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San Luis Obispo Marathon

San Luis Obispo, CA

Race Dates

2017: Sunday, April 30, 2017
2016: Sunday, May 1, 2016

Course Information

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

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 58°F (14°C)
Average High: 71°F (21°C)
Average Low: 45° F (7°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 97.37
Course Score: 97.37

Race Size

2016: 338 Finishers
2015: 498 Finishers
2014: 663 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2016: 9.2%
2015: 7.4%
2014: 8.1%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

Marathon Pace Bands

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Course Description

The SLO Marathon is a loop course that starts at 250 feet and tops out at 450 feet. The last few miles are a net downhill with a few gradual uphills.

The race starts near San Luis Obispo High School and finishes at the Madonna Inn.

The course starts with a loop around the downtown center, passes the historic Fremont Theater and City Courthouse, Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa and turn-of-the-century architecture before heading into the rolling hills, vineyards and farmland of the valley.

On the return to an Luis Obispo, runners head back into the town center to the finish at the basin of the Cerro San Luis Obispo Morro, Madonna Inn.

Marathon Rankings

The San Luis Obispo Marathon was the 148th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 130th largest in 2014.

This year 9.2% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 7.4% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the San Luis Obispo Marathon the 299th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 161st highest percentage so far in 2016.

Its Course Score of 97.37 ranks it as the 350th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 34th fastest course in California.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the San Luis Obispo Marathon a PR Score of 97.37. This PR Score ranks it as the 305th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 27th fastest in California.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 399 feet (121m)
Min Elevation: 159 feet (48m)


Ratings & Reviews for the San Luis Obispo Marathon

4 Stars from 1 Reviews

review of 2013 San Luis Obispo Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


Professionally organized. Hard to get to the starting line, but once there was good. Nice expo at the finish. Around mile 20, you rejoin the 1/2 marathoners who start 30 minutes after the marathon (they're at mile 7). Most of the 1/2 marathoners you catch are walkers or slow runners. On one hand, it's nice that there are lots more runners on the course (I think there are about 700 marathoners and 2000 1/2 marathoners), on the other hand, you're passing so many, they can clog up the course. For a new marathon, the first was in 2012, it's run very smoothly. The weather has been perfect the first two years; low 50's with fog or a bit of overcast to keep it cool. They're moving it a few weeks later this year (2014), so we'll see.

Race Tips

Train for those hills! They may not be big, but you're always going up or down and can really wear you out.

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

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the San Luis Obispo Marathon in 3:32:00, 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.