One of the Nation's Fastest Courses...
The Tunnel Marathon races offer one of the fastest courses in the country. This point to point course delivers excellent times thanks to the consistent downhill grade and low starting elevation. It is the perfect race to set a Personal Record and snag a Boston Qualification on a single course.
Run through a dark tunnel lit by your best running mates, gawk at the mountains and waterfalls, take in the sweet Washington air and let your legs go. The speed of the course comes from a loss of just over 2,000' of elevation at a consistent grade.
The Tunnel course is in the top 10 for a BQ per Runners World and Race Raves! This USATF Boston Certified course (WA18020RMB) has helped over 42% of our runners snag a BQ on the ORIGINAL Tunnel course. Founded by Washington residents and offered since 2007, you can be sure you’re in good hands. It's been a favorite among racers and why runners continue to come back for more!
Key Course Locations
The race starts at the Hyak trailhead on the John Wayne Pioneer trail just east of Snoqualmie Pass. After a half mile runners enter the pitch black tunnel for 2.4 miles. A light source such as a headlamp is strongly recommended. Once you get about 50 yards into the tunnel, you can see a pinpoint of light ahead of you which is the "Light at the End of the Tunnel" over 2 miles away.
Runners continue traversing 5 more miles through forested slopes to the Iron Horse State Park trailhead at Rattlesnake Lake. The course continues on the Snoqualmie Valley trail a through leafy second-growth forest. The race finishes at a gravel parking area along North Bend Way 2.4 miles SE of downtown North Bend.
The Tunnel Marathons utilize a unique and fast downhill trail course with limited access to roads along the course. You may want to carry a small water bottle, particularly if the weather is warm. We suggest you carry a cell phone. Any runner receiving support from non-official staff will be disqualified due to USATF rules. For example, a friend on a bike handing out water or gels, NO EXCEPTIONS.
There are ten aid stations along the course, situated at roughly 2.5 mile intervals. Water and Gatorade are provided at all aid stations and GU Energy Gel (Caffeinated and non) at the designated aid stations. Wastebaskets are provided at and shortly after each aid station for cups and other litter. First aid supplies, provided at some of the aid stations, include Vaseline, Band aids, salt caps, sun screen, hand sanitizer and bug spray.
Aid Station Names and Locations
- 2.6 Tunnel Exit: water, electrolyte drink, first aid
- 5.3 Humpback: water, electrolyte drink, first aid
- 8.0 Bandera: water, electrolyte drink, gels, first aid
- 10.7 Rock Creek: water, electrolyte drink, first aid
- 13.4 Garcia: Water, water, electrolyte drink, first aid
- 16.4 Twin Falls: water, electrolyte drink, gels, first aid
- 18.8 Cedar Butte: water, electrolyte drink, first aid
- 21.2 Rattlesnake: water, electrolyte drink, gels, first aid
- 22.8 Edgwick 1: water, electrolyte drink, first aid
- 24.8 Edgwick 2: water, electrolyte drink, first aid
In addition to the aid stations, we have Search and Rescue out on the course and a medical team at the finish.
There are porta-potties and restrooms at the start and porta-potties at the finish. Along the course there are restrooms at miles 3, 8.7, 11.6 and at mile 21.2
Frequently Asked Questions
IS THERE A TIME LIMIT FOR THE RACE?
We offer 6 hours of official timing and support. If you need more time there is an early start 1 hour before the official start. Please check the appropriate box on the registration form and check in with the timer at the start line.
Any early starter finishing before 5 hours will be disqualified, YOU MUST NEED THE EXTRA HOUR to take the early start. Thank you.
IS THE COURSE PAVED OR TRAIL?
The marathon course is mostly packed gravel on an old railway. Many runners enjoy wearing light-medium trail shoes and running gaiters.