New River Marathon, Half Marathon, 4-Mile & 1-Mile

Saturday, October 2, 2021 • Fleetwood, NC • Course Map

The serene, peaceful beauty of the western North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains — the home of wintertime ski destinations like Sugar and Beech Mountains as well as year-round camping and hiking destinations like the nearby Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests — will be on display as the New River races make their 9th annual running along the banks of the river of the same name.

Runners taking part in the race will pass by small farms, country churches and Christmas tree farms along the way, all of which this part of western North Carolina is known for.

In past years the race was run in nearby Todd, a small mountain community here that has seen boom and bust periods over the past two centuries since it was first settled in the late 18th century, and most of its businesses and residents had packed up and moved away following the Great Depression and a devastating flood that hit the town in the early 1940s.

Since then, it has moved to Boone and later Fleetwood, which at roughly 3,000 feet above sea level provides a refreshing getaway for residents of nearby bigger cities, with cooler temperatures and a slower pace of living.

Following the start near Pleasant Ridge Nursery in Fleetwood, runners head out on gravel roads and a brief out-and-back portion along Jordan Road before starting the loop around Fleetwood and nearby Todd. Much of the first half runs along nearby Mill Creek before reaching the winding New River. Much of the course’s second half follows New River.

The course then winds its way back toward Fleetwood, taking runners along Railroad Grade Road and Call Creek Road before crossing the finish line.

Runners can expect mostly paved roads with a few gravel stretches, and the hilliest stretches occur in the race’s first three miles.

Scenes from last year’s race

All photos courtesy New River Marathon

Race Weather & Climate

Nestled among the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in western North Carolina, just under 100 miles northeast of Asheville and about 120 miles northwest of Charlotte, Todd typically sees cool to mild (and sometimes cold, especially in the mornings) weather in October, which brings temperatures that average between the low 40s and the low 70s.

On race day (Oct. 2), the average low is 42°F and the average high is 69°F.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the New River Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 7:30 AM – full marathon
  • 7:45 AM – half marathon
  • 8:00 AM – 4-mile

Course Time Limits

  • 5 hours, 45 minutes – half marathon
  • 6 hours – full marathon
  • Walkers welcome in the half marathon and 4-mile


  • $60 – $85 for the half marathon
  • $80 – $110 for the full marathon
  • $28 – $38 for the 4-mile


To reserve your spot in the fall 2021 running of Todd’s New River Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at here.

Official Race Website

Facebook Conversations

Ever run in the New River Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races — $50 or Less, Walker Friendly, North Carolina

0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment