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Fastest Marathon Courses in California


This list ranks the fastest marathons in California based on the race's Course Score. The Course Score for each marathon is created from an algorithm derived from research on how grade and elevation affect marathon running performance (race time weather is not factored in). For more detailed information, please visit the FAQ.

The BQ % is the percentage of runners who qualified for the Boston Marathon according to the latest race results. Although it is not always indicative of a fast or slow course, the percent of Boston Marathon qualifiers can provide insight into the quality of the field and/or the speed of the course.

To see a ranking of marathons based on the weather factors, in addition to the course characteristics, visit the Fastest Marathons page.

The list only includes certified marathon courses. Keep in mind that Course Scores and ranking assume very good course management and pacing - especially for the extremely downhill races.


Featured Races
Date Race
9/15/2018 Sandia Crest Marathon
Albuquerque, NM
Downhill, Fast, and Beautiful course that starts atop Sandia Crest!
3/31/2018 8th Annual Carmel Marathon Weekend
Carmel, IN
Fast course (21% BQ'd in 2017). Award=winning, 2nd largest marathon in IN
4/29/2018 Big Sur Marathon - other distance events
Carmel, CA
Run or walk the scenic Big Sur course at race distances of 11 miles, 12K or 5K
11/3/2018 CNO Financial Indianapolis Monumental Marathon
Indianapolis, IN
Indiana's largest 26.2 is flat, fast, and perfect for a BQ!


Race Name PR Score BQ % Elevation
1 REVEL Canyon City Marathon
Azusa, CA
110.94
24.27%
Elevation
2 Ventura Marathon
Ventura, CA
101.14
21.39%
Elevation
3 Mountains 2 Beach Marathon
Ventura, CA
100.54
32.15%
Elevation
4 California International Marathon
Sacramento, CA
100.38
18.29%
Elevation
5 Redding Marathon
Redding, CA
100.02
14.05%
Elevation
6 Napa Valley Marathon
Napa, CA
99.75
14.59%
Elevation
7 Western Pacific Marathon
Fremont, CA
99.74
7.02%
Elevation
8 Two Cities Marathon
Fresno, CA
99.47
7.64%
Elevation
9 Modesto Marathon
Modesto, CA
99.47
10.90%
Elevation
10 Operation Jack Marathon
Los Angeles, CA
99.28
Elevation
11 Death Valley Marathon
Death Valley, CA
99.19
6.67%
Elevation
12 Santa Rosa Marathon
Santa Rosa, CA
99.16
17.29%
Elevation
13 Surf City USA Marathon
Huntington Beach, CA
99.15
7.68%
Elevation
14 Seaside Marathon
Ventura, CA
99.03
9.09%
Elevation
15 OC Marathon
Costa Mesa, CA
99.00
7.42%
Elevation
16 Long Beach International Marathon
Long Beach, CA
98.93
Elevation
17 Los Angeles Marathon
Los Angeles, CA
98.79
2.65%
Elevation
18 Santa Clarita Marathon
Santa Clarita, CA
98.78
5.67%
Elevation
19 Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon
San Diego, CA
98.58
4.16%
Elevation
20 Half Moon Bay International Marathon
Half Moon Bay, CA
98.48
Elevation
21 Morgan Hill Marathon
Morgan Hill, CA
98.39
7.69%
Elevation
22 Carlsbad Marathon
Carlsbad, CA
98.24
9.38%
Elevation
23 Humboldt Bay Marathon
Eureka, CA
98.12
22.55%
Elevation
24 San Francisco Marathon
San Francisco, CA
97.71
3.94%
Elevation
25 Avenue of the Giants Marathon
Weott, CA
97.52
11.62%
Elevation
26 Humboldt Redwoods Marathon
Weott, CA
97.52
20.00%
Elevation
27 Citrus Heritage Run Marathon
Riverside, CA
97.45
Elevation
28 Big Sur International Marathon
Carmel, CA
97.43
6.11%
Elevation
29 Surfers Path Marathon
Santa Cruz, CA
97.43
Elevation
30 Oakland Running Festival Marathon
Oakland, CA
97.03
7.02%
Elevation
31 San Luis Obispo Marathon
San Luis Obispo, CA
96.38
4.96%
Elevation
32 Running with the Bears Marathon
Greenville, CA
96.10
2.78%
Elevation
33 Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon
Susanville, CA
95.71
Elevation




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