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Race Dates

2018: Sunday, May 20, 2018
2017: Sunday, May 21, 2017

Course Information

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

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 54°F (12°C)
Average High: 65°F (18°C)
Average Low: 42° F (5°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 102.09
Course Score: 102.43

Race Size

2017: 569 Finishers
2016: 559 Finishers
2015: 533 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: N/A
2017: 33.4%
2016: 37%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: Yes

Marathon Pace Bands & Elevation Wrist Bands

See what splits you need to run for the Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon or other marathons, adjusted for the specific terrain of each marathon, your goal time and pacing strategies.

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Course Description

The Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon is one of the fastest courses in the U.S. and a high percentage of finishers achieve Boston Marathon qualifying times on the net downhill course.

Although the course is a net downhill with a difference of over 1400 feet from the start and finish lines, the course does have many rolling hills which can take a toll on one's legs after the steep downhill miles (miles 6-11).

Marathon Rankings

The Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon was the 122nd largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 130th largest in 2016.

Last year 33.4% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 37% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon the 13th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 3rd highest percentage in 2016.

Its Course Score of 102.43 ranks it as the 14th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 1st fastest course in Pennsylvania.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are slightly above the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon a PR Score of 102.09. This PR Score ranks it as the 13th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 1st fastest in Pennsylvania.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 1884 feet (574m)
Min Elevation: 421 feet (128m)


Recent Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon Reviews

4.1 Stars from 16 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2017 Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon.   

4 / 5 Stars


The Run for the Red is a purpose built race for BQ qualifiers. I was amazed to stand at the start and see how many people lined up in front of the 3:25 pacer. With that said, there is over 600' of uphills, with many back ended when your quads are screaming. The first half of the race is bucolic and quiet and provide ample opportunity to cut corners. The back half includes open roads with 2-way traffic, but you should always feel safe. The finish is awesome, and the logistics, while a bit complicated, are easy to handle.

Race Tips

Best pacing strategy - buy a wrist band from findmymarathon!!! I ran an even effort strategy, and it's sometimes shocking to see 20-30 sec/mile under your overall pace but reassuring when you check in with the pace band that it's the course, not you. I never got more than +/- 30 sec from my overall target. If I had to run this race again I would probably target a more aggressive negative split - cruising through the cool first half and banking energy definitely helps the tougher back half.

Three race tips:

1. There is no nutrition provided on the course, so if you need GUs, bring 'em yourself.
2. At the water stations, they hand out full bottles of water - grab one. While the aid stations are stated to be every 2 miles, sometimes they are a bit further.
3. Keep your eyes peeled for potholes - there are many, especially in the beginning third, that looked like ankle eaters.

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

This is a nice, small, well supported race. Parking is easy at Pocono Mountain West HS. The HS is open, providing a great place to keep warm and use any last minute facilities. The race organizers provide a drop bag for the finish. If you are coming from out of town and don't want to pick up your bib the night before I recommend paying the extra $20 for race day pickup. I cruised in at 6:10am, picked up my bib, used the facilities and still had plenty of time for warm ups and bag drop off before 7am start. The shuttle buses make the 20 minute drive back to the start after the race and leave frequently.

review of 2017 Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Easy check in, good support on the course, fun finish on a track. The elevation chart is misleading. Be ready for lots of climbs in the second half.

Race Tips

Wish the water stations were very mile instead of every 2.

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

review of 2017 Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


For a relatively small event, this is an extremely well-produced race. Everything from packet pick up to on course water stops to the finish facility was very, very well done. Both the start and finish are at large high schools with ample bathroom facilities. Each are supplemented with a seemingly excessive port-a-potty supply. The volunteer support throughout the race was top-notch, too. I've done much larger races with significantly inferior support, organization, and production to this one.

Race Tips

Downhill does not bother me, so I'm a bit biased (if downhill racing is tough on your legs, this one is not for you!). I was able to execute my race strategy (in order to achieve a BQ) exactly, which was to put some time in the bank in the first half (then hold that pace/effort as long as I could) to buy myself some wiggle-room in the 2nd half in case those rollers at the end hit me hard. Fortunately, it went exactly as planned and by the time fatigue started to impact my pace, I'd bought myself plenty of time. On the rolling hills in the 2nd half, every up is followed immediately by a down, so you can recover quickly -- don't worry about your pace in the up hill; just maintain the same effort and you'll make it up on the following downhill.

You will see other comments about traffic not being completely closed. This is certainly the case, but I never felt unsafe; I just couldn't take every tangent perfectly.

Similar to my statement about downhill; if you need huge crowds (both racers and along the course in support, cheering), then this might not be the race for you. However, if you're able to let your mind wander and enjoy beautiful rural scenery in relative solitude, you'll be just fine. If you need on-course support, have a similarly paced running buddy do it with you.

My logistics provided me the opportunity to drive the course the day before the race -- if you haven't done this one before, I highly recommend it.

I somehow managed to beat my goal time (3 minutes faster than my BQ standard) by one minute, 14 seconds -- a significant PR, as well. Big caveat here: the weather was damn near perfect! This leads me to my final point:

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

If you live within driving distance of this race, and are training to race a marathon +/- one week of this one, you can wait until the just before race weekend and check the weather forecast. If the weather is good (like we had this year) you can register as late as the morning of and have a great race. (I'm pretty sure the first overall woman this year did exactly that, and earned $2000 for a little under three hours of work.) I can see this being a very tough course on a hot day, though. It's mostly shaded in the first half, but pretty exposed to the sun in the 2nd, where the course gets a bit harder.

review of 2017 Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Well organized. Great course!!! Suitable for a BQ. Pacers are provided, but I wish they can provide pacers at Age group specific BQ times less 5 minutes. Because I think this is a course where people mostly come for a PR and maybe a BQ. My BQ time is 3:25. I followed 3:25 pacer and finished in 3:24:41, a PR for me of 4 minutes. But most likely this won't qualify me for Boston.

Race Tips

Either follow a pacer or create a custom pace band from here with Even Effort, even pace, etc. Because of significant downhill in the first half and then some uphills in miles 18, 20, 22, 24, you need to conserve energy during downhill/first half. It's not easy to bank on the time saved in the first half for the second half because of the rolling hills from mile 18.

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

Bring your own gels. Have one Gatorade bottle in your bag checked for after the race to get rid of cramps. I didn't get any Gatorade and any salty pretzel from the organizers after the race, when I was cramping severely. But they had plenty of water, turkey sandwich and bagels, and chocolate milk and ice bags and medical tents.

review of 2017 Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Small but very well run race. The course is not as easy as it looks on the elevation chart. The early miles of the constant down hills does take its toll on your legs as you enter the 2 hills around miles 19 to 20. I was pretty much on pace for a BQ finish until I hit those hills. I managed to hang on the final miles coming in 14 minutes under my goal time. Disappointment on my part for maybe going out too quick to early but I would certainly do it again next year and will stick with a pace group instead.

Race Tips

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

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Pocono Mountain Run for the Red Marathon in 4:42:00, 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.