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Did You Run a Marathon in 2016 or 2017?

We are compiling our "Best of 2016" Lists (revealed in June) and want to make sure your opinion is counted.
Rate and Review Your 2016 & 2017 Marathons

Tunnel Light Marathon

North Bend, WA

Race Dates

2017: Sunday, September 17, 2017
2016: Sunday, September 18, 2016

Course Information

Profile: Downhill
Type: Point to Point
Surface: Trail
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 60°F (15°C)
Average High: 69°F (20°C)
Average Low: 52° F (11°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 102.88
Course Score: 104.37

Race Size

2016: 504 Finishers
2015: 439 Finishers
2014: 143 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2017: N/A
2016: 34.3%
2015: 32.1%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

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Course Description

The downhill Tunnel Light Marathon course is very fast. However, running just over two miles through a tunnel and the trail surface (hard-packed gravel) may slow some runners.

From race website - The course starts at Hyak, 50 miles east of Seattle Washington, and runs down to North Bend on gravel rail-trails. It 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. Flashlights are strongly recommended. 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 good day.

Marathon Rankings

The Tunnel Light Marathon was the 142nd largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 154th largest in 2015.

Last year 34.3% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 32.1% of runners qualified for Boston in 2015.

This gives the Tunnel Light Marathon the 5th highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 6th highest percentage in 2015.

Its Course Score of 104.37 ranks it as the 7th fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 3rd fastest course in Washington.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are above the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Tunnel Light Marathon a PR Score of 102.88. This PR Score ranks it as the 8th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 3rd fastest in Washington.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 2563 feet (781m)
Min Elevation: 515 feet (157m)


Ratings & Reviews for the Tunnel Light Marathon

5 Stars from 2 Reviews

review of 2016 Tunnel Light Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Well-organized marathon, with detailed descriptions and instructions on their website. Fabulous people (crew, volunteers, and spectators). Ideal course profile - I got 18 minute PR and BQ-ed by almost 6 minutes.

If you're lucky (like us in 2016), you'll get a perfect weather and amazing scenery as bonus.

Race Tips

Remember to turn off Auto-Pause on your GPS (I didn't), trees and mountains block the signal and that pauses the watch. Train your legs for long (but gradual) downhills. Get used to running on gravels.

Watch for other trail users.

Prepare for a wet or dry or in-between weather.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Just follow the instructions on their website

review of 2015 Tunnel Light Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


The weather was great! Low 50s with a hint of mist here and there. Kept us nice and cool. The tunnel was a hair foggy and cold which created for even more visibility issues, but it only lasts 2.25 miles. Hard to complain really when you take 3 minutes off your PR and qualify! I will be doing this one again

Race Tips

I bombed my way down the first half when I knew it was more downhill. I knew I would come back down to Earth eventually pace wise, but it worked for me. The trail is more compact dirt with rocks. I had shoes on that weren't too cushy and pretty light and they worked well for me. The scenery is gorgeous. A few pretty high bridges on the course, but if you are afraid of heights, just crank up the pace

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

We stayed at the Roaring River B&B. They were great there! About 12 minutes from the drop off point for the buses. Owners were great, walked out to a view of the river, really hard to complain about that

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Tunnel Light Marathon in 4:13:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.