The 2021 event has passed!

Mount Rainier Half Marathon

You'll love this challenging course through peaceful woods, lush pacific northwest undergrowth, across rivers and streams while catching glimpses of the towering Mt. Rainier! This is our inaugural race here and it may be the only one, so don't miss it!

July 17, 2021

Ashford, WA

Difficulty:

Mixed Terrain

Loop Course

  • Quick Info

  • Travel & Lodging

  • Explore The Park

  • Registration Closed

Quick Info

Date: July 17, 2021

Starting Times: 6:00 - 8:00 AM

Expo & Bib Pickup

Friday, July 16, 2021

11:00 AM - 7:00 PM

Ashford County Park

Ashford, WA 

* Expo bib pickup is recommended. Limited bibs available at the start line race morning.


The Course

Terrain: This is a mixed terrain loop course with both dirt trail and pavement. 


Strollers allowed? No

Disability Friendly? No

Dogs allowed? No

GET INVOLVED

Support Our

Park Communities

Fundraise for your chosen race and your registration fee could be waived. All funds go to Wander Project to support efforts in and around the communities that host our events.

Learn more about Wander Project >>

Volunteer with Us!

Our amazing volunteers help runners at the race expo, finish line, merch tent, and beyond! Join us for a 3-4hr shift and earn a $50 or $100 credit towards a future race.

Pro-tip: Volunteer at the expo and run the next day OR ask a friend to volunteer and "gift" you the credit (or use it themselves!)

HOW TO PREPARE

Know Your Guidelines

- Read your race details! Following event rules helps us to put on safe, sustainable events.

- We are a zero-waste event. Please stick to reusable water bottles and avoid bringing disposable items to the race.

- Be courteous towards fellow runners on and off the course.

Join the Community

Vacation Races is honored to have a community of runners who actively support one another! We highly recommend joining one our Facebook groups to get input from other runners, share stories, and learn about the latest updates.

Mount Rainer Race Details

Everything you need to know before the race! Want this info on-the-go? Download the race guide>>

Course Details

Mount Rainier Half Marathon

Start: 6:00 am in Ashford, WA
End: 11:00 am (4 hours after the final runner starts)

Run through the peaceful community of Ashford, Washington at the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. This course will take you through beautiful pacific northwest landscapes. You’ll run through peaceful forests, among wildflowers, ferns and lush undergrowth, over streams and rivers all the while catching glimpses of Mount Rainier as the trees part to reveal her in all her majesty towering over the course.

The first mile has runners heading west with Rainier at their back on Hwy 706 (National Park Hwy). This section is on road. Shortly after Mile 1, runners turn onto a dirt trail through some private property to tie into some dirt roads through the trees. Runners will be on dirt roads until just past Mile 8. Around Mile 3 runners will cross Nisqually River for the first time and hit the first aid station.

Runners will continue south on the dirt roads, hitting the first of two good climbs near Mile 4. The second aid station will be near Mile 5. At about Mile 6 runners will hit the second (and more significant of the two) hills, climbing around 300ft in a mile (it gets steeper at about 6.5). It can be harder going up a mountain than down, but the views are better at the top. From about mile 7 to 8 is a pretty good downhill, then the course is pretty level from there to the finish. The third aid station will be waiting for you at the top of the hill near Mile 7.

The course will change from dirt road back to pavement just past Mile 8. Runners will hit the fourth aid station just before crossing the Nisqually River for the second time near Mile 9. The course hops back onto Hwy 706 briefly before taking some side roads up to Ashford County Park where the finish line is.

Click the image above to view the course and aid stations via MapMyRun

Time limit
All runners will have 4 hours to finish the race (chip time). That is an 18 minute mile - plenty of time for walkers! If at anytime we deem it unsafe and need to pull a runner off the course, we would hope for understanding and immediate cooperation. Failure to comply will result in being banned from future events.

Course Records
Because this is the first (and maybe only) time we will be running this course, we do not have any course records. The overall winners and masters winners will set the course record for this course.

Aid Stations

Expect about 6 aid stations on the course at around mile 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12. A medic will be stationed typically at the aid station at or near mile 7. Keep in mind, the exact location of each aid station may vary from race to race. Aid stations include toilets, water, Gnarly Hydrate, Honey Stinger gels, basic first aid supplies, and sometimes more. 

All stations are cup-free so plan to bring your own hydration solution or request a free HydraPouch when you register. 

Additional Details

Race Expo & Bib Pickup

Bib Pickup Options

You have a couple of options for picking up your bib and race packet including at the Race Expo, the start line, or we can mail it to you. 

Option #1: Race Expo
Always the Friday before our race, the expo is the best option for bib pickup. We’ll have our merchandise table set up, so be sure to stop by and say hi!

Option #2: Race Morning (not recommended)
We will have limited race morning bib and packet pickup on race morning at the start line. Get there early!

Option #3: Shipped Before the Race ($30)
You can add a shipped bib to your registration until one month before the race by logging into RunSignup, clicking Manage Registration, and Add Ons.

Refunds: Once your package is shipped, you are officially checked in to the race and no longer qualify for our refund, deferment, or transfer options.

Race Expo

All of our events are cup-free and bag-free to help us reduce waste! Please plan to bring a reusable hydration source or request a free HydraPouch at registration. 

Friday, July 16

11 AM–7 PM

Ashford County Park

We encourage you to attend the race expo which will be on July 16 at Ashford County Park (the same place as the finish line). This is your chance to see the area, pick up your bib packet, and check out merchandise.

Race Day Schedule - Staggered Start!

Staggered "Waves"

In order to keep both crowds and traffic to a minimum, we are using a staggered start for race morning. Every runner has a wave assigned to them based on estimated pace time. You can find your wave color on your bib and in your registration info via RunSignup.com. Please arrive and park according to your assigned wave unless necessary. 

Schedule

SATURDAY 

4:30 AM - Parking lots open
4:30 AM - Start line bib pick-up opens

5:00 AM - First waves should be parked

5:45 AM - Last call for gear check & runners line up
5:50 AM - National Anthem

6:00 AM - OFFICIAL START (Blue wave & overall competitors)

6:00 AM - 8:00 AM Staggered starts begin as runners arrive to the start line

8:00 AM - Last wave begins race

12:00 PM - Race cut-off time

*ALL RUNNERS WILL HAVE 4 HOURS FROM THEIR START TIME TO COMPLETE THE RACE

Parking & Drop-off

Runner Parking

Opens at 4:30 AM

Start line lot on Natl Park Hwy

(29805 WA-706 Ashford, WA) 

*The start line & parking are walking distance to the finish line

Runner Drop-off & Spectator Parking

Drop-off and spectator parking are both located across the street inside the entrance to Ashford County Park. Please enter, loop through the park, and follow signs for our designated drop-off and parking areas.

Spectators

Spectators are welcome at the Mount Rainier Half Marathon! Please stick to the parking area designated for you on race morning. You will be located walking distance to both the start and finish line. 


Some Spectator Etiquette:

- Only park in designated areas

- Please do not eat the runners' food or beverage

- Please remain outside of the runner recovery area (finish line) while waiting for your runner

- Give our runners your best cheers as they cross the finish line! They deserve it!

Zero Waste

As nature lovers, we are committed to keeping our events sustainable and managing negative impacts on the environment. Our goal is to send less than one bag of actual “trash” to the landfill after each event. We have managed to meet this goal at events with over 3,000 participants!

Here's how you can help us:

CUP-FREE RACING

All Vacation Races events are "cup-free". Coolers of water and Gnarly Hydrate (electrolyte drink) are available at all aid stations, but cups will not be provided on course or at the finish line. In order to stay hydrated, we ask you to bring one of the following:

1. Reusable water bottle - you can fill these up at any aid station and at the start/finish

2. Hydrapouch - These handheld cups clip onto your clothes and are our recommended choice! We offer these free when you register, but they will also be available at the expo for $10.

3. Hydration pack - These are refillable backpacks meant for running that allow you to access fluid via a built-in straw.

ZERO WASTE CONTAINERS

You can help us reduce trash by sorting disposable items into the appropriate container. 

You’ll notice three containers at our events:

  • Compostables: Organic goods like banana peels and most food items (without the wrapper please!)
  • Recyclables: Paper, aluminum, cardboard, steel, and glass. Please dump out any liquids into the compost bin BEFORE recycling the container.
  • Everything Else: Non-recyclable food wrappers like from used gel packets and styrofoam. Please dump out any food matter BEFORE throwing away the container.

Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.

Toilets

When possible, we also use Great Outdoors Composting Portable Toilets which conserve water, eliminates the use of harmful chemicals, and create a nutrient rich soil amenity. It is the best pooping experience you will ever have. To learn more or to have them at your event visit GreatOutdoorsToilets.com or ask the race officials for more information.

Race Results and Photos

Past Results

This is our inaugural race! You'll be able to view your time ~20 minute after you finish by going to RunSignup.com or heading to the Race Results tent and scanning a QR code. 

If you see that you placed, but didn't stick around for the awards ceremony, no worries! You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!

If you have questions about your placement or results, please email timing@vacationraces.com.

Photos

Race Photos
Race photos are typically available on RunSignup.com the Friday following the week of the race. We will send out an email when they're posted to the album as well as place the link below. This year we are offering race photos FREE to all our runners!

Share your experiences with us! 
Be sure to use #RainierHalf in any photos you post from the race or your adventures exploring the park so we can share in the fun with you!

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