Sunday, April 11, 2021 • Hancock, MD • Course Map
Set for its 7th 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 April — snow is still possible this time of year — with record temperatures during the month as low as 15ºF (in 1969) and as high as 94ºF (in 1960).
On race day (April 11), the average low is 36ºF and the average high is 64ºF.
- 2019 Western Maryland Rail Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Western Maryland Rail Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Western Maryland Rail Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Western Maryland Rail Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Western Maryland Rail Trail Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Western Maryland Rail Trail Half Marathon Results
- 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 2021 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.