Popular Coastal Running Events
With scenic views and popular trails, it’s no wonder that coastal Delaware communities offer some of the best locations for running. Each year, running clubs, local businesses and area nonprofits put together some of the state’s most popular marathons, half marathons and 5K’s, with proceeds staying right in the community. Check out some of these local favorites!
Hair of the Dog: Each year, Bethany Beach rings in the New Year with its Hair of the Dog run/walk. Hosted by The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation, the event features a 5K run and one-mile walk, both live and virtual. Dogs are also allowed to participate in the one-mile event!
Surfin’ Snowman 5-Mile Run: Held each February, the Surfin’ Snowman raises money for local causes, including the Bethany Beach Vol. Fire Company, Justin’s Beach House and Contractors for a Cause. In addition to a five-mile run, participants can take part in a two-mile walk. Registrants receive long-sleeved T-shirts and glow wear.
Shamrock Shuffle: The Seashore Striders holds its Shamrock Shuffle each year at Cape Henlopen State Park. Centered around Gordon’s Pond Trail, participants can choose between a 10-mile and 5K course, or a two-person relay. Proceeds benefit Seashore Striders’ charities.
Bunny Palooza: The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation hosts its annual Bunny Palooza, a 5K run and one-mile walk event in Bethany Beach. The event also features a Kiddie Dash prior to the 5K run. Virtual participation is also available.
Coastal Delaware Running Festival: The Coastal Delaware Running Festival is a Boston-qualifier event held over two days. In addition to a 5K and 9K, the festival features a half marathon and full marathon. All four courses begin and end on the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk and traverses through numerous state park paths and landmarks. The event also includes complimentary beer, food and music. Proceeds benefit the Delaware Seashore Preservation Foundation and other local charities.
Race4Warriors 5K & Half Marathon: Race4Warriors supports wounded warriors and homeless veterans through its charitable races. Open to participants of all ages, the annual event is held on several beaches, including Fort Miles’ Parade Field, Cape Henlopen State Park and Rehoboth Beach. Race4Warriors is divided into a 5K and half marathon, and participants can compete in a run, race-walk or military march (a trail race with a 15-pound pack).
Seashore Half Marathon: Held in Lewes, the Seashore Half Marathon benefits the James J. Kiernan Memorial Scholarship. In addition to the half marathon, participants can take part in a two-person, half-marathon relay and 5K.
Justin’s Beach House 5K: Justin’s Beach House 5K and two-mile walk is held in downtown Bethany Beach. All participants receive a custom finishers medal, as well as a commemorative shirt. Proceeds from this event benefit the Justin Jenning’s Foundation and Justin’s Beach House.
SoDel Cares 5K: While it is a relatively new event, SoDel Cares 5K attracts hundreds of participants each year. The 5K also includes a one-mile, non-competitive walk. Participants can also take part in a post-race party. The event is held in Rehoboth Beach.
Jungle Jim’s 5K Splash: Jungle Jim’s 5K Splash is one of the more popular beach races. The flat, fast course cuts through the Country Club of Rehoboth Beach, and proceeds benefit the Children’s Beach House of Lewes.
Dave Reynolds Swim/Run Biathlon: Named after Dave Reynolds, a former member of the Rehoboth Beach Patrol, the annual Rehoboth biathlon features a 5K run and five-mile ocean swim. The event also features a youth biathlon for kids ages 12 and under. Youth participants complete a 100-yard swim and 400-yard beach run. Proceeds benefit the Dave Reynolds Scholarship.
Race For The Ribbon: Race For the Ribbon is a 5K run that raises money for families affected by cancer. The course cuts through the Country Club of Rehoboth Beach, with the final 800 meters heading east toward the Atlantic Ocean.
Beebe Heroes 5K: Held in Lewes, the Beebe Heroes 5K run/walk raises money for the Beebe Foundation. The course loops through the Town of Lewes, just east of the canal.
RBVFC Fire Fightin’ 5K: The RBVFC Fire Fightin’ 5K features a flat course that begins and ends at the fire station and runs through the Town of Rehoboth Beach. Awards will be presented by age and category. Proceeds benefit the Rehoboth Beach Vol. Fire Company.
Ronald McDonald House of Delaware 5K: Join the Ronald McDonald House for a 5K event in Lewes. Hosted at Irish Eyes, the run/walk event features family friendly activities and a post-race party.
Dewey Goes Pink 5K: Each year, thousands of participants run in the Dewey Goes Pink 5K. With nearly $1 million raised, organizers have been able to support breast cancer awareness campaigns in the region.
Fenwick-Bethany Turkey Trot: The Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot is a two-mile fun run and walk around downtown Bethany Beach. Participants receive event T-shirts, and the overall male and female winner will receive a pie. Dress up in your best Thanksgiving costumes for additional prizes. Proceeds benefit the Bethany Beach Vol. Fire Company.
Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon: The Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon is an annual event that raises funds for several local charities. This Boston Marathon qualifying event cuts through Gordon’s Pond, Grove Park and Cape Henlopen State Park areas. The race begins at the Rehoboth Beach bandstand.
Run With Santa 5K: Held at Cape Henlopen State Park, the Christmas-centric 5K encourages participants to don their Santa suits and run or walk for Toys4Tots.