The 10 Best Road Races in Delaware!

In the small state of Delaware, we have some running races and marathons that are big in excitement. These races come in many shapes and forms. Some are for sport, others for charity. Some cater to the kiddies. Others are designed for top-notch athletes. Here's a look at our favorite running races in Delaware.

1. The Delaware Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s Teal Ribbon 5K, Wilmington, DE

Proceeds from this popular race benefit ovarian cancer funding in the way of research, awareness and knowledge. This is an early morning flat run or walk design for dedicated runners and novice strutters alike. Attendees can look forward to a myriad of prices, t-shirts and post-race refreshments, all of which are available while supplies last. One of the most impressive features of this race is the fact that it features awards for ovarian cancer survivors and gifts the people who placed the highest pledges. The Teal Ribbon has been a tried Wilmington tradition for several years and the organization behind it is affiliated with several other cancer-oriented events like the Survivor’s Tea and the Teal Ribbon Silent Auction.

2. Rehoboth Run-for-the-Books 5K, Rehoboth, DE

If you like to go the extra mile for children's education and you're looking for a brand-new way to race, the annual Rehoboth Beach Run-for-the-Books 5K is an excellent place to take off from. Not only does your registration fee go toward one-third of the local public library’s funding, but this race pulls out all the stops in terms of amenities. The ambience is beachy, breezy and beautiful and the pace is yours to set. Walkers, runners and teams stand to win from a grand arsenal of prizes. Other perks include an after-race party, a taco breakfast bar and t-shirts.

3. XTERRA Brandywine 5K & 12K, Wilmington, DE

Serious marathoners can enjoy a scenic 12K jaunt along the Brandywine in mid-March if they choose to attend this Wilmington event. This riveting race is a part of the Atlantic Trail Running Series in an effort to promote a healthier lifestyle. Expect mayhem—hills, mud and river crossing, not to mention awards if you can roll through the rocks and make it out in the top three. This event rewards early registrants with sizable discounts on admission so if you’re considering signing up, you’ll definitely want to be the early bird.

4. Zombie 5K at Mispillion River Brewing, Milford, DE

If you have a sense of humor about racing and a thing for shows like “The Walking Dead,” this novelty run is sure to get your guts in gear. In this event, there are two types of participants—starters who don human attire and finishers who come dressed as zombies. Chase or be chased at the start of the run and stick around for the exhilarating after party. This race made headlines last year for its sheer uniqueness and it’s a good bet for fitness buffs who like gore.

5. Coastal Delaware Running Festival, Dewey Beach, DE

Described as “Delaware’s Coolest Marathon,” this running event is a Boston Marathon qualifier. The course is described as flat and scenic, and offers special rewards for half and full marathon finishers as well as 9K finishers. Expect a finish line beach party at the end of the race, along with a complimentary post-race beer!  

6. Hearts for Heroes 5K, Wilmington, DE

If raising awareness while racing is your shtick, this 5K really brings it home. Sponsored by Horizon Services (the company responsible for the shimmering, riverfront ice skating rink) the Heart for Heroes 5K is a race to raise awareness for PTSD amongst former soldiers. It commences slightly after noon, making it a convenient trek for late risers and students which is appropriate since the run is a romp around St. Marks High School campus and the back roads that lead in to the educational facility. This race takes place in mid-winter so be sure to dress accordingly.

7. College Day 5K, Pump and Run, and Kiddie K, Dewey Beach, DE

Heat up July with some college friends and an invigorating 5K beach run. The sand, sun and surf will look even brighter when contrasting with your college colors. This event celebrates education and teamwork and is also part of the Ten Sisters Championship Series.

8. Race Against Domestic Violence 5K, Wilmington, DE

This race takes place in late April in Wilmington, Delaware, where participants can challenge their bodies on a fast and flat riverfront course. Pre-registrants are gifted with t-shirts and winners can look forward to stocking up on even more prizes. This is a family-oriented race welcoming folks of all ages. It accommodates runners and walkers alike. Pre-registration fees are $25 with variable discounts made available to students and officers. College ID's are a must for discount rates. Children in strollers are welcome on walking teams but prohibited in the runner's section.

9. Bunny Palooza, Bethany Beach Boardwalk, DE

Step into spring via a 5 or 10K maritime romp at the expansive Bethany Beach boardwalk. Bunny Palooza takes place in mid-April, when the sandy beaches are perfectly set for the season. Participants can enjoy fun and festivities alongside the fitness activity with highlights being music, crafts and family-oriented games. All finishers who cross the line at the bandstand are awarded medals for their efforts.

10. The Delaware Marathon at Tubman Garrett Riverfront Park, Wilmington, DE

This race really is a walk in the park for fitness enthusiasts. Situated on one of the most underrated historical sites in the nation (the home base for the Underground Railroad) the Delaware Marathon isn’t merely a sprint to the finish line. It’s a full fledge race event that takes place over the course of a weekend. Here you can run a marathon, dash through a relay or stroll through the 5K. Need a little incentive to push you through? How about $8,000 in cash prizes? Participants at this competition aren’t just given the quintessential t-shirts either. Instead, runners are given Under Armour updated UA Tech fabric long sleeve, lightweight shirts fully equipped with anti-microbial technology to bring the fitness to the closet at home.

As you can see, Delaware is always up and running winter, summer, spring and fall with racing events. These events run the gamut from full-fledged marathons, to sprints, and leisurely power walks. Stick around for other fitness-oriented, state-wide fun.

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