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Best Marathons of 2016

View our Best Marathons of 2016 Winners.

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Race Dates

2018: TBD
2017: Sunday, August 20, 2017

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)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 97.77
Course Score: 99.36

Race Size

2017: 93 Finishers
2016: 121 Finishers
2015: 137 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: 23.7%
2016: 19.8%
2015: 8%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

Race Day Weather Forecast

Race Day Temperatures High: 82°F  (28°C)
Low: 59°F  (15°C)

Race Start Conditions

60°F  (16°C)

ESE 3 mph 

PR Score
(Normal Score)


Course Score


The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are slightly above the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. You may need to adjust your pace slightly.

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 365th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 345th largest in 2015.

This year 23.7% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 19.8% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Leading Ladies Marathon the 44th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 13th highest percentage so far in 2017.

Its Course Score of 99.36 ranks it as the 122nd 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 97.77. This PR Score ranks it as the 282nd 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: 6065 feet (1849m)
Min Elevation: 3677 feet (1121m)


Recent Leading Ladies Marathon Reviews

5 Stars from 2 Reviews
View all 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 3:51:00, 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.