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Did You Run a Marathon in 2016 or 2017?

We are compiling our "Best of 2016" Lists (revealed in June) and want to make sure your opinion is counted.
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Leading Ladies Marathon

Spearfish, SD

Race Dates

2017: Sunday, August 20, 2017
2016: Sunday, August 21, 2016

Course Information

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

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 67°F (19°C)
Average High: 83°F (28°C)
Average Low: 51° F (10°C)

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 98.00
Course Score: 99.60

Race Size

2016: 121 Finishers
2015: 137 Finishers
2014: 124 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 19.8%
2015: 8%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

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Course Description

The Leading Ladies Marathon course starts at 6,000 feet and runs downhill into Spearfish losing 2,400 feet down to a finishing elevation just above 3,600 feet. As with any of the significantly downhill races like this, managing pacing and reducing braking is very important in hitting goal times on this potentially "quad-busting" course.

Although the course has the potential to be very fast if the downhills are managed well, the weather is typically warm for this August race and may adversely affect finish times. Temperatures at the start line may be about ten degrees lower than in Spearfish, but as you progress down the the course, temperatures could reach into the upper 60s and low 70s during the race.

Marathon Rankings

The Leading Ladies Marathon was the 367th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 346th largest in 2015.

Last year 19.8% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 8% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the Leading Ladies Marathon the 44th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 255th highest percentage in 2015.

Its Course Score of 99.60 ranks it as the 72nd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 1st fastest course in South Dakota.

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 Leading Ladies Marathon a PR Score of 98.00. This PR Score ranks it as the 254th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 3rd fastest in South Dakota.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 6060 feet (1847m)
Min Elevation: 3662 feet (1116m)


Ratings & Reviews for the Leading Ladies Marathon

5 Stars from 2 Reviews

review of 2016 Leading Ladies Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Nice course. Needed more portapotties and volunteers at each water stop.

Race Tips

First mile and turnaround at around 11 are uphill, go easy on those

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

Stay in Spearfish, take bus to start from park

review of 2012 Leading Ladies Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Small crowd, downhill, and gorgeous! (All women- sorry, guys!)

Race Tips

Can be very cold at start- be prepared to ditch clothes right before the race begins. There is a decent hill around mile 12-be prepared!

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

Race is still small enough that you can stay at any hotel and have someone drive you right to the start. The Lodge at Deadwood is hands down the best local place to stay. If you're coming to also enjoy the Black Hills- splurge for a local cabin- you won't be sorry!

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Leading Ladies Marathon in 3:39:00, 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.