The Marathon Course
This is a fast downhill, point to point course...as in about 2000 feet down the hill. The Tunnel Course has the best profile in the country for a fast time due to the consistent gentle downhill grade and the low starting elevation. It's such a gradual descent that you feel like you're having a great running day! It's a USATF Boston Certified course (USATF certification number WA 08031 MW) on non-technical, smooth, hard packed gravel old railway trail. Runners enjoy the beginning 2.4 miles through a cool, dark tunnel and continue the smooth run down the hill to the awesome finish area. The views are majestic and your feet will be fast. Come run the ORIGINAL course!
This is in the top 10 for a BQ according to Runners World and Race Raves! Over 30% of our runners snag a BQ on the ORIGINAL Tunnel course. This race was founded by a Washington resident and been offered since 2007. It's been a favorite among races and why runners continue to come back for more!
The race starts at the Hyak trailhead for the John Wayne Pioneer trail just east of Snoqualmie Pass. After a half mile runners enter the pitch black tunnel for 2 1/4 miles. Flashlights are strongly recommended. Once you get about 50 yards into the tunnel, you can see a pinpoint of light ahead of you which is the "Light at the End of the Tunnel" over 2 miles away.
The course runs parallel to and a little above I-90 along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, which is exhilirating for your eyes. Runners continue traversing 5 more miles through forested slopes to the Iron Horse State Park trailhead at Rattlesnake Lake. The course continues on the Snoqualmie Valley trail a through leafy second-growth forest. The race finishes at a gravel parking area along North Bend Way 2.4 miles SE of downtown North Bend.
The course will not be closed to other users so expect scattered cyclists, walkers and joggers, particularly on the second half of the course, as well as rock climbers around mile 16. There should be no motorized vehicles on any portion of the course except at the two low-traffic road crossings at miles 13 and 25.5.
The course will be marked with mile markers.
If you are nervous about heights or being inside caves, you should evaluate whether or not you'll be comfortable on this course. The tunnel is about 20' wide and 30' tall but it is almost completely dark for a couple of miles. Beyond the tunnel, there are several high trestle bridges and a few other sections of the trail from which it feels like a long ways down to the ground.