Western Maryland Rail Trail Marathon & Half Marathon

Sunday, October 15, 2023 • Hancock, MDCourse Map

Set for its 9th annual running this year, the Western Maryland Rail Trail Marathon & Half Marathon takes runners along this beautifully picturesque former railroad trail near Hancock, with high rock cliff faces and plentiful tree shade hanging over the course.

Runners start the out-and-back course for the race on the Western Maryland Rail Trail, a rails-to-trails project that features 21 miles of paved asphalt trails along what was once the Western Maryland Railroad. The starting line lies near the C&O Bicycle shop at Pennsylvania Avenue, and from there runners head southwest along the trail.

Now a popular trail among locals for jogging, walking, biking and hiking, the trail stretches from Hancock roughly 10 miles eastward to Fort Frederick State Park, and westward to the area known as Polly’s Pond.

Canopied by trees throughout the race, the trail follows the waters of both the Potomac River and the C&O Canal and takes runners out from the park to 6.55 miles — near Deneen Road — where runners then turn around and head back to the park for the race finish.

Those running the half marathon will make a single out-and-back — the half marathon finish line lies at Pennsylvania Avenue — while those running the full marathon will turn around and make a second out-and-back before crossing the finish line.

Race Weather & Climate

Located in northern Maryland, just south of the state line with Pennsylvania and just under 100 miles northwest of Baltimore, Hancock typically sees cool to mild weather in October with temperatures typically ranging from the high 30s to the high 60s.

On race day (Oct. 15), the average low is 42ºF and the average high is 64ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Western Maryland Rail Trail Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 7:30 AM – full marathon
  • 8:00 AM – half marathon
  • 8:15 AM – 10K

Course Time Limit

  • 6.5 hours – half marathon
  • 7 hours – full marathon


See race website


To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Hancock’s Western Maryland Rail Trail Marathon, Half Marathon or 10K race, register online at the event website here.

Official Race Website



Ever run in the Western Maryland Rail Trail Half? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: October, Maryland

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