Iron Horse Half Marathon Race Report – Matt P

Race: Iron Horse Half Marathon

Runner: Matt P

Race Date: 08/25/2019

Location: North Bend, WA

Results: 1:48:44

Strava Activity Link:

iron horse half marathon race report

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Local (for me!)
  2. Gradual Downhill Grade
  3. Orcas Running brings the community out in force – lots of swag and places to stop by after race, including barbecue.

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

They ran out of finisher shirts that fit me (medium/large) and my stomach acted up about 10.5 miles in, but that’s not really the race’s fault.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

It’s not really weird at all.

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

I paced pretty well and enjoyed moving downhill. I moved steadily until my stomach acted up, and conserved energy so that I could open up had my stomach not hurt me. I really enjoyed the community and a variety of runners on the course.

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

They don’t care about the wave times but put the fast people up front in corral 1. And if you do same-day packet pickup you don’t know which wave you are. Luckily you can start with any wave ultimately.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

The course is fast so be prepared to be moving faster than usual and make sure body can take that pace for a sustained period of time.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

It’s downhill on gravel/railroad regrade; Brooks Adrenaline shoes were fine but many had trail runners on. When you come out of Rattlesnake Lake’s basin, there is a slight shift from moderate downhill to very gradual uphill, and I noticed it slowed a lot of runners down, but I maintained pace through this section and must have passed 250-500 runners in the section from the lake down the Snoqualmie Valley Trail onto Hwy 202.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Gorgeous run through Snoqualmie Valley along Mt. Washington, Cedar Butte and Rattlesnake Mountain. Not a lot of high mountain views but foresty and pleasant all the same.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

The course is very easy.

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

Extremely well run by Orca Running.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

There were some pretty fast folks out there, this series is popular with I think some 2k participants.

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.

I signed up 2 days before but the race DID SELL OUT.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Standard Fare — water/electrolyte at every station with Gel Shots and Bloks past mile 6.

Weather and typical race conditions

Could have been warm but was chilly with little sun until late morning.

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


Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?


How’s the Swag?

Had I gotten the shirt I’d be happier, but the medal is cool and I did pick up a new trucker hat. All of Orcas wares are available at most of their races.

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

5 stars – fun, easy, downhill HM course on which a PR would likely be easier than a normal more flat race.