August 22, 2021
USATF Certified Half Marathon
about the Iron Horse Half Marathon
The Iron Horse Half Marathon is a point to point half marathon taking place in Washington state on the Palouse to Cascade 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.
Registration Dates and Pricing — Online registration closes August 25th, 2021 at 6p.m. Register by July 30th, 2021 to guarantee your shirt size.
October 1st – October 31st: $70
November 1st – December 31st: $75
January 1st – March 31st: $80
April 1st – May 31st: $85
June 1st – July 31st: $90
August 1st – August 21st: $95
Race Day or Packet Pickup: $100
Please note that all registrations are non-refundable. Be sure to review our race policies.
Prices do not include processing fees. Online pre-registration closes the day before the race at 8:00pm.
If you’re planning on doing multiple Orca Running races in a year, consider using our Bundle and Save!
proudly serving Nuun on course
The course for the Iron Horse Half Marathon is pretty awesome. It starts at Olallie State Park and finishes in North Bend at Meadowbrook Farm, 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 400′ in North Bend.
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
Chartered school buses, aka shuttles, will run from to the start line on race day morning. We suggest you board a shuttle about 45 minutes before your wave start. 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, then there is a .25 mile hike up to the trail, then another .25 mile walk to the start line.
Shuttles will pick up participants at the parking lot of Meadowbrook Farm which is located at 1711 Boalch Ave NW, 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 at Meadowbrook Farm, there is plenty of parking on the field.
Non-participants are welcome to ride the shuttle but may be bumped to make room for a participant.
Plaques will be given to the top 3 overall men and women. Only the 7:30am wave is eligible for overall awards! In addition, we have awards for the top 3 overall men and women in each 5 year age group. Age groups start with 19&under, 20-24, 25-29, up to 80-84.
START LINE PARKING
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! And again, you will have to have someone drive you back to the start.
FINISH LINE PARKING
We strongly encourage participants to carpool whenever possible to the race, it’s good for the planet!
Participants need to park at Meadowbrook Farm which is located at 1711 Boalch Ave NW, North Bend, WA 98045. This is the finish line of the race.
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. There is a $15 charge per person for for more than double occupancy.
Rate includes complimentary, cooked-to- order breakfast. Breakfast on race morning will be opened up early for race participants at 6:30am.
Evening Reception is 5:30pm – 7:30pm.
Cascades Restaurant and Bar is the onsite restaurant. Hours of operation are 11:30am-11:00pm.
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.
Each and every Orca Running race supports a charity.
We are partnering with The Trail Youth which is a non-profit organization seeking to build bridges between youth and the many resources available. The Trail Youth aims to help youth, ages 13-19, by promoting stable, nurturing relationships with mentors and promoting a safe environment for students through a youth coffee shop. We desire to see a strong, integrated community that values every child and contributes to their success.
We donate a portion of every registration to The Trail Youth and you can also make a contribution during the registration process.
We have 2 days of packet pickup:
Skip the lines on race day and come to packet pick-up. Road Runner Sports VIP members receive 20% off during packet pick-up! You may also pick-up your friend’s packets.
Date: Friday, August 28th
Location: Road Runner Sports Greenlake, 7020 Woodlawn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
Prior to Race Day: Please see Packet Pickup for more information
The Iron Horse Half starts in waves! Waves are automatically assigned by estimated finishing time. There are seven waves, each of equal size. Only the first wave is eligible for overall awards! All waves are eligible for age group awards.
6:00am: Race Day Packet Pick-up opens
6:30-8:30am: Shuttles run to start line
7:30am: first wave
7:40am: second wave
7:50am: third wave
8:00am: fourth wave
8:10am: fifth wave
8:20am: sixth wave
8:30am: seventh wave
8:40am: eighth wave
1:00pm: Course is completely closed
Q: How can I confirm that I am signed up?
The best thing to check first is to look in your email inbox for your confirmation email. You can also look up your registration here.
Q: How can I confirm what shirt size I ordered?
A: Your t-shirt size that you selected appears on your confirmation email. If you did not receive your confirmation email, try checking your spam folder.
Q: I cannot participate! What are my options?
Q: I cannot participate, but I would still like to pick up my swag. Can I pick it up?
A: Yes. You can send a friend or family member to packet pickup to get your race packet & swag.
Q: Are walkers welcome?
A: Absolutely yes!
Q: Are dogs welcome?
A: No, dogs are not allowed to participate in the Iron Horse Half. They are welcome at the start and finish line areas, however.
Q: Are strollers welcome?
A: The liability insurance for the race through USA Track and Field does not cover strollers, so please no strollers. The course is also a rough gravel/dirt surface and probably would not fare very well.
Q: What time does the course close?
A: The course closes at 1:00pm.
Q: Will there be porta-potties at the start/finish? What about out on the course?
A: There will be porta-potties available at the start line and finish line area. There will be porta-potties out on the course at several areas.
Q: When does online registration close?
A: Online registration closes on August 25th, 2021 at 6 p.m. Register by July 30th, 2021 to guarantee your shirt size.
Q: What/who does this race benefit?
A: The Lake Sammamish Half benefits Cascade Challenge, a wonderful non-profit organization dedicated to providing outdoor adventure opportunities to youth ages 14-20. They serve underprivileged kids in our communities by organizing camping trips and other fun events so kids can enjoy the outdoors and learn leadership skills at the same time. Cascade Challenge is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers and if you’re interested please contact them directly.
Q: Can someone else pick up my packet?
A: Yes! You do not need anything special to have someone else pick up your packet. Just be sure to coordinate!
Q: Can I sign up in person at packet pickup or on race day?
A: If the race is not sold out, yes you can register in-person. You can pay with cash (exact change only), check, or credit card.
Q: Is there gear check?
A: 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.