Set for its 43rd year, the Olympia Lakefair Races are part of weekend-long running festival that features the Trials Legacy Marathon, a half marathon, 8K and 3K; taking runners on routes that will circle around the town of Olympia and beyond into Lacey and Tumwater. The races take place at the same time as Capital Lakefair, founded in 1957 to create a local celebration each summer. Now, 61 years later, Capital Lakefair is a community tradition for generations of families. Occurring every year during the third week in July, the week-long celebration concludes with the Olympia Lakefair Races on Saturday morning, the Grand Parade through downtown Saturday evening and a firework show on Sunday.
In 2016, the Olympia Downtown Rotary Club partnered with the Lakerun Organization to sponsor Olympia Lakefair Races, and introduced the Trials Legacy Marathon. The Marathon was established to retrace the steps of legends and honor the legacy of the 1984 Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon which was held in Olympia. On May 12, 1984 Olympia took center stage as thousands lined the streets to watch 238 women compete for a chance to run in the Los Angeles Olympic Games. The historic course starts at the top of “Courthouse Hill” in Olympia and winds through Tumwater, Lacey and Thurston County.
In late 2017, the races were re-branded to form a four race event, the “Olympia Lakefair Races”. The aim of this effort is to continue the tradition of the races, honor the running past of Olympia, support youth running and hopes of funding a monument to memorialize the 1984 Women’s Olympia Trials Marathon at Marathon Park. Additional proceeds will support the Olympia Rotary Club in continuing to make a positive impact in Thurston County. Help us celebrate these historic races by running and/or becoming a sponsor!
The event starts at Heritage Park in Olympia near the corner of 5th Avenue and Washington Streets, and from there heads briefly through downtown.
For runners in the marathon and half marathon, the race unfolds along a combination of city streets and along running, biking and walking trails within Olympia including both the Chehalis Western Trail. Runners will enjoy tree-lined trails, scenic landscapes while enjoying flat and narrow paved trails throughout.
Once runners have completed the course, they can enjoy festival activities that are held all around the large city park. Festival events include food and beer tents, carnival rides booths and more. The Heritage Park area where the race ends is one of the most popular sites for visitors to the city as it features the Heritage Park Fountain, a popular spot for children and adults to run, play and wade.
Race Weather & Climate
Located near the southern end of Puget Sound in northwest Washington, about 60 miles southwest of Seattle, Olympia typically sees its warmest and driest weather of the year in July. On race day, the average low is 50ºF and the average high is 76ºF. It doesn't get any better than this for an opportunity to run a race, especially a marathon or half marathon in July!