- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon
- Trail Race
Registration fees are pretty reasonable, considering all that goes into a trail event. For the half, fees were as low as $39 for early registration increasing incrementally to $55 for day-of registration. The caveat (?): no medal, no swag. For the single race at least. If you do 4 of their trail half series, you get swag (this year, a dry bag). There was an option to add a race-specific T-shirt, but we didn't elect to do so this time. Also these events don't use chips for timing, but that's typical for trail races and the chip timing isn't really necessary with fewer participants and the way people spread out.
Race organization was just what we've seen from NW Trail Runs time and again—small but efficient and impeccable (there's a reason we keep showing up for their runs).
Aid stations were well-stocked. The distance between the two aid stations and between the last aid station and the finish (~5.5 miles each) is long if you're used to road racing but typical for a trail event. They also had an uncrewed water-only table about 2.5 miles from the end. I was still sufficiently stocked, but given the heat, it was a good placement. Finish line snacks included watermelon and hot dogs.
Course markings were superb, again something we've come to expect from the NW Trail Runs crew. This course had no sections with two-way race traffic or where the course crossed itself. There were relatively few turnoffs, and they were well-marked with flags. A time or two I had a little niggle if I was still on course because I couldn't see/hear anyone ahead or behind. But having done NW Trail Runs events before, I knew it would be unusual for me to go off course, and then I'd soon see a confidence streamer ahead.
The course itself was quite pretty. You don't get many views of the mountains but what you do get is extraordinary on a clear day, and the rest of the course was strewn with wildflowers and evergreens. It accumulates ~1300-1400 ft vertical gain over the day, much of it during the first half. However, there weren't any especially steep or sustained climbs. The trails weren't too technical either—lots of wide vehicular paths and well trod single track. The trails had relatively few rocks and roots. The biggest issue is that the grass and brush grows so close to the single track that it can obscure clumps and roots at the edge of the trail.
The weather was pretty fantastic but a little hot. There's not much reprieve from the sun. But you can get a nice cooldown wading in the gentle Teanaway River at the finish.
This race is in the Teanaway Community Forest, near Cle Elum, WA. That's about 1 hour 40 minutes drive from Seattle. You need a Discover Pass or day pass to park, which needs to be gotten before arrival. (Discover Pass covers WA state parks; at $30/year vs $10/day pass, it's worth it.)
Overall, if sun/heat aren't major issues for you, I would say this is a good first trail race for this region. Lovely course, drivable from Seattle on race day, not too much gain or technicality, and a well marked course.