Presented by:

August 27th, 2023

USATF Certified Half Marathon
Certification # WA23022RMB

about the Iron Horse Half Marathon

Voted Best Half Marathon in Washington 2019

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.

Orca Running acknowledges that the Iron Horse Half Marathon takes place on the Indigenous Land of Coast Salish peoples who have reserved treaty rights to this land, specifically the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe (sdukʷalbixʷ). We thank these caretakers of this land who have lived and continue to live here since time immemorial.


There are no higher stakes than being kind to the earth; we care deeply about keeping our planet viable for the next generation. To that end, we organize our events with an eye towards minimizing our impact on the planet. Read more here.

Committed to Making All Feel Welcome

Orca Running is making a new effort to make sure that everyone feels welcome and safe at our running events and in our community. We have a non-binary registration option and a non-binary category for overall awards. 

If you have a suggestion or idea for how we can improve our events in this regard, please let us know!


Wondering about sizing for the shirts? Click here. 

registration prices

 Half Marathon

October – December: $75

January – March: $80

April – May: $85

June: $90

July: $95

August: $100

Race day: $110


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!

Youth Discounts

Participants under 18 automatically receive a discount of 40% on registration fees. 

Participants aged 18-24 automatically receive a discount of 30% on registration fees. 


charity bibs

We have partnered with Wander Project to help you do more at Iron Horse Half! We are bringing charity bibs to the 2023 event to help you turn your passion into purpose. How does a charity bib work?

A charity bib is a free entry into Iron Horse Half in exchange for helping raise awareness and funds for an organization of YOUR choice. You can choose what charity you want to support:

However, if you have a cause in your local community that inspires you to do more, you can choose them as the organization you are raising funds for right at registration!

Once you register for a charity bib, you will be automatically prompted to set up a fundraising page through Wander Project’s peer-to-peer fundraising platform. From here, Wander Project will give you a whole host of tools and resources (including meet-ups, one on ones, templates, and more) to engage your friends and family throughout your fundraising journey. This means you’ll have support from Wander Project at every step of your fundraising process as you raise funds for your selected charity!

The fundraising minimum commitment is $1,000. The percentage of the funds that will be allocated to the nonprofit of your choice depends on the partnership agreement we have with each organization and spans from 65-80% of the net total raised.

By signing up for a charity bib, you are making a serious commitment to raise the amount you agreed to. If you are not able to meet the minimum fundraising amount by the week of the race, you will be required to pay the difference. All donations are final.

Once you raise your minimum commitment, you will be completely registered for the event of your choice. We look forward to seeing you at the Iron Horse Half! Let’s turn our passions into purpose and make a difference in the world! Still have a question about how this works? Drop Wander Project’s Director of Community Engagement a line at

race info

The course

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. The entirety of the course is unpaved and consists of hard packed dirt. Regular road running shoes work great.

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.  

Pacers are being provided by Seattle Greenlake Running Group for the following finishing times: 1:30, 1:40, 1:50, 2:00, 2:10 and 2:20.


Orca Running is committed to reducing waste and protecting the environment.  As part of this commitment, we are making all events cupless. The tiny little cups that are used for an instant generate tremendous amounts of garbage. We recommend you purchase a handheld bottle, a hydration pack, or we can provide you with a small re-useable cup that folds easily into your waistband to use during the entire race and future races.


Chartered school buses, aka shuttles, will run from the finish to the start line on race day morning.  We suggest you board a shuttle about 45 minutes before your wave start.

Shuttles will pick up participants at the parking lot of Meadowbrook Farm which is located at 1711 Boalch Ave NW, North Bend, WA 98045.


Overall awards will be given to the top 3 male, female, and non-binary runners based off of gun time not chip time.  So, you must start in the first wave.  We also give out age group awards in 5 year increments, so be sure to check your results at the Orca Running tent.  We DO NOT MAIL OUT AWARDS after the race, they must be picked up at the race.



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.


Start line parking is highly discouraged. It is very congested and you would need someone to drive you back to the start as shuttles will not be running post-race.


We recommend staying at Embassy Suites in Bellevue.

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.



We have a clear set of policies that we uniformly follow for all races. Entries are not refundable, but you can defer your entry, transfer it to another race, or transfer it to another participant. You can review our full set of policies here.

gear check

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.

Charity Partner

The Charity Partner for the Iron Horse Half Marathon is Trail Youth Coffee. and Issaquah Food Bank

 The Trail Youth 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.

The mission of the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank is to provide basic needs to our community members to promote self-sufficiency.


The beer garden is sponsored by Iron Horse Brewery.  Iron Horse donates all of the beer to the non-profit Discovery Lab who receives 100% of the money collected.  Each beer is $5 and you must be 21+ to enter the beer garden.

Packet Pickup

To pick up your race packet, you have three options:

  1. Opt to have your race bib mailed to you. This costs $3.00 and can be selected during the registration process.
  2. Pick up your bib on race morning. Please consult the schedule below for times, and expect long lines.
  3. Pick up your bib pre-race at REI Bellevue on Friday, August 25th from 2pm-6pm.

race day schedule

The Iron Horse Half will start in waves! Pre-assigned waves of 150 participants or less will start every 10 minutes. Your wave start time is based off of your estimated finish time and the fastest runners will start first.

6:00-7:45am: Shuttles run to start line. LAST SHUTTLE LEAVES NORTH BEND AT 7:45AM.

6:45am: Walker wave (anyone with an est. finish time 3:30 or greater)

7:00am: first wave

7:10am: second wave

7:20am: third wave

8:10am: final wave

12:30pm: 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 a confirmation email from RunSignUp for the race in question. You can also look up your registration in your RunSignUp account by logging into your account then go to your “Profile” page where you can view your current registrations under Upcoming Events.  Click HERE for more information on accessing a registration in RunSignUp.

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?

A: Please check out our refund/transfer policy by clicking here.

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: Strollers are allowed. However, keep in mind that you have to ride a shuttle to the start line.  The parent/guardian who is going to push the stroller should, when registering for the race, indicate as such and agree to abide by our stroller policy, which you can see below:

  • I assume responsibility for all risks to the minor participant named below resulting from participation in the Event.
  • I certify that the minor participant named below is in proper physical condition to participate in the Event and does not have a condition which would impair the minor participant’s ability to safely participate in the Event.
  • If any claim for personal injury, property damage, and/or wrongful death is commenced on behalf of the minor participant named below against the Releasees, I shall defend, indemnify, and save harmless the Releasees from any and all actions, causes of action, suits, damages, judgments, claims, and demands.
  • Minor will wear a CPSC certified helmet at all times while participating in the Event.
Q: What time does the course close?

A: The course closes at 12:30pm. 

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 the day before the race at 8:00 pm.

Q: What/who does this race benefit?

A: The Iron Horse Half supports Trail Youth and the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.

Q: Can someone else pick up my packet?

A: Yes, a friend or family member may pick up your packet for you. Please see above for Packet Pickup locations and times.

Q: Can I sign up in person at packet pickup or on race day?

A: TBD for 2022

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.

Q: What is the course like? Unpaved?

A: With the exception of a few road crossings, 100% of the course is unpaved and consists of hard-packed dirt/gravel.  The surface is smooth and you do not need trail running shoes, however Race Director Ashley prefers them on this course.


Virtual Race

The Iron Horse Half now has a virtual option! Here is what you need to know:

  • Cost is $50
  • Limited to 5o participants
  • Run and log your race anytime after you receive your swag!
  • Virtual run participants will receive a shirt, medal and bib in the mail.
  • Swag will ship out the week after the in-person race
  • Counts towards your R-Pod medal!

get updates about the Iron Horse Half