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Race Dates

2018: Saturday, February 24, 2018
2017: Saturday, February 25, 2017

Course Information

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

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 59°F (15°C)
Average High: 73°F (22°C)
Average Low: 45° F (7°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 101.67
Course Score: 101.67

Race Size

2017: 2,003 Finishers
2016: 2,109 Finishers
2015: 1,881 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: N/A
2017: 20.1%
2016: 14.8%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The Mesa-PHX Marathon is a fast net downhill, point-to-point course which drops nearly 1000 feet from start to finish. Runners will experience a nearly completely downhill finish from approximately the 10K point to the finish.

The downhill course and favorable weather make this an attractive PR and BQ course.

Marathon Rankings

The Mesa-Phx Marathon was the 40th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 39th largest in 2016.

Last year 20.1% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 14.8% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Mesa-Phx Marathon the 53rd highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 89th highest percentage in 2016.

Its Course Score of 101.67 ranks it as the 17th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 1st fastest course in Arizona.

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 Mesa-Phx Marathon a PR Score of 101.67. This PR Score ranks it as the 17th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 1st fastest in Arizona.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 2049 feet (624m)
Min Elevation: 1197 feet (364m)


Recent Mesa-Phx Marathon Reviews

4.5 Stars from 11 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2017 Mesa-Phx Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Fast course, great weather, highly organized and top notch finishers area. Loved the medal as well.

Race Tips

Get up early and get to the shuttle busses with time to spare. Avoid going out too fast on long descent in the first 4 miles.

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

Hyatt Place is the place to stay...walk to shuttle busses in the morning, walk to room after race. Great pool and hot tub.

review of 2017 Mesa-Phx Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Pros: Fast course if you get the right weather; in 2017 low 40's at gun and low 50's when I finished; very little wind. There is plenty of people to run with in most pace ranges. The bus-to-start system is highly organized and we stayed on the bus until doing a bag check & 1-mile warm up.

Cons: The one hill on the course; just being time greedy...but it stole about 30-40 seconds off my overall finish. Running into a hoard of half-marathon finishers including those walking 3-4 abreast; I had to run the last several miles like a pinball. Nothing scenic to look at on back half of course. Bottom-line: Sign-up for this race is you want a chance at a PR; then pray for nice weather and pace yourself appropriately.

Race Tips

Go for a slight-positive to even-split; slow down on the hill section and let yourself speed up on the downhill afterward. This course allows you to build confidence with the overall downhill on the 1st Half; then hopefully you can continue to keep your pace on the back half. Pick a goal pace at least 8 weeks out and incorporate some tempo runs that are 10 to 15 seconds faster than MP goal pace so you will be prepared for the speedier downhill miles.

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

We stayed in central Phoenix and interstate was dead to traffic that early in morning; saved a bunch of $ staying further out. We did get up at 2:30 and arrive at the bus loading grounds before 4:00 and loaded a bus at 4:30. All of us that parked where the Full Parking was designated had a major traffic jam getting out of over an 1-hr. You can easily park where Half is designated and just as easily walk to the Full Marathon bus loading.

review of 2017 Mesa-Phx Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


This year the weather was near perfect for running. It was a little cool at the start but they allowed runners that wanted to, to stay in the buses to stay warm till racer start time

Race Tips

Most of the down hill is in the first half

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

review of 2017 Mesa-Phx Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Excellent organization for a mid size marathon, beautiful start at the desert, starts early which is great very serious runner oriented.

Race Tips

Do not go very fast at the beginning since it is downhill but you will need some savings for the second half (flat).

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

Stay at Hyatt Place in front of finish line and avoid huge lines of traffic to get to the buses at 5 am before the races start. Locals, arrive early !!

review of 2016 Mesa-Phx Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


I like the downhill course. Aid stations are great. Weather is usually good. Last 6 miles of course are a bit boring. Last mile has a nice downhill for faster finish.

Race Tips

Get to early buses. Don't wait. Last buses don't leave enough time to get through potty lines. I got there early but it was bad for last few buses. Also, check weather. Last year was 15 degrees above normal. You have to adjust for that or even defer.

Watch uphill miles 4-6. Slow down.

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

Get to buses early. Park farther away in shopping center to get out faster after.

Stay in finish line area as long as you need or want food and water. Food there, of you can eat after, is incredible.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Mesa-Phx Marathon in 4:14:00, 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.