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Best Marathons of 2016

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Race Dates

2017: Saturday, December 9, 2017
2016: Saturday, December 10, 2016

Course Information

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

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 51°F (10°C)
Average High: 64°F (17°C)
Average Low: 38° F (3°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 100.73
Course Score: 100.73

Race Size

2016: 596 Finishers
2015: 668 Finishers
2014: 716 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 14%
2015: 16.6%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The Tucson Marathon course drops almost 1,800 feet in elevation as you run on the point-to-point course along the Santa Catalina mountain range. Although it is primarily a downhill marathon. there are some rolling hills around miles 2-5, miles 10-13 and miles, 22-24.

Marathon Rankings

The Tucson Marathon was the 123rd largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 118th largest in 2015.

Last year 14% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 16.6% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the Tucson Marathon the 109th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 66th highest percentage in 2015.

Its Course Score of 100.73 ranks it as the 23rd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 3rd 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 Tucson Marathon a PR Score of 100.73. This PR Score ranks it as the 22nd fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 3rd fastest in Arizona.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 4821 feet (1469m)
Min Elevation: 3075 feet (937m)


Recent Tucson Marathon Reviews

4.7 Stars from 3 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2015 Tucson Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Small, simple, scenic, downhill, fast, cool (temperature).

Race Tips

One of the steepest, most sustained downhills of any marathon in the world. Train on downhills at the end of long runs. During race day, run downhills (especially at the start) no faster than 20 seconds faster than goal MP.

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

If you can afford it, stay at main host hotel. Nice place, logistics are so much easier.

review of 2012 Tucson Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


Fun race, but the logistics were poor. There was confussion about where drop bags should be left at the start. I ended up losing my trainers and a long sleeve because my bag was not at the finish. The web site crashed the day of so I could call anyone to try and retrieve it after either. By the time the site was back up with the number to call the bags had gone to good will.

Race Tips

Don't use the drop bags. The course has a lot of downhill, train for it. Take the first 5 miles easy or you will pay for it at the end.

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

review of 2012 Tucson Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Major net downhill, but up hill around mile 12 can be very difficult and discouraging.

Race Tips

Wear throw away warm layers. It is very cold at the start then can quickly warm up.

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

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Tucson Marathon in 3:09:00, 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.