Frequently Asked Questions -

Frequently Asked Questions

13Where does the race start and finish and where is packet pickup?

Start: Johnny Mercer Pier, Wrightsville Beach, NC

Finish: Live Oak Bank Pavilion, Downtown Wilmington

You must pick up your packet at the Expo or reserve our morning pickup option.

Expo/Packet Pickup: Wilmington Convention Center

How can I be sure I get all of the race updates, course information, logistics, and price increases?

Sign up for our email list! This is the best way to stay up to date on the latest marathon information. If you are not receiving race emails, please email the director with a valid email. Also follow us on social media. We post updates on Facebook and Instagram.

Are there any discounts?

If you are active military or a veteran, please email us with your military email or a copy of your ID to If you are a student in high school or college, email us with your student email or ID. If you are a group or run club bringing several runners, email us with the details and we will issue you a group link with group rates. Also follow us on social media! It’s there we share holiday specials and giveaways.

Can I pick up my packet on race day?

No. All packets must be picked up at the expo on the days leading up to the race. The packet pickup schedule is as follows:

The Thursday before race day, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Friday before race day, 12:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

If you cannot make it during the scheduled times, you may designate a friend or family member to pick up your packet. If you cannot make it during the scheduled times, you may designate a friend or family member to pick up your packet. Packet pickup on the morning of race day should be considered a last resort, and you can purchase the Bib ONLY option here if needed. By selecting this option, you are not guaranteed a shirt in your size.

How does the marathon relay work?

A relay team can have two to four members. Each participant is responsible for getting to and from the exchange point (see the relay course map to view exchange point locations). There is parking available at all of the relay exchange points. Each relay leg is between six to seven miles long. We recommend that one person drives to an exchange point and the runner finishing will then drive that car to the finish. All relay details will be sent to you on race week!  Details are listed in your athlete guide that you will receive the week before the race.

Can someone else run in my place?

No. It is against USATF rules and the race rules to participate for another runner. You can transfer your entry to another runner on the website or at the expo.

Where should my family watch?

You can watch your runner anywhere between miles three and five on Eastwood Road. Park on the West bound lane heading downtown. We recommend relocating downtown to watch the rest of the race. There should not be many traffic stops heading toward downtown as the race is on the counterflow side of the street. Please read the spectator section in the athlete guide for more information. Our athlete guide is released the week before the race.


  1. Bike next to your Runner
  2. Cut across the street – use designated crosswalks instead
  3. Stop on any highways

What time do the races start?

  • 1-mile: Friday 6:15 p.m.
  • 5K: Saturday 7:10 a.m.
  • Half-Marathon, Marathon, and Marathon Relay: Saturday 7:00 a.m.

What kind of swag is given to the runners?

All marathon, half marathon and relay runners will receive a soft, athletic-fit t-shirt manufactured by Without Limits and a finisher medal. The participants in the 5K and Glow Run also receive a t-shirt and a medal.

Can I get a refund, transfer, or defer?

Yes. You can transfer your entry to another runner. Alternatively, you can defer your entry to the following year for a $20 fee. The deadline for this is February 1.

I bought the $8 race insurance. How do I make a claim?

If you purchased event registration insurance and have a question or claim, please contact Allianz Global Assistance as follows:

To manage your policy or file a claim, visit:

If you have questions regarding your insurance, please contact Allianz Global Assistance at 1-888-497-6987.

Can I wear headphones?

It is unsafe to wear headphones while running, however, event organizers do not restrict headphone use and leave it up to the athlete on his/ her ability to follow direction while wearing headphone devices. If you do choose to wear headphones please keep the volume level down so you are able to hear and follow the direction of course volunteers. We have a unique course where you MUST listen to volunteers.  If you cannot hear a volunteer you have no excuses if you get led off-course.

How do I get to the start?

You can park in any legal space in downtown Wilmington, NC and take the shuttle to the start.  The shuttle will pick up runners on Harnett Street between Front and 3rd. MAP IT. You can also get dropped off at the start by anyone.  Lastly you can park at the beach in any legal parking space, and we will have limited shuttles running until 1:30pm after the race from Harnett and 3rd back to Wrightsville Beach Park.  During registration, please answer the question if you are taking our shuttles or using your own transportation.  That way we can plan for the proper number of buses.

Please select what option you plan to use during the QUESTION SECTION in your registration.  You can change that option anytime by logging into your account.

  1. Use our shuttles
  2. Get dropped off
  3. Park near the start and use post-race shuttles
  4. Carpool with friends and have one car downtown and one car at the start

Where do I get on the race shuttle and how does it run?

The shuttle will pick up runners on Harnett Street between Front and 3rd. You can park in any legal space in downtown Wilmington, NC.  Shuttles will also take you from the finish back to the start.  Shuttles will run from 4:00 am until 6:00am and then after the race from 8am to 1:15pm taking runners back to the beach if needed. Please let us know if you plan to take the shuttle by answering that question appropriately during registration.

Is there a bag drop at the start?

Yes. We have bag drop on Friday at the finish line from 1pm to 7pm or Saturday at the start. We do not recommend you put any valuable in your bag such as keys, wallets, or cell phones

What are the course cutoffs?

  • 3:15:00 for the Half Marathon
  • 6:20:00 for the Full Marathon
  • Mile 3 – 7:45am – 15:00 pace
  • Mile 6.5 8:30am – 15:00 pace
  • Mile 10 – 9:30am – 15:00 pace – hard cutoff
  • Mile 19.2 – 12:10pm – 14:30 pace

What food will I receive at the finish line?

Water and a Banana in the finish chute. Goodies from Lidl and Nothing Bundt Cakes. Beer and Food in the Athlete zone after you walk through the chute.

What food and drinks will be on course?

There will be eight Aid stations on course. The first four will be hit once for the half and full, and then next four will be hit twice for the full only. Half marathoners will have access to four aid stations and full marathoners 12.  We recommend you carry your own fluid bottles and nutrition if you need to reduce touch points on course.

We will have water, Gatorade, and GU Gels on course

What kind of awards and medals are given?

Top 3 male and female finishers as well as top 3 masters male and masters female will receive a cash prize in both the half and full marathon. Medals will be given to all half and full marathon finishers along with marathon relay finishers and 5K/1-mile finishers. Age group awards will also be given to the following age divisions: 14 and under,15-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+   Overall awards for top 3 will be given at the race finish.  Age group awards will need to be picked up at the information booth at the finish line.  If you need to leave early you can pickup your award at the awards tent.  Any awards not picked up on race day, can have their award mailed for a fee.

Where is the best place to park?

Parking in downtown Wilmington is plentiful. You must park in a legal space, parking deck or parking meter. You can also park in any legal space in Wrightsville Beach.  The best lot to park in downtown is the big parking deck on Brunswick St. between Front and 2nd Street.

What is Race Day Traffic Going to be Like?

The race will take up one lane from Wrightsville Beach to Downtown. There will be traffic slowdowns and detours but with an additional 15-20 minutes you can drive around the race.

Can I transfer from the full to half, or half to full?

February 10th is the final day to transfer to another race or to another runner. You can transfer to another race and pay the difference in price if the price is higher. There is a $10 transfer fee.  You can also transfer at the expo, there is a $20 transfer fee at the expo.

Is the marathon a Boston qualifier?

ABSOLUTELY!  The Wilmington NC Marathon is one of the top races in the country to qualify for Boston.  We try to put together a fast field so there is a better chance to qualify and get a fast time.  Our course is flat and has enough variation to keep you engaged. After the race, we turn in all our results to the BAA. Both half and full marathon are certified courses and sanctioned by USATF.

If I cannot make packet pickup, what are my options for getting my number?

You may have someone pick up your packet from the expo on Friday OR pay $20 to request special pickup on Saturday morning.

Are walkers, baby joggers, or pets allowed in the race?

You can walk if you meet course cutoff times. This typically involves a walk/run method.

There are no baby joggers or pets allowed.

Can I register at the expo?

YES! If the event is not sold out, we take onsite registration. We DO NOT take registration on race morning.

Can I Run with my child for the 1 mile?

We kindly request that parents refrain from running with their kids during the race. With over 500 children participating, allowing parents to run as well would introduce several hundred additional people onto the course alongside the kids. If your child is unable to complete a mile without a parent, we ask that you reconsider signing them up for the race

What is the course elevation?

Max elevation is 40ft above sea level.

How do I do virtual run?

The virtual run may be completed anytime and anywhere if you cover the race distance. After you complete the distance, submit your finisher time to our website results page. There will be a link on that page that says, “submit virtual results here.” The deadline for submission is at midnight on race day. After the live event, we will mail a t-shirt and finisher medal to you.