Sunday, August 20, 2023 • Spearfish, SD • Course Map
Looking for an all-woman marathon? That’s exactly what you’ll find at the Leading Ladies Marathon & Half Marathon that runs through Spearfish Canyon in the southwestern corner of South Dakota, along with a scenic, serene course that offers gorgeous views of mountains, waterfalls and the surrounding Black Hills area.
The race, which sees several hundred runners cross the finish line each year, is open only to women and the only men on the course are the ones manning the aid and refreshment stations, which for the half marathon lie largely along Spearfish Canyon Road as runners make their way north toward this small city just north of the region known as the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Starting at the half-way point of the full 26.2-mile marathon, the half-marathon begins just north of the town of Savoy, when the race course enters Little Spearfish Canyon and heads onto Spearfish Canyon Road, where it begins a series of turns and switchbacks as it makes its way northward.
Along the way, runners are treated to views of sights like Roughlock Falls, lots of limestone cliffs and forest lands along towering canyon walls, and the waters of Spearfish Creek, which follows the course throughout most of the rest of the race.
Don’t forget to stop or at least slow down to a walk as you pass through areas like Bridal Veil Falls (near the finish) and “the Dice,” a pair of massive boulders that rolled across Highway 14A and into the creek many years ago.
The half-marathon course is paved throughout and mostly downhill along 14A (also called the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway) to the finish line at Tretheway Pavilion in Spearfish City Park.
Race Weather & Climate
The late weeks of summer bring plentiful mild to warm weather conditions to the Spearfish, S.D., area, which lies in the Black Hills region just about 10 miles from the state’s western border with neighboring Wyoming.
On race day (Aug. 20), the average low is 60ºF and the average high is 86ºF.
- 2021 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2020 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2019 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Leading Ladies Half Marathon Results
- $85 – $110 for the full marathon
- $85 – $110 for the half marathon
To reserve your spot in the 2023 running of Spearfish’s Leading Ladies Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at RaceRoster.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Leading Ladies Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.