The Leading Ladies Marathon course starts at 6,000 feet and runs downhill into Spearfish losing 2,400 feet down to a finishing elevation just above 3,600 feet. As with any of the significantly downhill races like this, managing pacing and reducing braking is very important in hitting goal times on this potentially "quad-busting" course.
Although the course has the potential to be very fast if the downhills are managed well, the weather is typically warm for this August race and may adversely affect finish times. Temperatures at the start line may be about ten degrees lower than in Spearfish, but as you progress down the the course, temperatures could reach into the upper 60s and low 70s during the race.
The Leading Ladies Marathon was the 362nd largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 344th largest in 2015.
This year 23.7% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 19.8% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.
This gives the Leading Ladies Marathon the 44th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 30th highest percentage so far in 2017.
Its Course Score of 99.36 ranks it as the 125th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 1st fastest course in South Dakota.
The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are above the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Leading Ladies Marathon a PR Score of 97.77. This PR Score ranks it as the 283rd fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest in South Dakota.
Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.