If you’ve never taken the opportunity to visit the Gem State, now is your chance. Take in all the sites and sounds of the Potato State while participating in one of the best marathons in Idaho.
Lake Lowell Marathon – Nampa
The Lake Lowell Marathon is a Boston qualifier that you won’t want to miss. The race proceeds go to the benefit of several local charities and non-profit organizations. Click here to read more about the Lake Lowell Marathon.
The majority of the course is flat, with fairly significant hills at miles 3 and 25. Aid stations and port-a-potties are frequent, located every 2 miles on the course. While music devices are not forbidden, they are discouraged due to the fact that the course is not closed to traffic.
“For a very small race, I thought it was extremely well organized. The course was beautiful with mountain views, peaceful farmlands, Lake Lowell, and a nature preserve. I enjoyed seeing the sun come up over the mountains when we first started the marathon, and my biggest thrill was seeing an eagle sitting on top of its nest! The medal was one of the nicest I’ve ever gotten.” – K.B., Marathonguide.com Review
“Rolling hills during the initial miles. None of these are particularly long or steep. Mile 3 offers a beautiful view of the valley and miles 4-8 are relatively flat with views of Lake Lowell. Miles 9-19 are absolutely flat and pass through peaceful farmland and countryside. Rolling hills and residential areas make up miles 20-25. The steepest hill of the course (mile 20) does not last long. You finish in a small park next to the lake.” – S.A., Marathonguide.com Review
Priest Lake Marathon
This race takes place in Panhandle National Forest. According to race organizers, “[you will] run along the lake shore of pristine Priest Lake, through groves of lush forest, huge old-growth cedar trees, and big views of the rugged Selkirk Mountains.” It’s also a great race for ultra-marathoners. Click here for dates and registration info.
The course website describes the race as having “The scenery of a trail race, but on drivable dirt forest road with full course support like a road race.” Aid stations are located every 3 miles and are stocked with gels, chips, pretzels, nutrition bars, water, and sports drinks. The course is very hilly, so you’ll need the energy.
“I’m a trail runner and this was my first marathon. Lots of aid stations nicely spaced along the course. Perfect weather, cool but not cold. It had something for everyone, a little pavement but mostly nice gravel/dirt forest service roads. A couple good hills and some rockier sections that made you pay attention. I recommend this race to anyone wanting to get away from paved road races and enter the wonderful world of trail running.” – E.S., Marathonguide.com Review
“This is a small, VERY well organized event! If you are looking for crowds…keep looking. If you are looking for beautiful scenery, amazing race directors, great value, well stocked aid stations and events that are clearly put on by runners, you are in luck. Sign up you won’t regret it.” – J.Y., Marathonguide.com Review
Teton Dam Marathon – Rexburg
This rural, point to point race is pretty small. If you like lots of breath taking scenery without all of the crowds, this is a great race to look into. It’s great for all experience levels, no matter if you’re running your 1st marathon or your 50th. Click here to learn more.
This is a great course for your first marathon. It is a downhill race that runs across both dirt and paved roads. 13 aid stations are spread out at 2 mile intervals through out the course. Take a look at the map down below.
“I thought the course was beautiful and I even really liked the hills at the end for a change of pace. I even got my 2nd best time. The medal was great and the finish was fine.” – S.W., Marathonguide.com Review
“It is a point to point rural course with few runners and a nice early start. Add beautiful weather, exuberant volunteers, and a supportive small community, and you have a fabulous race. I know there are a lot of great marathons in Idaho, but Teton Dam should not be overlooked.” – M.A., Marathonguide.com Review
City of Trees Marathon – Boise
The City of Trees Marathon Association is dedicated to “provid[ing] quality running events that are tough, fun, and rewarding.” This race is a chip timed Boston qualifier that you won’t want to miss. Get registered here.
This race follows the Boise greenbelt and mostly shaded with aid stations every 2-3 miles. The course features many rolling hills but elevation gain is fairly moderate. While gels will be available at some stations, race organizers recommend carrying your own nutrition as well.
“Wonderful course, basically flat, friendly folks, well-organized, small field of runners for such an awesome event, chocolate milk at finish (excellent chili too!), liked the start time – right at dawn (8:00am MST). Loved running on the Greenbelt and along the ridge on Federal Way! This race covers all the bases and, as mentioned earlier, is extremely well-organized. Kudos to the race director!!!” – R.M., Marathonguide.com Review
“I really enjoyed the course and the weather. There was some rain but not too bad and I enjoy runnig when it is cool. The volunteers were very helpful and there is no way I could have gotten lost. Having the start and finish at the race hotel is a big plus. No long bus ride to the finish. I plan to do this one again.” – J.M., Marathonguide.com Review
The Pocatello Marathon is a Boston qualifying event that you won’t want to miss. You won’t see a lot of spectators, but the volunteers are top notch and put in a lot of effort to facilitate this first class event. Learn more on their website.
This race take place on paved roads through Pocatello. The first half of the course is all down hill, dropping 1,400 feet in 13 miles. From there on the course flattens out. You’ll want to do some down hill training for this one.
“A small marathon with big time organization. I ran this marathon hoping to run a good time. The course is conductive to that, but it is not all downhill. Be careful not to try to bank too much time on the down hill.From picking up my packet to the bus ride to the start to the bus ride back to the hotel every thing went smoothly.” – M.L., Marathonguide.com Review
“Nice small point to point race in scenic Idaho. Great organization, efficient bus rides to the start. Expo was minimal but the gear bag with the name tag attached for the UPS truck was a nice touch. Great volunteers and the spectators, while few, were awesome. Nice finishers medal. Well done finish line and finish ‘party’ with complimentary beer.” – M.S., Marathonguide.com Review
Mesa Falls Marathon – Ashton
Come take part in this American classic that has been going strong for 20 years. The volunteers are very experienced and put together a great event. If you’re looking for some killer views, this Boston qualifier is the one for you. Check out their website.
Aid stations will be supplied with gels, bars, water, and sports drink and set up at 2 mile intervals. The first half of the course starts out slightly down hill, with sharper downhill portions between miles 12 and 16. There is a 300 foot climb directly after the down hill portion, but once you best that, it’s downhill all the way to the finish.
“We loved the race!!!! First rate job – wonderful volunteers, excellent organization, great food, shirts, medals, beautiful course!!!!! Loved it!” – Cherry Kent, Facebook.com Review
“This was a delightful experience for me. I especially loved the trail run, which started past mile 13. The start on the gravel road was beautiful but a little rough on the feet. Also, the water stops were manned by wonderfully friendly people, but at the first, they seemed a bit overwhelmed. More volunteers are needed. An absolutely divine course for me.” – Daniel Weaver, Marathonguide.com Review