Welcome to the 35th running of the NCR Marathon presented by the Baltimore Road Runners Club!

The NCR Marathon is Baltimore’s oldest continuously running USATF certified marathon held annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

BRRC also presented the historic Maryland Marathon dating back to 1973 before moving to the Northern Central Railroad Trail in 1990.

The Northern Central Railroad Trail, officially known as the Torrey C. Brown Trail, covers nearly 20 miles in Maryland, stretching from Hunt Valley to the Mason-Dixon Line. The out and back marathon course offers a scenic wooded run on a crushed gravel and dirt trail alongside the waters of Big Gunpowder Falls—an idyllic setting to cruise 26.2 miles.

During the first few years, the race originated at the Old Sparks Elementary School. After fire destroyed this historic school, the marathon start and finish moved to mile four on the trail before relocating up the hill to the new Sparks Elementary School.

In 2003, the marathon relay was introduced. For the 25th anniversary, an 8K event was added to the marathon and marathon relay.  In 2017, the marathon course was recertified and its start moved to the beautiful Oldfields School campus, our host site since.

A lot has changed over the years, but one thing that has stayed the same: this is a runner’s race. And, as runners we take pride in continuing to make the NCR Marathon and Half Marathon a first-class event.

This is a FAST course and a great fall Boston Qualifier. 



Marathon Course Map

  • Start Time: 8:30 am
  • Time Limit: 6 hours

Half Marathon Course Map

  • Start Time: 9:00 am
  • Time Limit: 5.5 hours


The race is an out and back course primarily along the Northern Central Railroad Trail. The North Central Railroad was one of the first railroads in America, dating back to 1832. For 140 years, trains compacted and groomed what was to become the trail we run today. The trail winds along the Gunpowder River through quiet farmland. The start of the race is at historic Oldfields School. We will run downhill on Glencoe Road approximately 0.8 miles before we turn right onto the NCR trail. Then it’s just a simple out and back! Runners will enjoy finishing back at Glencoe Road, wrapping themselves in their finisher’s blanket, donning their finisher’s medal, and appreciating a well earned 0.8 mile ride to the post race party at the renovated Oldfields Gymnasium!

Quick Notes

  • Held annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
  • Start / Finish: 1500 Glencoe Rd, Sparks Glencoe, MD 21152
  • Net downhill courses: -151 feet
  • Majority of courses is on flat rail trail
  • Boston Marathon qualifier and both races are USATF certified.
  • Water stops with Gatorade every 3 to 3.5 miles. Energy gels at miles 7, 14, 16, 20
  • Chip timed

Start / Finish Location

Race Premiums

2024 premiums TBA!

Packet Pickup

2024 details TBA!


Parking will be at a satellite lot on York Road behind Anytime Fitness (14630 York Road, Sparks-Glencoe, MD). We will have buses taking runners to the school from 6:45am to 7:45am. There will be portable restrooms there for your convenience and we have a bag check at Oldfields. There will be limited parking at Oldfields for volunteers and runners with carpools of 3 or more. Please do not plan on parking at the school if you are not carpooling.

Runners must be on the bus no later than 7:45am to ensure being at the start of the race! Transportation back to the lot will run throughout the event.

Family members and friends are welcome to ride the buses with runners! You may park at the satellite lot on York Road. We will also have limited parking available in the church field, about 1/4 mile up from the finish line. Friends and family who want to be at the finish line will be directed to this lot. Buses will be running between this lot and the finish line. THERE IS NO PARKING, EVEN BRIEFLY, AT THE ROADS NEAR THE FINISH LINE. THIS INCLUDES GLENCOE ROAD, LOWER GLENCOE ROAD, AND UPPER GLENCOE ROAD. POLICE WILL PLAN TO TOW YOU, AND THE NEIGHBORS WILL BE HOSTILE IF YOU PARK ON THEIR PROPERTY. 


Marathon and Half Marathon finishers will receive a medal at the finish. Unique awards based on the Northern Central Railway heritage for overall, masters, and age-group winners will be presented at an awards ceremony in the Oldfields gym following the race. Overall and masters award winners are not eligible for age group awards. Sorry, awards will not be mailed.


Award Categories

  • Overall Male and Female Marathon (3 deep)
  • Overall Male and Female Masters Marathon (1 deep)
  • Male & Female Age Groups Marathon (2 deep)

Event Records

  • Open Men: Robert Marino, 1995 – 2:25:18
  • Open Women: Joanna Zieger, 1998 – 2:47:25
  • Masters Men: William Desmond, 1992 – 2:36:03
  • Masters Women: Tracy Dzibela, 2019 – 3:02:02

$150 will be awarded for a new marathon record! 

2023 Men’s Marathon Winners

Ronnie Wong has run every single NCR Marathon!






Register on RunSignup!

Date Range Marathon Half Marathon
Before 7/4 $100 $90
7/5 – 9/30 $115 $105
10/1 – 11/22 $130 $120

Current BRRC Members will receive a $10 discount. Make sure you are logged into your RunSignup account!