Race Condition Running

Light Rail Relay 2021

October 2nd

We're running a relay along the Link 1 line to celebrate the opening of the Northgate Extension. You're invited.


The relay will start at Angle Lake station and follow the entire operational line to Northgate, with exchanges and selfies at each station on the way. More than one runner will be assigned to each leg.


Leg leaders are marked in bold. Underlined name indicates first leg. Times nominal. Follow the live schedule for up-to-date estimates.

The relay starts soon.

Relay Day Procedures

Leg Leaders


Who can participate?
Anyone in the CSE community.
How far do I need to run?
You can choose how far, and we'll be able to accommodate any distance between .5 miles to 20 miles.
How fast do I need to run?
Also up to you. We'll schedule the relay according to your pace estimate, taking into account things like the elevation change and the street context as well. You may be scheduled to run more slowly than your preference to accommodate other runners.
I'm unsure how fast or how far I can run.
We recommend you join an RCR weekday run before the relay so that we can figure out what's appropriate. This is especially important if you're new to running or if you're returning after a long break.
I'm uncomfortable or unsure about signing up because I don't know enough about where I'd be running.
The organizers have run the course and put together some notes about what to expect along each leg, so do click around the route map. Multiple people will be assigned to each leg and at least one experienced runner will be in the group at all times. Please note any particular concerns or constraints on the open-ended part of the sign-up form so we can accommodate you.
Is there anything planned for after the run?
We are planning to enjoy the U-District Station Opening Festival's Food Walk after the conclusion of the relay at 5:00PM. Besides the festival, consider visiting the extension stations. Sound Transit says they'll be providing a "museum-like experience" at the new stations from October 2nd through the 31st. A beautiful new pedestrian bridge in Northgate is also set to open on October 2nd and is well worth checking out.
Can I still sign up?
No, but you can join for any scheduled legs that you are able to. Please message us in the event Slack channel, #light-rail-relay-2021.
I want to update my preferences.
You can reduce or increase the number of legs that you run if it does not affect the pace schedule, otherwise there will be no changes.


On October 2nd, 2021 24 runners carried the baton from Angle Lake to Northgate. It was just seven and half hours of running, but the event was years coming.

Two years prior, RCR ran the Northwest Passage Ragnar, a relay event where teams of 12 runners split up the 200 miles from the Canadian border down to Blaine, Washington. Ragnars are not easy. You're running day and night on the shoulder of the roads a third of the way across the state. When you're not running, you're crammed in a team van heading to the next exchange. Even just getting to the start line is a serious undertaking. Lodging and transportation for 12 people in small-town Washington is tricky to arrange and expensive. All of this contributes to the experience (maybe not the cost), but it does beg the question; was there a way for more of the club to get to enjoy something like the Ragnar experience?

Ellis and Zach were just through dropping off the rental vans when the answer became obvious. A Light Rail Relay. Running along a transit line removed the transportation hassles, and the stations were natural exchange points.

A pandemic would intercede (spawning its own event) but it was an idea that was too good not to try. When I saw that the Northgate Link extension stations finally had an official opening date I knew it was our perfect chance. Several scouting runs, some drawing, a bunch of advertising, some ASP, a few trips to hardware and art supply stores and everything was in order.

Not everything went exactly to plan. In many respects, they went better. Folks got a bit lost on the way to Capitol Hill, but then they ran into people giving out free ice cream. We had welcome support from Lauren and Stephen. Sahil joined us on a whim. Baby Zoe made her RCR debut. Several people had such good runs that they stayed on past their scheduled legs.

We ran past planes taking off from Sea-Tac. We admired the art in the South Seattle stations. We saw the city and the Sound from the top of Beacon Hill. We ran with the freight trains through SODO. We ran through the iconic Pike Place Market and the historic Volunteer Park. We marveled at three new light rail stations. It was everything that's great about Seattle, and it was us.

Nick Walker