In the Asheville Marathon, held on the grounds at Biltmore Estate, runners will explore 26.2 miles through America’s largest backyard. The Asheville Marathoners will wind through hardwood forests, meadows, gardens, and extraordinary views of the estate. Along the way, runners will pass landmarks including Biltmore House and gardens, America’s largest and most esteemed private residence. The 250-room French Renaissance chateau, perched over 8,000-acres of meticulously-tended gardens, is host to a million visitors a year. To learn more about Biltmore, visit www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.
The marathon is run ENTIRELY on private property on the scenic grounds of the Biltmore Estate. It will cover both the east (paved) and west (dirt roads) sides of the Estate. During the event, vehicular traffic will be very limited and controlled. The course is USATF certified and is a Boston Qualifying event. Bib chip timing will be used for the event. Pre-race training on location prior to the event is prohibited since the entire course is on the private property of the Biltmore Estate. All participants must be off the course by 2 pm (6 1/2 hr time restriction).
The privilege of running around the estate on race day is exclusive to race day only. There is no pre-event course preview or running allowed due to the private nature of the estate and the off-limit areas that our event covers during the events.
The first seven miles of the course has two tall hills, while the middle section of the course is downhill-to-flat with a mixture of valley and rolling hilly terrain and dirt/gravel/rocky roads and dirt paths. The final miles of the marathon are completely flat with a mixture of dirt/gravel/rocky roads and paved running paths. Approximately 1/3 of the race will be run on paved surfaces and the other 2/3 of the marathon will be on dirt/gravel/rocky roads that have uneven surfaces. Racing flats and five finger shoes are not recommended.
Visit our RACE DAY TIMELINE To see the whole schedule for the Asheville Marathon and Half at Biltmore Estate!
Like sprockets on a cog, runners will travel round and round at dizzying paces as they make their rounds upon the grounds of this enchanted estate. Participants will take in all manner of breathtaking sights and sounds as they complete loop after loop of the estate and its proximity. Beginning at Antler Hill Village and its many shops and attractions, the first loop will waft exquisite aromas from the kitchens of Deerpark Restaurant into the nostrils of competitors: surely a breath of fresh air to lungs that will no doubt be burning in the miles to come. Next, the course will lead to the site of the world-renowned Biltmore House itself, almost close enough to reach out and touch the doors to the main entrance.
Immediately thereafter, the journey will proceed into the Walled Garden. As the House’s splendid architecture gives way to horticultural marvels, the meandering route winds along the Azalea Garden and lagoon.
With the broad-shouldered French Broad coursing within its nearby banks, there will occur a transition to dirt carriage roads. From these thoroughfares of years gone past, the race shifts from the east to the west side of the estate via a newly built bridge. With this move, athletes will have entered a new area demanding a change of pace, both figuratively and literally: The “Wild, Wild West” Side of the Biltmore Estate.
Here, new collage of scenery and simultaneously ever-more challenging part of the odyssey now lie in the sights of our competitors. Two tough loops, first an ‘outer’ and then a shorter ‘inner’ loops, will encompass vintage farmhouses, working vineyards, and west quarter vistas of the Biltmore House normally off-limits to the public, affording an incredibly rare mini-exploration amidst this greater trek. With the conclusion approaching, this West-Side story will wrap up as a hard push is made in the grand finale. A return to the east side will be made to finish the marathon, with a few miles of an out and back on the flat dirt road that parallels the French Broad river.
A final loop will run past the lagoon and near the equestrian center before returning for the final leg of the event where runners will ultimately respond to the marathon’s beckoning at the Antler Hill Village finish area.
Depending on the device you are using, the half marathon has approximately 500 feet elevation change and the full marathon has 1,000 feet of elevation change.
The stage is set, and the actors are daily practicing their parts in preparation for this big event. Do you have what it takes to tackle both parts of the Estate on race day? If so, show us how to be both “A Beast of the East”, and “How the West was won”, and make this early spring regal gala upon Biltmore your crowning achievement!
Our water stations provide a variety of options and choices to support your race experience and personal preference. We offer gels and electrolyte drinks and many stations will have a selection of fruit and cookies. All stations will have water.
Visit our Water Station page for more information on locations and what each station offers. Vote for your favorite volunteer water station after the race, and select a volunteer group to get crowned as Volunteer Water Station of the Year! More information about the Water Station Contest on our Volunteer Info page.
Along the French Broad River, near Antler Hill Village, and at the ‘West Side Bridge’ there will be great spots for family and friends to see the runner several different times during the event. This area will be the designated cheering locations and spectator viewing. For more detailed information, visit our Spectators page.
Although we have professional photographers on the marathon course, runners are encouraged to bring a camera for special photo opportunities. You won’t want to miss the chance to capture this day with your own memorable photographs. See official photos on our Race Photography page.
Race Expo/Bib Pickup
Friday, March 19, 2021
Location: DoubleTree by Hilton, 115 Hendersonville Rd, Asheville, NC 28803
Saturday, March 20, 2021
Time: Wave Starts - 7:30am until 8:50am
Location: Biltmore Estate
Course Type: Loop
Stroller friendly? No
Disability friendly? Yes, non wheeled equipment only
Dogs allowed? No
Weather: Spring in the mountains means anything can happen. Wear layers!
Exclusive Early Entry opening for 2020 Participants only - January 7, 2021 thru January 10th at midnight, General Public Registration opens January 11, 2021 (if spots are still available)
*Entries are limited and this race will sell out quickly.
The 2021 half marathon course will be like none other, a truly one-of-a-kind experience. We can't wait for you to experience running entirely on the estate over new terrain and with new views. The new course is designed with runner and community safety, social distancing and beauty in mind and will be run for the 2021 event only. We expect for the course to change back to the original half marathon course in 2022 and beyond.
Runners will have the privilege to run and explore the west side of the estate. This area is typically off-limits for guests and only our Marathon participants have had the honor of running on this side of the estate. For this year only, we have re-designed the course so that the start is close to the House and the finish is in Antler Hill Village (as it has been in the past). Visit the Course page for more info.
Due to the nature of this new course and for social-distance measures to be implemented throughout the race experience, runners will be shuttled to the start line from either DoubleTree Hotel in Biltmore Village or the AB-Tech parking lots. There is no on-site at the start line parking available for this year's 2021 race. Shuttle tickets are included in your registration fee. Temperature and COVID screenings will be implented prior to boarding the shuttle on race day. Face Coverings are required in the shuttle, before and after you start your run, Currently, face coverings are not required while you are running. Visit the Transportation page for more info.
Asheville Regional Airport — 25-30 minutes
Greenville Spartanburg International Airport — 1 hr. 15 minutes
Charlotte — 2 hours
Driving Directions to Biltmore Estate
Google Maps Directions
We recommend looking for lodging at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Asheville or stay next door at the Hampton Inn. These two hotels are the most convenient locations to get a race morning shuttle to and from the race. Visit our Hotel page for more info.
We are taking the COVID-19 virus very seriously and are taking the necessary precautions to put on a safe, socially distanced event for our runners. Please visit our COVID-19 Guidelines page. If you would like to skip Packet Pick-up, we will mail your race bib and swag for you if you register by . This option is available when you register online.
The 2021 event registration has purposely been postponed for opening until we were closer to the event to ensure that the event would be possible given the pandemic and NC State restrictions on event gatherings. The permit for the 2021 event with the Biltmore Estate has been approved.
In order to plan this event in the short time-frame that we have left to us before the March race, our team will be working full-time beginning in January 2021, to provide this world-class race experience to you. We also will be purchasing race materials such as shirts, finisher medals and awards. Due to the expenses we will be incurring for production of this event prior to the event taking place, should a government shutdown occur due to the pandemic or an act of God take place, we will NOT be able to provide a refund to you should you want to cancel your registration, or if the event itself has to be cancelled. We are in good faith taking every step possible to ensure that the 2021 event will take place. However, there are things that are outside our control, including government shut-downs. In the event of a government shutdown, all in person race entries will be switched to virtual/self-serve race option.
Above all else, we are striving to make this race as safe as it can possibly be for all our participants, volunteers and staff. If you are feeling unwell (or uncomfortable participating) we want you to stay home, stay safe and join us next year without feeling like you're losing out. In order to make that happen, we are offering flexible options so participants can make responsible decisions based on their help. Please see the Guidelines page for more information about these options.