Canada’s Top 5 Boston Qualifiers

If qualifying for Boston is on your to-do list, consider these fast and flat Canadian marathons

Photo: Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon / Canada Running Series

Is qualifying for the Boston Marathon on your goal list for this year? Then you might want to set your sights on one of these five Canadian races, which were selected based on their fast and relatively flat courses, mild race-day temperatures and percentage of Boston Qualifiers last year.

Fredericton Marathon
Where: Fredericton, NB 
Race date: May 14, 2017
Percentage of Boston Qualifiers in 2015: 27%
Total Marathon Finishers in 2015: 163
Average race day temperature: 58°F (14°C)
Profile: Mostly flat
Type: Multiple out and backs
Surface: Road/Pavement and hard-packed trail
The Fredericton Marathon had Canada’s third highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers last year, thanks to its very flat and fast course. The course follows Fredericton’s partly paved and hard-packed trail system, giving runners scenic rural and city views along the way.
Prince Edward Island Marathon
Where: Charlottetown, PE
Race date: October 15, 2017
Percentage of Boston Qualifiers in 2015: 21.8%
Total Marathon Finishers in 2015: 248
Average race day temperature: 41°F (5°C)
Profile: Rolling hills
Type: Point to point
Surface: Road/Pavement and hard-packed trail

The Prince Edward Island Marathon course, which starts at Brackley Beach in beautiful Prince Edward Island National Park and ends in downtown Charlottetown, is a scenic course that rewards runners with ocean views along the way. The first 10 km of the race is flat, with rolling hills and a gradual grade leading into downtown along the fine, gravel-packed Confederation Trail.
Pauls Hamilton Marathon Road2Hope
Where: Hamilton, ON
Race date: November 5, 2017
Percentage of Boston Qualifiers in 2015: 19.2%
Total Marathon Finishers in 2015: 783
Average race day temperature: 36°F (2°C)
Profile: Downhill
Type: Point to point
Surface: Road/Pavement
Cool race day temperatures and a 400-foot drop in elevation from the starting line to the finish makes the Road2Hope Hamilton Marathon course a popular race for a BQ attempt. Runners of this marathon route get to enjoy the scenic backcountry roads of Hamilton before coasting downhill at Red Hill and running a lakeside route to Confederation Park.

Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon
Where: Ottawa, ON
Race date: May 28, 2017
Percentage of Boston Qualifiers in 2015: 17.7%
Total Marathon Finishers in 2015: 4,504
Average race day temperature: 64°F (17°C)
Profile: Mostly flat
Type: Loop
Surface: Road/Pavement
The Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon, Canada’s largest running event, boasts a relatively fast and flat course that winds through some of Ottawa's most vibrant neighborhoods and past several famous landmarks. Although race-day temperatures can be on the warm side, the Scotiabank Ottawa Marathon still produces a significant number of Boston Qualifiers each year.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
Where: Toronto, ON
Race date: October 22, 2017
Percentage of Boston Qualifiers in 2015: 17.2%
Total Marathon Finishers in 2015: 3,754
Average race day temperature: 51°F (10°C)
Profile: Mostly flat
Type: Mostly out and back
Surface: Road/Pavement

With near perfect race-day temperatures, a fast and mostly flat marathon course and a festival-like atmosphere, its no wonder thousands of runners choose the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon each year for their PR or BQ. The marathon course starts and finishes in downtown Toronto, following an out-and-back route along Lake Ontario.

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