Steam Train Half Marathon & Relay
A race for the whole family!
I th ink  I can!


The Steam Train Half Marathon and 2 person relay is the only road race against a turn of the century steam train in the United States of America. Runners race the train while families and friends can ride the train and cheer on the runners as you leave the station together, again at the relay exchange point, and finish line... that is unless your runner gets there first!

Half Marathon & Relay

October 28, 2017

Essex Steam Train, 1 Railroad Ave, Essex, CT 06426

Race Start
7:30 am

Pre-Race Packet/Train Ticket Pick Up
6:00 am

Course Closes
10:30 am

Press for GPS
Click here for info regarding handicap access for passengers on the  Steam Train

Race Packet Pick Up

Race Day Parking

Update Coming Soon!!!
The starting whistle is at 7:30 am! The starting line will be right next to the Essex Steam Train, and both runners and the train carrying your family and friends will be leaving with you!

Half Marathon 13.1 Miles

The Essex Steam Train will begin its journey along the Connecticut River towards the Deep River Landing, as runners head out on a route through the charming Colonial town of Essex and along the Connecticut River during the peak of New England's fall foliage season.
Runners will see their family and friends again at the Deep River Landing right on the Connecticut River before racing that train back to the station in under 2 hours and 15 minutes. Every finisher will recieve a medal, but only those who beat the train will recieve a soon to be coveted "I Beat the Steam Train" whistle! As for the runners that do not beat the train in time; you will instead recieve the cheering support at the finish line from all the family, friends, and race spectators that rode the tracks for your race!

The Relay Race

There are not many Half Marathon Relays, and none like this one. Each relay team is comprised of two runners. The first leg starts at the starting whistle at 7:30 am sharp, as you leave from the station with the train carrying friends, family, and your relay teammate!
(Leg 1) The first leg of the race is 7.9 miles through the charming Colonial town of Essex, soaking up views of beautiful fall folliage and the Connecticut River. The first runner will then pass the baton to your teammate at the Deep River Station. Then you will ride the train back to the station where your teammate will hopefully be waiting for you.
(Leg 2) The second runner will be leaving the station at 7:30 am sharp with the half Marathon and your teammate. Only... you will be on the train. You will ride to the Deep River Station where you will wait patiently to begin your 5.2 mile run back to the finish line at Essex Station where you will recieve both of your team's finisher medals!
Runners Train Itinerary
Passengers Train Itinerary
Relay Schedule
  • 06:00 – 07:15 Registration
  • 07:00 Relay Leg #2 Runner’s Board Train
  • 07:20 Train Boarding Complete
  • 07:30 Race Start – Half & Relay Leg #1 (8 Miles)
  • 07:50 Train arrives at Deep River Station – Relay Leg #2 Runner de-train
  • 08:05 OPTIONAL* : Train departs Deep River Station for CT River/Fall Foliage Ride to Haddam (*If your Relay Teammate/1st Leg runs under a 9:10min/mile pace, GET OFF THE TRAIN FOR YOUR EXCHANGE!! If your 1st Relay Member runs over a 9:10min/mile pace, feel free to take a ride. And "yes" the 9:10 mile adds a buffer for boarding/deboarding train.)
  • 08:40 Train Returns to Deep River Station/Exchange Point from Haddam Tour
  • 09:25 Train Departs Deep River Station with Relay Leg #1 Runner.
  • 09:45 Train Arrives in Essex/Finish Line
FOR YOUR SAFETY!! There is a Rail Crossing just before the Finish Line at the Essex Train Station. If you arrive at this crossing as the train enters the station, you officially Beat the Train. Any runners who do not stop for police and flashing rail crossing will be disqualified, and banned from future events. So remember, "if you meet the train, you beat the train."
  • 10:30 Course Closes
Spectators Schedule
  • 06:00 Ticket pickup begins
  • 07:00 Train Boarding Begins
  • 07:20 Train Boarding Complete
  • 07:30 Train Departs Essex
  • 07:50 Train arrives at Deep River Station
  • 08:05 Train departs for CT River/Fall Foliage Ride to Haddam
*NOTE: If the Runner you are supporting runs faster than 9:10/mile pace and you want to cheer them on as they run past the Deep River Station, you should not go on the optional CT River/Fall Foliage Ride.
  • 08:40 Train Returns to Deep River Station from Haddam Tour.
  • 09:25 Train Departs Deep River Station for Essex Station
  • 09:45 Train Arrives back Essex Station/Finish Line
Race Route!
​(click the map for route)
Note: For 2018 we are adjusting the final 1/2 mile to the finish line. In 2018 we will also be strickly enforcing rules surrounding headphones worn by participants.
(Volunteers will be placed throughout the course to direct runners at turn points. We just feel the need to mention this for our more "detail oriented" runners.)