Rainier to Ruston

Rainier to Ruston "An Adventure In Your Own Backyard"

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

Race Information
June 1, 2019

"An Adventure In Your Own Backyard"




The Gist
On National Trails Day, Saturday 

June 1, 2019

The Foothills Trail Coalition

Hosting the 17th annual 50 mile run, the Rainier to Ruston. Runners enjoy the journey from the majestic base of Mount Rainier to the stunning waterfront of Tacoma. You're invited to celebrate with us! 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, finishing the run along a beautiful waterfront park with a view of Mt. Rainier. The downhill and flat course is a runners dream. We look forward to having you join us! Run for the trails, stay for the party!

 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 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 (41%) and roads (23%), sidewalks (7%) and rough trails (29%) when not.  Each leg is described in the Leg Chart found in the Course Manual.

Georgetown Brewery will host the beer garden again 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.

Packet pick-up will be available the day before the event. More details on packet pick-up will be provided as the race draws closer.

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

Many ways to participate

  • 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.

  • Teams compete in several divisions and catagories 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. Use this EXCEL spreadsheet (updated 5/15) to predict and later record your runners' arrival times and splits.  We stage the course based on your entered times, so please be considerate and accurate so that we can properly support you runners.

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 rotate through 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. 

Please note:

*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 RR spikes for first, silver for seconds and bronze for 3rd places
*Relay Teams of 2, 3, 4, or 6 runners
*All finishers will 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.

When: TBD

Where: TBD

*  Pierce County has closed Gale Canyon to the public, forcing Leg 4 to go down John's Rosd.  Please use map for Leg 4A.

*  The Puyallup River Bridge is closed due to construction during the 2018 event. Please use Leg 11 A map for Leg 11.

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!

We are proud to be a City of Tacoma certified Green Excellence Event. We are doing our part to minimize trash and keep the race green! Please respect our trails and city and ensure no trash is left on the course or the trails!