RaceGrader - Authentic Race Reviews - Swim, Bike, Run

California International Marathon

December 04, 2016 · Huntington Beach, Sacramento, California

Distance: 26.2 miles

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a marathon organized by runners, for runners!  CIM was founded in 1983 by the Sacramento Running Association (SRA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  The SRA Board of Directors is comprised of runners with a combined total of 150+ years of service to the CIM.

The same route SRA management created for the 1983 inaugural CIM will take you through rural countryside, then through the towns of Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks and Carmichael and finally, under a canopy of trees in full fall colors, into the city of Sacramento for the State Capitol finish.  Even though the course has remained the same, the race has grown into a true international event.

CIM has a gently rolling, point-to-point, net downhill course with well maintained streets and few turns.  The CIM start is at a 366 ft. elevation and its finish at a 26 ft. elevation.


Reasons to Run CIM
  • Qualify for the Boston Marathon! The fast, USATF sanctioned course is a Boston Marathon qualifying course.
  • Average temperatures range in the mid-50s, 80% chance of perfect running weather.
  • Fall continues well into December in Sacramento and the “City of Trees” is ablaze with fall colors.
  • The CIM wide start line minimizes congestion and allows for you to easily settle into your marathon pace.
  • There are separate finish lines for men and for women.
  • The Pace Team leaders, many of them elite ultra runners, are local and familiar with the CIM course.
  • The Loyal Runners Program is available to runners who have finished the CIM 5 times, 10 times, 15 times, 20 times, 25 times and 30 times receive special gifts.
  • There is bus transportation to the start for all runners.
  • More than 2,000 dedicated, caring volunteers, and great crowd support from local residents who support this “Capitol Running Tradition.”
  • 17-well-stocked aid stations and plenty of nourishment at the finish.
  • More porta-potties per runner at the start and along the course than any event the CIM staff and board has ever seen!
  • Block-by-block, lively and “international” course entertainment.
  • Beautiful, LARGE, unique, colorful finishers’ medallions and ribbons.
  • Festive two-day Expo, timed perfectly for your holiday shopping.
  • Get in shape, meet new friends, achieve a goal, and then enjoy the holiday season guilt-free!
What Others Have Said About CIM
  • “One of the fastest, if not THE FASTEST, courses in the country!”— Bart Yasso, Runner’s World Online 2007
  • “One of the WORLD’S BEST small marathons.”— Runner’s World Magazine, 2006
  • The CIM consistently ranks in the top 9 of marathons with the most number of Boston Marathon qualifiers, behind marathons with much larger numbers of participants (Boston, Chicago, New York, etc.).— marathonguide.com, 2004-2013
  • Voted “BEST Marathon.”— Competitor Magazine Poll, 2009
  • “…in the TOP TEN as a FALL DESTINATION Marathon.”— USA Today, Bart Yasso, 2007
  • Voted “Sacramento’s BEST sporting event” — Sacramento Bee online poll, 2009
Click here for registration information
pre-race course post-race