Overall Rating
Overall Rating (220 Reviews)
4.7
(220 Ratings)(220 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.8
SCENERY
3.5
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
3.9
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. Our gently rolling, point-to-point, net downhill course has remained unchanged for 38 years, providing over 100,000 runners of all speeds–from first-timers to … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Brenna Anderson
    absolut_vb REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Perfect amount of aid stations, but of a fight to hit the aid as there is lots of people on the course - don’t go out to hard even though … MORE

    Perfect amount of aid stations, but of a fight to hit the aid as there is lots of people on the course – don’t go out to hard even though it feels amazing, the rolling hills in the first half will eat your legs alive…course weather is near perfect, not too hot but not cold at all, small most on race day that was quite refreshing…really had a great time. Finish line and post race nutrition is perfect.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    apyang REPEAT RUNNER '19

    (i copied most of this review from last year's review .) The weather forecasts said it was going to rain, with a possibility of lightning. Fortunately it did not do … MORE

    (i copied most of this review from last year’s review .) The weather forecasts said it was going to rain, with a possibility of lightning. Fortunately it did not do so, and the temperature at the start ended up being much better than last year (about 54 degrees vs 36 degrees.)

    The course starts downhill, and then there are multiple rolling hills, none of which are too bad in itself, but the sheer number of them was annoying. (Note: I live in a very flat city, so I don’t get a chance to do any hill training.) The course is fairly flat after about mile 19 or 20.

    There were tons of aid stations, and they did not run out of water even of back-of-the-pack people like me.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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    apyang FIRST-TIMER '18

    Many people run this as a shakedown run before the next day's CIM. This race is run near downtown Sacramento,, ending right in front of the state Capitol. The course … MORE

    Many people run this as a shakedown run before the next day’s CIM. This race is run near downtown Sacramento,, ending right in front of the state Capitol. The course is very flat.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Carlos Sanchez
    sanca150 FIRST-TIMER '19

    beautiful weather and great organization, it is a good way to PR or BQ. Even though there are some hills, they are not very big or steep, The support from … MORE

    beautiful weather and great organization, it is a good way to PR or BQ. Even though there are some hills, they are not very big or steep, The support from volunteers and citizens is awesome and uplifts your energy to keep going.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    abirdsong FIRST-TIMER '19

    - CIM was well-organized and provided excellent pre-race communication and tutorial videos from race directors and pace team leaders. This organization strives to ensure each runner is prepared and can … MORE

    – CIM was well-organized and provided excellent pre-race communication and tutorial videos from race directors and pace team leaders. This organization strives to ensure each runner is prepared and can have a great race.
    – Race morning transportation/logistics were smooth and while the portalet-to-runner ratio is the best in the nation, still get in line early. The start line was a well-oiled machine, with runners self-seeded and pacers easy to find. Some signage was a bit vague, though, and I ended up hopping a gate to the correct corral.
    – The course is mostly rolling hills until the last few miles. This is the underwhelmed part of my review…it was pretty much a divided four-lane road through suburban Sacramento until the last handful of miles. It got a bit boring at times, but the predictability of the course helps sustain rhythm and pace.
    – Crowds were intermittent and somewhat thin, but frequent enough that you kept the motivation going. Lots of cowbells and some very funny and creative signs. This is also where I was underwhelmed, particularly since this feature of the course (ie., crowds) had been raved about by prior CIM runners and I didn’t feel like it lived up to the hype. I’ve run races with more ambitious crowds, I guess. All in all, though, Sacramento does come out for this race and you feel like the whole City is rooting for you!
    – Aid stations were frequent but only on the right side after mile 4ish. This created some bottlenecking and logistically was difficult given the number of runners.
    – The race field was a good size for going for a PR and had a substantial amount of pacers, many of them BQ-oriented.
    – The post-race area lacked places to sit but had good amount of nutrition and fluids, including an environmentally-friendly reusable water bottle. The shuttles back to the CIM partner hotels were easy to find but waited quite awhile before leaving and then our driver appeared to get lost enroute.

    This is a solid race in many aspects and I had a good run, finishing with a PR. While I don’t plan to run CIM again, I think everyone should consider it, as there are many repeat CIM racers and it just might be your new favorite–I just didn’t have that experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    5

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    kckeelapatla FIRST-TIMER '19

    I would recommend the race, (disclosure: I just earned a personal best there) The good * Pace group leaders were awesome * Plenty of porta potties at the start (1 … MORE

    I would recommend the race, (disclosure: I just earned a personal best there)
    The good
    * Pace group leaders were awesome
    * Plenty of porta potties at the start (1 for every 30 runners per announcer)
    * Hot soup at the finish was delicious and welcome on a damp and mildly chilly day
    The not-so-great
    * 3 start line buses took wrong turns twice, so it took longer to get to the start area. Strange for a race that claims to have not changed course 37 years
    * Hydration stations were too way short – can the volunteers be spread out a bit more ? Also, I missed a few Nuun stations and not all aid stations had Nuun.
    * I had trouble exiting the finish area and had to crawl through the fence to get to the street. None of the volunteers I asked knew – perhaps have a few volunteers who can provide this information ?
    * I would classify this as a course with rolling hills. It may be a net downhill course on paper (and you feel the downhills in the first half of the course), but the downhill segments in the first half will not really help you in the last third or so of the race, which is mostly flat.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
    SCENERY
    3
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    4

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    Profile photo of Becky Younger
    byounger19 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    If you want a marathon that's not big city big but not so small you're running alone, CIM is for you. Around 8000 runners move through a point to point … MORE

    If you want a marathon that’s not big city big but not so small you’re running alone, CIM is for you. Around 8000 runners move through a point to point course with very few turns. The course rolls ever so gently until it flattens like a pancake in the last 10k. The pacers are phenomenal, at least for the 3 hour group. Both years I’ve run, they have come in around 15 seconds under the goal time. Everything about this race is run smoothly. All the volunteers are phenomenal. The aid stations on the course are all uniform, on the right side of the road, Nuun first, water second. The buses stay at the start area until the race begins, so if bad weather you can hang out inside. There are more port-a-potties at the start then any other event ever. I can say I will be back again for this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    kjaehn REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Well organized race. Great course. Almost always great weather for a marathon. Since this course runs through a lot of neighborhoods, there are always so many people cheering the runners! … MORE

    Well organized race. Great course. Almost always great weather for a marathon. Since this course runs through a lot of neighborhoods, there are always so many people cheering the runners! Great bands along the way playing awesome loud music.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    mullady FIRST-TIMER '19

    I cut ~30 minutes off my marathon time (4:0 to 3:32) It's a very fast/flat course (especially at the end when you really need it) and you will do well. … MORE

    I cut ~30 minutes off my marathon time (4:0 to 3:32) It’s a very fast/flat course (especially at the end when you really need it) and you will do well. The course is net downhill, however, there are rolling hills in the beginning. Since my quads were not as accustomed to this, I experienced earlier stiffness in my quad (around mi 15) than I was expecting due to the downhills. Now that I’m in recovery I can tell they really took a beating. However, the downhills also help with your faster time so I can’t complain too much! Just need to do some leg strength training.

    The organization was good. Spectators are full of heart, but there’s just not that many of them compared to big name race. It’s not NYC or Chicago, but there is always someone cheering at least.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    Jammindy REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Fast course. Fantastic support and the crowds are fun. many bands and musicians on the course. The community is out on the course with bells and costumes cheering. A ton … MORE

    Fast course. Fantastic support and the crowds are fun. many bands and musicians on the course. The community is out on the course with bells and costumes cheering. A ton of fun. The last few miles has a huge crowd supporting all participants. The finish at the state capital is a nice topper. Food and beer at the finish line

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    milestomeg FIRST-TIMER '19

    I loved everything about this race! It reminded me of a small-scale, more intimate version of the Boston Marathon. The expo was easy in and out, the bussing from downtown … MORE

    I loved everything about this race! It reminded me of a small-scale, more intimate version of the Boston Marathon. The expo was easy in and out, the bussing from downtown to the start was a breeze, and there were plenty of portapotties. The course was also a dream: point-to-point and scenic, with very few turns and gentle, rolling hills. Lots of spectators throughout and great swag! Nice tech tee, medal, finish line jacket, reusable water bottle, and hot soup, plus fun photo opps. The 5K and kids’ run the day before made it a great family weekend, and I loved that there were so many serious runners looking for PRs, BQs, & OTQs. Majorly inspiring!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Christinasousa FIRST-TIMER '19

    There were plenty of aid stations and bathrooms. I had brought more race fuel than I actually needed. Hydropack failed me but the aid stations were enough to get me … MORE

    There were plenty of aid stations and bathrooms. I had brought more race fuel than I actually needed. Hydropack failed me but the aid stations were enough to get me through the race. Get to the bathrooms early pre race before they run out of toilet paper. Bag drop was easy to figure out. Wished they kept the festival area open a little longer for the 6-7 hour people. Did not get my beer

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Walter Downey
    walterdowney REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is the 5th time I have run CIM. It's certainly on elf my favourite marathons to run. The race i generally well organized. The race shirt is always poor … MORE

    This is the 5th time I have run CIM. It’s certainly on elf my favourite marathons to run. The race i generally well organized. The race shirt is always poor quality and is usually sobersided compared to most other marathons shirts I have received from the other marathons I have run.

    This years expo was at a terrible location and the space was very tight. Is However, I do understand it’s because the convention centre was not available due to construction.

    The gear pick up after the race was also a disaster this year. I waited more than 35 minutes to get my gear when I finished the race (3:02). In fact, they were still unloading the truck from the drop off in the morning. The bags were totally mixed up with the numbering. My Bib number was 1106 and the table area were my gear should have been I say bags marked with 1,500 and 2,400. I spoke to another runner while they were trying to find my bag and he said that he had been waiting for more that 45 minutes. I don’t recall this happing previous years?

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    ronoftroy REPEAT RUNNER '19

    As a 6th time CIM runner, I've come to enjoy how CIM has the logistics down to a science. The Expo was smooth in terms of getting my stuff quickly … MORE

    As a 6th time CIM runner, I’ve come to enjoy how CIM has the logistics down to a science. The Expo was smooth in terms of getting my stuff quickly and seeing a wide choice vendors (LOVE the new location at Sleep Train Arena because we don’t have to find parking like in downtown). The morning logistics of the bus ride locations and the Start Line area are the same, which is always a great thing to those familiar with CIM. Even though I got confused and went to the wrong starting area, I like the new split at the Starting Line (faster to the left; longer time to right). Crowd, volunteers, and water & electrolytes along the course were incredible as usual (not NYC crazy of course, but cool enough!).

    The only gripe was picking up check-in bags at the Finish line. It took me 30 minutes to “assertively” ask a kid volunteer to get my bag (and I was smart enough to put bright orange duct tape on it so we can see it). My guess is there wasn’t enough volunteers at pick-up (I would of gladly volunteered to help if I didn’t have to rush to my kid’s basketball game).

    Overall, CIM is a legacy race with legacy treatment and planning so I’ll be back again & again 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
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    sameerkhurana REPEAT RUNNER '19

    My 1st ever Marathon happened at CIM in 2016 and this course has special place in my heart. Overall it's a downhill course but has some rolling hills which can … MORE

    My 1st ever Marathon happened at CIM in 2016 and this course has special place in my heart. Overall it’s a downhill course but has some rolling hills which can surprise some runners who miss studying the course in detail. If one trains well with some hill training then it can definitely help in PR and a lot of runners BQ on this course. I just PR’d on this course by 20 mins and it brought a big smile on my face! 🙂 Overall it’s a fast course, efficiently organized by the race organizers covering everything from the Expo, shuttle bus service, start line, aid station support and also finish line support. Maybe, the only thing I can think of for them to improve is that they can increase some more porta potties.

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
    SCENERY
    3
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    5

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    gregmo69 FIRST-TIMER '19

    From what I have heard and may agree with, this was an excellent event for a first-time marathoner. Overall CIM was very well organized, from the start, through well-stocked aid … MORE

    From what I have heard and may agree with, this was an excellent event for a first-time marathoner. Overall CIM was very well organized, from the start, through well-stocked aid stations and amazing volunteers, and ending on a great note, getting a pretty cool medal and tents where first-timers could get an extra medal, people could get massages, fuel, etc. The only suggestion I would make is maybe having a few more places where people could shed their outer layers after 4-5 miles. There were a lot of clothes, water bottles, packs, gloves, etc. on the sides of the road along the way.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3
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    runbunny REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Training for a marathon is always hard and the commitment is long. Race morning rain or shine it’s time to dance. The CIM is a great race that takes you … MORE

    Training for a marathon is always hard and the commitment is long. Race morning rain or shine it’s time to dance. The CIM is a great race that takes you from historic Folsom all the way to the State Capital downtown. Running through the streets of big and small towns along the way. The aide stations are well stocked and full of cheerful volunteers. The spectators along the course are amazing and totally give you the motivation to get it done! Definitely will run CIM again.

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    mksquaglia REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I take for granted this great race right in my backyard! Always well organized, plenty of aid stations and porta potties at the start. Runner drop off bus to the … MORE

    I take for granted this great race right in my backyard! Always well organized, plenty of aid stations and porta potties at the start. Runner drop off bus to the start was easy and great for the first year having it. Lots of energy along the course. Weather didn’t disappoint this year.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of John Hudson
    john_karen.hudson REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Great aid stations all the way through the course. Lots of spectators cheering you on along the race course. The Expo is well staffed and plenty of vendors to purchase … MORE

    Great aid stations all the way through the course. Lots of spectators cheering you on along the race course. The Expo is well staffed and plenty of vendors to purchase items. Learn about other races.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    SarahHarrison REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The shuttle was easy to get to, and the lines move quickly. Lots of porta-potties. The staging area is pretty crowded so it is tough to get to your pace … MORE

    The shuttle was easy to get to, and the lines move quickly. Lots of porta-potties. The staging area is pretty crowded so it is tough to get to your pace group unless you’re early. There are gentle rollers throughout the course, no big climbs, and the end flattens out. There is tons of crowd support along the entire course. Inspiring elite runners are motivating and inspiring, if only you can get to the end to see the awards ceremony! I was grateful for the jacket they give at the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    3

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  1. Races
  2. California International Marathon (CIM)