Run the Fastest Marathon Courses

fastest marathon courses in the us

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

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

*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. 

How to Choose your Marathon

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

⦁ When will you start training? Are you ready now? Or is it a goal for next year?

Below you will find the fastest marathon courses in the United States (ordered by month). Some of these are also considered the flattest marathon courses.

Find your jam. 
♥ 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙡

What are the Fastest Marathon Courses

flattest marathons in the u.s.
January

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.”

February

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 Marathon courses

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
March

Napa Valley Marathon

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.

April

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
May

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.”

June

Fargo Marathon

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
September

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.” 

October

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. 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. 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
December

California International

This is a certified Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier and is one of the flattest marathons. 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.”

To say you completed a marathon is a wonderful declaration. I want you to go for it and I want you to do well. The chafing is worth it!  ♥ 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝 𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚𝙡

Cross Training for Speed

A lot of people can “run” a marathon. But only the properly trained can finish without pain or injury.

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

In addition to the above, I recommend hiring a trainer. If you don’t already have one, I offer customized workouts for runners and would love to help you set that PR.

Welcome to Fit & Hungry! Here you will find everything you need to feel your best. Movement, Performance, and Mindset Tips. If you have questions or comments, leave them below. I look forward to hearing from you.  xo, angel


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