Tunnel Medal 
 Marathon and Half Marathon

 North Bend, WA
 Sunday September 20, 2009 8:00 AM start



Thanks everyone
The Tunnel Medal Marathon was a delightful little race. Thank you to the runners, to our volunteers and to the weatherman for for making the day a success. The results have now been tallied and are posted here. I may have a few photos up within a week or so too.
It sounds as though the Snoqualmie Tunnel may be re-opened sometime next summer so at this point we're leaning towards a mid-August date for the 2010 Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon and hoping to be running from Hyak to North Bend again. We'll update the race website when we find out more, which will probably be sometime next March. Meanwhile, have a good winter and I hope to see you at another marathon/half real soon!

Tunnel Medal marathon
We have 65 medals left over from the 2009 Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon so we're hosting another race, the Tunnel Medal marathon and half marathon, on the 2009 Tunnel marathon course on Sunday September 20. The first 65 runners to sign up who complete either the half or the full marathon will receive a genuine 2009 Tunnel Marathon medal. The entry fee for both races is $25, ($20 for Maniacs and Half Fanatics) covers the run, the medal and a tasty lunch at the finish. Continue reading for more information.

Race Information
The Tunnel Medal Marathon and Half Marathon will run on Sunday September 20, 2009 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 a half hour early at 7:30AM. 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 for this race but the first 65 runners to sign up who show up and run the either the full or half marathon will receive a very nice looking medal. The courses are accurately measured but not certified so the 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 7:15AM for the marathon and half marathon. When you check in you will pay your entry fee ($20 or $25) 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, email Race Director Brian Pendleton. Include in your email your Name, City, State, Gender, Age on race day, Distance you plan to run and Maniac or Half Fanatic number. Bring your entry fee of $20 (Maniacs and Half Fanatics) or $25 (everyone else) to the start on race morning. Registration is limited to about 80 runners but only the first 65 to sign up will receive a medal.

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 gmap-pedometer.com.

Limited Support  return to top
The Tunnel Medal Marathon and Half 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 forecast for Sunday is mostly sunny with a high of 64 - a very pleasant day for a run. Conditions at the start will be cool with a temperature around 50F. The course is probably about 50% shaded and 50% in the sun, so bring sunscreen and plan on fairly warm conditions by midday.

Official Disclaimer
Participants in the Tunnel Medal Marathon and Half Marathon acknowledge that running any race 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 Tunnel Medal Marathon and Half Marathon, 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.