Saturday, May 21, 2016 • Sunnyside, WA • Course Map
Set for its 7th annual running this year, the “Sage Rat Run” Half Marathon takes runners through Washington State’s Lower Yakima Valley, a stretch of terrain nestled between this southern part of the state’s Rattlesnake Hills that is home to the rodent known as the sage rat, or Townsend’s Ground Squirrel, who emerge from hibernation each spring.
Runners are likely to encounter a number of sage rat sightings along the half marathon route, which starts in the Wal-Mart Supercenter parking lot in the small city of Sunnyside and takes runners along the Lower Yakima Valley Pathway, a paved biking, walking and running trail that stretches 14 miles between Grandview and Sunnyside.
The trail takes runners southeast from Sunnyside through Grandview and all the way to the nearby town of Prosser, where the race finish line lies at that city’s Chamber of Commerce building on Southwest Bennett Avenue.
Along the route, runners can expect largely flat, even terrain as the asphalt trail is designed to make walking and running as smooth an experience as possible between the communities it serves.
What runners shouldn’t expect, the race organizers note, is an especially scenic course, even though the race takes place in southern Washington State’s wine country region — though there are some vineyards and wineries just off the Lower Yakima Pathway that runners will be able to see in the distance, the path also runs parallel to Interstate 82 and the nearby Wine Country Road.
It also has its “fair share of tumbleweeds, puncture-vine and an abundance of Black-billed Magpies just waiting for you to collapse,” they add.
Instead, the organizers add, what the race offers is both a great sense of cameraderie and friendliness thanks largely to the event’s small field of runners, plus the chance to contribute to a worthy cause — proceeds from the race go to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska, which provides a “home-away-from-home” for families of children with serious illnesses who are being treated at Seattle Children’s Hospital.
The race is part of a two-day series of running events that also include a 12K, 5K, one-miler, 25K, 15K and 10K, and you can even participate in races on both days.
Race Weather & Climate
Located central southern Washington, roughly 177 miles southeast of Seattle and about 180 miles northeast of Portland, Ore., Sunnyside typically experiences mild to moderately warm weather conditions in the mid-spring season, and mostly dry weather year-round.
On race day (May 21), the average low is 46ºF and the average high is 75ºF.
- 2015 Sage Rat Run Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Sage Rat Run Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Sage Rat Run Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Sage Rat Run Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Sage Rat Run Half Marathon Results
- 2010 Sage Rat Run Half Marathon Results
see event website
To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of Sunnyside’s Sage Rat Run Half Marathon, 12K or 5K race, register online at UltraSignup.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Sage Rat Run? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.