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America's Longest Fun Run

Tom's Run 2017 logo
June 2 - June 4, 2017

A 200-mile team-building fitness event
in memory of CWO4 Tom Brooks
U.S. Coast Guard
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CGEA logo

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 17,2017.
All other applications must be received by May 1, 2017.

Don't Forget the Pre-race dinner in the Ramada Inn Cumberland at 6:30 PM on Friday June 2, 2017!

Tom's Run 2016 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.

In keeping with the times, check the #tomsrunrelay at twitter for news beginning May '17.

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 27 - The 19th annual Tom's Run has come and gone and we are in the close-out phase.  The second shirt order should arrive shortly and I'll distribute shirts and collect money straightaway.  the weather was great, I did not hear of any injuries or bear attacks, and it was an overall great event.  The only low point was me losing track of two teams who arrived late to find everyone gone.  I'll keep working on fixing that.  Otherwise, I hope you had a great time and will come back next year.  In the meantime, please donate pictures for the 2017 slide show. 

April 24 - 
First, the good news.  Beth Roessner from Run Washington magazine wrote a wonderful article about Tom's Run in the Spring 2017 issue.  Here is the link:  www.runwashington.com.  I hope you will check it out and maybe write to Run Washington to say "Thanks!" The print version of the magazine can also be picked up at dozens of local stores.  You can find a place that carries the magazine by visiting the web site.  Run Washington magazine is a fantastic source of information about the running scene in Washington and surrounding areas.  Ton's of information, great stories, and news about upcoming events.  I highly recommend it.  Thank you, Beth.

Now, the not-so-good news.  When we had to change the start date to June 2nd, I forgot to tell the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Cumberland who had generously blocked rooms for us at a reduced rate of $80 on June 1st.  The result is that the reduced rate is not available to us on June 2nd.  Rooms can still be booked at the Government per diem rate of $91.  I think it's a good deal.  They have an indoor pool, comfortable patio, and a hot tub.  But, don't delay if you want to book with them for the start. 

Remember, we still have our pre-race dinner at the Ramada at 6:30 on Friday night June 2nd.  And, you can still get the Government rate at the Ramada if you prefer to stay there.  The telephone number for the Cumberland Ramada is 301-724-8800.

April 21 - 
The next deadline for team applications is 1 May.  As usual, we will likely make a second T-shirt order after the race.  It is probably not practical to order more medals.  But, I did order extras.  We welcome everyone who wants to participate with a second deadline application.  I understand there is some confusion about the blocked rooms at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Cumberland.  Totally my fault for not remembering to tell them that we had to change our start date from Thursday to Friday 2 June.  I will sort this out with the very amendable staff at the hotel and post the results.  More later.  Keep in touch.

April 13 - 
See the Run Washington magazine in running stores or the Spring 2017 online version for an article about Tom's Run!  4 Days until the first deadline.  Remember, it's important to get your application in.  We can worry about the money afterwards.

April 9 - 
NOTE:  1 more week until team applications that include shirt and medal orders are due!

March 28 -
I loaded the application files, course description, and leg planner to our Dropbox site HERE because the web site is not loading properly on some machines.  I'm working with the site provider for a solution.

March 23 -
I looked at our budget for this year and realize that we are going to be in the red unless we raise some prices.  Our shirt vendor notified me they are raising their prices by $2.25 per shirt.  In addition, our fees to rent the course through Washington DC rose by $100 a few years ago and, recall, our lunch prices also went up by $1-a-head.  We have been slowly loosing money the past few years and have reached the point that we can't break even this year.  For example, we need to cover about $2000 of fixed costs each year.  That means we need to make about $7 on each of the 300 or so shirts we sell.  Over the past few years, we have been making about $5 to keep the prices down.  But that won't work this year.  Consequently, I am adjusting the price of our shirts from $20 each to $25.  Please let me know if you have any questions. - Roger

March 18 -
About 1 month until the first deadline for team applications.  Applications with shirt orders are due by April 17th.  We set this date because the shirts are made in the U.S. of recycled materials and the manufacturer needs time to make the fabric for us.  The last deadline for team applications is
May 1st.  We are hoping for a good turnout this year.  Remember, because of the unique way Tom's Run is run, you don't have to actually be in the Washington DC area to participate.  We have had remote teams from as far away as Sitka AK and remote runners in Bahrain and Iraq.  Please contact Roger at admin@tomsrunrelay.org if you have questions about the event or organizing a remote team.

February 27 -
One of our Tom's Run veterans recently advised me that the National Park Service is closing the Paw Paw tunnel until July 2017.  The means the course will detour to the path over the mountain.  It's a fun trip, but will require cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes over.

Run Washington magazine recently conducted a series of interviews with several Tom's Runners for an article about our event. I do not yet know when the article will be published.  I wil post a copy on this website when I see it.  In addition, our new partner, the Coast Guard Recruiting Command, posted an ad for Tom's Run in Run Washington magazine that can be seen in the current edition. 

Otherwise, working on the logistics and making arrangements for our event.  See you on the trails - Roger

January 24 -
We just got started and we already have to change our plans.  Our finish pavilion at Fort Hunt Park is not available on June 3rd.  So, we must push back the start and finish dates to Friday June 2 through Sunday June 4th.  I will update the applications and other information.

January 21 -
Yes, we have officially kicked off Tom's Run 2017.  I am in the process of updating the various applications, course map, and other instructions.  Google retiring Picasa has created a problem with linking to the 2016 slide show and I have not figured out a solution yet.  The 2015 slide show continues to display and I am still working on this issue.  Also, we do not yet have a venue for our pre-event dinner.  We might use the Ramada meeting room again - so it still shows on the notice above.  I will keep you posted about that progress in plenty of time for planning your event.   This year's shirts will be lime green and you can find them HERE.

December 12 -
We have not yet kicked off Tom's Run 2017, yet there is still important news.  After many years of partnership with the Holiday Inn and Ramada, we are changing the location of our Tom's Run headquarters in Cumberland.  Please welcome Ms. Katie Wilhelm and the Fairfield Inn and Suites to the Tom's Run Community.  Fairfield Inn has offered us the same $77 room rate plus a heated pool and hot tub.  It is located just down the block from the Ramada, just a stone's throw from the Donkey and right on the towpath.  As they said in Casablanca, I think this is the start of a beautiful friendship.  The only drawback is that the Inn has no large dinner room.  So, we are looking for a close venue to host our pre-event dinner.  We have already reserved a block of 35 rooms.  Please see the info below to book a room before May 11 for the 2017 Tom's Run.

This is the place to look for Tom's Run news.  Plus, if you wish, I can add you to my team captain distribution list.

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 2017 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 Park near 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 Saturday 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 June 2, 2017 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 $77.00.

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

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