What is the course like? Do I need trail shoes?
The course for all our events is mostly smooth crushed gravel. It is a very smooth trail and is a double lane bike path. While there are a few bumpy spots, the majority of runners run the race in their road running shoes. There are a few uneven surfaces in the tunnel, but it is no worse than running on a sidewalk. The race directors recommend you run the race in your normal road running shoes.
Is this the same race as the tunnel or Jack and Jill?
No, we are different and do many things to set us apart from our competition. To start, our course is different than either of these races as we do not enter the tunnel immediately at the start. Our marathon course runs a 5 mile out and back section along a lake with stunning views of the Cascades that you will not get in these other events. This section is pancake flat, and allows you to lock into your pace before entering the tunnel (where you will lose GPS signal). This also allows us to eliminate a much less scenic and flatter stretch later in the race, and our race offers a fast downhill finish at the scenic Cedar Falls Trailhead. Our half marathon is significantly different, in that we are the only half marathon course that runs through the tunnel and offers the better views that you get on the top half of the course.
What is it like running through the tunnel?
It is super neat to run through the 2.4 mile long tunnel! You will see a pinpoint of light which is the tunnel exit and it will grow ever larger as you run closer. The tunnel is nice and cool (55 degrees) and yes it is dark. We hand out flashlights before you enter, however some runners are more comfortable using their own headlamp or flashlight.
Can I run with my dog or with a stroller?
No, as we are USATF sanctioned events dogs are strictly prohibited from the events. While strollers are not strictly prohibited, due to the nature of the course we recommend that you not run with a stroller as it would be a bumpy ride for your little one!
Do you have drop bags?
Yes, we allow runners a drop bag at the start line which is transported to the finish line. More information is available in each race description.
Where is the best place for my friends or family to spectate?
Each race is different depending on the distance! We do have spectator info available on each race description page, so check there for your specific race.
Do You offer early start?
We do not offer early start. Our race cut-offs are set to ensure that anyone who would like to participate in our events will be able to finish in the allotted time.
Where do I park?
For the marathons and half marathons, we offer free parking at the Summit I-90 ski area, which is a 10-15 minute walk from the start line. You may also park at the Hyak lot (race start line) if you have a Washington State Discover Pass, or are willing to pay the $10 day use fee (payable via credit card at the kiosks in the lot). For the 50K and 50M, parking will be at the Cedar Falls Trailhead and Rattlesnake Lake. 50k runners may choose to park at the start line (Hyak) but will need to arrange for their own transportation from the finish to the start line if they choose to do so (we will NOT have a shuttle). See each race page for more specifics.
are there race day shuttles?
Yes, for the marathons and half marathons we offer shuttle buses from the finish line back to the start line parking. We do not shuttle runners to the start line for the marathon and half. For the 50 miler and 50k, we will shuttle runners to the start line from parking at the finish line. See each race description page for more details on shuttle busses.
What nutrition is available on the course?
For the marathon and half marathon, we use Gu Energy Gels and offer a variety of caffeinated and non-caffeinated options. Our drink mix is Gu Drink Mix Lemon Lime. For the 50M and 50K, we will offer standard ultra aid station options and Gu Lemon Lime Drink Mix for electrolyte. See the race description page for the 50M and 50k for more information on aid station offerings.
Is your Race Chip Timed?
For 2019, the marathons and half marathons will be chip timed.
will i lose GPS in the tunnel?
The short answer is yes. You will not get a GPS signal in the tunnel and thus the distance on your watch and pace may be inaccurate and not match our mile markers once you exit the tunnel. We are meticulous with our course markings and ensure that our mile markers are dead on to allow you to pace yourself, and we include mile markers inside the tunnel. Please not that most modern GPS watches will still measure distance even without a GPS signal, as most are equipped with accelerometers which can be fairly accurate. Your race directors have run the course with higher end GPS watches and have gotten pretty accurate distances. Always note, GPS is a tool and is never 100% accurate!
Are your races USATF certified? Can I use this race as a Boston Qualifier?
Yes, the marathon is USATF certified with certification number 17WA029RMB. As such, it can be used to run a Boston Qualifying marathon. We submit our results to the Boston Athletic Association once they are finalized. The half marathon is also USATF certified with certification number 17WA002LB. The 50M and 50k are USATF sanctioned, however as is typical for most ultra distances the course is not certified.