This is a course specifically designed to get YOU to Boston.

Featuring a net downhill, (thanks to a gentle grade on the 0.3 mile starting spur), the 3.05 mile loop course offers plenty of shade, scenic views of parks and forest preserves bordering the river, and a glimpse of downtown Batavia.


We’re excited to offer a new and improved course for the 2020 BQ.2 Marathon Races!

Why Did the Course Change?

In October 2019,  improvements were made to the park that hosts the start / finish of the BQ.2 events, which resulted in a course change.  While the course remains the familiar 8 loop format, with loop #1 adjustments to insure an accurate distance and a net downhill, BQ.2 veterans will notice a few improvements to the course. Rest assured we’ve discussed the course improvements with a number of runners and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

What are the Improvements?

  1. The loop is slightly shorter. 
    A revised North river crossing has cut out a small North spur each lap, taking the loop from 3.21 miles to 3.05 miles.  The difference will be made up within the first 3 miles, meaning that the last 7 loops will be a little faster than previously (86 seconds faster at a 9 minute/mile pace) and aid stations a little closer to each other.  All good things as the race end approaches.
  2. The new river crossing is straighter.
    With the new double bridge, the north river crossing is a straight shot, vs the weaving that the previous path presented.  While not a big deal, each extra turn or weave can result in an extra step if you cannot stick to the inside of the turn.  So the new course could save you a few extra steps, a few extra seconds, and maybe the difference to a PR or BQ time.
  3. The new loop is mentally easier. 
    Because the loop is now very close to 3.0 miles, it is clearly segmented into 3 areas, with mile markers clustered (a 3,6,9,12… section, a 4,7,10,13… section, and a 5,8,11,14… section) rather than seemingly scattered around the entire loop.  If mental games become important later in the race, a 3-segment loop might help with setting and achieving mid-loop goals.  And for all of us paying close attention to pace (that’s probably everyone in this race) there’s less chance of missing a mile mark and having to wait another mile before confirming progress. 

As before, non-standard-loop adjustments are all done early (before and within loop #1) so you’re fresh, it’s easy to follow the runner (or lead bike) just in front of you, and you get onto the familiar loop course before mile #3.   If you’re like us and geeky enough to want details, the adjustments include:

 – .97 mile start spur, similar to the previous .5 mile spur, but now as a short loop done 1.5 times
 – A start line at the peak of the start loop to give the biggest net downhill the course will allow
 – A .4 mile out and .4 back road spur between miles 2 and 3

While we (and you per your results and comments) loved the old course, we think this one is even a little better. We look forward to the 2020 races!

  • Course Map (UPDATED: 1/24/2020)*
  • Course Video (COMING SOON!)
  • USATF Certification: #IL20001NM

*Course subject to change.

The paved trail along both sides of the Fox Valley River is nearly pancake flat.

The path, river proximity, dawn starting time, and average lows in the mid 50’s make for a high probability of ideal racing conditions:  cool temps and low wind.

And the 8 loop course means 16 Aid Stations, 8 shots at the Elite Water Bottle table (yes, you are treated like an elite runner in this one), and plenty of opportunities for race-provided gel, oranges, ice, bananas, and of course, your own cheering section.

Contact Us


Mailing Address
Fox Valley Marathon
PO Box 3955
St. Charles, IL 60174

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Qualify for Boston

Take the best shot at Boston with an experienced race team whose goal is to do everything possible to get you and 300 other runners to the starting line in Hopkinton. BQ.2 Marathon Races are designed and focused solely to help runners get to the Boston starting line in Hopkinton, MA. With that focus, it should be no surprise that they were ranked as the qualifiers with the highest percentage of finishers.

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