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Looking for the Best Boston Marathon Qualifying Races?

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Race Dates

2018: TBD
2017: Sunday, September 10, 2017

Course Information

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

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 65°F (18°C)
Average High: 75°F (23°C)
Average Low: 54° F (12°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 97.82
Course Score: 99.68

Race Size

2018: No Results
2017: 764 Finishers
2016: 988 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: N/A
2017: 33.4%
2016: 13.7%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

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Course Description

The downhill Via Marathon course starts at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, PA. The course proceeds to the Lehigh Parkway, past the Fish Hatchery, across a covered bridge and heads towards the Lehigh River.

The course is approximately 16 miles of paved road and 10 miles of gravel path and has a net elevation drop of 260 feet.

Marathon Rankings

The Via Marathon was the 101st largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 87th largest in 2016.

Last year 33.4% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 13.7% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Via Marathon the 14th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 111th highest percentage in 2016.

Its Course Score of 99.68 ranks it as the 63rd fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 6th fastest course in Pennsylvania.

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 Via Marathon a PR Score of 97.82. This PR Score ranks it as the 277th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 13th fastest in Pennsylvania.

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

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 421 feet (128m)
Min Elevation: 161 feet (49m)


Recent Via Marathon Reviews

2.7 Stars from 3 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2016 Via Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Easy to get to start, mostly on trail, easy to park near finish

Race Tips

A train crossing did stop the race but apparently that was the first time it's happened.

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

review of 2016 Via Marathon.   

3 / 5 Stars


A train halted runners on the course for several minutes in 2016, which was obviously a disaster for many. It did not impact me as a middle of the pack runner, however. I think the race director/ organizers could have done a better job of responding to the issue after the fact.

Race Tips

Flat, rail trail course. Prepare for warn temperatures. After party was nice.

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

Ample parking at the hospital.

review of 2015 Via Marathon.   

0 / 5 Stars


Because this marathon is "the last call" in trying to BQ for the following year, they get a high percentage of qualifiers. I ran it twice and had a much faster time at Philly which is 10 weeks later. My two friends who ran Philly and Via also had a faster time at Philly.

Race Tips

A good part of the race is run on crushed stone. I think it takes more effort than running on roads.

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

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Via Marathon in 3:47:00, 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.