Francis Marion Dirt Dash Half Marathon

Saturday, September 8, 2018 • Charleston, SC • Course Map

Note: This race is now known as The Dirt Dash Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K. View information for 2018 and beyond here.

Nestled among the lush pine forests and swamps and marshes filled with wildlife inside the nearly 259,000-acre Francis Marion National Forest that lies just to the northeast of Charleston here along the South Carolina coast, the tiny fishing town of Awendaw plays host to the annual late-summer Francis Marion Dirt Dash Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K.

A race that takes runners along the wooded trails inside the forest, the half marathon and the 5K take runners and walkers — the half marathon is open to runners only, while the 5K is open to both runners and walkers — on a tour of a huge forest that has lived through one of the nation’s most damaging and historic weather events of the past half-century, the impact of Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

More than a third of the forest’s trees were leveled in the hurricane, which swept through the state leaving tens of millions of dollars in damage to property, homes and businesses in its wake.

Since then, the forest has been painstakingly recovering through intensely focused forest management to pare down the excess vegetation that has grown up since the storm, reducing the risk of massive forest fires.

Before the race starts, runners and walkers gather at the Sewee Visitor Center — named for the tribe of Native Americans who once lived in this area, and gave the town its name “Awendaw” — just outside the forest, and are then transported to the starting line in the forest, where the half marathon will start.

Race Weather & Climate

Located along the Atlantic coastline of South Carolina’s lowcountry region, roughly 30 miles northeast of Charleston, Awendaw typically sees warm weather in early September, which has brought record temperatures here as low as 42°F (in 1967) and as high as 100°F (in 1944).

On race day (Sep. 8), the average low is 69ºF and the average high is 87ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Francis Marion Dirt Dash Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

7:30 AM


  • $50 and up for the half marathon


To reserve your spot in the 2018 running of Awendaw’s Francis Marion Dirt Dash Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K or 5K, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Francis Marion Dirt Dash? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: September, South Carolina

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