Summary

The Coastal Delaware Running Festival is a fun, fast half marathon. Great views along the ocean and through the state park. Festive atmosphere around the finish line. Good food and beer at the party after.
Posted Jun 07, 2022
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Pros
  • Flat Course
  • Great Views
  • Good Afterparty
Cons
  • Weak Crowd Support in Middle of the Race
  • Shorter Races Start First, You'll Go By Slower Runners
  • Half the Course is on Packed Dirt Trails

Coastal Delaware Running Festival

The Coastal Delaware Running Festival is a collection of distance events in April at Rehobeth Beach. The festival includes a full marathon, a half marathon, a 9k, and a 5k.

The course is flat, and much of it is scenic. The half marathon course starts on the boardwalk, goes through a state park, and finishes back on the boardwalk. The views are enjoyable throughout, and the park offered some shade in the middle of the race.

The race was very well organized. Three events (9k, half, and marathon) happened on the same day. The start times were staggered, and the events started punctually. The half marathon start had a separate corral for runners who planned to run under 8 minutes per mile. This helped separate the faster runners from the slower runners. It was based on the honor system, but worked well to allow the faster runners to get ahead of the large crowd.

The race included some nice swag (a comfortable cotton tee shirt, a branded pint glass) and a great finishing party (pizza and beer at Grotto Pizza). Runners eat free, and you can buy tickets for anyone who came to watch you run. Photos were taken along the course and delivered for free shortly after the event.

There was great crowd support on the boardwalk near the start and finish line. However, this thinned out during the middle part of the course. It was quiet for much of the race through the state park. Not a great choice if you rely on or expect strong crowd support along the entire route.

The festival is located in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. It's a quaint little shore town, and there are plenty of small hotels within walking distance of the start line. It's a nice place to enjoy a weekend getaway along with your race. It's early enough in the year that the beaches are crowded, but it's late enough that the weather is still nice. You can enjoy walking through downtown, eating along the boardwalk, and sitting on the beach.

Experience

I ran the half marathon at the Coastal Delaware Running Festival in 2022, and I finished in 1:32:58. You can read a full race report of my experience here.

I thoroughly enjoyed the race. My wife and I arrived in Rehobeth on Friday afternoon, and we spent a leisurely weekend at the shore. There are some nice restaurants and a lively downtown for shopping.

My hotel was about three blocks from the start line. This made it easy to show up on time the morning of the race. I pushed my way through the packed crowd to get to the first corral for the faster runners, and that helped us get out ahead of the masses.

I enjoyed running through the state park, and the fews were great. The shade from the trees helped make the middle of the race more bearable, since it was a sunny day. The energy on the boardwalk at the finish was great, and I enjoyed the pizza at the party afterwards.

I finished my race around 9:30, and the party lasted until the mid afternoon. After I watched some of the other half marathon runners finish, I had plenty of time to go back to my hotel, take a quick shower, check out, and head over to the finishers party. By the time we got there, the bulk of the marathon crowd was starting to finish so there was a steady stream of finishers coming in. There was a live stream of the finish line in the restaurant, which made for a nice atmosphere throughout the afternoon.

I would definitely recommend this event to anyone looking for a spring half or full marathon.

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Brian Rock
West Orange, New Jersey
5 Followers
1 Following

I ran on and off for a long time, but I've gotten more serious about it in the last few years. In early 2020, I committed to...

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