Rainier to Ruston

Rainer to Ruston "An Adventure In Your Own Backyard"

50 mile ultra or relay from Mount Rainier to the Tacoma waterfront in Washington State. The gorgeous, fun downhill course celebrates National Trails Day and all proceeds go towards the purchase and maintenance of the very trail system runners use for public use. 

Race Information
June 3, 2017

50 mile Ultra Relay (51.5 miles)
"An Adventure In Your Own Backyard"



The Gist
Rainier to Ruston is hosting it's 15th annual 50 mile run from the majestic base of Mount Rainier to the stunning waterfront of Tacoma. You're invited to celebrate National Trails Day with us on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Ultra Runners and Relay Runners will commemorate the old railroad by passing through bell standards in each town on the way to the sea. Be sure to attend the bell-ringing in your town!   Runners will traverse gorgeous forests, historic Washington towns and cites, ending the run along a beautiful waterfront finish with a view back to Mt. Rainier where they started. The downhill and flat course is a runners dream. We look forward to having you join us!

It's all downhill!

It's all downhill!

If you didn't know, the race is a non profit, driven by the motivated Foothills Rails to Trails Coalition. The board is a dedicated group who takes all proceeds to purchase and maintain the very trail system that you run on for public use. We need your support by participating in this iconic run!

Relay teams and 50-mile ultras start near the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park and finish at Marine Park on Tacoma's Ruston Way. The course passes through deep forests, alongside rushing rivers and streams and through historic towns. It uses the paved Foothills Trail to the extent possible (42%) and roads (16%), sidewalks (7%) and rough trails (35%) when not.  Each leg is described in the Leg Chart found in the Course Manual.

Georgetown Brewery will host the beer garden this year! Each runner who wishes will receive a beer at the finish line! Runners are on a special list and will need their ID's.

Be sure to read the Course Manual to find out about packet pickup, drop bags, driving times, course conditions, leg chart, etc.

Many ways to participate

  • Ultra runners tackle the course solo, running all 12 legs and 50+ miles.

  • Runners tackle the course as a relay, dividing the 12 legs (each approximately three to six miles) among teams of two, three, four, or six runners.

  • Runners compete in divisions for awards. 

We try to distribute teams evenly across four wave starts in order to minimize the congestion of support vehicles at the upper exchanges. It also means that more teams arrive at the finish area between 3 and 5 pm. Please estimate the average pace of your team as accurately as possible. See link further below for assistance. We stage the course based on your entered times, so please be considerate and accurate so that we can properly support you runners.

How to run the Ultra?
You have to be a wee bit more crazy to tackle this, but it's possible with the right training.  There is a FIRM 14 hour cut off. If you drop out or don't make a cut off and get pulled from the race at a bell stand, know that your adventure will continue with a not very efficient ride back to the finish for your vehicle. We have medics and volunteers who can get you to where you need to go if your legs can no longer take you. There is no shame in this, but there is no speed either. Please train correctly, be honest about your ability and don't run if you are injured. We thank you for your kind consideration. 

NEW THIS YEAR! This is repetitive, but we don't want surprises. There is a 14 hour cut off for the solo ultra. This decision is based on the safety of the runners.  We will post cut-off times for each bell stand. If you get pulled from the course you will get a ride to the finish. This ride will not be efficient so please carefully consider your ability to complete the distance in the time offered. There may be fun mischief involved in the car ride back to the finish area for your car. Thanks so much for understanding. We strive for an excellent event with the safety of our runners in mind.

*All ultra runners receive the coveted black spike, tech shirt and a medal
*Awards for overall male and female
*Ultra Runners will have fluids available at every bell stand. There will also be ultra-style food at every even numbered bell stand. Remember, this food is for the Ultra runners only please. Relay racers are expected to bring their own food and hydration.

How Does A Relay Work?
If you've never done a relay before, here's how it works:
All team members ride to the start together in their support vehicle and cheer their 1st team member as they begin leg 1.  Somewhere along the way, they often find a place to wait for their teammate and offer water and moral support as they pass by. Then they drive to the exchange at the beginning of leg 2, where they review the course map with their next team member. After the handoff, they repeat the process to the finish. If there are more legs than there are positions on the team, then everyone gets to do it again, e.g. the members of a 4-position team each run three times through all twelve legs.  It's amazing how energizing a relay is, even among members of a purely recreational or non-competitive team.  You cannot help but challenge yourself to do your best.  And the camaraderie that develops is great fun. 

*No vehicles 80" or wider, or longer than 20'. No motor homes, buses or limos are allowed on the course by any team or team support.
*Any teams starting in the wrong wave will not be eligible for awards
*Award categories: Mixed Open, Male Open, Female Open
*Gold spikes for first, silver for seconds and bronze for 3rd
*Relay Teams of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 runners
*All finishers receive a tech shirt and medal
*Relay racers are expected to bring their own food and hydration
*Relay teams: Use this EXCEL spreadsheet to predict your exchange times and splits 

Early Packet Pickup is Strongly Encouraged for ALL Ultra Runners and Teams

Friday, June 2, 2017 from 12PM to 6PM

Fleet Feet Bonney Lake
19685 State Route 410 East
Bonney Lake, WA 98391
Phone: 253-862-8890

Race Start and Check-In
YES, you can get checked in race morning, but be prepared for lines and chaos added to the already hectic day...

Please see the Race Day tab

Parking on Ruston Way on a Saturday in June can be a challenge. Get creative arrive early and be prepared to walk a little, but cheer on the runners as the adventure continues!