The course starts just up the trail from mile 0. The first mile is a little long because the finish line is not quite 385 yards from mile 26. The first five miles are all downhill and they click by easily.
A half mile from the turnaround the trail crosses the Snoqualmie River, then runs under I-90. The turnaround and aid station are right at mile 5.
Starting back up the railroad grade the pace slows somewhat, offering more time to observe the wildlife and the views. Miles 7, 8 and 9 climb at about 100' per mile.
Shortly before mile 10 at the entrance to the state park you'll find an aid station (not pictured), followed by restrooms (also not pictured). Just after mile 10 you turn left onto the Iron Horse trail. At about mile 11.4 you pass through a narrow roadcut, then over a causeway, then over a high trestle bridge before mile 13.
Enjoy the flowers but watch out for a few stinging nettles along the trail. At mile 13 you'll pass the old Ragnar site and at mile 14, a power transfer station. At the Twin Falls road turnoff at mile 14.6 you'll find the next aid station; the Iron Horse trail continues up to the right.
From here on the views improve. Flowers and cliffs line the trail. The forest above the trail is carpeted with moss.
You'll find Porta-potties along with a natural climbing wall, complete with climbers, between miles 15 and 16. Just past the climbing areas are high trestle bridges. If heights bother you, run in the middle of the trail and don't look down. The bridges were built for trains - they can handle a marathoner or two.
Mile 17 is in the middle of the biggest trestle of them all. Just one mile further to the turnaround, then it's all downhill back to the finish line. Disregard your discomfort and savor the scenery.
Food and water are available for marathoners struggling to reach the next aid stations late in the race. It should be noted that dizziness, impaired vision and even hallucinations may result from failure to take in adequate nutrition and hydration. Just don't forget to turn right after the Cedar Falls sign. If you miss that turn who knows where you'll end up.