Mount Rainier Half Marathon
July 17, 2021
Date: July 17, 2021
Starting Times: 6:00 - 8:00 AM
Expo & Bib Pickup
Friday, July 16, 2021
11:00 AM - 7:00 PM
* Expo bib pickup is recommended. Limited bibs available at the start line race morning.
Terrain: This is a mixed terrain loop course with both dirt trail and pavement.
Strollers allowed? No
Disability Friendly? No
Dogs allowed? No
Travel to Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier is a beautiful, but remote location. We highly recommend booking your travel and lodging atleast 6 months in advance to make sure you find a good option for the race.
Registering later? Consider booking your lodging before you get a bib.
Plug in the following to get to Ashford for bib pickup and race day (We will have signs up in the area):
*Plan for heavier traffic on expo day and race morning!
There are a few options inside the National Park (National Park Inn and Cougar Rock Campground are closer options). Be careful when selecting lodging, as some options that are great for visiting the park may be very far from the race (Paradise Inn and Ohanapecosh Campground).
Mount Rainier National Park
We realize that the races in this series are out of the way for most runners, and it may be the only time that you visit these breathtaking areas. One of our biggest desires is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the region has to offer.
While in the area we encourage you to continue the adventure and spend time in the parks!
If you've run any of our National Park half marathons before, you may be familiar with our "club hikes" and "trifecta" programs. The "Explorer Club" series is our new iteration of this idea! We want you to have as broad or as deep of an experience of our National Parks and their surrounding areas as oissible. We have created a scavenger hunt made up of all kinds of adventures and experiences you can have here at the park.
The challenge consists of activities that fit into 6 categories: History, Hiking, Explore, Food/Dining, Education, and Stewardship.
Each activity is worth points towards an explorer badge! They are worth a different number of points based on difficulty and you can choose which to tackle based on your interests. Whether you have an afternoon or a week at the park, you should be able to plan an amazing itinerary with these suggestions!
Here's how to become an Explorer:
- Install the free Spark Challenges app
- Sign-up using the same email address you used to register for the race
- Join the Explorer Club challenge for your park and start completing activities
- Earn at least 1,500 points within 7-days of the race and you’ll earn a special in-app achievement with a coupon code to claim your free Explorer badge
This popular 5.5mi. trail is challenging but well worth the effort. The loop boasts incredible mountain vistas and a waterfall. You can cut down on the challenge and still enjoy the park by hiking to Myrtle Falls and returning.
Nisqually Vista Trail
Not looking for a big trek? This trail on paved ground is a great way to see views from the base of the mountain during a short 1mi. hike that's great for families and stroller-friendly.
Note: You are responsible for your safety if you attempt to participate in any of these activities. Always check the weather before starting a hike, and speak with a park or forest ranger for updated information regarding trail conditions, closures, and permits.
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.
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!)
Mount Rainer Race Details
Everything you need to know before the race! Want this info on-the-go? Download the race guide>>
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Opens at 4:30 AM
(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 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!