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 laps around Drumheller Fountain and the duck ramp . The marathon comprises 219 laps and the half marathon consists of 109 laps. Both events will start at different times and locations. Participants aiming for fewer laps should start with the half marathoners.

The direction will flip every hour, and you must change directions only by rounding the marker placed at the edge of the finish line. We cannot provide you an official time unless you follow these instructions and complete the necessary number of laps.

While campus activity is reduced on weekends, expect to navigate around fountain-admirers, passers-by and cyclists. The course is not closed.



The course is served by the University of Washington light rail station. Minor service disruptions will be in effect on June 1st. Many bus routes stop at UW station or U District station.

Central Plaza Garage (CPG) beneath Red Square is the closest parking. See the University's page for rates and instructions.

Race Day



Results are pending. Thanks for your patience.


Do I have to run the whole thing?

No. Anyone running or walking fewer than 109 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 83

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

How fast do I need to run?

The cutoff times and corresponding average paces are:

Distance Time min/mi min/km
Marathon 4:30:00 10:18 6:24
Half Marathon 3:00:00 13:43 8:31
What's the weather like?
On June 1, the temperature in Seattle typically ranges from 53°F to 66°F and is rarely below 48°F or above 76°F. [...] The coolest time of the day is from 1:00 AM to 8:00 AM, with the coldest at 5:30 AM, at which time the temperature is below 55°F three days out of four, and below 58°F nine days out of ten. [...] The cloudiest time of day is around 6:30 AM, at which time the chance of overcast or mostly cloudy conditions is 58%.
Is there gear check?

You can stash a bag near the aid station. You'll have line of sight the whole race, but they won't be attended.

How do we keep track of distance?

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.

Which direction do we run?

The race will begin counterclockwise and alternate directions every hour 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.

How is the event being timed?

Official times will be determined using a recorded video. It is critical that you run at least the required number of laps to ensure we can provide you an official time.

Finalizing the results can take weeks. Please use the live tracking system so that you can receive an unofficial time immediately, and to make it easier for us to mark times.

Why do I have to apply for the marathon?

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. As of March 1st, the minimum field size is met.
  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.

Is it okay if I've never run a full marathon before?

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.

Are pacers allowed?

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.

Can I take breaks?

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.

Why is the marathon start time so early?

The half marathon field is larger and includes a broader range of paces, so we are scheduling to minimize the overlap between the two events. We plan under the assumption that the day will be warm with clear skies (the odds of this are something like 30%). We cannot start the half marathon much later than 8:00AM as we want those runners (many running their first half) to wrap up before the heat and sun pick up around 10:30AM. We may shift the start times if the forecast for the day is favorable. Note that the first trains start arriving to University of Washington Link station around 5:00AM on Saturdays.

Is this a Boston Qualifying race?

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).

Isn't running a continuous curve going to slow me down?

Yes, but not substantially. You will need to supply an additional centripetal force due to the curve, but the effect of this is likely less than 1% when running at world record marathon pace on a 30m radius. Because the force increases in the square of velocity, the effect is negligible for recreational runners. There are individual differences in running technique and physiology that may make the effect more or less pronounced for you. Consider practicing on the course or a track.

Will running a continuous curve for dozens of laps injure me?

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.

What if I'm late?

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!”