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Race Dates

2019: Saturday, January 12, 2019
2018: Saturday, January 13, 2018

Course Information

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

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 47°F (8°C)
Average High: 58°F (14°C)
Average Low: 37° F (2°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 99.38
Course Score: 99.38

Race Size

2018: 815 Finishers
2017: 950 Finishers
2016: 955 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: 11.3%
2017: 6.7%
2016: 10.2%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The Charleston Marathon is a very flat course with less than 40 feet for elevation difference between the high and low points. The only "hills" of any note on the course are a few overpasses.

Marathon Rankings

The Charleston Marathon was the 86th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 92nd largest in 2016.

This year 11.3% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 6.7% of runners qualified for Boston in 2017.

This gives the Charleston Marathon the 300th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 6th highest percentage so far in 2018.

Its Course Score of 99.38 ranks it as the 120th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 3rd fastest course in South Carolina.

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 Charleston Marathon a PR Score of 99.38. This PR Score ranks it as the 82nd fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 3rd fastest in South Carolina.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 39 feet (11m)
Min Elevation: 3 feet (0m)


Recent Charleston Marathon Reviews

3.9 Stars from 8 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2017 Charleston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Charleston is a great city to visit. Take the tours, see the sites! The race was beautiful! It got a little warm towards the end but not too bad. The race shirt is actually my favorite of all my race shirts! Beautiful picture on front from a local artist and it fits great since it is gender specific.

Race Tips

It will probably get warm in the middle miles so don't over dress, but it does get shadier in the final miles. The humidity was at 100% on race day! Not hilly but not completely flat. Nice course.

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

I stayed at the Best Western which was close. There was renovation going on inside but it didn't bother me much. It wasn't great but I didn't spend much time there! Easy walking to and from race but needed to Uber to the Expo.;

review of 2016 Charleston Marathon.   

3 / 5 Stars


I did not like this race course. The first 6-7 miles (the good) takes you through the nice areas of Charleston. This is the best part of the course but feels a little cramped because both the full and half are bunched together at this point. The middle part of the course is horrible. The section from 9-15 (the ugly) is a joke. The road is terrible (killed my feet in places) and the scenery is industrial wasteland. The finish section (the ugly) is like running spokes on a bicycle. You traverse the roads off of a road-a-about. It feels like you are not really making any progress and became quite boring.

Race Tips

The first 9 miles is run with the half before the full detours off before rejoining at the same place after about 5 miles. Important to stay on your pace with marathons that run with the half.

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

You can cheaply stay above Charleston and access to the start of the race is easy. Everything about this race is top notch but I didn't really like the course. Charleston is a fun city and King street is a blast.

review of 2016 Charleston Marathon.   

2 / 5 Stars


First things first, I ran in 2016, so I may be off on a few things if the course has changed since then.

I'll echo some of another reviewer's sentiments about the course. The first 6 miles are great through scenic parts of downtown Charleston including the Battery and King St. It starts to get a little ugly/sketchy after that for a few miles, though there's a nice 5 mile "detour" of sorts by way of an out-and-back along Shipyard Creek. From 15-20, the course is average, can't fault it too much, and it's reasonably nice for the last 10K. However, a lot of that last 10K was out-and-back lollipops which I found completely draining that late in the race. It felt like I was going in circles and making no ground, especially when you, say, pass mile marker 24 (opposite direction) when you're only on 22. I can't expect a course to be 100% beautiful and completely looped or point-to-point, but I thought Charleston could have come up with something better.

My other main complaint has to do with both races starting simultaneously. For a while, this is no problem and even a good thing for the folks in the sub 3 range that don't have too much company in a smaller race like Charleston but get some help with the HMers going the same pace. However, after the out-and-back at 10 miles, you rejoin the half marathoners for about 1.5mi, separate for a bit again, and then rejoin once more for another 2 or so. Each time you rejoin the course, you're now part of a crowd running at a significantly slower pace than when you left. This is particularly annoying late in the race as the distance starts to take its toll. The adrenaline boost from passing people is outweighed by the energy expended dodging folks at a slower pace.

However, otherwise the race seemed well-organized, especially considering they were only on year 6. Full disclosure, this was only my first marathon, but I've run many other races big and small. The expo might have been a bit disorganized and it wasn't anything to really write home about, but that doesn't hold much weight for me. The course had plenty of volunteers and I never was unsure of where I was headed. The after-race party seemed to be a great time, though I admittedly didn't stick around too long as the race did a number on me. The nice parts of the course are really nice. Of course, it's not a "BIG race" but for its size I thought most of what I saw was very good.

Bottom line, I don't think I'd run the full again, but I would love to run the half.

Race Tips

The course is extremely flat and in that regard is certainly fast. Be prepared for some out-and-backs throughout the race if that sort of thing might affect you.

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

I believe I arrived around 6am and there was plenty of parking around the school where the check-in/expo was.

review of 2016 Charleston Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Course was fun, good size, well organized.

Race Tips

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

review of 2016 Charleston Marathon.   

2 / 5 Stars


Race has been robbed from local organizers!

It used to be a local race supporting local a local charity but they got greedy and hired a for profit race outfit. Expect a "Rock & Roll" feel with even less music / fun than "advertised" by R&R!!

Could be a really great run if the mayor of Charleston ever let a quality course be set up. (Everyone thought it would change with the change in mayor but it didn't.)

The after party (used to be) AWESOME!!! Shrimp & Grits and plenty of beer & mimosas!! -doubt the thought and care will be the profit in a great party.

Race Tips

Lots of turns in the last 10 miles.

Other than that...perfectly straight!

SUPER flat with the exception of a road bridge at mile 9...prob a whopping 30 foot elevation change...but when you've been flat for so long feels like a mountain!

Oh...bring some caffeine for miles 5-15...SO BOORING...

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

Long distance point to point ->No walking back to the start!

Be prepared to shuttle if you are not local!!

(I am so always had a car at both ends...) ...never heard a problem with the shuttles though.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Charleston Marathon in 4:44:00, 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.