The Race Condition Running

Drumheller Marathon

will run June 1st, 2024.

Join us for laps around UW's historic fountain


The course consists of a short segment down the upper vista followed by 221 or 110 laps around Drumheller Fountain for the marathon and half marathon respectively. The two events will begin at different times and use different start lines. Runners planning to complete fewer laps are welcome to join the half marathon start.


No. Anyone running or walking fewer than 110 laps is welcome to join the half marathon. Here are some lap counts for common distances. Add a lap if not starting at the official start line.
Distance Laps
5k 26
10k 52
10mi 84

Excepting pacers, full marathon participants must intend to complete the full distance.

The cutoff times and corresponding average paces are:
Distance Time Pace/mi Pace/km
Marathon 4:30:00 10:18 6:24
Half Marathon 2:30:00 11:27 7:07

Use a running watch to mark laps if you're wearing one, though you should check that it is capable of handling 100+ laps. GPS will clip the curve, so don't rely on it for more than a couple laps at a time. We'll have tally counters available if you prefer an analog counting aide. Counting without assistance is not recommended.

The race will begin counterclockwise and alternate directions every 20 minutes to help balance the strain across your legs. Having the field run a single direction at a time will help us manage course congestion. Change directions only at the end of a lap and only by rounding the finish line marker.

Video will be recorded and lap times will be marked. It is critical that you run at least the required number of laps to ensure we can provide you an official time.

We can't guarantee spots until we know the overall makeup of the field. Here are some of the things we're taking into account:
  1. We will only host the marathon distance if there are at least 3 registered participants who will start the race.
  2. If target times are highly disparate, we will need to test paces and plans on our compact course. If we cannot support all runners' plans, we will discuss compromises.
  3. We will connect any participants targeting similar goals so that they can coordinate pacing plans. The more people that want to run similar paces, the more people that can participate.
  4. We will not accept more runners than can have a good experience on our small course. If we need to be selective, we will judge based on evidence of preparedness in the form of prior race results and of commitment in the form of reasonable plans.
Our goal is to confirm all applications by April 6th. We may close applications before then if the field fills.

Maybe. The answer will depend on your background, so please discuss with the organizers first if you would like to plan on Drumheller being your first marathon. As a rule of thumb, if you have not yet successfully completed a half marathon, you will have a better time doing that instead.

Yes. Runners intending to use pacers must submit a pacing plan with their application. Pacers can register after approval. Unlike most road races, we expect to be able to support rotating/non-starting pacers, however official times will only be given to participants who run the complete course.

Yes. In addition to the aid station there are benches surrounding the course. You must continue running the lap in the same direction as when you stopped or the lap will not count. To remove this possibility, we recommend you start and stop only on at the lap finish line so you can begin the next lap in either direction.

Yes, the full marathon will meet the B.A.A. criteria for a qualifying race (see Rules and Policies pp.5-6 §2.2.1).

No. You will need to overcome an additional centripetal force due to the curve. This force increases in the square of your velocity, and consensus is that the effect of a 30m radius curve is less than 1% even when running at world record marathon pace. The effect is negligible for recreational runners.

Unlikely. Many athletes train and race on smaller radius tracks without issue during indoor track season. There is evidence that consistently running the same direction on small indoor tracks over time leads to strength asymmetries which likely cause injuries. Alternating directions introduces rest and is probably sufficient to avoid acute issues for most runners.

You may also take comfort from knowing that indoor track marathons have been held for years without event.

Run from the start line and join us! You must enter the course from "behind" the finish line in the direction that the field is running at the time you join. So, if we're running counterclockwise, start your first loop by crossing over the finish line from the east, and otherwise from the west. Note that this event is gun time only.

Rainier Vista, partly framed by Johnson and Mary Gates halls, is the most sacred space on campus. The vista was first conceived as a centerpiece of the campus plan by the Olmsted Brothers in 1906, when the elusive mountain revealed itself during the firm's visit to Seattle to develop a plan for the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition. Rainier Vista is the most dramatic borrowing from nature on any campus in the United States, with Mount Rainier as its climax, and with both architecture and landscape reinforcing its thrust past a minor view of the city toward the mountain beyond. As Edmond Meany put it, “No campus in all the world can equal Rainier Vista. In those rare moments when Mother Nature in kindly mood pulls aside the vaporous curtains we may gaze upon Mt. Rainier, a three-mile…flow…of rock and ice. A spectacle of unending fascination!”