Course Map
Photo slideshow of the course

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5K Course Description

The course is 5000 meters entirely within Ft. Steilacoom Park in Lakewood. Both the start and finish are in the grassy area by the “historic” barns and play area. The first mile is generally flat and open. Runners head out from the start line which is deep in the meadow and to the south of the large picnic shelter. As they approach the end of the maintenance area (there is a concrete pad on the right), they will make a sweeping left turn. This is a reversal from previous years. They head out towards the field with the radio aircraft area on their right. They will run a loop in the fields heading towards the road and main entrance before coming back around towards the lone fir tree and then to the cemetary. The course follows the dirt road between the cemetary and dog park, and then crosses the road and goes between the two barns. It then makes a left trun and runs along ght maintenance area hedge row towards the old silo and more barns. The mile is by the barn and silo. There is a hill at about 1 ¼ miles leading up to the Hill Ward site. From there, the runners head down to the lake (runners need to stay on the gravel to the right of the paved pathway) and then across another set of fields as they approach the two mile mark. Shortly after two miles, the runners go up another steeper hill of approximately 175 meters. At the crest of the hill, the runners turn left down a gently descending path through the woods, coming out at another set of fields. At this point, runners are just over 1000 meters from the finish. Runners cross through the fields to a tree covered avenue. About 600 meters from the finish, the course turns to the right and head back towards the dog park. The dog park is approximately 400 meters from the finish.

The majority of the course is grass and dirt trails, with a little bit of gravel road thrown in for variety. There is a small amount of pavement (less than 5%). This is a good viewing course. The runners are in full view for most of the first mile, the middle, and again most of the last mile. With just a little bit of walking, coaches can see their runners for about 70% of the course. The course is wide open, with plenty of room to race, and with terrain for both “strength” & “speed” runners. Those runners who lose their focus can enjoy the fall foliage, the scenic & historic barns, and a lovely view of Mt. Rainier over Lake Waughop. Spikes are recommended.

Elevation graph of the course

The graph below done with a GPS watch gives an indication of what the course terrain is.

Viewing The Race

Spectators may see the runners up close by just walking a few hundred yards from the start, and still be able to get back to the finish. These points will be on the course map as well. All of these points can be walked to after watching the start of the race. Of course, the energetic spectator can see even more.