The Tunnel Marathon - Running on History
The Tunnel Marathon course has a unique history. From 1908 until 1980 several railroad lines, including the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific Railroads, operated on this section of the course. The Department of Natural Resources purchased the land from the railroad for recreational use.
The smooth, gravel-surfaced rail trail is never more than a 2.2% downhill grade as it follows the old railroad line down to the finish in North Bend. The footing is firm enough that if you look you can catch glimpses of the Snoqualmie Valley to the west.
What other marathon course takes you through a tunnel, over several trestles, past Change and Hall Creeks (around the 16 mile mark) and near a small waterfall or two? It’s not uncommon to see wildlife, deer and elk, out on the trail. The trail is lined with Big Leaf Maple, Alder, Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir, Salmonberry, and Thimbleberry trees. If you run the race in September you have a good chance of seeing some spectacular fall colors.