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Running EventsMarathonsCalifornia

Marathons in California

The Marathon distance (26.1 miles or 42.2km) is a real feat of mental and physical resilience and requires a serious commitment of training in order to get a bragworthy time. Most first-timers will aim to finish a marathon in under 4 hours, while anything under 3 hours is seen as a very impressive achievement. The wide variety of marathons on offer in California makes certain that completing a marathon will be unforgettable. Many of these events make the most of the stunning scenery that the Golden State has to offer, from its breathtaking coastlines, to its famous National Parks, to its arduous mountains and deserts. These landscapes, although at times challenging, add an extra dimension to the experience. The California International Marathon is known to be a speedy course, as the route is almost entirely downhill, and so it offers a great opportunity to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

40 events found
Shoreline Marathon

Sunday, Jul 17, 2022

Shoreline Marathon

LocationIndicator

Ventura, California

Participants

marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k

Star4.5

(1 reviews)

FilledTicket$45 – $140
Booking perksGreat atmosphereFlat
HeartOutline
Camarillo Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

Sunday, Aug 7, 2022

Camarillo Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

LocationIndicator

Camarillo, California

Participants

marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k

Star5

(1 reviews)

FilledTicket$35 – $140
Booking perksGreat atmosphereRoad
HeartOutline
Redwood Trail Run (Summer)

Saturday, Aug 6, 2022

Redwood Trail Run (Summer)

LocationIndicator

Oakland, California

Participants

ultramarathon, marathon, half marathon

FilledTicket$45 – $90
Earlybird entry - ends soon
Booking perksHilly trail
HeartOutline
Bizz Johnson Trail Races

Saturday, Sep 3, 2022

Bizz Johnson Trail Races

LocationIndicator

Susanville, California

Participants

half marathon, ultramarathon, marathon, 10k

FilledTicket$35 – $105
Earlybird entry - 2 days left
Booking perksHilly trail
HeartOutline
Diablo Trail Run

Sunday, Sep 18, 2022

Diablo Trail Run

LocationIndicator

Clayton, California

Participants

ultramarathon, 10 miles, half marathon, marathon

FilledTicket$35 – $90
Earlybird entry - ends soon
Booking perksHilly trail
HeartOutline
Lake Chabot Trail Runs

Saturday, Nov 5, 2022

Lake Chabot Trail Runs

LocationIndicator

Castro Valley, California

Participants

ultramarathon, half marathon, marathon

FilledTicket$45 – $85
Earlybird entry - ends soon
Booking perksFlat trail
HeartOutline
Surfers Point Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

Sunday, Nov 6, 2022

Surfers Point Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

LocationIndicator

Ventura, California

Participants

marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k

Star4

(4 reviews)

FilledTicket$55 – $140
Booking perksGreat atmosphereFlat road
HeartOutline
California Seaside Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k - 2023

Sunday, Feb 19, 2023

California Seaside Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k - 2023

LocationIndicator

Ventura, California

Participants

marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k

FilledTicket$35 – $140
Booking perksGreat sceneryRoad
HeartOutline
Shoreline Marathon 2023

Sunday, Jul 16, 2023

Shoreline Marathon 2023

LocationIndicator

Ventura, California

Participants

marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k

FilledTicket$45 – $140
Earlybird entry - ends soon
Booking perks
HeartOutline
Rancho Hills Trail Run

Saturday, Jul 9, 2022

Rancho Hills Trail Run

LocationIndicator

Morgan Hill, California

Participants

5k, 10k, half marathon, ultramarathon, marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Trail
HeartOutline
The Peak 50k, Marathon & Half Marathon

Saturday, Jul 16, 2022

The Peak 50k, Marathon & Half Marathon

LocationIndicator

San Diego County, California

Participants

ultramarathon, marathon, half marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Hilly trail
HeartOutline
San Francisco Marathon

Saturday, Jul 23, 2022

San Francisco Marathon

LocationIndicator

San Francisco, California

Participants

marathon, ultramarathon, 5k, half marathon

Star4.5

(5 reviews)

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Great atmosphereGreat sceneryRoad
HeartOutline
Kirkwood's Thunder Mountain Trail Challenge

Saturday, Jul 23, 2022

Kirkwood's Thunder Mountain Trail Challenge

LocationIndicator

Markleeville, California

Participants

half marathon, 10k, 5k, marathon, ultramarathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Great sceneryTrail
HeartOutline
Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight

Saturday, Aug 13, 2022

Extraterrestrial Full Moon Midnight

LocationIndicator

Alamo, Nevada

Participants

ultramarathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k, marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Flat road
HeartOutline
Sly Park Lake Trail Run (Summer)

Saturday, Aug 20, 2022

Sly Park Lake Trail Run (Summer)

LocationIndicator

Pollock Pines, California

Participants

5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, ultramarathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Great sceneryTrail
HeartOutline
Almaden Hills Trail Run

Saturday, Aug 27, 2022

Almaden Hills Trail Run

LocationIndicator

San Jose, California

Participants

10k, ultramarathon, 5k, half marathon, marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Trail
HeartOutline
Devil After Dark Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

Saturday, Sep 17, 2022

Devil After Dark Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k & 5k

LocationIndicator

Las Vegas, Nevada

Participants

marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Flat road
HeartOutline
Big Sur Trail Marathon, Half Marathon & 5 Mile

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022

Big Sur Trail Marathon, Half Marathon & 5 Mile

LocationIndicator

Big Sur, California

Participants

half marathon, marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Hilly
HeartOutline
Dick Collins Firetrails

Saturday, Sep 24, 2022

Dick Collins Firetrails

LocationIndicator

Castro Valley, California

Participants

ultramarathon, marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Trail
HeartOutline
Humboldt Redwoods Marathon

Sunday, Oct 9, 2022

Humboldt Redwoods Marathon

LocationIndicator

Weott, California

Participants

half marathon, 5k, marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Flat road
HeartOutline
Long Beach Marathon

Sunday, Oct 9, 2022

Long Beach Marathon

LocationIndicator

Long Beach, California

Participants

5k, marathon, half marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Beach
HeartOutline
South Hills Single Track Trail Run (September)

Monday, Oct 17, 2022

South Hills Single Track Trail Run (September)

LocationIndicator

San Jose, California

Participants

5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, ultramarathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Hilly trail
HeartOutline
Napa Wine Country Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k

Saturday, Oct 22, 2022

Napa Wine Country Marathon, Half Marathon & 10k

LocationIndicator

Calistoga, California

Participants

10k, half marathon, marathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Flat trail
HeartOutline
Almaden Hills Trail Run (November)

Saturday, Nov 5, 2022

Almaden Hills Trail Run (November)

LocationIndicator

San Jose, California

Participants

5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, ultramarathon

FilledTicketPrice TBC
Hilly
HeartOutline
Showing 1 - 24 of 40 events

About Marathons in California

Marathons definitely tend to draw the biggest crowds as competitors race through all sorts of surroundings from magnificent cityscapes to vast countryside. Marathons make up some of the most iconic races in the Golden State. Whether you're running for a personal challenge or a public cause, in Cali it helps that the weather is almost always near perfect and the scenery beautiful.

What are the best marathons?

There are so many high quality marathons to choose from in California. If you like fancy dress then the Walt Disney World Marathon might get you all Goofy. Get a boost from rock 'n' roll jams blasting behind you in the Rock 'n' Roll marathon series. Top tip, if you compete in 3 of 4 Rock 'n' Roll marathons in a year then you can collect a special medal. For spectacular scenery look no further than the highly rated Big Sur International Marathon.

How long will it take me to run a marathon?

The world record for women was set in London by Paula Radcliffe of Great Britain in 2003 at 2h15m25s minutes, and is still standing strong. The men's record was beaten in Berlin in 2018 by Eliud Kipchoge and at 2h01m39s is pushing close to breaking the elusive 2 hour barrier.

The global average time to finish a marathon sits around 4h13m for men and 4h42m for women. Our best advice is that you keep your own pace and don't worry about others. If you're overtaken by a man dressed as the Mona Lisa, don't sweat it. It is worth pointing out that finishing times are greatly affected by the course - check our course descriptions for each race to get a better understanding of the route. Some marathons are particularly fast (e.g. A1A, Cali International), and some a bit more challenging (Avenue of the Giants).

How do you train for a marathon?

Training for a marathon takes a lot of motivation. Buddy up if you can, this will help you stick to your plan. You can download our free 16 week training plan, with nutrition and race tips included. 16 weeks should give you enough time to train up and set you in good stead for tackling 26.2 miles.

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