Why should you run in the Orca Half? Here are five reasons:
- Stupendous view of downtown Seattle, Blake Island, Vashon Island and Puget Sound!
- It’s pretty darned flat.
- It’s part of the high-quality, locally-owned, runner-oriented family of Orca Running events.
- As with all Orca Running events, it benefits a local non-profit: The Whale Trail
- You might even see a pod of Orcas while running!
Register by August 23rd, 2018 to guarantee your shirt size!
Online registration closes on September 18th, 2018 at 11:59pm. Register by August 23rd, 2018 to guarantee your shirt size.
October 2, 2017 – November 30, 2017: $68
December 1, 2017 – February 28, 2018: $73
March 1, 2018 – May 31, 2018: $78
June 1, 2018 – August 31, 2018: $83
September 2017 – $88
In person at packet pick-up or on race day: $88
Interested in signing up for more than one 2018 Orca Running race? Check out the 2018 Orca Running Pass Subscribe and Bundle options.
Be sure to review all of our registration policies by clicking here.
Orca Running is proud to offer Community Entries for our events.
A community entry is a reduced entry fee for $45 for those who would love to participate but are without the financial conditions to do so. There are four community entries available for the Orca Half. Application period will open 4 months from race date and be open for 1 month. Click here to apply.
Orca Half Application Period: May 23, 2018 – June 23, 2018
See below for a course map!
The race starts at Lincoln Park, which is located at: 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136
The course finishes at Don Armeni Boat Launch, located at: 1222 Harbor Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116
Shuttles will take participants from the finish area to the start area before the race. There will be no shuttles after the race.
The start line is about a 1/2 mile hike (mostly downhill) from the shuttle drop off zone down to the waterfront.
The course is point to point, with two small out and back sections in the beginning and a longer one towards the end. Runners will be in the parking lane, sidewalks, and on the Alki Trail. Roads will not be closed to traffic, but the parking lane will be clear of cars. Please do not run in the road!
There will be 6 aid stations approximately 2 miles apart. Aid stations will have water, Clif electrolyte drink mix, Clif gels and….possibly…orcas!
All participants will receive a custom finisher’s medal! 2018 medal coming soon!
Run any 3 Orca Running Races in 2018 and receive the R-Pod medal. A beautiful, translucent medal with a custom ribbon to check off the races you’ve done.
All participants will also receive a gender specific shirt! Register by August 23, 2018 to guarantee your shirt size.
We will be holding two days of packet pickup.
Friday packet pickup will be at West Seattle Runner from 12pm to 5pm. The address is:
2743 California Ave SW #101, Seattle, WA 98116
Saturday packet pickup will be held at the Green Lake Road Runner Sports store from 11am to 4pm. The address is:
7020 Woodlawn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115
If you are unable to make it to pre-race packet pickup, you can also pick up on race morning starting at 6:30am at the finish line area before you hop onto a shuttle.
Results and Photos
Directions and Parking
Carpool! We really really encourage you to carpool. This is Seattle, after all. All participants must park near the finish line at the Don Armeni Boat Ramp as participants will be shuttled to the start. There is no parking at the start line at Lincoln Park as the shuttles will only run before the race, not afterwards.
There is plenty of on-street parking in and around Alki and West Seattle. Remember that the later you arrive, the greater the chance that you will need to walk a little ways to get to the start line. So plan ahead!
One fun option is to park in downtown Seattle and take the water taxi to Alki! Here is information on the route and schedule.
Shuttles ONLY run before the race. Participants will be shuttled from the finish line at the Don Armeni Boat Ramp to the start line at Lincoln Park. Shuttles will leave every 10-15 minutes starting at 6:30am.
The shuttle from the finish line to the start line is approximately 10 minutes so please plan accordingly to arrive at the start on time. Also consider the 10-15 minute walk from the shuttle drop off zone to the start line on the waterfront.
Pre-race packet pickup starts at 6:30am.
Shuttles from the finish area to Lincoln Park (starting line area) will start at 6:30am and will run until 8:30am.
Wave 1: 8:00am
Wave 2: 8:15am
Wave 3: 8:30am
Wave 4: 8:45am
Wave 5: 9:00am
Course closes: 1:00pm. Participants still out on the course after noon will not be removed from the course, but may continue with the understanding that the finish line area and aid stations will be removed at 1:00pm.
Charity Race Partner
The Orca Half is happy to announce that we are working with The Whale Trail, a West Seattle-based non-profit dedicated to inspiring appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment. A portion of every race entry will go to The Whale Trail. Look for their booth and volunteers on race day!
Orcas are the largest members of the dolphin family. Also known as killer whales, they are one of the most widely distributed marine mammals, found in every ocean. Orcas are the top predator in the sea, and work together to hunt their prey.
Puget Sound is home to three pods of resident orcas: J, K and L pods. Together, they are known as the Southern Resident Killer Whale (SRKW) population.
- K pod is the smallest SRKW pod, with 18 members.
- J-pod consists of 27 individuals, including the oldest whale and matriarch Granny.
- L pod is the largest group, with 33 individuals. L-pod sometimes travels as far south as Monterey Bay, and as far north as upper Vancouver Island.
Identification. We can tell orcas apart by their saddle patches, their dorsal fins, and their calls.
- Saddle-patches are unique to every individual, like fingerprints on humans.
- The shape of their dorsal fin is also unique. Male dorsal fins can be up to 6 feet high, while females are between 2 to 3 ft.
- Each pod has a unique call, and some calls are shared between pods.
Matriarchal. Resident orcas stay with their mothers their whole lives. Generations of whales from the same family travel together.
Diet. Some orcas eat marine mammals such as seals or whales. Others eat fish.
- What they eat, and how they hunt, is taught to them by their families.
- The SRKW are fish-eaters, preferring chinook salmon above all others.
Range. The southern resident range is around the southern end of Vancouver Island and along the Pacific Coast, as far south as Monterey.
- The SRKW return to the central Sound each fall, following salmon runs.
- The best time to see them near Seattle is October through February.
Capture Era. Between 1965 and 1976, more than 50 resident orcas were captured and removed from the northwest for display in aquariums. Of those, only 2 are still alive.
Endangered. After increasing steadily through the 1990s, the SRKW numbers sharply declined. In 2005, the population was listed as Endangered.
- If the current population trend continues or worsens, these beloved and iconic whales could go extinct within 100 years.
Three main factors are contributing to their decline: prey abundance (lack of salmon), toxin accumulations, and stress and noise from vessels. Not one of these things, but all.
You can help. Each one of us has a role to play in the recovery of the SRKW. Restore salmon, reduce toxin inputs into Puget Sound, and create quieter seas.
The Whale Trail was founded in 2008 to inspire appreciation of and stewardship for orcas, other marine mammals and their environment, and to promote shore-based whale-watching.
- From 16 inaugural sites there are now more than 80, from California to British Columbia, throughout SRKW range.
- Our vision is a fully recovered SRKW population, thriving in healthy seas.
- Join us! thewhaletrail.org.
Adopt an orca at www.whalemuseum.org. The Whale Museum is a core team member of The Whale Trail.
The race offers free gear check. Gear check drop is at the start line. It could be a bit chilly and potentially rainy (it is Washington, after all) at the start line, so the start line gear check bag is for runners’ warm clothes. Please note, you must bring your own bag for gear check. We do not provide gear check bags. Gear check bags will be transported to the finish line and available for pickup after you finish.
Awards will be given to the top 3 male and female finishers. Only the 8:00am, 8:15am, and 8:30am waves are eligible for overall awards. All waves are eligible for age group awards.
The top three males and females in each age group will receive a mini pie from Alki Pie Company! Pies can be picked up at the large Orca Running booth after the race. Age groups categories are in 5 year increments:
19 and under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, ……, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80+
There will be an awards ceremony to honor the top three men and women overall at 10:00am.
Please note we do not mail out awards, they must be picked up at the race.
The Super Pacers will be pacing the Orca Half. There will be pacers for 1:50, 2:00, 2:10, 2:20 and 2:30 half marathon times. The pacers will be in the following waves.
Wave 1: 1:50
Wave 2: 2:00
Wave 3: 2:10
Wave 4: 2:20
Wave 5: 2:30
Orca Running Race Policies
Please visit the Orca Running policy page here.
If you are unable to attend a race, but would still like to get your shirt or medal, we recommend that you send a friend or family member to the race to pick them up. We do not offer pickup services or delivery by mail of race swag.
We allow shirt exchanges at all of our races, after the race. There are no shirt exchanges prior to the race. If you’d like to exchange your shirt, don’t run in it, and bring it to the big blue Orca Running tent, where we can exchange it for your desired size. We cannot guarantee that we will have the desired size but generally we have extra shirts.