The Fastest Course in the West!

#1 Boston Qualifier ○ Spectacular State Capitol Finish ○ Downhill to Downtown

Our point-to-point, net downhill course has remained unchanged for 38 years, providing over 100,000 runners of all speeds–from first-timers to the fastest of the fast–the best chance to achieve their marathon goals. 

CIM is certified and sanctioned by USATF and is a Boston Marathon and US Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier.

CIM is put on by the Sacramento Running Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

CIM 2023 Newsletters

About CIM

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 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. CIM start is at a 366 ft. elevation and its finish at a 26 ft. elevation.

CIM has steadily grown in numbers from a field of 1,600 runners in 1983 to a race that now fills to a capacity of more than 9,000 marathoners. Over the years, the SRA has added a relay and 2 Saturday 5Ks, the UC Davis Children’s Hospital MaraFUNrun, primarily for youth, and the Capitol 5K, a premier 5K held the day before CIM.

The SRA Board of Directors, race management and volunteers work thousands of hours year-round to ensure that all runners have the best marathon experience possible, whether you are an experienced elite racer, mid-packer or are running for your first marathon finisher’s medallion. We look forward to seeing you in December!

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.
  • 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 CIM course.
  • There is bus transportation to the start for all runners.
  • More than 4,000 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 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!
CIM Testimonials
“There’s nothing ambiguous about it: if you want to run a PR, CIM is the place to do it.”
—Outside Magazine (2017)

“…every detail of the race is carefully considered by the organizers to help athletes run fast.”
—Endurance Sportswire (2019)

“Honestly, you can’t order up better weather for running than Sacramento in December.”
—Women’s Running Magazine (2017)

“The California International Marathon consistently ranks in the top 9 of marathons with the most number of Boston Marathon qualifiers.”
—World Marathons (2019)

Voted Best Local Competitive/Performance Race by Sacramento Area runners.