Overall Rating
Overall Rating (56 Reviews)
4.6
(56 Ratings)(56 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
3.9
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.4
For over 40 years the Rocket City Marathon has been a premiere marathon event in the South. The Rocket City Marathon is conducted by the Huntsville Track Club and scores double points on the Running Journal Grand Prix Championship Circuit.  The Rocket City Marathon is more than just a race. … MORE
Local Weather (Dec 12):
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 55 52 51 60 73
L (°F) 28 30 33 42 60
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Recent reviews

    Doogster REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I was impressed by the prayer at the beginning -- a heartfelt way to thank God for the blessing of our health and the wealth we all have to participate … MORE

    I was impressed by the prayer at the beginning — a heartfelt way to thank God for the blessing of our health and the wealth we all have to participate in these races. Thank you, race director.

    Kind, fun, helpful people at the expo and aid stations. But the race goes through several dreary areas to get to the rockets (and photo op).

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

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    delbert.007 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Great in every way from the expo to the finish line. I loved running through the space center. The finisher jacket was the icing on the cake. I loved finishing … MORE

    Great in every way from the expo to the finish line. I loved running through the space center. The finisher jacket was the icing on the cake. I loved finishing inside where family and friends were waiting. Parking the morning of the race was easy as well as getting there race morning.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    amilota9 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was a great race. The Swag is awesome. The expo was OK, I would have like to see another running store but i know there is not that many … MORE

    This was a great race. The Swag is awesome. The expo was OK, I would have like to see another running store but i know there is not that many in the area. I would have liked the lights to be on while running through the gardens. The Race Communication was really good. Wonder how they can top this years race next year?

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    spritsc2 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Nice touches for post race-. Finishing inside with blanket and soup was very nice for super cold day. Lots of crowd cheering in some spots and pretty quiet in others. … MORE

    Nice touches for post race-. Finishing inside with blanket and soup was very nice for super cold day.
    Lots of crowd cheering in some spots and pretty quiet in others.
    Little bit of incline after mile 18 and 20.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    I loved this race so much last year I came back for round 2. I love the support of the community here in Huntsville. Definitely have it on my list … MORE

    I loved this race so much last year I came back for round 2. I love the support of the community here in Huntsville. Definitely have it on my list for 2020. The BEST part was the finishers gift. I’ve received so many compliments on both shirts. Best swag and medal I’ve received! That race director knows how to put on a fabulous weekend!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    jllrbrts8 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Flat, fast course with plenty of aid stations offering water/gatorade and gu! Awesome crowd support. Well laid out course map allowing family to easily follow and cheer you on. So … MORE

    Flat, fast course with plenty of aid stations offering water/gatorade and gu! Awesome crowd support. Well laid out course map allowing family to easily follow and cheer you on. So cool running through the Space and Rocket center. Post race pics are free and include you w/rockets in the background! Awesome astronaut “globe” medal, long sleeve shirt and another long sleeve finisher shirt. Free post race massage available. Post race food plentiful-warm soup, sandwiches, bagels and peanut butter and bananas! This race has yet to get the recognition it deserves. I’ve been looking for a fast, flat course to attempt a BQ. Didn’t think about it being in my own backyard. Highly recommend it!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    sraysadler FIRST-TIMER '19

    The race is well organized. I thought I wouldn’t like the half starting after the full, but it provided a much needed group of fresh and fast runners to push … MORE

    The race is well organized. I thought I wouldn’t like the half starting after the full, but it provided a much needed group of fresh and fast runners to push me at the end. The back half is a little hilly (and that’s relative on this overall flat course), but also has the best scenery, and lots of good support. I would love to do this race again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    RocketCityMarathon Dec 29, 2019 at 4:18pm

    So glad you liked the "fresh runners" on the back half! That has been our goal! :D The 2020 race will be unlike any other race you've ever experienced!

    So glad you liked the "fresh runners" on the back half! That has been our goal! :D The 2020 race will be unlike any other race you've ever experienced!

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    sraysadler Dec 30, 2019 at 7:15am

    Also, I forgot to mention CHICKEN BROTH in my review! My new favorite post-race food! Warm and salty. The best!

    Also, I forgot to mention CHICKEN BROTH in my review! My new favorite post-race food! Warm and salty. The best!

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    mlj1955 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The course is relatively flat and scenic, especially thru the Space & Rocket Center and Botanical Gardens. As a first time 1/2 or marathon RCM is a great goal race. … MORE

    The course is relatively flat and scenic, especially thru the Space & Rocket Center and Botanical Gardens. As a first time 1/2 or marathon RCM is a great goal race. Also, a Boston qualifier for the fast folks. 😊

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    joemrist REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Overall a smooth and enjoyable experience. The race provides clear communication, great swag, and one of the most unique running venues in the world. I always look forward to running … MORE

    Overall a smooth and enjoyable experience. The race provides clear communication, great swag, and one of the most unique running venues in the world. I always look forward to running through history when the course goes through the Space and Rocket Center featuring an Apollo Saturn V rocket and a close up of the Space Shuttle. It is definitely a once in a lifetime race experience!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    jasonescott1 FIRST-TIMER '19

    VERY well organized. Route never got boring and swag was great. Medal was really cool. Only 1 knock, would be great to have access to showers after the race. MORE

    VERY well organized. Route never got boring and swag was great. Medal was really cool. Only 1 knock, would be great to have access to showers after the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    RocketCityMarathon Dec 29, 2019 at 4:21pm

    Free showers are just a very short 3 mile drive away at the Huntsville Aquatics Center on Drake! I'm sorry if we didn't make that better known to everyone! (We'd… MORE

    Free showers are just a very short 3 mile drive away at the Huntsville Aquatics Center on Drake! I'm sorry if we didn't make that better known to everyone! (We'd love if there were showers closer but so far we haven't found a better solution.) LESS

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    runmichigan FIRST-TIMER '19

    I ran in this marathon as my 40th state in my 50 states marathon journey. This was definitely in the top ten for race organization - a marathon organized by … MORE

    I ran in this marathon as my 40th state in my 50 states marathon journey. This was definitely in the top ten for race organization – a marathon organized by runners for runners. This primarily rolling course had a mix of scenic sections (through space center and residential areas) and some more industrial sections. The start was in a park outside the Von Braun Center and the finish was inside the south hall of the Von Braun Center. The aid stations were every 2 to 3 miles and had water and Gatorade Endurance. GU was also given out at many of them. The swag consisted of a technical shirt, a space themed medal, and a technical finisher’s shirt. The expo was small with less than 20 booths and only about half running related. All in all this was a very well organized midsized marathon, half marathon, and relay. It was obvious with the variety of small touches that this event was organized for runners by runners.
    The only real con of the run was they started the half at the midpoint of the marathon two hours after the marathon started. This meant those of us who did not complete the first half of our marathons in two hours were forced to run around the slower half marathon runners/walkers – some who were running or walking three or four abreast.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    juliearvin FIRST-TIMER '19

    The very best part of this run is how manageable it all is. Easy packet pick up, easy parking and easy getting to the start line. I did not love … MORE

    The very best part of this run is how manageable it all is. Easy packet pick up, easy parking and easy getting to the start line. I did not love the post-race food , but I am picky so I wound hold that against them. I would definitely do this run again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    aharry FIRST-TIMER '19

    This is a very well organized race with a great course. It was relatively flat and I love the fact that there are 2 separate loops without repeat. I also … MORE

    This is a very well organized race with a great course. It was relatively flat and I love the fact that there are 2 separate loops without repeat. I also enjoyed that the half marathoners ran the 2nd half with us rather than the first and then finishing while we have another half to go. The race and finisher (free!!) shirt were both fantastic. It is also great that the pictures were free and easy to download! I know the course changed slightly this year due to construction and I hope the loop around the park is taken out in the future. It was a little defeating to be so close to the finish line and have to loop the park. I would recommend this race to beginners and veteran marathoners!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    RocketCityMarathon Dec 29, 2019 at 4:29pm

    We are sorry to hear you didn't like the park...unfortunately, because of very understandable constraints by the city, that is the ONLY available route to get back to the VBC.… MORE

    We are sorry to hear you didn't like the park...unfortunately, because of very understandable constraints by the city, that is the ONLY available route to get back to the VBC. The ONLY other possible option is to do away with the inside finish (something we really want to hold on to). We know how deflating it can be to run away from where you know the finish is located, but we were hoping the Tinsel Trail, the music from the band, and the beautiful scenery of the park would help lessen that hit. :D LESS

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    mcaunderwood FIRST-TIMER '19

    Extremely well planned! A ton of information leading up to race day - always important but especially for a first-timer. Plentiful aid stations. Loads of spectators and cheer squads. Awesome … MORE

    Extremely well planned! A ton of information leading up to race day – always important but especially for a first-timer. Plentiful aid stations. Loads of spectators and cheer squads. Awesome route through historic district, botanical gardens, and the Rocket!! Really great swag and a unique medal.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    sally.kellman REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I’ve done my fair share of half marathons. This was one of my favorites. The water spots were perfectly placed and the Gu’s available were amazing at at perfect spots … MORE

    I’ve done my fair share of half marathons. This was one of my favorites. The water spots were perfectly placed and the Gu’s available were amazing at at perfect spots on the race. Also the people volunteering for the water spots were amazing and pumped me up!! Next year I might do the full.. I loved how the full marathoners joined the halfers at mile 13. This would be great to keep you going at the hardest spot of the full. Overall I loved this race and everything about it. I will be doing it every year!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    todd17406 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Huntsville, Alabama, aka the "Rocket City" is a really cool place to visit. The NASA Space & Rocket museum itself is worth spending a day. Besides that, the course is … MORE

    Huntsville, Alabama, aka the “Rocket City” is a really cool place to visit. The NASA Space & Rocket museum itself is worth spending a day. Besides that, the course is fast and temps are perfect for marathoning in mid December. Very well organized throughout. Can’t think of one area they really could’ve improved on. Usually, great SWAG. For 2019 we received a surprise 1/4 zip Marathon running jacket! Highly recommended if you’re looking to check Alabama off your State list!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Coop FIRST-TIMER '19

    Good course, great support. Good swag going and coming. Race hotel was connected to finish. Enjoyed the live music, will be back next year. Packet pickup was good we missed … MORE

    Good course, great support. Good swag going and coming. Race hotel was connected to finish. Enjoyed the live music, will be back next year. Packet pickup was good we missed the expo maybe next time. Plenty of Christmas trees and things to see around the staring line. Yes bring your phone for pics.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    MattyIce FIRST-TIMER '19

    Not a highly challenging run. Lots of aid stations with water and Gatorade at each one, GU was given 4-5 times. Not a lot of scenery until about halfway through … MORE

    Not a highly challenging run. Lots of aid stations with water and Gatorade at each one, GU was given 4-5 times. Not a lot of scenery until about halfway through the marathon. The space center and gardens are cool, everything before and after is suburban.

    Only complaint is at the halfway point of the marathon I guess they open the floodgates for the half marathon. I was baffled when I turned the corner and there were suddenly several hundred people around and in front of me. Pretty distracting, but It didn’t bother me that much.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    tndsmith FIRST-TIMER '19

    This course is very runnable- slightly rolling - no major hills. Running past a Saturn 5 Rocket and Space Shuttle is very inspiring to say the least(Murca!). Course support was … MORE

    This course is very runnable- slightly rolling – no major hills. Running past a Saturn 5 Rocket and Space Shuttle is very inspiring to say the least(Murca!). Course support was adequate, however, you should bring your own jells to be safe. The best part of the finish area was the hot chicken soup! It was very settling on the stomach after gulping down 5 packs of gu🤢. If you’re not from the area, plan to stay at least a couple of nights. Huntsville has a very vibrant down town area full of southern charm and hospitality.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
    SCENERY
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    4

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    BrooklandRunner FIRST-TIMER '13

    The Rocket City Marathon was my 25th total marathon, and Alabama was my 16th different state. I ran the old course which wasn't remarkable as it mostly darted through neighborhoods … MORE

    The Rocket City Marathon was my 25th total marathon, and Alabama was my 16th different state. I ran the old course which wasn’t remarkable as it mostly darted through neighborhoods and along highways. In fact, next year they are using a completely new course that actually goes by some of the attractions. And, this year it rained a lot before the race and on and off during the race. Plus, I was coming down with a cold so it turned out that my accomplishment would be simply to add another state.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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