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2018 Tom's Run Logo

America's Longest Fun Run

2018 Tom's Run Logo
May 31 - June 2, 2019

A 200-mile team-building fitness event
in memory of CWO4 Tom Brooks
U.S. Coast Guard
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Welcome to the Tom's Run Web site.  Please use the Application menu above to download the official Tom’s Run Relay Team Application.

Applications that include T-shirt or medal orders must be received by April 15, 2019.  All other applications must be received by April 29, 2019.

Don't Forget the Pre-race dinner in the Ramada Inn Cumberland at 6:30 PM on Friday May 31, 2019.

2017 Slide Show

Event News and Announcements

WELCOME to the Tom's Run Relay Web site.  Tom's Run is an annual event held on the weekend after Memorial Day.

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions.  See event news bits below.

For questions or information about Tom's Run, please write:


Check the toolbox for leg planner, equipment list and other helpful information.  All team members must sign a Disclaimer.  The Island of Lost Runners is a list of runners looking for a team to join.  If you want to be on it, write me an e-mail with your name, location, and the best way to contact you at Admin@tomsrunrelay.org.
Event News  July 29 - Tom's run 2018 has come and gone and a memorable one it was.  things to remember - roads washed out, course shortening by 25 miles, pschedule nightmares, pizza dinner, mud, snakes, turkeys, deer, beavers, lazy sunny afternoon at Big Slackwater, cloud bursts, flash flood stranding at Snyder's Lock, 4-wheel drive, lightning!, Starbucks at 6 AM, Fletcher's Boathouse, aggressive park volunteers, the sight of the Coast Guard Honor Guard arriving at the finish, lunch from The Barking Dog, NAP.  I hope you all had a great time. 

Please send pictures for the 20th anniversary slide show.

The second shirt order has been picked up and delivered  or posted.  Please use PayPal if you have shirts to pay for or visit in person.  Officially, we had 15 teams with 237 people including  remote teams in Yorktown and San Francisco.  We also had a remote runner in China.  A new record that might be hard to break.

We already have a lot of interest in TR200 2019.  I guess we'll do it.  More later.  See you on the trails. - R

May 20-
Less than 2 weeks to Tom's Run 20th Anniversary.  Medals and shirts should arrive shortly and will be sorted into team bags.   I plan to make a trip to Paw Paw tunnel before the race to check out the detour situation.  Hopefully, everything we chance to dry out by race day and the weather is cooperative.

April 2 -
Two weeks to go until the first set of team applications with t-shirt and medals orders is due. 

March 21-
Only about 3 weeks to go until the first set of team applications with race shirt and medals orders is due.  Let me know if you are looking for team members.  I added a few names to the Island of Lost Runners.  You can find this list of people looking for a team in the tabs at the top of this page.  Good luck.

March 14 -
We are returing to the past for our 20th anniversary and ordering long and short sleeve, men and women's cut ,100% cotton race shirts made locally.  As a result, we are reducing the price of shirts from $25 to $20.  We already changed the race applications. 

There will likely be at least one detour on the towpath this year, most noticeably around Paw Paw tunnel.  I will keep everyone advised of course info. 

February 16-
The updated team applications and course map are available here on the web site.  We blocked 25 rooms at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Cumberland.  The Government rate is $93.  This is more than in past years and a lower rate might be available at the Ramada Downtown where we will likely have our pre-event dinner.  However, ther Ramada is not as  quiet and the Fairfield has an indoor pool. 

February 7 -
We are already getting calls about Tom's Run 2018 and offers from individual runners looking for a team.  Please let me know if you are looking for runners to join you or to join with to form a team.

January 7-
Welcome to Tom's Run 2018, our 20th year!  We are hoping to make this year the best ever.  We'll start updating the course map and applications to have them ready by the end of January. 

This year's Tom's Run Relay starts on Thursday May 31st and ends at Pavillion C, Fort Hunt Park, on June 2nd. 

Please don't hesitate to contact Roger at admin@tomsrunrelay.org if you have questions. 

June is not that far away and we are looking forward to another great year.  Remember, Tom's Run is not about running away from each other, but with each other.  It is a unique event for everyone.

Please contact me at admin@tomsrunrelay.org if you have questions about the 2018 event. More to follow.  Let me know if you have suggestions for a great race.

Event History

Tom's Run is held annually to promote fitness, team building, and community.  The event is named in honor of CWO4 Tom Brooks, USCG, who contracted Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) in early 1999.  Tom was an avid fitness promoter.  He had a reputation for persuading couch potatoes to get up and get moving.  When Tom was diagnosed with ALS, his friends decided to show their appreciation for the inspiration Tom had given them by organizing this event in his honor. So, Tom's Run is about people. Tom's Run is about who we are as runners and teammates and friends.

The Course

The race starts in Cumberland, Maryland sometime after midnight on the first day (Saturday). Runners, accompanied at all times by a bike escort, take turns in a relay run entirely along the historic C&O Canal towpath to Georgetown in Washington, DC. From there, the course continues down the Potomac River waterfront in Washinton, DC, past the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, crosses the Potomac River and connects with the Mount Vernon Trail to Alexandria, Virginia. The finish is at Fort Hunt Parknear Mt. Vernon. The run proceeds through  Saturday and ends when the teams cross the finish line together as close to 11:00 AM on Sunday as possible. Finishing at 11:00 AM presents the logistical challenge of determining the most advantageous time to start after midnight on Friday and getting all the team members together for the finish.  Runners are on the course during the entire run, including at night.  Other logistical challenges are keeping everyone fed and rested, determining the best places along the course to exchange runners and bikers, and finding those places along the many difficult rural roads accessing the canal.  For a copy of the course description with directions to the exchange points, click HERE (2016 version).

The Point

The unofficial Tom's Run record is 23:30:00.  The official finish time is 11:00 am.  So, teams that before 11 AM have time added to their race time up to 11 AM.  Finishing early is not a benefit.  The challenge, therefore, for a team wanting to finish as fast as possible, is being able to judge the start time and maintain the team's pace to finish precisely at 11 AM. 

That said, Tom's Run is NOT a race!!! It is a team-building, memorial fitness event. The POINT is not to reach the finish line first, but to reach it together. Oh! .... and to have a lot of fun along the way. That said, a little trash-talking and competition among teams is probably a healthy thing that makes the event fun. 


The run kicks off with a group dinner at 6:30 PM on Friday  May 31st, 2019 in the Ramada Cumberland.  T-shirts will be avalable for team pickup at the dinner. We will also have Tom's Run decals available for $2 each.  The event finish at Fort Hunt includes lunch and medals.


The best place for reservations is probably the Fairfield Inn and Suites, Cumberland, MD, 301-722-0340  A block of rooms is set aside each year at a discount for Tom's Run teams.  You can make reservations with the desk and mention Tom's Run.  Ask to talk to Katie Wilhelm if there are any problems or write to me at admin@tomsrunrelay.org.  The Federal Government rate for a two-person room is about $93.00.

If you need other information, e-mail Admin@tomsrunrelay.org

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