Run the Fastest Marathon Courses

26.2 miles of right foot, left foot, right foot, left. 

Whether you want to set a PR or qualify for Boston, you should choose from one of the fastest marathon courses in the United States.

In 2007, I ran my first marathon and thankfully chose a flat course. If I had hills to climb, I would’ve died, or at a minimum, cried the whole time!

Below you will find the flattest marathon courses – ordered by month. Some of these are also considered the fastest marathon courses.

Find your course. ♥ 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙡

How to Choose your Marathon

⦁ What excites you? Music at every mile? Stunning scenery? Cheering crowds?

⦁ When will you start training? Is this your first time? Are you ready now? Or is it a goal for next year? 

What are the Fastest Marathon Courses

flattest marathons in the u.s.

Flattest Marathons in the U.S. by month


Chevron Houston Marathon

If you’re a music fan like I am, you’ll appreciate the Kickoff Party featuring the Nirvana Experience. From the website: “Rock bands, belly dancers, and Elvis impersonators line the course to entertain and cheer on the runners.”


Publix A1A Marathon

This is the perfect setting for a beach loving runner like myself. From the site: “Our course features 26.2 miles of signature South Florida beauty, loaded with miles of unobstructed ocean views. It is one of the flattest marathons, ideal for those looking to achieve Boston qualifying times.”

Surf City Marathon

The race ends at a beach bar where the celebration begins! From the site: “This award-winning course is considered one of the fastest marathon courses in the country. It is one of the flattest marathons and is incredibly scenic. The race starts along the Pacific Coast Highway and passes by the famous Huntington Beach pier.”

Mesa Phoenix – one of the Fastest Marathons in the US

There are no uphills on this course! Plus, 26% of runners qualify for Boston. From the website: “Marathon runners will enjoy the diverse scenery from cactus desert to spectacular views of the Phoenix Valley. Runners will experience nearly 1000 feet of net elevation loss in this fast course.

fastest marathon course napa valley marathon

Napa Valley: fastest marathon courses

This race lets you bring your special drinks to be placed at the hydration stations. Fancy! From the site: “Our marathon course is certified as a Boston Qualifier and is a net downhill by over 250 feet.” This is one of the fastest marathon courses, great for beginners.

Combos Albany Flat Marathon

This fast marathon course ends with a free Music Festival that includes kid activities, bands, and beer. From the site: The Albany race is ranked as one of the top Boston qualifiers in the country. With over 20% of all marathon finishers qualifying, this is one of the nation’s fastest marathon courses.


Revel Mt Charleston Marathon

At the end of the race, you get race photos and a video reel of your performance – for free! From the site: “This incredibly fast course features a smooth downhill slope and spectacular scenery in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. This race will help you set your PR and finally hit that Boston Qualifying time as it is the fastest marathon in Nevada.”

fastest marathon course bayshore

Bayshore Fastest Marathon Courses

If you like out-and-back courses, you’ll consider this one of the most ideal, flattest marathons. From the site: “This USATF certified course is flat, scenic, and fast making it a favorite for both runners attempting to qualify for Boston or finish their first marathon.”

Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon

This course was rated one of the Top 15 fastest marathons and Top 15 best spring marathons. With reviews like this, you should check it out. Definitely one of the fastest marathon courses.

Mountains 2 Beach

This race gives you the mountains and the beach. Sounds like paradise to me. From the site: “Starting in beautiful Ojai California, the course begins at just over 700 ft. and gradually descends to sea-level over 22 miles. The course is a lightning fast, USATF certified Boston Qualifier.”


Fargo – one of the fastest marathon courses 

I appreciate races that have diverse programming. This one has a Cyclothon, Dog Run, and a Kid’s Race. Great activities for everyone in the family! From the site: We have a very flat terrain around here. Our course has one of the higher percentages of Boston Marathon qualifying times.”

fastest marathon courses fast and flat mountains 2 beach

Erie Marathon

If you love natural beauty and speed, this one is for you. From the site:Flat, Fast & Fun, our course provides beautiful views of Lake Erie as well as miles of coastline beaches, marshes and wooded paths. Come try one of the flattest marathon courses in the US.

Revel Big Cottonwood

You will fly through through the canyon with gorgeous views on your side. From the site: “The course is one of the fastest Boston qualifying races in the country. But make sure you train appropriately for this downhill section as downhill running works your muscles differently.” 


Steamtown – one of the Fastest Marathon Courses

If you want a fast, challenging course, this is it. You can get your PR but you’ll need to work for it. From the site: “This has been ranked as one of the nation’s fastest marathons in the US. But the significant down hills beat up your quads making it a challenge to tackle the last three miles of the course. Experienced runners will be challenged.”

Chicago Marathon

If you like a crowd, you’ll have 1.7 million people cheering you on. Soak up that energy! From the site: The Chicago Marathon is known as one of the fastest, flattest marathons in the US. The course has produced four world records, several national records and countless personal bests.”

Mohawk Hudson River

You’ll get pleasant fall weather but it’s NY so you may need a light jacket. From the site: This is a point-to-point course that is one of the flattest marathons, with a net elevation loss of 370 feet.”

fastest marathon courses in california

California International

This is a certified Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier and is one of the flattest marathons in the US. From the site: The fastest course in the west! The No. 1 Boston Qualifier. Our course provides runners of all speeds–from first-timers to the fastest of the fast–the best chance to achieve their marathon goals.”

Rehoboth Seashore

The after party includes unlimited food, including mac & cheese, fruit plates, veggie burgers, and beer. Sign Angel, up! From the site: “This is a certified Boston qualifier and the course is mostly flat with some small hills in Cape Henlopen State Park. You can expect temperatures in the mid 40’s.”

Those are my top picks for the flattest marathons in the US. Pick one, give it your all, and then let the celebration begin! Keep reading for tips to make sure you get your best time! ♥ 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙡

Get Faster by Cross Training

A lot of people can “run” a marathon, but only the properly trained can finish without pain or injury. To successfully endure the flattest marathon courses, make sure you are training glutes and abdominals as well as stretching intentionally.

These workouts are essential to ensure you run strong and pain-free.

In addition to the above, I recommend hiring a personal trainer. Even if you only do a few sessions, it is invaluable – not only for your running journey but also for long-term health. Get faster and stay healthy! ♥ 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙡

Gear for Your Best Performance

Jump Rope. It is a great tool if you’re unable to do your run for some reason. It will maintain (and possibly improve) your cardiovascular conditioning!

Resistance Bands. These are non-negotiable. Using bands is an excellent way to improve strength and mobility while maintaining a lean, light physique.

Weighted Vests. You can choose a lighter one to wear during a run or get a heavier vest to use in bodyweight training. A subtle way to scale your training.

Half-Gallon Water Bottle. Never miss your hydration goals with a water bottle that tracks your intake. This is great to keep around the house and take to work or the gym.

Angel has a M.S. Kinesiology and 15 years experience as a personal trainer and coach. Her credentials include Cycle Instructor of the Year, Team USA duathlete, and Nike Trainer. To work with Angel or join the Fit&Hungry club, send a message. Thanks for stopping by!