Overall Rating
Overall Rating (10 Reviews)
4.1
(10 Ratings)(10 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.9
SCENERY
3.3
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.9
The Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon features over 20 miles of the American Tobacco Trail (ATT). The rest of the course is flat and fast with a downhill finish. Up to 10 percent of our runners qualify for the legendary Boston Marathon! Less experienced runners benefit too as the fast, flat, … MORE
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Recent reviews

    runningservant FIRST-TIMER '21

    I truly enjoyed watching the A-Team growing up. So when they came out with the movie on big screen, I was super excited. Although I was glad that they held … MORE

    I truly enjoyed watching the A-Team growing up. So when they came out with the movie on big screen, I was super excited. Although I was glad that they held to the storyline, characters, costumes, I was most satisfied when the declining actions lead to that one famous line by Hannibal – “I love it when a plan comes together. ” Like Hannibal, I love it when a race plan comes together. The Tabacco Road Marathon weekend was a well thought out plan in the midst of a pandemic that came together. Grab an ice cold cut m chocolate milk and read this review.

    From registering for the race to returning back home, the Tabacco Road didn’t disappoint in the least of ways. After a friend contacted me about wanting to run a race to celebrate her 40th birthday, meet family and run a marathon in North Carolina, I immediately put a plan in action during the midst of my own plan of my own 50th Birthday Year Celebration Running of Marathons benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Since I had already crossed North Carolina off of my 50 Marathons in 50 States in 50 weeks, I added this run just prior to my NEW ENGLAND CHALLENGE and BISTATE CHALLENGE (NJ only for me) with the Crazy Race Director. The stage was set but a hiccip would happen that would make running North Carolina a second time even more special.

    Prior to leaving for the race, my nephew committed suicide allowing me to run and serve in a manner I hadn’t thought about – by not running but serving. Although I signed up for the half due to previously running North Carolina, the race was asking for people to defer their half or run virtually to get the number of participants down. Since the race was over two days with the full ran on Saturday and the half on Sunday, I asked if I could switch to the full, knowing I probably wouldn’t finish, and volunteer at the finish line on Sunday. I was granted my request. I also helped my sister who needed support financially with the burial of her son. This caused me not to be able to complete the NEW ENGLAND CHALLENGE but only the BISTATE CHALLENGE (Which was awesome in and of itself).

    Speaking of Awesome, the course for the full was amazing, and the course for the half was a runner’s dream. For the full, it began going uphill then downhill with two separate out and backs (to the right then back across to the left of a T-section along a playful decline-incline course then uphill finishing downhill with a small uphill kick. The half, I was told by runners, who enjoy a hill or two challenge, that the half course was ideal. I knew it to be true because the flat liners – people who desire to run only flat courses and strongly dislike any course with a challenge – complained about the big hill just prior to the downhill kick at the end. Previous runners of the half testified that although the course was new, it was better than previous due to the difficulty level being increased.

    Raising the difficulty level increases the rewards and appreciation not only for not the race course of runs but also of life itself. This weekend was pivotal in many ways for my 50th Birthday Year Celebration Running of Marathons. I was challenged to run longer but only physically but emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially as I sacrificed all that I am and have by serving others. This race isn’t given to the swift or the strong, but to him who endures (let him who have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit of the LORD is saying). I love it when a plan comes together.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    seagroves87 FIRST-TIMER '21

    I initially had a couple days off around this weekend for a trip to California but my plans got canceled and I needed a new plan for my short vacation. … MORE

    I initially had a couple days off around this weekend for a trip to California but my plans got canceled and I needed a new plan for my short vacation. I realized if I ran a marathon this weekend it would be 3 marathons in under 90 days and would qualify me for marathon maniacs so I decided to run one. I was looking for a race ideally in a new state in a location I wanted to spend 4 days. When Tobacco Road announced moving the race from March to this weekend, it sounded perfect. This was a really hard race to produce with local guidelines and the RD and those involved with the race production clearly went above and beyond to make this race happen. The marathon was changed to Saturday and the half kept on Sunday to allow more spacing. I actually ran the race on May 15 not 16. I flew into Raleigh on Friday. Luckily I had Friday off so I could arrive early. Out-of-staters had to go to packet pick-up the day before and show proof of being fully vaccinated or having a negative covid test. Packet pickup worked well. It was outside a running store and went smoothly. I liked that it was outside. Packet included shirt which is a nice, tech shirt. They were pretty spring colors, a light yellow for the full and a light blue for the half. They have the race logo and are a little simple in design but nice. You also got a thing of Gu and a race buff. If you needed anything else you could buy it in the store. I stayed at the host hotel the Embassy suite in the research triangle. It is nice but just a warning it is about a 15 minute drive from the race start. Race start was pretty smooth. This year you signed up for waves from 6am to 8am. The first waves were for people expecting to finish in under 3:30 or over 6:30. I expected to be pretty slow for this race since I somehow have neither fully recovered and tapered nor built up the necessary mileage for a marathon (all my long runs between the 50K and this race were half marathons which you can read the reviews about), but did expect to finish under 6:30 so I choose the next earliest 6:30AM time slot to allow for the course to be open longer and I realized it could potentially be really hot in North Carolina in May so wanted to run when it was cooler. I arrived about 45 minutes early. Parking was easy this year for the marathon but sounds a real pain during regular years. Plenty of porta potties at the start. They ended up letting people from later waves start early and it was more of a rolling start. Not super exciting but there was an announcer and music and it was very safe. Luckily the weather was actually pretty good today. It only got to the mid 70s by the end of the race and the first few hours were perfect running weather. The course is shaped kind of like a T with about 2 miles on roads before taking a right onto the American Tobacco Rail Trail where you then run an out and back and then keep going and run another out and back and then go back on the road for the final 2 miles. They used the regular marathon course this year but the half marathon is a modified course. The miles on the road are a little hilly. Nothing terrible just rollers. The trail is relatively flat but there are some inclines and declines. It is advertised as flat and fast. I wouldn’t quite call it flat but also wouldn’t call it hilly. It is a relatively fast course. If you actually trained and tapered properly you could have a fast time. It’s a pretty area so the road isn’t too bad to look at but the trail is really pretty and the star of the marathon. I really enjoyed running the trail. Mix of crushed limestone and a few paved sections so nice on the joints. It is a very pleasant, peaceful run although a bit monotonous running it for over 20 miles. The trail isn’t the best place for spectators but at all the intersections with roads along the trail there were lots of cheerful spectators. Just know there are some longer stretches without spectators. There were well spaced aid stations but ugh only little water bottles which are a pain and no gels or electrolytes but this was communicated and I was prepared. There was a nice amount of runners running the race so it wasn’t lonely but also well spaced. I actually think out and backs work well during the pandemic so you end up seeing more runners. It heated up a little in the second half but the trail was shaded so stayed pretty cool. The last 2 miles on the road were quite hot especially the uphills. I had a fast first half but kind of bonked out in the second half due to not really training or tapering. I didn’t really set a specific goal just to get an official finishing time so I would qualify for marathon maniacs and ideally finish under 6 hours and I did that. At the finish line you are given your medal. The medal is great. It is huge, specific to the distance and always train themed given the rail trail. This year along with a big train in the middle there is a little train on top that moves along the track. I don’t know if its quite as cool as the super bowl ring but its one of my best medals. Snack selection not the best since you know covid. You get a bag with a kind bar and pretzels and there were also bananas and chocolate milk (blech!) on a table you could grab. Overall I thought this was a really good race: nice and not too difficult course, great production, nice race shirt and nicer medal. Other than being a bit monotonous I have no other complaints. Also seemed to be the safest of all the larger races I have done during covid. I would definitely recommend this for North Carolina. It is a short enough flight I could visit in just a weekend so would actually consider coming back to run it again but probably just the half.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    M_Sohaskey May 17, 2021 at 6:25pm

    Congrats, Amy! Nice milestone (pun intended) and especially during the pandemic. Sounds like you may earn back-to-back train medals if your next scheduled marathon is indeed Steamtown in October. My… MORE

    Congrats, Amy! Nice milestone (pun intended) and especially during the pandemic. Sounds like you may earn back-to-back train medals if your next scheduled marathon is indeed Steamtown in October. My own marathon this past weekend was likewise an out-and-back, which worked out well except when I realized how envious I was of those folks who'd started an hour earlier and were miles ahead of me 😬. Great job posting 3 marathons in less than 3 months, and hopefully some well-deserved recovery time awaits! (By the way, you can change the race date displayed on your Staging Area page by clicking on the pencil icon alongside your entry to edit your review, then changing the date.) LESS

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    seagroves87 May 17, 2021 at 6:35pm

    Thanks! That is helpful to know since there are lots of date changes and multiple day events. Yes my next will be Steamtown (hopefully! Things are looking more and more… MORE

    Thanks! That is helpful to know since there are lots of date changes and multiple day events. Yes my next will be Steamtown (hopefully! Things are looking more and more like it will happen). Going to sort of rest until Steamtown if you consider half marathons rest lol. I do have a 12 hour "ultra" planned with my local running group between then but I'm only planning to run 2 to 3 hours and meet some local runners now that things are more opened up LESS

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    Joann FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race is run primarily on trails that are very easy on the feet and legs. It is located inside North Carolina's "research triangle" which provides unlimited possibilities in hotels, … MORE

    This race is run primarily on trails that are very easy on the feet and legs. It is located inside North Carolina’s “research triangle” which provides unlimited possibilities in hotels, restaurants, etc.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Scott Sabol
    ssabol1562 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is a great race! The first and last 2 miles of the course are on highway with a minor hill. The rest of the race is run on a … MORE

    This is a great race! The first and last 2 miles of the course are on highway with a minor hill. The rest of the race is run on a very flat rail trail. The surface is a soft limestone so it’s easy on the legs. This course could easily bring you a PR or a BQ.

    The swag is great. A standard tech t-shirt and sponsor gift (one year it was socks, this year it was a face cover). Since the race is on a rail trail, it always has a train on it. This year’s was one of their best yet (see photo).

    Post race is a great time as well. They have the usual post race food along with Papa Johns pizza and a local brewery (AMB) providing some post race treats. They also have a results table setup so you can get immediate results.

    Overall this is one of my favorite races when you combine the course, swag and post-race party.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    rcturk262 FIRST-TIMER '19

    Very well organized event. Really enjoyed the course, which had some rolling hills in the first and last 2 miles, but otherwise flat once we got to the trail. Plenty … MORE

    Very well organized event. Really enjoyed the course, which had some rolling hills in the first and last 2 miles, but otherwise flat once we got to the trail. Plenty of aid stations and good crowd support. A nice finishing area with a good post race party. As an added nice touch, Boston Marathon qualifiers received a “Boston Qualifier” shirt. All runners received a tech running shirt and an impressive finisher medal. All in all, a great race and one I highly recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    ivy1238 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    My 2nd time running this half marathon. Most are on the greenway and relatively flat (nothing is really flat around the area except the greenways). Full and half marathoners start … MORE

    My 2nd time running this half marathon. Most are on the greenway and relatively flat (nothing is really flat around the area except the greenways). Full and half marathoners start at the same time so it can get congested. Overall, an okay race. Lots of vendors and free food/drink after.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    abbjmc FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race is well run but low key. Don't expect a ton of spectators, and the course on the rail trail is a bit boring. But it's flat and fast … MORE

    This race is well run but low key. Don’t expect a ton of spectators, and the course on the rail trail is a bit boring. But it’s flat and fast and you might just PR or BQ.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    kt.eller FIRST-TIMER '17

    My first half, TR was a great start to my racing history! It was very organized, clear communication, and an easily navigable race experience for a first-timer! Course was flat … MORE

    My first half, TR was a great start to my racing history! It was very organized, clear communication, and an easily navigable race experience for a first-timer! Course was flat and fast, some trails.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    Jenlovestorun FIRST-TIMER '17

    I don't like out and back and that is pretty much all this race is - down one trail and back; go across the street onto another trail and follow … MORE

    I don’t like out and back and that is pretty much all this race is – down one trail and back; go across the street onto another trail and follow that back to the road; nice expo and nice area for traveling

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    MadelynMarino FIRST-TIMER '11

    I completed this race in 2011. The weather was not on my side for this race; it was cold and drizzly. The race started at 7am. The course is an … MORE

    I completed this race in 2011.
    The weather was not on my side for this race; it was cold and drizzly. The race started at 7am. The course is an out and back course with a mixture of streets and trails. A portion of the race goes through the American Tobacco Trail which was used to transport Tobacco in the past. This was a very cool portion of the race. However, please note once you entered the trail there were NO Port-a-potties.
    This was a smaller race which provided a unique experience. Despite its smaller size it was a fun race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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  1. Races
  2. Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon