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Looking for the Best Boston Marathon Qualifying Races?

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Race Dates

2018: Sunday, September 16, 2018
2017: Sunday, September 17, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Out and Back
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 63°F (17°C)
Average High: 74°F (23°C)
Average Low: 51° F (10°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 97.87
Course Score: 99.22

Race Size

2017: 634 Finishers
2016: 718 Finishers
2015: 880 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: N/A
2017: 4.7%
2016: 9.1%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

Marathon Pace Bands & Elevation Wrist Bands

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Course Description

The flat Fox Valley Marathon course runs on the town streets and bike paths along the Fox River.

Marathon Rankings

The Fox Valley Marathon was the 114th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 108th largest in 2016.

Last year 4.7% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 9.1% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Fox Valley Marathon the 360th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 237th highest percentage in 2016.

Its Course Score of 99.22 ranks it as the 152nd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 2nd fastest course in Illinois.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are above the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Fox Valley Marathon a PR Score of 97.87. This PR Score ranks it as the 274th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 9th fastest in Illinois.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 732 feet (223m)
Min Elevation: 631 feet (192m)


Recent Fox Valley Marathon Reviews

5 Stars from 3 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2017 Fox Valley Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Race Tips

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

review of 2017 Fox Valley Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


This is a great race: fast, mostly flat, shady (although a warm 82ish at race end), organized, well staffed. You can BQ here and sign up during week 2 of Boston registration. You should run this race if you are anywhere near St. Charles.

PROS: Pre-race info is detailed and available on website well ahead of time; lots of options on packet pick up; lots of hotels and restaurants in the area. Course is well marked, well supported throughout, and aid stations are well run - but maybe a bit far apart in some places. Beautiful course around the river, over a few short bridges, lovely scenery in an alpine-like town. Post-race massages! (sign up as soon as you exit food tent). Lots of volunteer support, and they are very friendly. Quick pick up of race results via QR code on your bib. EASY for your race supporters to get around and meet you at specific places - great info on parking and meeting spots. Only about 700 marathoners, but you start with 1300 additional runners (1/2 and 20 milers). Wave start, so not terribly crowded for long.

CONS: BEWARE!! The pacers may not 1) run an even race 2) run at their designated pace 3) meet their time goal (either over or under!). Plan to pace yourself, and don't let the pace groups mess with your head. It is a mostly flat course, so you can plan on even splits. Post-race food isn't that great. I wish I could have found an interactive course map ahead of time instead of having to rely on their pdf version.

This is a fun race just because everyone is so happy!

Race Tips

1- pace yourself; go for even splits; DON'T LET THE DOWNHILL START THROW YOU OFF PACE - you can't make it up, and there are a couple of inclines at the end where you'll need your energy - stick with your goal pace (DO NOT RELY ON THEIR PACERS)
2- course is shady for 19 miles or so - enjoy that
3- very few rolling hills; you will have some short inclines in the last 8 miles
4- easy parking for race day - got there about 45 minutes before the start - bathroom lines took about 20 minutes, so plan ahead
5- aid stations are a little far apart at times, plan ahead
6- it's easy to have people meet you along the course for course support - great info on parking for them, it's not crowded, so you can spot them, they can see you around 5-6 times if you want. Due to the locations of the aid stations, I had someone refresh my handheld water bottle, which I usually don't do. it worked perfectly.
7- It can be HOT for the last hour. in 2017, we started at 65 deg and finished at 82ish. Stay hydrated

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

Plenty of hotels and restaurants in the area. Parking is well marked on the race guides. I got there 45 minutes ahead of time. Traffic was not that bad. Easy to meet up after the race. HIlton Garden let me have 1pm check out, so I could shower after the race. IAgain, would use this to BQ - not the Last Chance to BQ even though they are run by the same people and use a similar course. Generally, you can still sign up for Boston on the Monday of the 2nd week of registration. You can get in if you beat your BQ time by just a few minutes.

review of 2013 Fox Valley Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Beautiful course up and down the river. Nice and flat, no tight spots. Very well organized. Tons of support from volunteers and local community spectators. Plenty of hydration options throughout the course. Plenty of porta-potties. Very attractive high tech T-shirt and medal.

Race Tips

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

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Fox Valley Marathon in 3:48:00, 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.