Category: Marathon

The Sacramento Marathon has a sentimental appeal for Capital Road Race Management. It was at the inaugural race in 1977 where a short, scrawny thirteen-year-old boy named Rich Hanna ran his first marathon in 3:01:14 on a bacon and eggs breakfast. Twenty-eight years later, Hanna heads the new management team for the Sacramento Marathon – now named Sacramento Cowtown Marathon.

Local sporting goods store owner John McIntosh organized the first Sacramento Marathon. An accomplished tennis player turned runner, McIntosh completed his first marathon in San Diego in 1976. It was there that he decided Sacramento needed a marathon of its own, and his business, McIntosh’s Sports Cottage, would be the main sponsor. Nearly one thousand runners lined up in shady William Land Park for the first running of the event. New Zealand’s Wayne Badgley took the men’s race in 2:25:49, while Sacramento’s own Sally Edwards ran away with the women’s crown in 3:03:33. Under McIntosh’s direction, the marathon and half marathon (added in 1978) blossomed to nearly two thousand participants combined during the running boom of the late 1970s and early 80s.

In 1986, McIntosh sold the event to Ron Sturgeon of neighboring Dixon, California. Participation in the event declined beginning in 1983 due to the arrival of the California International Marathon. The Sturgeon family kept the race going until 2003 when they sold the event to Race Walking International Sports Management Group headed by John MacLachlan and Paul Smith. John and Paul worked tirelessly to reinvigorate the event and dramatically increased participation in 2004 to nearly 1,150 participants between the marathon and half marathon. Sadly, Paul was diagnosed with colon cancer only days before the event and was unable to attend the event he worked so hard to co-produce. Paul passed away in early May of this year. John decided not to tackle race organizing duties by himself and sold the race to Capital Road Race Management in the spring of 2005. This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of Paul Smith.



1st Annual Sacramento Cowtown Marathon, Half-Marathon, Relay and 5K Run/Walk.



Sacramento, California located at the Northeast corner of William Land Park on Freeport Blvd across from Sacramento City College.


Plenty of parking is available along the side streets of William Land Park and at Sacramento City College (located across the street from the start/finish area). Please follow the parking signs.

Official Training Program

As part of our changes we’ve included an official training program to help you prepare for this fun event. Fleet Feet Sports Sacramento will offer an 8-week half marathon training program that begins Sunday, August 7th. For more information regarding this training program click here or call us at (916) 442-3338. You can also plan to join the coaching staff for a question and answer night on Tuesday, June 28, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. at Fleet Feet Sports Sacramento ( 2311 J Street).

Start Times

The Marathon, Half Marathon and first Relay team member will all begin together at 7:15 AM sharp. The 5k will start at 7:30 AM with a 1 hour time limit to complete.


Our course is new, a lot more attractive, no more out-and-back but still flat and fast.


half-marathon-2014-70Essentially a loop course, this USDA choice certified route and Boston Marathon qualifier starts in William Land Park – home to the Sacramento Zoo, Fairytale Town for children, and a nifty nine-hole golf course – running through its grassy landscapes for the first 1.5 miles. The course then winds through one of Sacramento’s nicest residential neighborhoods to 4.25 miles, turning slightly industrial for a short period. Live music will divert your attention through this section as you’ll hit riverside Miller Park near mile 5. The next 2 miles head through the Sacramento Marina before joining a bicycle path heading south along the Sacramento River. After leaving the bicycle path near 9 miles, the route continues south into the very scenic South Land Park residential neighborhood via Riverside Blvd. The course turns right onto shady Piedmont Drive near 9.25 miles passing several beautiful homes before reconnecting with Riverside Blvd. around 10.25 miles. The next 1.5 miles lead back to William Land Park where you’ll take a right on 13th Avenue and then continue for another 1.3 miles to the finish. Flat and fast, the CoreLogic Sacramento Cowtown Marathon course contains three short hills (20 – 25 feet) located around miles 5, 7 and 11.1. The marathon course loops twice.

For marathon preparation, you’d need a better rowing machine to prepare for it. You can check out this list of best rowing machines if you are planning to buy one.