Deception Pass 25k/50k Race Info and Reports

Summary: The Deception Pass 50k covers pretty much all of Deception Pass State Park, and it twice crosses the historic Deception Pass Bridge which sits about 180 feet above the water. Unlike other Rainshadow Running races, there are no mountains or long climbs, but it’s still a tough race with technical footing, narrow, twisty trails and at times steep grades, and relentless ups and downs along the way.

deception pass 50k

Lessons Learned from Race Reports

  • You will need a Discover Pass to park in Deception Pass State Park
  • Recommended to carry your own cup, as aid stations will have minimal disposable cups
  • Crowded early with single track starting shortly after the race, so get out in front if you want to move fast
  • Likely to have rain and mud with this time of year, making the technical single track a littler harder
  • Some inclines are not steep enough to walk but steep enough that it takes more work to run them. Course is fairly runnable, especially by Rainshadow Running standards.
  • Second half of the race includes 2 loops of runnable forest
  • People fall often on this course!
  • Choose your gear and layers wisely with it being likely cold, rainy, and windy
  • You share some sections of the course with other runners as you pass each other heading in and out of loops
  • They are strict about cutoffs, mainly because it gets dark so early and they don’t want runners on the course without a headlamp


Total gain/loss: ~4300/~4300

Total climbs: 2x~430ft, 2x300ft, ~13x200ft, countless smaller climbs

Longest climb: 445 feet from miles 7.5-9

Steepest climb: 430 feet from mile 12-12.5

Map/Elevation profile

Aid stations

Total aid stations: 5

Furthest distance apart: 7.3 miles

Locations: Bowman  Bay  (miles 5.5 & 7.3) and Cornet (miles 14.6, 21.4, and 28.2.)

What’s available: Water, potato chips, PB&J, fresh fruit (oranges, bananas, grapes), chocolate/candy, GU gels and GU Brew, and various types of soda.

Crew access

Access Locations: Cornet (miles 14.6, 21.4, and 28.2.)

Crew instructions/directions: To get to the start/finish area at West Point Amphitheater, use these directions.  Driving directions to the Cornet Aid Station.  



Race reports

Deception Pass 25 Race Report – Rohit Eipe

Race: Deception Pass 25K Runner: Rohit Eipe Race Date: 12/12/2021 Location: Deception Pass State Park Results: Strava Activity Link: 3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most? Beautiful scenery along the course; it was by the water most of the time and heavily wooded at other times. Well marked trails - the organizers did ...
deception pass trail marathon race report

Deception Pass Trail Marathon Race Report – Mark Droge

Race: Deception Pass Trail Marathon Runner: Mark Droge Race Date: 04/10/2021 Location: Whidbey Island, WA Results: About 5:27ish Strava Activity Link: 3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most? Exceptionally scenic, Puget Sound, forests, lakes, shorelines. The other runners, great comradeship and supportive. Aid stations, stocked to the gills. Not so much – Aspects ...
deception pass 25k race report

Deception Pass 25k Race Report – Tyler S

Race: Deception Pass 25k Runner: Tyler S Race Date: 12/09/2018 Location: Deception Pass State Park, Whidbey Island, Washington Results: 1st, 1:53:58 Strava Activity Link: 3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most? Terrain variety and scenery - From running 200' above the water on a bridge, along a beach, crashing through underbrush, scrambling up ...
deception pass race report

Deception Pass 25k Race Report – Stephanie G

Race: Deception Pass 25k Runner: Stephanie G Date: 12/10/2017 Location: Deception Pass, WA Results: 2:29:20, 5th woman, 17th overall Strava Activity Link: 3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most? Beautiful scenery, especially on the first half of the course This year, the weather. It was a rare sunny and warm December day. The race organizers ...
deception pass 50k

How to DNF and Survive the Fallout: Deception Pass 50k – Daisy C

DNF is an expression you hear a lot in ultra running. Did not finish. It means different things to different people, and experiencing your first one will either be an epic event, or a simple blip on the radar screen. Right? If only running were that simple. I was looking forward to Deception Pass this year, because I had done ...

Strava activities and GPX files

Race Website

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