Monster Marathon & Half Marathon

Sunday, September 3, 2023 • Ithaca, NY • Course Map

With a total climb in elevation of about 4,400 feet over the course of the full marathon race, the Monster Marathon & Half Marathon Trail Runs more than live up to the event organizers’ boast of staging “the toughest marathon course in the East.”

Sponsored by the Finger Lakes Running Club of upstate New York, the race has a unique beauty thanks to its location in the Robert H. Treman State Park (about 50 miles south of Syracuse), one that organizers add ensures “no one will ever qualify for Boston here, but it’s worth the effort and the fun!”

The course takes runners along the Finger Lakes Trail and various state park trails, featuring some of the most gorges in Ithaca that give Ithaca its wordplay-filled slogan “Ithaca is gorges”. Runners will follow the state park trails, weaving their way through the park until reaching Enfield Falls Road, then turn around and retrace their steps to the finish line. Half marathoners are done at this point, while full marathoners retrace their steps again to complete 26.2 miles.

The race features age-based early starts for both the full and half marathon. In the half marathon, men under age 38 starting with the clock at 9:00 AM. Older men (and all women) start earlier based on their age, with early starts ranging from one minute to nearly 90 minutes as determined by the World Masters Athletics Age-Graded Tables. Such handicaps mean the win could come down to a 70-year-old grandparent and their grandchild — what a finish! Race organizers advise runners to arrive ready at least 15 minutes before their start time.

Organizers also caution that this race is only for the well-prepared and well-trained: expect to add one to two hours to your normal road marathon time. “Those running the full marathon must be trained for an ultra-marathon effort,” they add, wise words for those looking to run the half as well.

Race Weather & Climate

Set in the mountainous Ithaca, N.Y., the race area tends to see weather conditions similar to their neighboring village — summers with mild to warm conditions.

On race day (Sep. 3), the average low is 46ºF and the average high is 69ºF.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Monster Half Marathon here.


  • $30 for the half marathon
  • $40 for the full marathon
  • FLRC members may deduct $5 from the registration fee


To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Ithaca’s Monster Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at here.

Official Race Website


Ever run in the Monster Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

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