Overall Rating
Overall Rating (31 Reviews)
4.5
(31 Ratings)  (31 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.1
SCENERY
4.5
PRODUCTION
4.7
SWAG
4.3
The Great Ferry Race is unlike any other 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 on the … MORE
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Recent reviews

    rodrigap FIRST-TIMER '24

    This was my first time running the great ferry half, but I will absolutely be back! The course itself is challenging but gorgeous, with a mix of roads and trails. … MORE

    This was my first time running the great ferry half, but I will absolutely be back! The course itself is challenging but gorgeous, with a mix of roads and trails. It kept me really engaged and dialed in through the whole race! I also loved the size of the field – large enough to be competitive, but small enough to feel intimate and personal. Thanks so much!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    mattghall REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Get ready for hills. Starting a race on the ferry is such a unique one of a kind experience; definitely need to add this one to your bucket race! Organization … MORE

    Get ready for hills. Starting a race on the ferry is such a unique one of a kind experience; definitely need to add this one to your bucket race! Organization is amazing; race directors did a great job making everything run smoothly. Swag is super good too; super comfortable t-shirt and very cool medal.
    Get ready for a small hill in the first mile, a huge hill at mile 9, and another couple surprise hills between mile 10-12. Last mile is all down hill to coast into the finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    atkins FIRST-TIMER '24

    Very well supported. First time on combinations of trails and roads. I was so glad for my Newberry hill in Silverdale running training, very hilly. Temperature was perfect and all … MORE

    Very well supported. First time on combinations of trails and roads. I was so glad for my Newberry hill in Silverdale running training, very hilly. Temperature was perfect and all shaded except for short periods.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    cbowlan FIRST-TIMER '24

    The race was definitely tough, especially with all the elevation changes. It felt like we were constantly running up and down hills. The medal at the end was pretty cool, … MORE

    The race was definitely tough, especially with all the elevation changes. It felt like we were constantly running up and down hills. The medal at the end was pretty cool, though, and a nice reward for all the hard work.

    The course itself wasn’t very scenic since most of it was on regular roads. There wasn’t much to look at, just a lot of pavement and hills. It was a real test of endurance, but finishing it felt like a real accomplishment.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    pbl234 FIRST-TIMER '24

    as a first timer, wasn't sure what to expect; there is a lot of variety in landscape and scenery, surfaces to run on (asphalt,concrete, gravel, forest paths) and of course … MORE

    as a first timer, wasn’t sure what to expect; there is a lot of variety in landscape and scenery, surfaces to run on (asphalt,concrete, gravel, forest paths) and of course the ferry ride from Seattle at a nice sunny day is hard to beat in terms of skylines and scenery. There are a number of long, sometimes tough inclines and declines to go through, overall the course was manageable, if exhausting a couple times.
    The initial trail when starting from the ferry was quite crowded due to space, so it took a while to align to my pace.
    As almost always with ORCA runs, well organized.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    cryanho REPEAT RUNNER '24

    Second time doing this race and it’s still a great experience. Well organized, lots of volunteers, and a fun experience. You start from the ferry and run all over Bainbridge. … MORE

    Second time doing this race and it’s still a great experience. Well organized, lots of volunteers, and a fun experience. You start from the ferry and run all over Bainbridge. It’s still very hilly and a very hard half, but it’s definitely an accomplishment. What comes up, must come down.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    ArtDocRunner REPEAT RUNNER '23

    -The hills are brutal, but the run through the woods makes it all worthwhile -My 2 friends exceeded the four hour limit for their first race but the organizers still … MORE

    -The hills are brutal, but the run through the woods makes it all worthwhile
    -My 2 friends exceeded the four hour limit for their first race but the organizers still waited for them
    -Loved the run through the town that started at the ferry drop off
    -plenty of aid stations

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    LACanadaJen REPEAT RUNNER '23

    Starting from the docked ferry is so much fun (and loud when the captain blows the ferry's horn). The course is beautiful; it's a mix of road and trail. About … MORE

    Starting from the docked ferry is so much fun (and loud when the captain blows the ferry’s horn).

    The course is beautiful; it’s a mix of road and trail. About 75% of the course is roads and that part is mostly out and back, while the trails are a loop. Near the dock/heart of Bainbridge, the route has sidewalks, but for the majority of the time, we run on the road. The roads aren’t closed, but there are coned space for runners, and all crossing monitored with race volunteers or local police to hold traffic. Any the vehicles that pass runners do it slowly and respectfully.

    The trails aren’t that technical and the forest is beautiful. By the time you get to the trails, the pack is pretty spread out so mostly there are only a handfuls of runners around you.

    There are some pretty epic hills for a road race, but nothing too awful (okay, one, but mostly we all grumble and cheer each other on the slog up). The course is rarely flat, but what goes up, must come down, and the race ends on a down hill.

    I’ve done the race twice (2019 and 2023) and wore my road shoes both times.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    hmills24 FIRST-TIMER '23

    One word: hills. There are many and rolling, about 1,100 feet of elevation gain throughout the course (according to my watch). The worst was the hill on mile 8, it's … MORE

    One word: hills. There are many and rolling, about 1,100 feet of elevation gain throughout the course (according to my watch). The worst was the hill on mile 8, it’s long and steep. On the bright side, there are a lot of downhills to help recoup some time, including the last mile is downhill to the finish which was awesome. The part of this race no one talks about is the trail section — absolutely beautiful, but tough! Especially the steep descent at the start. Rough on the joints and definitely slowed me down. I would recommend practicing running downhill just as much as training for hills. Know what you’re getting yourself into, prepare accordingly, and you’ll have a great time! The course is beautiful and the race is well put on, and starting from the ferry is so cool. The feeling of finishing this challenging course is well worth all the work you put in.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    tavajian39 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    This is a tough course, challenging but rewarding. Bainbridge Island is beautiful for running and the hills are steep and plentiful. If you want a challenge this could be the … MORE

    This is a tough course, challenging but rewarding. Bainbridge Island is beautiful for running and the hills are steep and plentiful. If you want a challenge this could be the race to do. This is my 2nd time running it and beat my previous time. Race was well organized, friendly volunteers, great post-race snacks. Love the shirt this year. Medal is appropriately hefty to match the effort you put in to run this half. I will be running this one again!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    cryanho FIRST-TIMER '23

    Hills!! They’re seriously not joking. You think you’re over a hill and it’s over from there?? Be prepared for another one and another one! And throw in some trail running … MORE

    Hills!! They’re seriously not joking. You think you’re over a hill and it’s over from there?? Be prepared for another one and another one! And throw in some trail running downhill while you’re at it if you’re not used to running on a trail.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Checo253 REPEAT RUNNER '23

    First time running this race and I can definitely say I’d like to run it again. From the scenic ferry ride, trail-running portion, and overall pleasant views throughout the course, … MORE

    First time running this race and I can definitely say I’d like to run it again. From the scenic ferry ride, trail-running portion, and overall pleasant views throughout the course, and very cool medal and shirt, I was thoroughly satisfied with my experience. Awesome volunteers as well and runners on the course. One of the things that has to be addressed is that it is indeed very hilly. Hill training is a must! The trails were hands down my favorite part of this race. First time doing any type of trail running and it was great. I think this race is a must if you live anywhere within Western WA.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    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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    mattghall FIRST-TIMER '21

    This is my favorite race on the calendar! Love starting the race on the ferry and the mix of road/trail. Swag is great and there's a super fun finish line … MORE

    This is my favorite race on the calendar! Love starting the race on the ferry and the mix of road/trail. Swag is great and there’s a super fun finish line environment. Looking forward to running again next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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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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