The Light at the End of the Tunnel 
 Marathon  2010

 North Bend, WA
 Sunday July 25, 2010 7:00 & 8:00 AM start


Tunnel Marathon Update (12/17/2010)
Thanks for your interest in the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon.
Next year's race will be on July 24, 2011 but we still don't know if the Tunnel will be open, so check back in a month or two for updated course information. Registration will open in April and price will depend on whether or not the Tunnel is open. If the Tunnel is open we'll probably do T-shirts and medals and charge more; if it isn't open, we'll keep it small and simple, like 2010. Either way it's a fun and scenic race though if you're looking for crowd support, this isn't the right race for you.
The Race Director
Tunnel Marathon Update (8/02/2010)
Photos of most of the finishers are posted now - unfortunately we didn't manage to get pictures of every runner. You can click on any picture to view a larger version in a separate window. We're also placing an order for a few extra T-shirts so if you would like one, let us know.

As Race Director I'd like to particularly note the contributions of several people to this year's race - Matt Hagen and Betsy Rogers for starting to checkin runners before I even arrived, and Matt for putting up the extra parking signs (though I never found out if anyone used the overflow parking area), Rebecca Self for helping with runner checkin and serving as our chief medical officer (whose services we fortunately did not require), Trevor for bicycling the course as our course marshall, Cody Tedrick for helping prepare and serve lunch, and for delivering shoes where needed, Betsy for timing, Shawn McTaggert and friend for taking over the timing when Betsy had to go, then Rick Serns for taking over the timing when Shawn had to leave. Rick also helped me clean the course after the race, figuring out how to pack all the tables, tubs, water and gatorade jugs into my Subaru Forester. Most important of all, I want to thank my wife Susan for fixing, packing and serving our delicious lunch, without which the race would not have been nearly as much fun.
Tunnel Marathon Update (7/25/2010)
Thanks to all our runners and volunteers for a delightful event! Every year during the last couple of days (or weeks) before the race date, we pretty much decide that we're not going to do this again, but every year, once race day arrives, we change our minds and conclude that we definitely have to do it again next year. It is so much fun to host all you runners for the race and lunch afterwards, to hear a few of your stories, to see you all enjoying your well-earned rest and refreshment after your runs. Thanks all of you for participating in this year's Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon.
The Results of today's race are up already. Please let us know if you find any errors and we'll correct them.
Summary (July 19, 2010)
The Tunnel is closed for 2010 (expected to re-open summer 2011).
The 2010 Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon and Half will run on July 25, 2010.
Marathon and Half Marathon options.
The marathon and half courses both run up and back on the gravel John Wayne trail near North Bend, WA.
Lunch afterwards is included for all runners and volunteers.
No medal this year.
If you ordered a shirt you can pick it up at check-in on race morning; cost is $20.
Marathon is not a Boston qualifier this year.
Cost for race and lunch is $20 for all runners, payable at check-in on race morning.
We are approaching our limit of 100 runners for the two races combined. Online registration will close when we reach the limit. Click here to sign up.
Tunnel Marathon Update (7/9/2010)
We need a few volunteers: If you or someone you know would like to help, please email Brian or call Brian or Susan at 253-833-6513.

T-shirts are available
Several runners have asked about T-shirts, so we found a supplier who will print T-shirts for us for $20 ($15 each if we get enough requests). The T-shirts will be short-sleeved technical fabric, white with the 2010 race logo printed on the front. Respond to this email before next Thursday 7/15 with your shirt size if you're interested and you can pick up and pay for your shirt on race morning. I apologize for not getting a photo of the shirt posted on the site. They're being printed over the next few days.
Tunnel Marathon Update (5/4/2010)
Due to a time conflict with a family reunion, we are changing the date for the 2010 Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon to Sunday, July 25. The Snoqualmie Tunnel will again be closed this summer, so like last year, we will be running the marathon 13 miles up the John Wayne Pioneer Trail and back again, starting and finishing at the Iron Horse State Park trailhead near Rattlesnake Lake, a few miles south of North Bend. We will also have a half marathon option. Total registration will be limited to about 100 runners for both races combined. This year's race will be an informal affair - just the marathon and half-marathon runs followed by a tasty lunch for everyone. Due to the small size of the race, there won't be a medal or t-shirt this year. The courses, though accurately measured, will not certified so this year's marathon will not count as a Boston qualifier. The cost is $20 for each event, payable when you check in at the start on race morning.
We apologize for the late update to this site. We'd expected to find out by early March whether or not the tunnel would be open this summer, but we weren't able to confirm until last week that the tunnel would definitely be closed. Likewise family plans didn't come together until April, hence the late change to the race date. To all who've been waiting word on the 2010 Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon, thank you for your interest, and your patience.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon is a small and friendly event first run in 2007. The idea was to run from Snoqualmie Pass to North Bend, Washington on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, a scenic former railroad grade complete with 2 1/2 mile long tunnel and several high trestle bridges. Over the 23 miles from the tunnel to North Bend the trail drops 1800' at a steady 80' per mile making the course one of the fastest in the country. In fact, the original purpose of the race was to provide the race director with a certified downhill course at which he might be able to qualify for Boston which he did, at the 2008 race after just 2 hours of sleep the night before.
Unfortunately in 2009 the Snoqualmie Tunnel was closed due to winter damage and an alternate, up and back course on the John Wayne trail was run instead. We believe that for 2011 we will again be able to run the original point to point downhill course through the tunnel, but for this summer the race will again be run on the 2009 up and back course which, though still very scenic, does not include the tunnel and is only downhill for the second half.

Race Information
The 2010 Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon will run on Sunday July 25, 2010 with the marathon start at 8:00AM and the Half Marathon start at 9:00AM. Half marathoners may start at 8AM as well, and marathoners may start an hour early at 7:00AM. Start and Finish are located at the Cedar Falls Trailhead of the Iron Horse State Park, near Rattlesnake Lake a few miles south of North Bend, Washington. The marathon course consists of a single out and back leg on the scenic, mostly-forested John Wayne Pioneer Trail in the Iron Horse State Park. The half-marathon course will be an out and back to mile 6.5 on the marathon course. This trail is a well-maintained rail trail with a constant 2% gradient and a hard-packed gravel surface. Self-service aid stations, providing water, Gatorade and cups, will be located every 2-3 miles along the course. Gu or other gel is not provided along the course. On the other hand lunch, consisting of vegetarian chili and Greek salad, is available for all runners and volunteers at the finish. We don't have a T-shirt or medal for this race. The courses are accurately measured but not certified so the 2010 marathon is not a Boston qualifier, but the marathon and half marathon will count for Maniacs and Half Fanatics respectively.

Directions and Parking  return to top
The Cedar Falls trailhead to the Iron Horse State Park is located next to the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation area, 3.2 miles south of I-90 off of exit 32, which is about 30 miles east of Seattle. Here is a map with directions from Seattle. There are 40 or so spaces available in the Cedar Falls trailhead parking lot. If no spaces are available in the trailhead parking lot then additional parking is available in the upper gravel lot of the Rattlesnake Lake Recreation Area, the entrance to which is about 0.1 mile back down the road on the left. The Start/Finish area is along the trail just to the left of the entrance gate to the state park. Restrooms for the Iron Horse State Park Cedar Falls Trailhead are located about 50 yards up the trail on the right.

Checkin and Packet Pickup
Checkin will begin at 6:15AM for the marathon and half marathon. When you check in you will pay your $20 entry fee and sign a waiver and you will receive your bib and safety pins. We are not using chip-timing so there is no timing chip. The location for checkin and bib pick-up is at the Start/Finish area which is along the trail near the State Park entrance gate - you'll see the tent on the left as you enter the Cedar Falls trailhead parking lot.

Registration  return to top
To sign up for the race, click here for the registration form. Bring your entry fee of $20 to the start on race morning. Registration is limited to about 100 runners for the marathon and half marathon combined. As of July 6 we have about 65 runners signed up so we may fill up, but if we don't reach 100 by race day we'll accept day of race registrations.

Course Details  return to top
The course begins on the trail just to your left as you pass the entrance gate to the Cedar Falls trailhead of the Iron Horse State Park, 3.2 miles south of I-90 exit 32 at North Bend. The first tenth of a mile climbs rather steeply up through the woods on gravel and paved trail before turning left onto the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. For the next 6.5 miles to the half-marathon turnaround and for the additional 6.5 miles to the marathon turnaround the course climbs a barely-noticeable 80' per mile on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, a well-maintained rail trail with a hard-packed gravel surface. The trail passes through forest and across brushy slopes, along cliffs and across several high trestle bridges. Openings offer spectactular views of the Snoqualmie valley and the mountains beyond on a clear day.
On the second half of the course you retrace your steps back to the start, only faster. The trail surface does have scattered small sharp rocks in places so you'll want to watch your footing. As trail runs go, it's non-technical. Most runners will be comfortable running in road shoes but probably not in racing flats.
The course is not closed to other users so expect scattered cyclists, walkers and joggers, as well as rock climbers near the half-marathon turnaround. Black bears and cougars are infrequently seen on the trail as well as deer and elk, toads, garter snakes, small brown bunnies, cute little hopping mice, rather large slugs and about 20 species of birds. There should be no motorized vehicles on any portion of the course except at the one low-traffic road crossing at mile 7.8/18.4 on the marathon course. Spectators are notably scarce but can access the marathon course at miles 4.7/21.7 (4.7/8.4 for the half-marathon) and 7.8/18.4. without too much difficulty.
The course will be clearly marked with white-flour arrows. Each mile will marked and numbered.
If you are nervous about heights, you should evaluate whether or not you'll be comfortable on this course. From the high trestle bridges it can feel like a long ways down to the ground.

Course Map
Here is a map of the course on

Limited Support  return to top
The Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon is a trail run with limited access to roads and aid along the course. You should consider carrying at least one water bottle, particularly if the weather is warm. You may also want to carry a cell phone. There is a restroom at the start and porta-potties near miles 6/20 and there are restrooms at miles 10/16 and shortly before the turnaround on the marathon course. Aid stations with water and Gatorade are located at miles 2.5, 5, 8 and 10.5 on the half marathon course and 2.5, 5, 7.8, 10.5, 13.1, 15.7, 18.4, 21.1 and 23.7 on the marathon course. All of the aid stations are self-service; cups are provided but you'll need to fill them yourself. You will also need to bring your own gel or other nutrition if you require fuel during the race. A roving course marshal or two on bicycles will carry a few supplies as well. At the finish vegetarian chili and Greek salad along with various other munchies will be waiting for you.

The weather in mid-July is likely to be partly cloudy to sunny with a high of 70 - pleasant conditions for a run. Morning drizzle is possible but rain is unlikely. Temperature at the start will probably be around 50F. The course is partly in the shade and partly in the sun so bring sunscreen and plan on fairly warm conditions by midday. There are likely to be a few mosquitos in shady sections of the course, so we'll have some bug dope available at the start.

Official Disclaimer
Participants in the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon acknowledge that running any marathon carries with it the potential for death, serious injury and property loss. PARTICIPANTS IN THIS EVENT ASSUME ALL RISKS OF SUCH PARTICIPATION. Participants attest and certify that they are physically fit and sufficiently trained for the completion of this event. By electing to participate in this event, participants and waive and release any and all rights and claims for damages which they may have or which may hereafter accrue to them or their heirs and administrators, against USA Track and Field, Inc, The Pacific Northwest Association of USATF, Brian Pendleton and all other volunteers associated with the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon, East Side Runners, Washington State Parks and the City of Seattle and their respective officers, agents, representatives and/or assigns arising from injuries due to participation in or traveling for this competition.