Small expo, Great pacers and amazing volunteers. New course 2017 is not flat at all, some elevation and some of the areas are lonely with no crowd support. Carry your own water.
After party ran out of Pizza and had to wait too long to eat.
Plan for weather ahead of time. Save energy towards the end, the 2017 course has you going by the bridge 3x, gets a little boring. Make sure you grab the bracelet that determines you have gone through the loop once (or they will send you back ). It is the beach so it will be humid and hot. Plan accordingly.
There are plenty places to stay outside the city. Great shuttle services too.
By Greg H about 2010
I ran the first running of this marathon. It was well-organized for a first year race. You could tell it was organized by runners.
Really flat course. The only "hill" is going over the drawbridge leaving the beach in the first mile. Basically a double loop course with the majority through neighborhoods. I found the course boring for a "beach" marathon. All but the first mile is run off the island.
It is a point to point course that starts close to Wrightsville Beach and ends at Mayfaire Shopping Center off the island. Runners are bused out to the starting line. There is limited parking at the start line and I think they bus back there after the race. If you are riding the bus from finish to start then you need to get there pretty early. Shell Island Resorts is the host hotel has shuttle to the start and back from the finish. I recommend staying there.