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The Iron Horse Half Marathon is a point to point half marathon taking place in Washington state on the Iron Horse Trail (part of Washington State Parks) and Snoqualmie Valley Trail (part of the King County Parks system).  Both trails are the remains of old railroad tracks, hence the ‘Iron Horse’ moniker.  The course is nearly all downhill at a steady, gentle grade, except for some very short flat sections.

Despite taking place during summer’s heat, this is Washington, so the weather on race day can vary quite a bit.  However, statistically speaking, August in Washington is pretty warm.  Please use the links below for specific topics about the race.

Sign up before July 26th, 2017 to guarantee your shirt size!


The course for the Iron Horse Half Marathon is pretty awesome.  It starts at Olallie State Park and finishes in North Bend, and in between the two covers 13.1 miles of beautiful scenery, numerous railroad trestles, and a whole lot of gentle elevation loss.  Please see below for detailed course information, as well as a map of the course.  There is an elevation loss of approximately 880 feet.  The course starts at about 1300′ and finishes at about 450′ in North Bend.

The USATF certification number is WA16025RMB.


We will be starting participants with wave starts.  See ‘Schedule’ for further details on the timing of the waves.  You will be prompted to pick a wave start time when you register.  PLEASE NOTE: Your bib number will come printed with your wave start time.  You can switch waves up if needed up to two weeks prior to the race start, to do so just email us.  Once we hit two weeks out, you can still switch waves, but will need to do so at packet pickup.
Why wave starts, you ask?  Well, by spreading people out with wave starts, it will prevent congestion at the start, allow more time for the shuttles to bring everybody to the start, and will instantly spread people out along the course.
7:30am, 7:45am and 8am waves are eligible for overall awards. All waves are eligible for age group awards. Walkers or those running 15 minutes per mile or more please choose the 8:15am wave or later.
There are also a few turns in the Rattlesnake Lake and Tanner portions of the course who will keep you on track towards the finish line!
Safety first!  On race day, there will be a medical tent at the finish line to treat any runners needing medical attention and provide transport to a hospital if needed.  In addition, there will be medical personnel on bikes out on the course to bring in injured runners as needed.   Please note that the course monitors & aid station volunteers are not first aid certified individuals–if you need serious medical attention, they will get in touch with the medical staff.  As part of a safe race experience, be sure to obtain the OK from your doctor that you are in adequate physical condition to run a marathon.  Even though this is a downhill race, it is in a somewhat isolated mountain environment, so do not treat this experience lightly.

There a total of 5 aid stations along the course.  Since it is summertime, we strongly recommend that all runners bring extra water and/or an extra bottle with them, in the case of hot temperatures (which are not uncommon in August) to help prevent dehydration.  Aid stations are 2-3 miles apart.  All aid stations will have the following items:
Simple first aid kit
Cell phone or radio communication with finish line
Clif Electrolyte Drink

**Aid Stations after mile 6 will have Clif Gel Shots available.


There is a course time limit of 4 hours for the Iron Horse Half Marathon, which starts with the last wave start.

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Packet Pickup

Add-on the mailed packet pick up option to your registration for $16. We will mail you your bib, timing chip and shirt 1-week prior to the race.

PLEASE NOTE: We STRONGLY urge you to take care of packet pickup on Friday or Saturday.  If you’re running late on one of the last shuttles, you will NOT have time to do packet pickup before the race starts.  It avoids long lines on race morning and with the greater logistical challenges of a point to point race on a trail, it makes the race day experience that much smoother.

Race morning packet pickup will start at 6:00am and run until 8:30am and will be held at Two Rivers School (finish line).  If you do not come to pre-race packet pickup, be sure to allow enough time to pick up your packet before you get on the shuttle.  If you arrive after 7:30, you will not have enough time to pick up your packet on race morning and make it to the earlier wave times.

Friends and family are allowed to pick up your packet for you on Friday or Saturday.

Pre-race packet pickup will be held for two days, as follows:

Friday, August 24th at Bellevue Road Runner Sports from 11am to 4pm.  The Bellevue Road Runner Sports store is located at:
12200 Northup Way
Bellevue, WA 98005

Saturday, August 25th at Greenlake Road Runner Sports from 11am to 3pm.  The Greenlake Road Runner Sports store is located at:
7020 Woodlawn Avenue NE
Seattle, WA 98115

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Directions, Parking and Shuttles


We strongly encourage participants to carpool whenever possible to the race.  There is a finite amount of parking in North Bend, so let’s be gracious to the town residents and not take over all their parking spaces.

Participants should use on-street parking in North Bend, including the parking lots at North Bend Elementary School and Two Rivers School.  There is also a park and ride in town about 6 blocks from the finish line located at:

331 W North Bend Way, North Bend, WA 98045

Please obey all posted traffic signs and be courteous to local residents.

IMPORTANT: If you are starting in a later wave and arrive early, please yield your seat to any participants starting in earlier waves who may be running late.  If there is plenty of space on the bus, don’t worry about it, but if it’s crowded, preference should go to the runner starting earlier.


Chartered school buses, aka shuttles, will run from  to the start line on race day morning.  The shuttles will begin running at 6:15am.  The shuttles will run on a fixed schedule.  That means that they will depart at a set time, whether the bus is 100% full or not.  So, please plan ahead and arrive early.  The shuttle is about 15 minutes from the finish line to the start line.

Shuttles will pick up participants at the parking lot of Two Rivers School, located at 330 Ballarat Ave N. North Bend, WA 98045.  See below for a zoomed in view of the exact location where the shuttles will go. Please do not park inside the parking lot of Two Rivers School.

shuttle location aerial

Non-participants are welcome to ride the shuttle but may be bumped to make room for a participant.


We don’t recommend that you park at the start line, for a few reasons.  Firstly, there is extremely limited parking at the start area.   Also, you’ll need to have someone drive you back up to the start.  Please note that if you decide to park at the start line area, you will need to have a Discovery Pass.  Iron Horse Half Marathon is not responsible for any parking tickets if you park at the start line and do not have a Discovery Pass.

But, if you are dead set on doing so, you can park at Olallie State Park.  Do NOT park at the Homestead Valley Trailhead.  You will cause congestion at the start line!

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Results and Photos

2017 Results

2017 Photos

2016 Results

2016 Photos

All participants will receive unlimited free race photo downloads! Photos will be indexed by bib number–so make sure it’s visible during the race.  We’ll post a link here 3-4 days after the race.

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Registration Dates and Pricing — Online registration closes Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at 6p.m. Register by July 26th, 2018 to guarantee your shirt size.

October 3rd – October 31st: $60

November 1st – December 31st: $65

January 1st – March 31st: $70

April 1st – May 31st: $75

June 1st – July 31st: $80

August 1st – August 22nd: $85

Race Day or Packet Pickup: $85


Interested in signing up for more than one 2018 Orca Running race? Check out the 2018 Orca Running Pass Subscribe and Bundle options. 


Community Entries
Orca Running is proud to offer Community Entries for our events.

A community entry is a reduced entry fee for $45 for those who would love to participate but are without the financial conditions to do so. There are four community entries available for the Iron Horse Half. Application period will open 4 months from race date and be open for 1 month. Click here to apply.

Iron Horse Half Application Period: April 26, 2018 – May 26, 2018

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We recommend staying at Embassy Suites in Bellevue. Iron Horse Half participants qualify for a special rate. To book, either use this link or call the hotel and mention that you are booking a room for the Iron Horse Half.  Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-362-2779.

Embassy Suites is conveniently located in Bellevue and is a 25 minute drive to the race finish line.  To view a map of the hotel’s location, please click here.

You can get a King Suite or Two Queen suite for $189 a night.  The two queen suite has two queen beds in the bedroom with a sleeper sofa in the living room.  The king suite also has a sleeper sofa in the living room. Maximum occupancy for the two queen suite is 6 people.

Rate includes complimentary, cooked-to- order breakfast.  Breakfast hours are 7:30am-10:30am on weekends
and 6:00am-9:00am on weekdays.
Evening Reception is 5:30pm – 7:30pm.
Cascades Restaurant and Bar is the onsite restaurant. Hours of operation are 11:30am-11:00pm.

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Race Policies

For a complete overview of our race policies, please click here.

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The Iron Horse Half starts in waves!  Specifically, there are seven waves, each of equal size. Please note that the 7:30am, 7:45am and 8am waves are eligible for overall awards. All waves are eligible for age group awards. Walkers or those running 15 minutes per mile or more please choose the 8:15am wave or later
6:00am: Race Day Packet Pick-up opens
6:30-8:30am: Shuttles run to start line
7:30am: First wave
7:45am: Second wave
8:00am: Third wave
8:15am: Fourth wave
8:30am: Fifth wave
8:45am: Sixth wave
9:00am: Seventh Wave
10:00am: Awards ceremony
1:00pm: Course is completely closed.  Any runners remaining on course will be brought in by sweep van.
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Awards will be given to the top 3 male and female finishers.  Only the 7:30am, 7:45am and 8:00am waves are eligible for overall awards. All waves are eligible for age group awards.

Also the top three males and females in each age group will win an award.  Age groups categories are in 5 year increments:

19 and under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, ……, 65-69, and 70-74, 75+

There will be an awards ceremony to honor the top three men and women overall at 10:00am.

Please note we do not mail out awards, they must be picked up at the race.

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2018 shirt and medal to be revealed soon!

R-Pod Medal

Run any 3 Orca Running Races in 2018 and receive the R-Pod medal. A beautiful, translucent medal with a custom ribbon to check off the races you’ve done.


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Gear Check

The race offers free gear check.  Gear check drop is at the start line.  It will likely be a bit chilly and potentially rainy (it is Washington, after all) at the start line, so the start line gear check bag is for runners’ warm clothes.  Please note, you must bring your own bag for gear check.  We do not provide gear check bags.  Gear check bags will be transported to the finish line and available for pickup after you finish.

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Iron Horse Beer Garden

After you’re done running, (and if you’re of age) enjoy some awesome local craft beer, courtesy of Iron Horse Brewery, who is our official beer provider for the Iron Horse Half.  You are expected to bring a cash donation to enter the beer garden.  100% of all donations made towards the beer garden will go straight towards Discovery Lab, local non-profit that creates an integrated learning environment where students achieve academic excellence through project-based and exploratory methods.

Beers available TBD.

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Charity Partner

We are proud to be working with the Mt. Si Food Bank as our charity partner for the Iron Horse Half.  A portion of every registration will go to the food bank, plus we are accepting donations on their behalf during the registration process.  In addition, we will be holding a food drive at packet pickup and on race day for the food bank.

For more information on the Mt. Si Food Bank, check out their website and Facebook page.

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We are pleased to be working with the Seattle Green Lake Running Group for pacers for the Iron Horse Half Marathon. Since we are using wave starts (see ‘Schedule’ for more information), there will be one pacer per wave.  See below for the list of pacer times, and which wave they will be starting in.

7:30am (Wave 1): 1:25, 1:30, 1:35 pacers

7:45am (Wave 2): 1:35, 1:40, 1:45 pacers

8:00am (Wave 3)1:45, 1:50, 1:55 pacers

8:15am (Wave 4): 1:55, 2:00, 2:05 pacers

8:30am (Wave 5):  2:05, 2:10, 2:15 pacers

8:45am (Wave 6): no pacers

9:00am (Wave 7): no pacers

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We are still in the process of working out the details for this service but will have an update soon!

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