The Allscripts Tobacco Road Marathon will hit an amazing milestone at its next race weekend on March 17, 2019. In just nine years and ten races, the event will surpass the impressive milestone of over one million dollars in charitable giving. If you want to help, register now with the special discount code – Endurance – for $25 off.

Given the venue, the child’s fable about the little train engine that could is an apt analogy to the nine-year-old Tobacco Road Marathon. With its companion Half Marathon, the events have found a home along the American Tobacco Trail, a former railroad right-of-way. Starting in Cary, North Carolina the events are nestled in a beautiful setting of Carolina Pine – the fastest, flattest running course in the state.

Those Pine State trees offer refreshing shade and shelter from wind. Combine that with a “crushed granite screening” that cushions joints, as well as average mid-March temperatures of 50 degrees and you experience ideal performance conditions.

While all of that is terrific for runners what is really amazing is the million-dollar-plus number in charitable giving. Because the event has no paid staff and everyone involved is a volunteer, absolutely 100 percent of the proceeds go to world-class charities: JDRF, Hope For The Warriors, and the American Red Cross. Other beneficiaries are the Rails to Trails Conservancy as well as Wake County Parks and Recreation for the outstanding work they do in their communities.

Last year’s Tobacco Road Marathon scored its personal record for generating charitable giving by hitting $155,000 – a full $25,000 more than the previous record-setting year in 2017. That put the cumulative total at $916,000, just $84,000 from the million-dollar threshold. That means the races will bust through that milestone with tens of thousands of additional dollars.

Even the races’ founders in 2010 could not have imagined that in just nine years their efforts would ascend to such lofty heights of charitable giving and popularity. The Tobacco Road Marathon is the Triangle area’s only spring marathon, and also North Carolina’s largest marathon. Like the little engine that could, what the race founders did know was that the long-abandoned railway passage could still deliver an amazing journey.