Charity entries still available for Dec. 3 race

The California International Marathon surpassed 10,000 marathon entries before Labor Day for the first time in its 34-year history and has closed general registration.

The race, organized by the Sacramento Running Association, has filled in each of the last nine years.

Runners hoping for a spot in the 35th annual race, set for Dec. 3, can still gain entry by purchasing a charity registration.

There are 500 tax-deductible charity entries available at $275 each, with proceeds going directly to SRA community giving initiatives including CIM’s chief beneficiary UC Davis Children’s Hospital.

General registration and charity entries are expected to push the registration total to over 11,000 with another 7,000 runners combined in the CIM Relay Challenge and maraFUNrun 5k for a race weekend total of 18,000 participants.

In addition to the excitement around the 35th running of the race and the rising interest in participation, the profile of the race on the national stage received a large boost with the CIM’s selection to host the U.S. Marathon Championships in 2017 and 2018.

“We are very excited about the steady and growing demand from marathoners from all around the world to come and run CIM each fall,” SRA Executive Director Scott Abbott said.

Marathon growth has exploded since 2000, with the number of U.S. marathons increasing from approximately 300 in 2000 to more than 1,100 in 2016. But the CIM remains strong thanks to its connection to the community and its reputation as an optimal Boston Marathon qualifying course.

“As a long-standing event in an industry saturated with options, growth is not expected for events such as CIM; however, CIM continues to see growth year-in and year-out, and the Sacramento Running Association is excited to continue be able to expand to find ways to share this special event with more and more people.”

The race has grown tremendously since 2005 when it featured 4,000 runners. With 6,176 finishers in 2016, the CIM ranked as the 13th largest marathon in the country. Race organizers hope to jump ahead of the Chevron Houston Marathon, Grandma’s Marathon and the San Francisco Marathon to crack the top 10 in 2017.

The first CIM in 1983 had 1,600 entrants.

“We are pleased to continue to leverage this demand as a means to impact the Sacramento community positively through a greater number of entries going to benefit partner charities, namely the UC Davis Children’s Hospital and our other community beneficiaries,” added Abbott.

“UC Davis Children’s Hospital is proud to be the chief beneficiary of the California International Marathon and receive such generous support from the Sacramento Running Association,” said Ann Madden Rice, CEO of UC Davis Medical Center.

“Now that the charity entries are open, runners will be able to register and help support sick and injured children in the Sacramento community and the 33 counties that we serve.”

The CIM has long enjoyed a reputation as a great race to earn a Boston Marathon qualifying time ranking first among major open U.S. marathons with the highest percentage of finishers qualifying for Boston. The 26.2-mile test from Folsom to the state Capitol features the slight downhill course and weather conditions are normally cool enough to produce fast times.

“As the number one Boston Qualifier among all major American marathons, the California International Marathon prides itself on providing a great opportunity for runners pursuing a coveted start line spot in Hopkinton on Patriots’ Day,” said Race Director Eli Asch.

“The CIM strives to provide all runners –from first-timers hoping to finish to veterans hoping to break through with a big personal best – the chance to perform their best on race day.”

Spots are still available in the CIM Relay Challenge and maraFUNrun 5k.

The entry fee for the two-person relay is $175 until Oct. 11, $195 from Oct. 12 though Nov. 12 and $225 from Dec. 1-2 at the CIM Expo. The entry fee for the three or four-person relay is $200 until Oct. 11, $225 from Oct. 12 though Nov. 12 and $275 from Dec. 1-2 at the CIM Expo. High school teams can enter for $50.

The maraFUNrun 5k is free to kids 14 and under until Nov. 30, $15 at the CIM Expo on Dec. 1 -2 and $20 on race day. The cost for adults is $20 until Nov. 30, $25 at the expo and $30 on race day.

Runners can register at

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding new ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Other SRA events include the Capital Cross Challenge on Sept. 30, the Run the Parkway on Nov. 5, the Super Sunday Run on Feb. 4, 2018, the Credit Union SACTOWN Run on April 8, 2018 and the Gold Country Half on June 10, 2018.