Hello and welcome to my race report for the 2015 Rehoboth Beach Marathon.
The Rehoboth Beach Marathon took place on December 5th, 2015. Overall, the race went very well. The course was beautiful and the weather was perfect for running.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware is a nice little beach town. I am not sure if it was just because of the race, but the downtown boardwalk area on Rehoboth Avenue was still surprisingly active for December, which is well past the summer peak season. Plenty of shops and restaurants were still open. According to Wikipedia and the 2010 census, the year-round population of Rehoboth Beach is only 1327. However, that number swells to 25,000 during the peak summer months.
Overall, there were about 2500 people that finished the marathon and half marathon (929 for the marathon and 1589 for the half marathon, according to the results page). That doesn’t count the volunteers, workers, and other supporters. So while not anywhere near peak season, it is not an insignificant increase for one weekend. Just like the Outer Banks Marathon, I imagine these off-season races provide a nice little boost to the local economy.
We stayed at the Hyatt Place in Dewey Beach, which is about 2.5 miles (10 minute drive) from the start of the race on Rehoboth Avenue. The Hyatt Place Dewey Beach is a very nice dog friendly hotel and we enjoyed our stay there.
Race packet pick-up was in a temporary outside tent on Rehoboth Avenue. Overall, it was fairly straightforward and easy. We picked up our packet the Friday evening before the race. Race day packet pick-up is also available.
At the pick-up, you also get a wristband, which will allow you to enter the race after-party. The after-party is included for runners, but additional wristbands are available to purchase for $20.
The race starts on the main boardwalk in the downtown area on Rehoboth Avenue and finishes just off the same road. The start and finish are about a half mile apart, so there are no shuttle buses to contend with. Parking on Rehoboth Avenue is an option, but it appeared full when we arrived. However, we didn’t have a problem finding a parking spot right off of Rehoboth Avenue. The starting line is crowded, so be sure to get there early if you want a last minute restroom opportunity and to get to the front of the starting line.
After the first mile down Rehoboth Avenue and through a small neighborhood, the course heads down Ocean Drive for a nice view of the early morning sun rise over the Atlantic.
At mile 3 through 8, the course follows a few trails through the Gordon Pond Wildlife Area and Cape Henlopen State Park. This is really the highlight of the course. The area is very scenic and beautiful.
The course then exits the state park and follows Cape Henlopen Dr. for a few miles before doubling back at about mile 10. A different trail is taken back through the state park and then the course joins its original path through the Gordon Pond Wildlife Area and Ocean Drive.
After going through some small neighborhoods, the course enters the Junction and Breakwater Trail at about mile 20. This is also a very scenic part of the course.
At a little over mile 22, the course doubles back and returns to downtown Rehoboth Beach to the finish line right off of Rehoboth Avenue.
Overall, the Rehoboth Beach Marathon course was very nice. It is a flat course, so it has the potential to be very fast. However, there are some tight turn-arounds, some trails, and a few narrow paths where you will face oncoming runners, which could slow one down slightly. There were also ample restroom opportunities and aid stations with water and gatorade on the course.
I decided to run this race with my wife rather than attempt for a personal record. It was probably smart for me to take it easy anyway considering I had just run the JFK 50 Mile two weeks prior. But overall, I felt good during the race. We finished in about 4 hours and 38 minutes.
Post Race Activities aka “After-Party”
The Rehoboth Beach Marathon after-party is probably the best I have encountered. There is all you can eat food such as pancakes, bacon, hamburgers, hotdogs, BBQ, and potato salad, just to name a few of the items. There is also all you can drink refreshments, coffee, and beer. Again, this is all included for runners and $20 for guests. Not a bad deal.
The after-party takes place both in the temporary tent next to the finish line and on the top deck of The Cultured Pearl restaurant next door on Rehoboth Avenue. There is food, music, and drinks in the outside tent and food and drinks on the top level of The Cultured Pearl.
The outside tent was temporarily out of beer when we finished the marathon, so we went to the top of The Cultured Pearl for drinks after eating. Also, as a sign I may be getting old, I thought the music in the outside tent was way too loud. It was so loud, it was almost painful. The top deck of The Cultured Pearl was much more peaceful and relaxing. The Cultured Pearl ran out of beer cups at one point, so they started providing beer in bottles. Hanging out with drinks on the top deck of The Cultured Pearl was a great way to relax after the race, despite it starting to get a little chilly.
I am not sure if or when the outside tent received more beer, but it did not appear that there was any shortage of food and drinks overall.
For a GPS watch during this race, I used BOTH my Garmin fenix 3 and Suunto Ambit 3 Peak. I did this to compare GPS accuracy. Check out my reviews at the links above and my comparison post. I also wore the Pearl Izumi EM Road N1 V2 shoe, which felt great. Check out my review for that as well.
In summary, I really enjoyed the Rehoboth Beach Marathon and would not hesitate to recommend it or run it again. The course is very enjoyable and scenic and the after-party is awesome.
I hope this race recap was both interesting and informative. Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. Thanks for reading.