2019 Iron Horse Half Marathon

Packet Pickup:

There was a packet pick-up Friday and Saturday at Road Runner sports Seattle and Bellevue and day of pickup. You could pick up for you and a friend. You also got 20% off at Road Runner day of pick up if you’re a VIP member. It was easy for you or a friend to get to one of the pick-up locations, or just show up early day of.

Parking:

Parking was street parking in North Bend. I got there pretty early and parked in the school lot next to the finish line. It was only a block or two from the shuttle to the start. I used the gear check since there was a shuttle. Worked out great.

Course:

The Iron Horse Half Marathon starts at Olallie State park and ends in North Bend. The course is a gentle, mostly downhill one-way joyride. The trail is mostly crushed gravel with some sections that had a few larger rocks. There was a good amount of shade provided by the trees for the first 11 miles. The last 2 miles were flat and more open to the sun. The day had also warmed up by the time I got to the bottom. There were a few bikes and walkers on the trail, but there was plenty of room. It wasn’t too busy since it was early  in the morning. The few road crossing \were manned by police and not an issue. This is a good course to set a personal record on. There was a 4 hour time limit.

Support:

There was ample support before, during, and after the race. There were water/gatorade/gu stations at 4 different points on the course.  \The police and volunteers had all the intersections covered and the course was well marked. There were porta-potties at the start area and finish area. There was also one toilet on the course.

Finish Line:

The finish line festivities were amazing for the size of the race. You got your medal after crossing the finish line. The beer garden backs up to the finish line, so you can drink and cheer your friends as they finish. The beer sponsor was Iron Horse Brewery There were 2 beers available in the beer garden and both were pretty tasty. One was a pale ale and one was a hefeweizen. Beers were $5 each.
There were a ton of food options. The Orca Race crew advertised hot dogs at the finish line. I was honestly not sure about hot dogs after a long, hot race. My pleasant surprise was that a hot dog was amazing after a long run. Pickles and chips made great sides. I also had a few orange wedges and an oreo.  I grabbed a package of pretzels and a bag of chips then headed to the beer garden. The finish area was mostly grass so take your shoes off and get some grass between your toes.

Swag:

This race and the craft classic get you the golden spike medal. The spike felt like it weighs a full pound, but it is pretty cool. The Iron Horse medal was a stained glass tyle medal this year. The shirt was a t-shirt, super soft and a decent design. For the price, it was a pretty good haul.

Overall:

This is a great medium sized race with an amazing course, good support, and good swag. I set a PR and most of my friends did too. Bonus this race is USATF certified so can be used to qualify for Boston or other big races. Sign up early as this race sold out. After running it, I see that being a problem every year. I’ll be signing up for 2020 as soon as I can!