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Rocket City Marathon

Sat 14th Dec 2019
Von Braun Center, 700 Monroe St SW, Huntsville, AL 35801, USA

Secure your place

Tickets $85–$100

  • Road
  • Closed roads
  • Finisher’s t-shirt

From the organizer

Organizer's website

Whether the goal is a PR, qualifying for Boston, completing that first marathon, or striving for a personal goal, RCM is the way to achieve it.

Marathon - The Rocket City Marathon has been a fixture for over 40 years in North Alabama. Enjoy a flat, Boston Marathon qualifying course.

Half Marathon - We are proud to announce the addition of a Half Marathon!

Kids Marathon - K-8th graders may become "marathoners" by logging 25.2 miles leading up to a final mile on race day that crosses the real finish line.

Distances in this event

  1. Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
    7:00am Sat 14th Dec 2019
    Tickets available
  2. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
    7:45am Sat 14th Dec 2019
    Tickets Coming Soon
  3. Kid's Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
    Sat 14th Dec 2019
    Tickets Coming Soon
  4. Relay

    Run 26.17mi
    7:00am Sat 14th Dec 2019
    Tickets available

Where could you finish?

We’ll work out your time based on past results, elevation and terrain.

Course Maps
1549504003797Screenshot 2019-02-07 at 12.46.33.png
What’s Included
    A chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon!
    Finisher's tshirt
Course Details


GENTLY ROLLING & FAST: Starting from the Von Braun Center and Big Spring Park, the course embarks on a tour of downtown Huntsville that includes large antebellum homes and the historic courthouse square before heading northeast to make a 10 mile loop through scenic residential streets and the historic districts of Old Town, Dallas Mill Village and Five Points. After sweeping past the VBC for the halfway point, the course heads out again making a loop through the southwest part of town that includes running beneath rockets and the space shuttle at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and meandering through the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. The course finishes inside the VBC Arena to a celebration with live music, food, and fun. There is a total elevation gain of about 700 feet.

Half Marathon

Half the Marathon - run the back half of the marathon course. At 9am registered participants will merge onto the marathon course to run out to the Space and Rocket Center and Botanical Gardens with the marathoners before returning to the same exciting finish line inside the VBC!

Kids Marathon

The Rocket City Kids Marathon is a 10 -12 week running program that encourages kids to complete a full marathon (26.2 miles) by running approximately 2 miles per week. The final mile is completed in grand fashion as each child finishes their marathon distance in front of cheering fans, friends, and family at the Official Finish Line of the Rocket City Marathon. The goal of the Rocket City Kids Marathon, is to inspire and encourage children to be active on a regular basis through running and physical activity.

You must train for the last mile by running a total of 25.2 miles in 1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 3/4 mile or mile increments between September and the end of December 8 to qualify for race day participation. The run log (available below) must be turned in at packet pickup in order to receive your bib. K-8th Grade children only.


Up to a five person relay team will run the full Rocket City Marathon. This event has a strict 6 hour time limit. A relay runner will be asked to leave the course if the runner is behind the cutoff pace (13:44 min/mile). Runners slower than 3:15 at the half way point will not be allowed to continue. If a relay runner is removed from the course, the team will not be allowed to continue. No relay runner will be allowed to pass the Marathon leader. Any team who gets close to the leader will be held at the exchange point. This is a safety issue related to traffic management. The first runner in the relay team may also run the full marathon if also registered as an individual. That runner will start the race wearing both the individual bib and the relay bib.
Raceday Logistics

Friday 13 Dec:

    11am – 7pm … RCM Expo, FREE and Open to Public (Huntsville Museum of Art, Great Hall)
    11am – 9pm … RCM Packet Pick-up
    11am – 8pm … Kids Marathon Packet Pick-up
    3:30pm – 4:30pm … Historic Huntsville Group Runs, 3 miles, FREE
    6pm … RCM Race Dinner with guest speaker

Sat 14 Dec: RACE DAY - No race day registration

    6am - 6:45am … Bag Drop
    7am … Marathon Start
    7:45am … Kids Marathon Start
    8:45am … Half the Marathon Staging
    9am … Half the Marathon Start
    9am – 10am … Post Race Party with TBD
    10:30am – 2pm … Post Race Party with TBD (Von Braun Center)
    1:15pm … Awards & Celebration

Post race massage provided by Massage Envy

* all times are Central Standard

Race packets may be picked up at the Huntsville Museum of Art on Friday, December 13, from 11am to 9pm. Packets will contain race instructions, bib with timing chip, and this year’s RCM shirt. NOTE: Running with another runner’s number is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification. Do not exchange, sell, or give away race numbers. In addition, the race number must remain visible from the front during the race.



The Embassy Suites by Hilton is the host hotel for the Rocket City Marathon. Not only is this one of the nicest hotels in Huntsville, it offers unparalleled convenience - an enclosed walkway connects the hotel directly to the VBC Arena. Runners and family will be able to walk from the finish line inside the arena to the comfort of their room without having to go outside.


There are number of excellent parking facilities all within convenient walking distance of the Von Braun Complex. There are two (2) parking lots and five (5) parking garages all within easy walking distance of the Von Braun Center. Each will be listed below along with pertinent details including cost. We do encourage all runners (half-marathoners and kid’s marathoners included) to arrive at the VBC well before the start of the marathon.

VBC Parking - $10

The Von Braun Center has an underground parking garage that offers convenient access directly into the VBC complex. The entrance is directly across from Pollard off of Clinton Ave. Drive past Lot V and down the ramp.

Garage M - $5

The entrance to Garage M on race morning will be located on Church Street, but runners will be able to walk out of the garage onto Monroe and enter the VBC complex.

Lot V - $5

The entrance to Lot V is off of Clinton Ave directly across from Pollard. Runners will be able to use the North Hall entrance to gain access to the VBC complex.

Lot K - Free

Lot K is a large, gravel parking area with an entrance off of Clinton. It’s a short walk to the North Hall to gain access to the VBC complex.

Garage B - Free

Garage B is a multi-level parking facility conveniently located on the corner of Church and Williams; however, the entrance is on Fountain Circle.

Garage A - Free

Garage A is multi-level parking facility located on Fountain Circle with the entrance on Gates.

Garage O - Free

Garage O is a multi-level parking facility located on Clinton Ave one block off the square in downtown Huntsville. While this may be a slightly farther walk than the other garages or lots, it is also incredibly convenient for downtown activities following the races.

Kit List

Comfortable running gear


Cheer in person, join or form a spirit team, or follow from your smart phone.

Spectators can easily view the start of the race, watch the runners pass at the halfway mark, and settle in to comfortable seats inside the VBC to watch the remainder of the event on the big screen. For those watching or running, having the finish line inside an arena full of cheerleaders where everyone has a good view makes for one of the most exciting finishes around. For the more adventurous who wish to drive around, a detailed map highlighting the course and optimal viewing sites will be provided.


It takes an army of volunteers to put on the Rocket City Marathon, consider helping out!


Packet Pickup

Packet pickup for all races is held at Huntsville Museum of Art in conjunction with a runner’s expo. A list of vendors for the expo is coming soon.

Does the Marathon have pace groups?

Yes, This year we have pace teams.

What is NOT allowed on the course?

Baby joggers, in-line skates, bicycles, unauthorized vehicles and unregistered runners are prohibited on the course. No pets or smoking on the course PLEASE! Any participant breaking one of these rules will be removed from the course, disqualified and will not receive finisher’s amenities. These rules are due to our insurance policy and are set by the HTC Board of Directors and are for your safety and the safety of the hundreds of other runners on the course. Check out our rules page for more information. The use of headphones is STRONGLY discouraged.

View on a map

Reviews (3)

4.9 out of 5 stars

  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere
  • Did the Marathon in 2018

    This was a very well organized and run marathon. Other big marathons in Alabama could learn from Rocket City. Friendly volunteers and an excellent post race venue with many food choices as well as beverages.
  • Did the Marathon in 2018

    This race was a blast. This was my first marathon, and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. Despite the rain and the cold, the course was filled with spectators cheering on the racers! The race staff was excellent. The pace teams were friendly and supportive. The medical team at the end of the race was spectacular. I had a small injury, and they provided expert care! Quick, professional, and caring. The medical support staff were incredible!This race was fantastic!
  • Did the Marathon in 2018

    I do not think having the half marathon event worked well. I have talked to other people who did the race, and the feeling seemed to be consistent. For people in the front of the pack, they had to deal with not knowing whether someone racing near them was competing in the same race or not. For people in the middle of the pack (like me), I spent mile 13.1-18 weaving through endless half marathon walkers, and it became very very frustrating. I understand the motivation for having this, but I feel it did not work well. Otherwise, thank you for yet another wonderful weekend!!! :) Will always be my favorite race.

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