Overall Rating
Overall Rating (18 Reviews)
4.5
(18 Ratings)  (18 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4
SCENERY
4.6
PRODUCTION
4.8
SWAG
4.3
The Great Ferry Race is a half marathon unlike any race you’ve ever done. Participants will board the ferry in downtown Seattle by walking on, enjoy the scenic 35 minute crossing to Bainbridge Island, and then assemble on the car deck and walk off. This half marathon race will start … MORE
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Recent reviews

    ldunayski FIRST-TIMER '22

    2022 was my first time running this race and I absolutely loved it! Such a fun experience having the ferry be the start line. The course had some really hard … MORE

    2022 was my first time running this race and I absolutely loved it! Such a fun experience having the ferry be the start line. The course had some really hard hills but the beautiful medal at the end was totally worth it! Can’t wait to do it again! Highly recommend this race to everyone!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    kanav2garg FIRST-TIMER '22

    Make sure you are aware of the hills and trails. The trail could be slippery if it rained earlier. Hill training prior is a must. The swag is so pretty! MORE

    Make sure you are aware of the hills and trails. The trail could be slippery if it rained earlier. Hill training prior is a must. The swag is so pretty!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    sarahmenz3 FIRST-TIMER '22

    This is a really cool race! There's a mix of road and trail running and a pretty hilly course. My favorite part was running along the trail and through the … MORE

    This is a really cool race! There’s a mix of road and trail running and a pretty hilly course. My favorite part was running along the trail and through the park around miles 4-6.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    dawncronin7 FIRST-TIMER '22

    The day starts with a ferry ride from Seattle, which was a first for me! Great views from the boat. The race started right off the boat, and featured some … MORE

    The day starts with a ferry ride from Seattle, which was a first for me! Great views from the boat. The race started right off the boat, and featured some true trail running as well as a big hill. The aid stations were well staffed, and the course wasn’t too crowded. Overall I just wish I trained on hills more, but the race itself was well put on.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    rolandc253 FIRST-TIMER '22

    Rough, rough, rough hills and it's always tricky to take a turn on a paved country road with a slope down to the gutters, and traffic management wasn't great and … MORE

    Rough, rough, rough hills and it’s always tricky to take a turn on a paved country road with a slope down to the gutters, and traffic management wasn’t great and there were a lot of grumpy impatient cars that definitely made the course less than 100% safe – BUT! The rough hills were great, the course support was awesome (excellent goo selection), and the volunteers were kind and helpful. The experience of running off the ferry was truly amazing as was the huge chunk of the course that went through the woods. I was nervous at first since my only time on a trail has been hiking. The course was really well marked and SO much fun! Thank you Orca Running for a great event! Plus the medal and shirt were way way cool (y’all always work with great artists, you know?)

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    lagallow REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Fun course, mix of road and trail running, seaside views, PNW deep forest, spots to let your legs out and others to crunch up and grab the hills with calves … MORE

    Fun course, mix of road and trail running, seaside views, PNW deep forest, spots to let your legs out and others to crunch up and grab the hills with calves you didn’t know you had. Swag is fantastic and different than avg races (metal ferry boat, tee is green with ferry over the sound). Aid stations were in all the right places, almost every 2mi after 5th mile with gels, water & tasty electrolytes. Great staff, great markings, great after party spot and snacks even during Covid. Will be demanding all friends do it with me in future years!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    hanpire FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race was unique and really fun! Most runners start by taking the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. The ferry ride was about 20 minutes and went by pretty … MORE

    This race was unique and really fun! Most runners start by taking the ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. The ferry ride was about 20 minutes and went by pretty quick! They had nice restrooms on the ferry, plenty of space to stretch, and Orca Running also offered a gear check (in a car on the ferry deck). After the general public left the ferry, runners went down to the car deck to start the race. In non-COVID years, all runners would start here, but for social distancing measures, Orca had runners move up a few blocks and start in small waves. Orca’s commitment to keeping runners safe was really great to see!

    The race itself was adventurous! The course starts out on the road, goes to a short trail almost immediately, back to the road for 3 or so miles, and then pretty consistently is fun trails and wavy roads mixed throughout until the last 3 miles on the road.

    I have to say my favorite part was running miles 4-6ish. This part of the race was entirely trail and absolutely beautiful! I felt like a gazelle running up and down short hills while dodging mud and low hanging branches. The entire experience reminded me of running in a real life video game!

    The only part I sort of disliked was the hill around mile 8. I felt so wonderful up until this point, but it’s a doozy! Literally you turn a corner, run down this huge hill, and see your fate lying before you. I don’t know how steep this hill was, but I had to take a walking break. My goal was to not walk at all, so I felt a little disappointed in myself, but I think it was the right move for my body!

    This race is so different, because it offers tons of elevation and several leveled off areas to practice endurance running. I truly felt like the Great Ferry Race was ‘elevation meets endurance’- a perfect combination. Orca Running always has great swag and fun medals. This medal was an actual metal ferry! Overall, I highly recommend this half marathon! I’d love to run the Great Ferry Race again in the future and actually RUN up that beast of a hill at mile 8!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Beth Anderson
    bethandesigns FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is a unique race that has it all, a fun ferry start, mix of road and trails, and a challenging course of hills! The trail was a little more … MORE

    This is a unique race that has it all, a fun ferry start, mix of road and trails, and a challenging course of hills! The trail was a little more challenging than anticipated, made more difficult with rainy weather. The course maintenance was excellent, everything was clearly marked and aid stations well spaced and stocked!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Ethan Winters
    ebwinters FIRST-TIMER '21

    1/3 trail and the rest roads, this race is hilly but very scenic and fun! I am definitely going to be running this race again, and other Orca races. Put … MORE

    1/3 trail and the rest roads, this race is hilly but very scenic and fun! I am definitely going to be running this race again, and other Orca races. Put on my great folks as well

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    rachelwaite FIRST-TIMER '19

    If you have dreams of watching ferry's like Meredith and McDreamy in Grey's Anatomy, you will LOVE running off the ferry in this race. WA state ferry's were cool enough … MORE

    If you have dreams of watching ferry’s like Meredith and McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy, you will LOVE running off the ferry in this race. WA state ferry’s were cool enough to give the runners a send off honk of the fog horn! The course was partially on trail and a little hilly which was a bit more challenging than your typical road race. Good support and aid stations. Tacos and oreos at the finish! The downtown of Bainbridge Island was fun to peruse after the race and lots of good post-race brunch options that were not too busy.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Okay so another unique idea by Orca Running Events. I have done many of their races as well as hundreds of others and I am a fussy pants. The race … MORE

    Okay so another unique idea by Orca Running Events. I have done many of their races as well as hundreds of others and I am a fussy pants. The race is on Bainbridge Island which is a cute little town with a modern vibe which I wasn’t expecting. Great restaurants and shops to meander around if you are looking for a bit of a destination race. We spent the night on the island and met the ferry when it came in. Most took the ferry over that am and ran right off which was really cool to watch. They ran off the ferry and under the start arch and we were off! This is a challenging and very hilly course, and I am used to hills! Don’t let this scare you……you can walk the hills. The course is divided by 1/3 road, 1/3 non technical trail but rolling, and 1/3 road again with a downhill finish (thank god!) We ran through a really cute park which was celebrating pride that am and they were in full colors cheering us on which I enjoyed. I really enjoyed the trail portion which ended up around a golf course and back out to the road to head back the way we came. At least you knew what was coming. lol Except I didn’t remember those down portions on the way out so hmmm more damn hills!

    The finish is in a little park perfect for the group size. Tacos, pickles and candy were waiting for us as Orca brings unique food to their venues (Thank you!) They always have enough for the end finishers as well which I hate when races don’t have any for them. Several aid stations along the way but wish they had some gels at them. Many had run out, but I rely on myself anyway.

    Swag was great, nice t-shirt and they have been asking if we would like something else other than shirts as I have hundreds of them now. So, yes please! Always unique and great medals! They offer a bonus medal which I received at this race if you do 3 or more of their events. Yes this was great also.

    Really all and all you can’t go wrong with Orca’s events. This wasn’t my favorite one of theirs but still worth doing and a fun and unique one to do.

    Happy Running!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    sthygesen FIRST-TIMER '19

    The course was hilly, which you are warned about prior to the race but these hills are HILLY. The trail running portion was gorgeous, the were plenty of freindly volunteers … MORE

    The course was hilly, which you are warned about prior to the race but these hills are HILLY. The trail running portion was gorgeous, the were plenty of freindly volunteers and the tacos at the end of the race were the best thing ever. This was a destination race for us and I would travel back to Seattle again for it!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    meganalicem FIRST-TIMER '19

    Running off the ferry boat onto the course is such a unique, fun way to start a race. Bainbridge Island makes for a scenic, charming course and as a beginner … MORE

    Running off the ferry boat onto the course is such a unique, fun way to start a race. Bainbridge Island makes for a scenic, charming course and as a beginner trail runner the trails portion was brutal but worth it. I was far from my PR but had a great time and hope to be back in the future. Orca Running was phenomenal and will certainly join them again soon!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    llryan REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I ran this race last year with my daughter. This year I invited my sister to come up and visit from Reno and run the race with me. It was … MORE

    I ran this race last year with my daughter. This year I invited my sister to come up and visit from Reno and run the race with me. It was her first half marathon and couldn’t have been a better one. We love the scenery. We loved the ride over on the ferry. We love the food at the end.
    The only improvement I would like to see would be better directions to get back to the ferry after the run.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    shelley_hatfield Jun 24, 2019 at 9:14pm

    Hi! We met at the bathroom after the race! Lovely chatting with you and thanks for the HC info. lol I don't like the shirt for next year. Yours is… MORE

    Hi! We met at the bathroom after the race! Lovely chatting with you and thanks for the HC info. lol I don't like the shirt for next year. Yours is awesome!! Congrats again to your Sis! LESS

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    jdavepurcell FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was the most beautiful race I've run in. The road running highlights the areas that some lucky folks get to call home. The trail section is phenomenal. Awesome. Fans … MORE

    This was the most beautiful race I’ve run in. The road running highlights the areas that some lucky folks get to call home. The trail section is phenomenal. Awesome. Fans are lacking but the scenery more than makes up for it. The ferry start is easily the best most energetic start to a race. The bling is acceptable but who cares.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    kentonbruno FIRST-TIMER '19

    Very beautiful race on Bainbridge Island but there are a bunch of hills! It went through multiple parks which were all extremely beautiful and very wonderful. MORE

    Very beautiful race on Bainbridge Island but there are a bunch of hills! It went through multiple parks which were all extremely beautiful and very wonderful.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Siribori REPEAT RUNNER '19

    great mix of trail and road race. Well marked trails. Challenging hills. Love the post race tacos. Overall an excellent planned race, smaller for a road race, and so fun. … MORE

    great mix of trail and road race. Well marked trails. Challenging hills. Love the post race tacos. Overall an excellent planned race, smaller for a road race, and so fun. Will definitely run again

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    ctdeitrich FIRST-TIMER '19

    Maybe I'm biased because I live on Bainbridge Island, but this race was great! Well-organized, great course, well-marked, volunteers at every important turn, plenty of aid stations, tacos at the … MORE

    Maybe I’m biased because I live on Bainbridge Island, but this race was great! Well-organized, great course, well-marked, volunteers at every important turn, plenty of aid stations, tacos at the finish. Awesome!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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