armed forces day
saturday • may 19, 2018
7am CST

HistoryTeamworkThe CourseRunner Perks
If you’re new to Beach to Bay Relay Marathon, then you just discovered one of the greatest events on the planet!

Every year since 1976, runners and fun-seekers alike grab their running shoes and converge in Corpus Christi, Texas to take on this beloved six-leg marathon. Our event has become an annual tradition for many of these runners, reuniting them with friends they’ve made from marathons past.

Beach to Bay has grown into one of the largest relay marathons in the United States. Attracting runners from all over the U.S. as well as Kenya, England and Mexico, Beach to Bay boasts an annual registration rate of over 2,000 teams.

This is a six-leg running event, both in relay and full marathon format for those who prefer to take on a challenge solo, that totals approximately 26.2 miles of the Gulf Coast beach, pavement (including the JFK Causeway!), a little sweat, an occasional tear, and a bunch of smiles. Beginning on the sands of North Padre Island, winding through Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, and ending at McCaughan Park along Corpus Christi’s scenic Shoreline Drive, the legs are roughly 4.4 miles each. Always held on the third Saturday in May, or Armed Forces Day, Beach to Bay honors the men and women serving in our United States Military with sincere pride – a tradition founded by Captain John Butterfield back in the inaugural year of 1976.

Quick Facts

  • Started in 1976
  • Grown to over 2,000 teams
  • Honors the men and women serving in our United States Military
  • 2016 – First year for full marathon single runners!
The beautiful thing about Beach to Bay Relay marathon, other than the scenery of course, is that we leave it open for you to run the course the way you’d like. You can join a six-person team and choose your favorite leg or go all out and run the full marathon yourself. Either way, you’re sure to meet and befriend fellow pavement pounding enthusiasts.

If you’d like to find a team, or find a runner for your team, then check out our Runner Connection. Quickly and easily post an ad and connect with others wanting to be part of the competition, whether to win or just for fun.

Beach to Bay Teams
The added benefit of running the Beach to Bay Relay Marathon is that, no matter the leg you run, you’re in for a visual treat!

The race begins with the sunrise on North Padre Island and runners tucked in between the rolling dunes of this undisturbed area of coastal habitat. It then winds down the island to the beach alongside Balli Park and Bob Hall Pier. The first two legs of Beach to Bay are for the nature lovers!

Before entering the Flour Bluff area of Corpus Christi, runners of Leg 4 get to brave the 73-foot-tall JFK Bridge that connects the island to the mainland. On this leg, you’re treated to an aerial view of Laguna Madre and Oso Bay – both of which are popular fishing and boating destinations. After tackling the bridge and causeway, the course enters the area of Flour Bluff where participants experience a special thrill – running through a portion of Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi. The Blue Angels called it home from 1951-1954 and well-known leaders like George H. W. Bush graduated from flight school at NAS-CC.

The final stretch of the race takes place along the scenic roads of Ocean Dr. and Shoreline Dr. Runners who receive the baton at the north gate of NAS-CC run alongside the remainder of the base and past the island campus of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The best part about the last two legs of Beach to Bay is that one side shows artfully landscaped scenery and the other side provides wide open views of the sparkling bay waters. The race ends at the bayside grounds of McCaughn Park. At this point, the race may be over, but the after party has just begun.

Read More About Each Leg

Seaside Sights Checklist:

  • the North Padre Island beach
  • seagulls/cranes
  • someone fishing off of a pier
  • a kayaker
  • Oso Bay/Laguna Madre
  • Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • A runner in a funky getup
  • Someone running for a hero

See what all you can check off this year and run a different leg next year to finish the rest!


Want a relay marathon that really knows what runners want? You’ve found the right race! We hook you up with cool swag every year.

In your packets you will find the always unique and sought-after Participant T-shirt that can be worn proudly for years to come. Other coupons and surprises, provided by our sponsors, will be in the packets along with bib numbers and the all-important baton.

Each runner who completes the race also gets a specially designed Finishers Medal. You’ll be the envy of all the “medal junkies” out there!

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