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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.
Rate and Review Your 2016 & 2017 Marathons

Race Dates

2017: Saturday, November 25, 2017
2016: Saturday, November 26, 2016

Course Information

Profile: Mostly Flat
Type: Out and Back
Surface: Mostly on Trails
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 38°F (3°C)
Average High: 43°F (6°C)
Average Low: 32° F (0°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 98.89
Course Score: 98.89

Race Size

2016: 275 Finishers
2015: 313 Finishers
2014: 338 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 17.1%
2015: 15%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

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Course Description

The North Central Rail Trail Marathon is an out and back course primarily along the Northern Central Railroad Trail. The start and finish are at Sparks Elementary School, with the first 1.8 miles being on rural paved roads as you make your way to the trail.

The last 1.5 miles of the course are also on paved roads. The remainder of the race is on the flat stretches of the NCR Trail.

The trail surface is a compacted combination of dirt and fine stone.

Marathon Rankings

The North Central Rail Trail Marathon was the 224th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 207th largest in 2015.

Last year 17.1% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 15% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the North Central Rail Trail Marathon the 60th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 81st highest percentage in 2015.

Its Course Score of 98.89 ranks it as the 202nd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 4th fastest course in Maryland.

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 North Central Rail Trail Marathon a PR Score of 98.89. This PR Score ranks it as the 146th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 3rd fastest in Maryland.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 507 feet (154m)
Min Elevation: 249 feet (75m)


Ratings & Reviews for the North Central Rail Trail Marathon

5 Stars from 1 Reviews

review of 2016 North Central Rail Trail Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Smallish (500 or so) marathon put on by the Baltimore Road Runners Club for over a quarter century in Sparks, MD at Sparks Elementary School. School provides a nice warm environment until race begins and serves as the post-race headquarters. Unique awards and hand-written finisher certificates add a nice touch. Very nice giveaway item (sweatshirt, fleece pullover, etc.) Pretty flat out and back course run through pretty countryside on a historic rails-to-trails path. Tough hill near the end so prepare to work over the last couple of miles. Very well organized.

Race Tips

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

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the North Central Rail Trail Marathon in 4:55:00, 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.