Cool small town marathon with varing views and terrain. Things get congested at the finish with slow half marathoners walking 4 abreast to the finish. Great atmosphere afterwards and the post race party at Grottos Pizza.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    Overall I loved this race. Flat and fast course. It starts and ends on the boardwalk along the ocean. The course goes through beautiful neighborhoods and parks. My only complaint … MORE

    Overall I loved this race. Flat and fast course. It starts and ends on the boardwalk along the ocean. The course goes through beautiful neighborhoods and parks. My only complaint is that parts are run on a trail surface. It was tough for me to keep switching between running on pavement and the trails. There is also very little crowd support. It is a smaller race so race logistics are easy. Great swag and a great post race after party.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    amw5471 FIRST-TIMER '18

    The expo was in the Rehoboth convention center. There was only one volunteer per race handing out bibs and two volunteers per shirt so there was a huge bottleneck there. … MORE

    The expo was in the Rehoboth convention center. There was only one volunteer per race handing out bibs and two volunteers per shirt so there was a huge bottleneck there. The for purchase race swag was surprisingly diverse for such a small race. The race swag bag featured a cotton t shirt, glassware with the race logo, and a magnet with the race logo. At the finish you receive a trucker hat. I would have rather received less swag and a technical t shirt.

    The race started at 7 am for the marathon. It was very low key to get to the start and into your corral. There were pacers available and lovely to chat with.

    The race started and ended on the boardwalk with a view of the ocean in Rehoboth. The race wound through the parks to the small beach towns in the area, even including a stop at dairy queen. There was little to no elevation other than the canal bridge near Lewes. Water stops were abundant and many featured snacks. The finish on the boards was fun and I feel like it was a great low key race to dip my feet into the marathon pool.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    mzboop FIRST-TIMER '17

    I loved this race. They give the best race swag. You will not be disappointed. The course was fast and flat, a definite plus. You get free race photos. The … MORE

    I loved this race. They give the best race swag. You will not be disappointed. The course was fast and flat, a definite plus. You get free race photos. The finish line food A+

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Jenlovestorun FIRST-TIMER '17

    Expo was not great; course is pretty and near the water; great town with a lot of great restaurants; love being near the beach!; Course was flat. MORE

    Expo was not great; course is pretty and near the water; great town with a lot of great restaurants; love being near the beach!; Course was flat.

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    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
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    karenfuss FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was a beautiful race along the coast in Delaware, running alone the boardwalk twice, and I especially loved running by the WWII towers and through Cape Henlopen State Park. … MORE

    This was a beautiful race along the coast in Delaware, running alone the boardwalk twice, and I especially loved running by the WWII towers and through Cape Henlopen State Park. I saw three large bucks cross the course going through the park, which was a little scary but neat. I liked the swag and thought it was very well organized, and the afterparty on the beach was very nice, with food for racers and spectators. I was able to relax and dip my feet in the very cold bay at that point. This was my first marathon.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    aruskiewicz FIRST-TIMER '16

    -This was by far the smallest marathon I’ve run to date with only 528 finishers. I’m definitely glad I did it, and everything was very well organized logistically and ran … MORE

    -This was by far the smallest marathon I’ve run to date with only 528 finishers. I’m definitely glad I did it, and everything was very well organized logistically and ran extremely smoothly on race weekend. This was only the 2nd year of this race, but you’d never know it. My performance wasn’t what I hoped, but that was only part of the experience. I doubt I’d do it again just because of the location and the fact that it’s not the type of race I normally gravitate toward, but if you’re looking for a Delaware marathon, you can’t go wrong here.

    DIFFICULTY
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    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
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    Christie629 FIRST-TIMER '15

    My first time running this. Came back and ran the 9K the next year. Well put on. Fast and flat course. Pretty views of ocean, boardwalk, etc. MORE

    My first time running this. Came back and ran the 9K the next year. Well put on. Fast and flat course. Pretty views of ocean, boardwalk, etc.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    sparrowsgirl FIRST-TIMER '15

    This a good-sized running festival along the coastal towns of Delaware. A flat, uncomplicated course along boardwalks, through cute towns, and pretty residential areas. The after-party featured a nice buffet … MORE

    This a good-sized running festival along the coastal towns of Delaware. A flat, uncomplicated course along boardwalks, through cute towns, and pretty residential areas. The after-party featured a nice buffet of food. Parking was a bit of a mess.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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  1. Races
  2. Coastal Delaware Running Festival