Sunday, November 8, 2020 • Nags Head, NC • Course Map
Known for its mixture of fast and flat stretches through unspoiled coastal wilderness and a steep, challenging run over the Washington-Baum Bridge that links the island with the mainland, the Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon takes runners on a scenic tour of this remote stretch of North Carolina’s Atlantic coastline.
The race — which has grown in popularity in just three years on the state’s race calendar, with more than 4,000 finishers in all races combined in 2016, including more than 2,000 in the half marathon alone — follows a point-to-point course that, for the full marathon, starts in Kitty Hawk and finishes in nearby Manteo, just across the bridge from Nags Head. Runners in the half marathon will start their race at the mid-way point of the full marathon, and follow the same course in to the finish line in Manteo.
Along the route for the half marathon route — nicknamed the “Southern Fried Half,” and which starts just off Highway 158 on Baltic Street, between Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head — runners will encounter a largely flat course for the race’s first eight miles.
The first couple of miles are completely flat and unfold through Jockey’s Ridge State Park, which organizers note is home to the largest sand dune anywhere on the East Coast, and where runners are likely to see hang gliders flying through the air above.
The next several miles are largely flat as well, and take runners through a combination of residential neighborhoods — including a winding stretch through a golf course — and commercial areas, and offer views of the water out on Shallowbag Bay as runners make their way southward toward the bridge.
And as runners are passing the mile 9 marker in the half marathon — and the mile 22 marker for the full marathon — that’s when the “fun” begins, as the course makes a steep climb to bring you up onto the Washington-Baum Bridge.
This stretch is indeed a jump in elevation, organizers note, as runners will experience a roughly 35-ft. rise in elevation to the peak on the bridge, which is just over a mile long.
What goes up definitely comes down, however, and runners will experience a welcome downhill as they head over into Manteo, and should also be able to see fishing boats streaming through the water on their way out to the ocean.
After runners make their way over the bridge, the final couple of miles of the half marathon (and the full marathon) bring runners into picturesque downtown Manteo, a tiny coastal town nestled along the shore of Roanoke Island. Here, the race finish line lies along Manteo’s Fernando Street, near its Maritime Museum.
Runners can run the 5K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday (which organizers are calling the Rum Runner Challenge) or the 8K on Saturday followed by the 13.1-mile race on Sunday.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled along the remote Outer Banks shoreline of North Carolina, just north of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and about 200 miles east of Raleigh, Nags Head typically sees November temperatures that average between 48°F and 63°F, and rainfall totals average about 3.4 inches for the month.
On race day (Nov. 8), the average low is 49ºF and the average high is 64ºF.
- 2019 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Southern Fried Half Marathon Results
- 7:00 AM – half marathon
- 7:20 AM – full marathon
- $75 and up for the half marathon
- $95 and up for the full marathon
- prices subject to increase as race day approaches
To reserve your spot in the 2020 running of the Outer Banks Marathon & Southern Fried Half Marathon, register online at RaceIt.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Southern Fried Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.