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Marathon, half-marathon and team relay

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Join us April 29, 2023 for the 42nd annual Sunflower Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay! This unique course begins at 2180 feet elevation in Mazama and includes well marked deer trails, single track trails, and gravel roads. Stunning views of the Methow River, North Cascades and Chelan Sawtooths abound from flower carpeted meadows and fields. At two points, racers climb to 2600 feet. The finish is at about 1600 feet in Twisp. This course traverses private property that owners generously allow use for this one-day only.


The Marathon course is a marathon-plus length at 26.8 miles. Expect breathtaking scenery and some sustained climbs and descents. Elevation +2,520/-2,350. A marathon participant runs the entire course and are expected to run the majority, not walk or hike. Out of respect for our volunteers and private landowners, marathon runners must be able to complete the entire course in six hours, or by 3:00pm.

Start time: 8:00-8:10 a.m. at the Mazama Trailhead. If you are competing for any of the top three places in your age category, please start at 8:00 a.m.

Half marathon

Half marathon participants are expected to be able to finish their ~13.1 mile course in five hours or less. Start time: 8:00-8:30 a.m. at Chickadee Trailhead.


A relay team must have two to five people and finish by 3:00pm. Start times at the Mazama Trailhead: Wave 1: 8:00-8:10 a.m.; Wave 2: 9:00-9:10 a.m. A leg summary is below:

  1. Leg 1 - 2.2 miles
    Easy, good for younger or beginner runner

  2. Leg 2 - 5.6 miles
    Easy and flat

  3. Leg 3 - 5.9 miles
    Moderate with hills

  4. Leg 4 - 6.5 miles
    Moderate with a steep climb

  5. Leg 5 - 6.6 miles
    Difficult, strong runner required

Registration information

Don't wait to register – this race sells out each year! No refunds, credits or registration transfers after March 24, 2023. There's a $15 refund/transfer fee prior to March 24. Race entries are valid for the registered racer only, no informal transfers please. Entry fee includes race bib, custom Sunflower T-shirt (for registrations before March 24), post-race lunch and raffle prizes.

Methow Trails is a non-profit organization. Income from this event supports year-round trail operations in the Methow Valley. There are no entry refunds, exchanges, transfers or rollovers, and the event may be cancelled due to variables beyond our control: severe weather conditions, fire, unhealthy air quality, road closures, natural disasters, or other unforeseeable events.

Bib pick-up 

5:00-7:00 p.m. Friday, April 28: Mazama Store Courtyard

Relay teams must pick up their packets on Friday. Only one team member needs to be present. We highly encourage everyone to grab their packet on Friday, but will have the following Saturday locations:

Marathon: 7:00-8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29: Mazama Community Club (red building in Mazama)

Half marathon: 7:00-8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 29: Chickadee Trailhead

2023 Sunflower sponsors

Title sponsor

Methow Trails event sponsors


We do not provide a detailed map to respect the privacy of the landowners who allow one-day access through their property and make this event possible. Please do not pre-run the course, we only have landowner access on event day! No dogs are allowed on the course at anytime. Relay teams will be given specific driving directions to relay exchange points at race packet pick-up. 

Sunflower Trail MapDownload map

Exchange and aid stations

  1. Goat Creek exchange - Exchange only

  2. Hancock Springs exchange - Full aid station with food and water

  3. Wolf Creek Exchange - Full aid station with food and water

  4. Elbow Coulee Exchange - Full aid station with food and water

  5. Big Buck - Water and GU station

Relay teams are responsible for arranging all transportation for exchange points. We recommend that you drop off Leg 2 runner at the first exchange prior to the race start. Please minimize the time you spend at each exchange to help us manage impact to local residents.


Participants will receive a delicious, local lunch from Willow Brook Farm and one free beer from Old Schoolhouse Brewery (21 years and older). Food is for registered participants only. Friends and family are welcome to bring a picnic lunch. No dogs allowed on the race course on finish line venue.


RACE START - From Twisp, head northwest on Hwy 20 through Winthrop approximately 21 miles. Turn right at the Mazama Junction and proceed straight to the stop sign. Go straight through the intersection and turn right into the Corral Trailhead Parking Lot.

RACE FINISH - From Twisp head 1/8 mile northwest on Hwy 20, cross bridge over Twisp River, take a immediate left on Ainsworth and a right on Berger St. After .3 mile Berger St. veers left, becomes Peters St. and turns to dirt. Follow signs to the Sunflower parking area on the right. Please drive slowly through the neighborhood! 

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