Tunnel Light Marathon

Tunnel Light Marathon

 
4.7 (4 reviews)

North Bend, WA
September 17, 2017

The Tunnel Light Marathon is a point-to-point downhill marathon race on a scenic gravel rail-trail 50 miles east of Seattle, Washington. The course is a Boston qualifier and has the best profile in the country for a fast time due to the consistent gentle downhill grade and the low starting elevation. The first three miles are flat, cold, foggy and damp inside an unlit tunnel. Once out of the Tunnel, the gravel trail starts down the hill and keeps on going down, 2050 feet in the next 23 miles. It's never steep enough to be uncomfortable; you just feel like you're having a great race.

Race Reviews: 4
Overall Rating:
 
4.7
Course:
 
4.8
Organization:
 
4.6
Value:
 
4.6
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Review:
Reviews
great course, needs mile markers to be posted clearly and accurately
Overall Rating:
 
4.2
Course:
 
4.5
Organization:
 
4.0
Value:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Philip Ballmann on 8/29/2017
Racing Experience: 20+ Marathons
Location: Waco, Texas

Review: great course, needs mile markers to be posted clearly and accurately

I loved the race. I dropped 3 minutes off my best. The beginning is a little rough. It's pretty cold and you do an out and back in a parking lot before hitting the tunnel. So it's tough to get a good grove/accurate pace for the first 2 miles. Once you are out of the tunnel though the downhill starts and you can fly. It's a great decline since there are a lot of times where you don't feel like you are going downhill. Little fanfare out on the course, but you wont find a prettier course to distract you.
Overall Rating:
 
4.8
Course:
 
5.0
Organization:
 
4.5
Value:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Steve Edholm on 2/27/2017
Racing Experience: 10 - 20 Marathons
Location: Seattle, WA

Review: I loved the race. I dropped 3 minutes off my best. The beginning is a little rough. It's pretty cold and you do an out and back in a parking lot before hitting the tunnel. So it's tough to get a good grove/accurate pace for the first 2 miles. Once you are out of the tunnel though the downhill starts and you can fly. It's a great decline since there are a lot of times where you don't feel like you are going downhill. Little fanfare out on the course, but you wont find a prettier course to distract you.

I've now ran both this race and its sister race during the summer (Light at the End of the Tunnel). I was really happy when this race showed up on my race calendar due to it being a fall-time race [which I prefer over summer/hot races].

The course is the same as the Light at the End of the Tunnel route-- a fast 'downhill' gravel course with a unique tunnel that you run through in the beginning. You can't really feel that it's downhill, which makes it easy on the quads. I was able to shave off about 3-5 minutes from my regular road race time, which is awesome!

Overall -- a fast course with great race directors. Everything seemed to run smooth and there were plenty of porta-potties (which I always seem to need and they're always full).
Overall Rating:
 
4.8
Course:
 
5.0
Organization:
 
5.0
Value:
 
4.5
Reviewed by Jim Campbell on 9/19/2016
Racing Experience: 10 - 20 Marathons
Location: Portland, OR

Review: I've now ran both this race and its sister race during the summer (Light at the End of the Tunnel). I was really happy when this race showed up on my race calendar due to it being a fall-time race [which I prefer over summer/hot races].

The course is the same as the Light at the End of the Tunnel route-- a fast 'downhill' gravel course with a unique tunnel that you run through in the beginning. You can't really feel that it's downhill, which makes it easy on the quads. I was able to shave off about 3-5 minutes from my regular road race time, which is awesome!

Overall -- a fast course with great race directors. Everything seemed to run smooth and there were plenty of porta-potties (which I always seem to need and they're always full).

This was my 15th marathon and first one in Washington. Though I missed my BQ by less than 3 minutes, it was still a great race. There were plenty of port-o-johns, the aid stations were fully packed, and the race started on time (which I'm finding less and less these days).. And the scenery is absolutely beautiful -- plenty of mountains/forest/streams to keep your mind off the miles.

One thing to note is the terrain... the gravel chunks are much larger than I was expecting... I was thinking it was going to be the standard "rail-trail" gravel which is much finer and compacted. My feet were definitely beat up after the race.
Overall Rating:
 
4.8
Course:
 
4.5
Organization:
 
5.0
Value:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Joseph Baker on 9/19/2016
Racing Experience: 10 - 20 Marathons
Location: Mesa, AZ

Review: This was my 15th marathon and first one in Washington. Though I missed my BQ by less than 3 minutes, it was still a great race. There were plenty of port-o-johns, the aid stations were fully packed, and the race started on time (which I'm finding less and less these days).. And the scenery is absolutely beautiful -- plenty of mountains/forest/streams to keep your mind off the miles.

One thing to note is the terrain... the gravel chunks are much larger than I was expecting... I was thinking it was going to be the standard "rail-trail" gravel which is much finer and compacted. My feet were definitely beat up after the race.

Elevation Profile


Course Vitals

Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 0 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 0.00
Surface: Mostly Trail/Not-Paved
Certified: Yes

Gender Distribution


Total Number of Participants: 500

Finishing Times

Age Distribution

Boston & NYC Qualifiers

Total Qualifiers:

Boston 173

New York 46

 

Percentage of Total Finishers:

Boston 34.3%

New York 9.1%


Note: Data based off of 2016 race results