Race #245 – Tobacco Road Half Marathon – Raleigh, NC – 03/16/14


  • Well organized. Excellent communication before the race so there were no surprises.
  • Buses to race site were great. Basically no waiting and no lines. Fill a bus up and go!
  • 200′ x 60′ tent erected the day before the race “just in case it rains.” (It was spectacular!)
  • Great food (pizza, hot soup, chocolate milk, lots more).
  • Mostly flat but there were a few inclines.
  • Lots of “Free Race Pics” in addition to professional photography from Capstone Photo.
  • Plenty of volunteers who did a good job with everything I could see.
  • Great finisher medals for both the marathon and half marathon.
  • Lots of porta potties (No long lines).
  • In addition to the technical fabric T-shirt, all runners received a free pair of calf sleeves.


  • Parking. There were 900 parking spaces on site that sold out for $10 each. Definitely worth it so you could have your car there, but as mentioned above, the buses were handled beautifully both before and after the race.
  • No corrals at start (with thousands of runners it would be a good idea).
  • It’s not a trail race, but a good portion of the race is on an unpaved (but smooth) trail. It was dry and no problem at all, but might have been a mess in wet weather.
  • No Grand Masters or Senior Grand Masters awards (would be nice in a big race)

I started out with friends Dianne and Birgitt, who both won age group awards.
We were way back in the pack at the beginning of the race and it was too crowded to
get closer to the starting line. Of course we took time to pose for a photo. 

Click Here for Race Results

My Stats:

Time:  1:38:06 (chip time)
Pace:  7:29
Age Group:  1 of  28
Overall:  143 of  2351 (6.1%)
Average Heart Rate:  170
Maximum Heart Race:  191 (probably not right… I think I got a bad reading)
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  1:17:53 (76.03%)

This is a photo from “Free Race Pics” at 3 miles into the race.


3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
2 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
5 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
2 – Course Scenery:  (0)bad  (2)pleasant  (5)extraordinary
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
5 – Finish line: (0)mediocre  (2)not bad  (5)very good  (7)spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

2 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
0 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
2 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

5 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent ($17,000 total prize money)
5 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
5 – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals

10 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
8 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes

2 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful
0 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
2 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
2 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

0 – Close to Start:  (2)yes  (0)no  (900 paid spaces filled quickly at $10)
0 – Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no
0 – Plenty of spaces:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Free Parking:  (2)yes  (0)no  (Off site)

2 – Dedicated race website (0)no  (2)yes
2 – Results or link to results posted on website:  (0)no  (2)yes

2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
5 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (2)yes, some  (5)excellent (Calf sleeves for everybody)
0 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (2)yes

TOTAL:  112

All age group award winners received a really nice athletic bag embroidered with the Tobacco Road Marathon logo.

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