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Looking for the Best Boston Marathon Qualifying Races?

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Race Dates

2018: Saturday, September 8, 2018
2017: Saturday, September 9, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Pancake Flat
Type: Multiple Loops
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 66°F (18°C)
Average High: 77°F (25°C)
Average Low: 54° F (12°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 97.08
Course Score: 99.19

Race Size

2017: 215 Finishers
2016: 188 Finishers
2015: 236 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: N/A
2017: 47%
2016: 35.1%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

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Course Description

The Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon course is 8 laps of a flat route along the Fox River.

The 3.21 mile loop course (plus start/finish spurs) offers plenty of shade, scenic views of parks and forest preserves bordering the river, and a glimpse of downtown Batavia.

The paved trail along both sides of the Fox Valley River is very flat.

Marathon Rankings

The Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon was the 238th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 276th largest in 2016.

Last year 47% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 35.1% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon the 4th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 4th highest percentage in 2016.

Its Course Score of 99.19 ranks it as the 164th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 4th 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 Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon a PR Score of 97.08. This PR Score ranks it as the 340th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 11th fastest in Illinois.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 689 feet (210m)
Min Elevation: 668 feet (203m)


Recent Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon Reviews

5 Stars from 3 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2016 Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Race Tips

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

review of 2015 Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


The race organizers do everything they can to help you qualify for Boston. All runners are treated like elite athletes: every time around the course (8 laps), you can pick up your own bottle and/or energy snacks from a series of tables, refuel, and then about 200 yards after throw the bottle at a drop zone target for volunteers to put back onto the table for you the next time you pass by. Your bib number encodes your BQ time, e.g. bib 315xx means 3hr 15min is your goal time, so you instantly have friends to pace with. Weather is the only question mark with this race. Average temperature is in the mid 60s, but in 2015, it was 51F, which was perfect for racing.

Race Tips

The 2015 race was small. The running path is about 4 runners wide for most of the course. The course was not closed off for marathon runners only - there were a few casual joggers and bicycle riders going in the same or opposite direction as the marathon, but they were courteous and moved over for us.

The course has 8 loops. This is a bonus because it ensures no surprises in the course after the first 3.5 miles and that you can maximize utility of your elite table. The course crosses 2 short bridges. The first time across, my legs felt weird and my balance was a little off -- it was a bit like walking on a ship at sea and the impact is completely different than running on asphalt. But, I quickly got used to it. There one oddity was that due to construction, the race course detoured through a McDonald's parking lot!

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

review of 2014 Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


I absolutely loved this race! The course was flat and beautiful! The pacers were excellent! The elite aid station was my favorite. Having my specific nutrition in my spot was perfect. The weather was ideal. This was the inaugural year and everything went seamlessly. I cannot say enough awesome things about this race!

Race Tips

Pacers were steady and great encouragers. Course was 8 3.25 mile loops. Do not be afraid of this. It is long enough that you are not bothered by the loops but instead look forward to the next time you see your friend, windmill(yes, I said windmill), sculpted shrubs, river, etc. extremely organized race.

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

I strongly encourage anyone going to geneva for any reason to stay at the Herrington Inn and Spa. It was truly delightful right down to the homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk before bed!

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Last Chance BQ.2 Marathon in 3:43:00, 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.