By using this website you agree to our cookie policy

Rocket City Marathon

Event details
IconSuggest an edit

See any improvements? Be the first to make this page better.

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.

Review summary

3 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere


James S
"I do not think having the half marathon event worked well. I have talked to..."


Jarrod W
"This race was a blast. This was my first marathon, and I couldn't have asked..."


Michelle P
"This was a very well organized and run marathon. Other big marathons in Alabama..."
See all reviews

How to enter the Rocket City Marathon

  1. Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
    Event passed
  2. Half Marathon

    Run 13.1mi
    Event passed
  3. Kid's Marathon

    Run 26.2mi
    Event passed
  4. Relay

    Run 26.17mi
    Event passed

Rocket City Marathon routes


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.

Event Details

What’s Included
    A chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon!
    Finisher's tshirt
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.

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.

Rocket City Marathon weather forecast

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.

Predicted highs
Predicted lows
Icon40% chance of rain
IconLight breeze possible, up to 6mph

Meet the organiser

Are you the organizer? Claim this page



Rocket City Marathon 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.
IconSomething missing?

We're rebuilding our event pages and would love your input. Please suggest anything you would like to see on this page.

Get race results and photos

This event has passed. Congratulations to all the participants. Get race results and photos.

© Let's Do This 2020