After 10.5 miles on the car-free roads of Bald Head Island, followed by a 1.5 mile trek through the Maritime Forest Reserve, Badwater Cape Fear runners will head onto the south beach of Bald Head Island and head east to Cape Fear (at which point they will turn north and trek to Fort Fisher and back).
Cape Fear is a spectacular, dramatic, invigorating setting that absolutely buzzes with what I call "zeneurophoric" energy. Runners in Badwater Cape Fear, those who complete the full 51.4 miles, will round this cape twice in both directions, for a total of four visits to this enchanting location. Note the unusual offshore waves: Cape Fear is so named because the sea floor is remarkably shallow for miles off shore. As a result, many a ship has run aground here over the centuries, hence the name "Cape Fear." The shallow near shore area causes waves to rise up much further off shore than at most beaches. Also, the Cape Fear River empties into the ocean right here, coming in from the west and north, which often results in waves coming in from both directions and meeting head-on here, sometimes in spectacular fashion.