Race Preview: 2018 Deception Pass 25k & 50k (Seattle)

Deception State Park in WA is a slice of rugged beauty named for a channel of water that separates Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands in the northern Puget Sound. The scenic forests and coastline, not to mention the steep cliffs, make for a memorable backdrop for the 2018 Deception Pass 50k on December 8th and the 25k on December 9th. This event will offer you views of pretty much everything the park has to offer, from the hills and bluffs to the pass itself which crosses the Deception Pass Bridge about 180 feet above the water.

The 50k is breathtaking and challenging with it’s technical footing, twisty trails, and steep grades. There is an elevation gain of about 4300 feet and an 8 hour cut off time. If you would like a drop bag for the 50k, you can leave one at the aid stations, but be sure to label your bag with your name, bib number, and Aid Sation name at check-in. There will be 2 aid stations for the 50k, with runners passing through multiple times, (miles 5.5, 7.3, 14.6, 21.4, and 28.2) and there will be water, potato chips, PB&J, fruit, candy, soda, GU gels, and GU Brew available. There will be very few cups to avoid extra disposable waste, so it’s recommended that you bring your own drinking vessel or purchase an Ultra Aspire collapsible cup for $5. Crew access will be available at the Cornet Aid Station only.  You can view the course map, elevation profile, and route details here.

The 25k is no cakewalk either, offering the same terrain as the 50k. There’s an elevation gain of about 3000 feet and a 6 hour cutoff time. There is only 1 aid station location on the course but the runners will cross it twice (miles 5.5 and 7.3) and have access to the same amenities as the 50k. However, 25k participants will not be allowed to receive aid from crew members, though they are welcome to cheer on the runners along the course (except at the aid stations.) Drop bags will be allowed at the Bowman Bay aid station and again, there will be a limited amount of cups, so please plan accordingly. Check out the course information and map here.

There will also be a Kids 1k race on Sunday December 9th so your little ones can get in the spirit. There will be a 1 km loop trail conveniently close to the start/finish area at West Point Amphitheater. Parents can participate with their kids and there’s no age limit on the kiddos who want to run.

You’ll need a Discover Pass to park in Deception Pass State Park, and you can buy one here  or opt to purchase one at the kiosk in the park, though they might not accept cards on race morning. The start and finish line will be at West Point Amphitheater and you are asked to please park in the North/West Beach Parking lot. Don’t forget to display your Discover Pass on your dashboard when you leave your car behind. Carpooling is also recommended and you can click on this link to find someone to carpool with or add your contact info.

What’s a good race really worth if the post race party isn’t great too? Rainshadow Runnning put on great race events with a great community of support around them, and the post race parties reflect that well. After finishing the 25k or the 50k, stick around to enjoy live bluegrass music, wood-fired pizza from Pizza Jim & Co., and other yummy goodness (including gluten-free and vegan options.) All friends and family are welcome to join you to celebrate, and the park will not be open to the general public.

Both the 25k and 50k have a lottery entry to get in, and both are sold out for 2018. However, it’s never too early to start thinking about your race plans for 2019! The lottery for the 25k will open May 15th and run thru the 25th with lottery winner announcements no later than June 1st. The lottery for the 50k will be open May 1st thru May 10th with announcement of winners no later than May 14th. Your payment for the race will not be charged until your name is drawn from the lottery.


What: 2018 Deception Pass 25k & Deception Pass 50k

When: Saturday, December 8th at 8:00AM for 50k & Sunday December 9th at 10:00AM for the 25k and 9:30AM for the  Kids 1k.

Where: Deception Pass State Park, WA at the West Point Amphitheater 

Cost: $105

Register: The race is sold out, but mark your calendar for the lottery to enter will be May 15th-25th for the 50k and May 1st-May 10th for the 25k for the 2019 events!

Packet Pick-Up: For 50k, runner check-in begins at 6:30AM on Saturday. For 25k, check-in starts at 8:30AM on Sunday. Both check in at West Point Amphitheater (north of West Beach Parking lot.) Don’t forget your photo ID!

About Author

I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.

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