Bellingham, WA

Avg Temps f.


Gain/Loss in ft


166 ft/mile gain

Highest Elev.





Trail, some crushed gravel paths

Time Limit

8 hours



Furthest Aid

7.3 miles

Summary: The Chuckanut 50k is a lollipop course. The first 10k and last 10k repeat on the Interurban Trail with smooth running to start and finish. The middle 30k includes all the elevation change and traverses and descends the Chuckanut Mountain Ridge, with some technical terrain and often wet, Pacific Northwest weather. The 2017 course was modified because it was the 25th anniversary of the race, and 2018 will be using the same course.

Lessons Learned from Race Reports

  • New for 2018: ALL runners, crews & spectators must park at Western Washington University Lot 12A and take shuttles to the start/finish line at Fairhaven Park. Vehicles are not allowed to park in Fairhaven Park.
  • Bring your own cup – cup free race at the aid stations and start/finish, including finish line food
  • The infamous Chinscraper climb in the latter part of the race really isn’t the end of the climbing, so be prepared to keep going up
  • It’s a long downhill at the end on very tired legs, followed by the flat Interurban trail, so leave something for that long downhill and flat section, as you can pass a lot of people who are completely gassed in that section
  • Weather tends to be wet and chilly, so dress accordingly, especially if you plan on walking a lot, as you will chill easily – it can often be windy up on the ridge
  • Race tends to feel like 3 different races with the first part being flat, then all the hills, then flat again, so if you do well breaking up races into chunks, this one’s for you!

Detailed course description:

  1. The interurban trail – first 6 miles of the course
    1. Start is about a mile further down the trail at Fairhaven park
    2. Wide and flat dirt path
    3. Loop through a parking lot to aid station
  2. Fragrance Lake climb and the descent to Cleator Road
    1. Nicely groomed trail with switchbacks with steady climb and gentle descent
    2. Go counterclockwise around the lake
  3. Cleator Road
    1. 2.5 mile dirt road climb flat-ish middle section
  4. The Ridge Trail and the Lost Lake Trail
    1. The Ridge Trail – somewhat technical and steep with roots and rocks
    2. The Lost Lake – potential for mud
  5. Chinscraper
    1. Short and steep climb
  6. The Fragrance Lake descent
    1. Cleator road to Fragrance Lake road
    2. Make sure to take the sharp left turn onto Fragrance Lake road (front runners have missed this in years past)
  7. The interurban trail return – last 6 miles of the course
    1. Wide and flat dirt to the finish (same as start)


Total gain/loss: 5147/5147

Ft/mile gain: 166

Total climbs: 5

Longest climb: 2.8 miles, 1200 ft from miles ~10.5-13.3

Steepest climb: (chinscraper) .7 miles, 783 ft, ~20.5-21.2

Course Map and Elevation Profile / Downloadable and Printable version of course map

Aid stations

Total aid stations: 5 (not including start/finish)

Furthest distance apart: 7.3 miles

Locations: Miles 6.77, 10.2, 13, 20.32, and 24.85 (same as AS#1)

What’s available: Clif Organic Energy Food, Clif Bloks, Clif Bars, boiled potatoes, peanut butter & jelly wraps, cookies, gummy bears, oranges, bananas, grapes, potato chips, pretzels, mini candy bars, Fig Newmans & Sunspire Drops. Drinks include: First Endurance EFS, water & cola

Crew access

Access Locations: None, start/finish only



Race qualifiers


Race reports

Olin Berger’s 2019 race report

Keith Laverty’s 2018 race report

Ather H’s 2018 race report

Matt P’s 2018 race report

Frank Fisher’s 2018 race report

Austin W’s 2018 race report

Jeff K’s Race report from 2017

Stephanie G’s race report from 2016

Kay Downes-Allen’s race report from 2016

Yassine Diboun

Ellie Greenwood’s

Luke D

Strava activities and GPX files – 2017 course – 2016 course

Race Website