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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

2018: TBD
2017: Sunday, January 8, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Loop
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 48°F (8°C)
Average High: 57°F (13°C)
Average Low: 39° F (3°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 98.47
Course Score: 98.47

Race Size

2017: 310 Finishers
2016: 374 Finishers
2015: 475 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: 6.5%
2016: 11.8%
2015: 7.2%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

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Course Description

The First Light Marathon course is fairly flat except for a few moderate rolling hills between miles 10.5 and 20.5. It winds through historic areas, quaint neighborhoods, parks and a college campus. Cool or cold weather can keep finish times fast.

Marathon Rankings

The First Light Marathon was the 170th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 149th largest in 2015.

This year 6.5% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 11.8% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the First Light Marathon the 149th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 65th highest percentage so far in 2017.

Its Course Score of 98.47 ranks it as the 261st fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest course in Alabama.

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 First Light Marathon a PR Score of 98.47. This PR Score ranks it as the 210th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest in Alabama.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 210 feet (64m)
Min Elevation: 10 feet (3m)


Ratings & Reviews for the First Light Marathon

4 Stars from 2 Reviews

review of 2017 First Light Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Small race, good scenery, great cause, easy and convenient to run! It's a great race to pair with MS Blues and they offer back-to-back medals and plaques.

Race Tips

Don't stress over your time in miles 14-19. They are the most difficult on the whole course. Smart running there should leave you with enough to negative split the last 10k.

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

Stay at the Holiday Inn, Downtown Mobile. It was very affordable through the race discount code, offered free parking and late checkout (only for people who booked in the marathon block though), was 200 yards from the expo, 20 yards from the start line, and less than half a mile from the finish. Perfect!!!

review of 2017 First Light Marathon.   

3 / 5 Stars


You cannot use your headphones. This was almost a break it deal for me. The only reason I signed up for this one was that I planned to do the back to back challenge with the Mississippi Blues Marathon. That race was cancelled but, I decided to do the First Light marathon since I had traveled all that distance (from Colorado). I have run 8 marathons between September 2016 and mid-April 2017- this one ranks 7/8 with eight being the lowest.

Race Tips

It was freezing and there were some unexpected hills in the middle of the course.

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

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the First Light Marathon in 4:13:00, 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.