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Did You Run a Marathon in 2016 or 2017?

We are compiling our "Best of 2016" Lists (revealed in June) and want to make sure your opinion is counted.
Rate and Review Your 2016 & 2017 Marathons




Race Dates

2017: Sunday, December 3, 2017
2016: Sunday, December 4, 2016

Course Information

Profile: Downhill
Type: Point to Point
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 47°F (8°C)
Average High: 56°F (13°C)
Average Low: 38° F (3°C)

Historical Weather


PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 100.38
Course Score: 100.38

Race Size

2016: 6,175 Finishers
2015: 5,642 Finishers
2014: 5,772 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 22.9%
2015: 21.6%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The net downhill, point-to-point California International Marathon (CIM) course is one of the fastest courses in the country. It has long been a popular destination for runners seeking PRs and BQs. The fast course coupled with typically favorable weather, makes the California International Marathon one of the best races for PRs and BQs.


Marathon Rankings

The California International Marathon was the 13th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 14th largest in 2015.

Last year 22.9% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 21.6% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the California International Marathon the 31st highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 30th highest percentage in 2015.


Its Course Score of 100.38 ranks it as the 23rd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 4th fastest course in California.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are within the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the California International Marathon a PR Score of 100.38. This PR Score ranks it as the 22nd fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 3rd fastest in California.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.


Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 359 feet (109m)
Min Elevation: 19 feet (5m)

California




Ratings & Reviews for the California International Marathon

4.9 Stars from 22 Reviews



review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars

Review

Pretty good organization, though a couple notable misses ( the gear drop off trucks were stupid - no sign for bag number range, both trucks parked beside each other, no line control to make an obvious in and out side. C'mon, these things are simple ) . They could also use some helpers / monitors for the bus loading. Site B was pretty chaotic.

I did like the music along the route, and the water and fueling stations were abundant and well stocked/staffed.

Race Tips

It is a pretty rolling course. No big hills, but enough rollers that you might be surprised.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

From the East Bay taking the train ( Amtrak Capitol Corridor ) is an awesome option. Much nicer than driving, especially on the way home.



review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Great organization and great course. I loved the rolling hills and the wide roads. The crowds at the finish were helpful as well.

Race Tips

I would be careful and not go out too fast. The rolling hills through mile 16 can otherwise take their toll on your quads.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Get ready to have your quads beat up. Nice course, great weather, good support.

Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Liked everything - weather, crowds, nutrition.

Race Tips

Everyone in my group hit the wall at 20 miles. Will have to strengthen the leg muscles to overcome the wall.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars

Review

Looking for the fastest marathon course? This may not be the right fit for you. Don't be fooled by the claim of "slight downhill" course. It is a rolling course that really doesn't have any flats. That means you are either going up or down during the entire run. Even though I did PR there, it probable had more to do with the weather (which was absolutely perfect!) and the fact that it was only my 3rd full marathon. The race organizers did a great job and the facilities are good too! I paid extra for the VIP package which was worth it for me. The pacer group I ran with was professional and accurate and managed the course properly. Since almost every runner is there to BQ, you won't be held up by slower runners in front of you, the flow moves nicely.

Race Tips

Even pacing should work just fine. Maybe a slight negative split since the course does "flatten" out a bit in the second half.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Great course, net downhill, but a few small hills spaced throughout the race. The last 4 miles are flat and really cool. Lots of people cheering you on. The finish in front of the state capital is stunning.

Race Tips

Take it easy the first mile. It is almost all downhill and fast without trying.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

It can be very cold, rainy, or both. On about half the races, the weather is ideal, but prepare for anything.



review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Loved: Social media build up pre race, clear communications, great informative website, expo, logistics, course, support by locals, volunteers, aid stations, post race set up. The availability of Kleenex was such a small gesture, but so meaningful. I was surprised how much I valued the ability to easily blow my nose! :)

Dislikes: There could have been more porta potties at water points. The lines were crazy. Have more music on the course - blasting your favorite CD would be the best! There should be a rule that prohibits running with candy jiggling around in a water bottle, super annoying sound!

Race Tips

First timers get told that this course is fast and they assume its flat. The course is undulating with a NETT downhill. First timers should pay attention!

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Try to get accommodation within walking distance to the finish.

Restaurant recco - South (on Yelp) is an awesome restaurant, with amazing southern food options. The owner works the kitchen and pays attention to customers.

Schedule a massage at Mellow Me Out (Yelp) post marathon. Their Kool Kat special was awesome.



review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Ideal running weather, lots of downhill, spectators along most of course, beautiful finisher medal, free shuttle to start line, many restaurants downtown, and virtual goodie bag which includes discount for following year's event.

Race Tips

Cool start, but warms up fairly quickly. Strongly recommend using pacers. They are very punctual.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Park downtown (street parking or parking garages) and take shuttle to start. You will be allowed to sit in bus until 15 minutes before race starts.



review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Well run and great organization. Hillier than I thought the first 13.1 but then nice gentle downhill.

Race Tips

Do not rely on the water tables. I came through 2 of them and they did not have any water or nuun to pass out. So I would carry a bottle if you are trying for a PR

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips

Don't underestimate the rolling hills!!

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

There are not enough bathrooms!



review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Great course & support.

Race Tips

Plan on cold or windy weather.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

We stayed at a host hotel downtown and rode the bus to the start. Then walked back to the hotel after finishing.



review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

I especially love the blind runners.

Race Tips

People who run it the first time are surprised by the rolling hills at the beginning of the race.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Many nearby hotels in downtown Sacramento. Stay downtown, where the race ends and take the bus to the starting line.



review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Rolling hills the first 5 or 6 miles. Then slow drop. Good participation for viewers.

Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2016 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The course is very fast
Nicely organized

Race Tips

Best strategy is negative splits and be patient in the first 10 miles

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2015 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

From the getting onto the buses to the starting line to each and every mile this marathon was awesome....

Race Tips

Find your pace team and stick with them as they are that good.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Plenty of street parking near the Sacramento Convention Center if you get there around 4:00am and they do fill up rather quickly as the buses depart at 5:00am.



review of 2015 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Very well organized, lots of energy from volunteers, as well as the residents of the areas through which you run. Mostly flat, and the Finish at the Capitol Building, all decorated for the holidays, is SUCH a beautiful sight!

Race Tips

Lots of porta potties at the start, and plenty along the way. The website has a lot of info for spectators, like where they can intersect the course, so my husband and daughter were able to meet me at four distinct places along the route -- the only thing that didn't go smoothly, was that the info provided for spectators online was for an earlier iteration of the race, so one meetup point didn't work out. We gave the feedback to the organizers, so I'm not sure if they've fixed it online.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

The Finish is in Sacramento, the Start is in Folsom. A lot of folks seem to get hotels in Folsom, but we got a room in Sacramento, near the Finish. Yes, the morning drive was nearly 30 min, but there was nearly zero traffic at that early hour, and it was so convenient to have a shower near the Finish. I think I'd do the same thing, again.



review of 2015 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2014 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review


Race Tips


Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2013 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

Perfect weather, good course, great organization.

Race Tips

I ran the first 10K too fast. If you pace correctly, you can race the last 10K on this course.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)




review of 2011 California International Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars

Review

The point to point course is rolling with a gentle downhill. This allows your body to adjust to the different use of muscles rather than using the same ones on a flat or all downhill or uphill course. The weather is cool. Although it does rain.

Race Tips

This course allow a pretty even pace. CIM has expert pacers many have done this at the race for a long time. Some are known race champions. I ran the race in 2010 & 2011 PR 1st time 7 seconds slower second time. 2012 it rained cats and dogs but folks still seemed to have good times. I was injured.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Sacramento is pretty in the December it is fall there. Stay near the American River Bike Trail. You will need a rental car.



Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the California International Marathon in 3:26:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.