Race: DuPont City Trail Marathon – http://www.dctmassoc.org/

Runner: Rich W

Date: 3/5/2016

Location: DuPont, WA – Sellers Park

Distance raced and other options: Marathon, ½-Marathon

Results – 4:13:50 http://ultrasignup.com/results_event.aspx?did=34208#id2991

3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most

– Fun, variable terrain… gravel double-track, dirt single-track, rocky beach, sidewalk.  Had a little bit of everything.

– Running somewhere local, yet new to me.  Beautiful area and trails I didn’t realize are so close… about 15 minutes south of Tacoma.

– Very chill, low-frills community event.

Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

Nothing.

Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race

There are two water crossing near the end of each ½ marathon loop where you get at least knee to mid-thigh deep in fairly cold water.

Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular

Running with a friend most of the distance.  Also, running a fairly steady, consistent pace.  Second ½ about 5 minutes slower than first ½ .

Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Prepare for some hills and variable footing (rocky beach section).  Fairly hilly but runnable.  Not a PR type course.

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course

Gorgeous course.  Sections along creek and beach.  Views overlooking southern Puget Sound.

Difficulty – is it a tough course

Relatively difficult, if you’re accustomed to road marathons.  But very runnable hills.  My watch indicated about 2600’ of climb.

Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Very well organized, especially considering first year of event.  Aid station volunteers were very helpful and organized.  The RD is an experienced trail runner and the nicest dude you’ll meet.

Competition – is there a strong field?

There was one fast dude (non-local visiting family), obviously a relatively fast road marathoner that finished in 3:20, about 45 minutes ahead of the next finisher.  Then, the rest of us trail runner folk starting pouring in after about 4:07.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

Event was advertised fairly heavily on local facebook runner forums with registration on ultrasignup. Short drive south of Tacoma or Seattle.  Start/finish just off I-5 exit 119.

Aid Stations

One aid station that you pass twice per loop, plus at turnaround (roughly miles 5.2, 8.1, 13.1, 18.3, 21.2). Very well stocked and staffed.

Weather and typical race conditions

Cool, but sunny, beautiful day, especially at beginning of March.

Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

Nothing special required, unless you want to change shoes and socks (and get heckled) after first loop as your feet (and knees) get submerged at about mile 13.0.  I carried a light Nathan (Krissy) vest and one handheld bottle.  I could have easily gone with just the handheld, but habits die hard.

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

Yes, spectators can see you at 4 times by staying in one spot near the aid station, more if they wanna get mobile.

Awards – I got a medal and a few high-fives for finishing.  I place a higher value on the high-fives. Pretty sure the winners got a gift certificate for an hour massage.

The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it

I had a great run with friends at a very well organized, scenic, fun, low-frills event.  Two-thumbs up.  Or 5 Stars (out of 5).