Beat The Blerch - 10k/half/full marathon
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What is this crazy nonsense?

Beat The Blerch is a 10k, half marathon, and full marathon inspired by this comic about running. Organized by The Oatmeal, 2014 is the inaugural year of this race and it’s your chance to figuratively (and literally), Beat The Blerch.

Race Highlights

  • Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, will be there signing books as well as running the race.
  • Every participant gets a “I Beat The Blerch in 2014” tech shirt and medal.
  • There will be large quantities of birthday cake at every aid station, in addition to Nutella and magical grape beverages.
  • There may or may not be actual Blerchs in fat-suits chasing you throughout the race.
  • We won't charge you to download your race photos after the event.
  • Ridiculously awesome goodie bag stuffed with stickers, snacks, and Blerch surprises.
  • A percentage of the proceeds go to the Washington Trails Association and the National Wildlife Federation

When? Saturday, September 20th   &   Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Please note: we added an additional race day on Saturday. Be sure to show up for the day you signed up for.

Where? Carnation, Washington


Beat The Blerch has SOLD OUT!

Race Day Information

Where and when is packet pickup?

Be sure to bring your photo ID! Packet pickup will be held at the Green lake Road Runner Sports store, located at:

Road Runner Sports 7020 Woodlawn Ave NE
Seattle, WA 98115
View Map

Packet pickup days/hours

  • Friday, September 19th from 10am to 7pm at Road Runner Sports in Green Lake - The Oatmeal will be present and signing books, posters, etc
  • Saturday, September 20th from 10am to 7pm at Road Runner Sports in Green Lake - The Oatmeal will NOT be present at Road Runner Sports (he'll be running the race that day)
  • If you miss The Oatmeal at packet pickup, he'll be signing autographs at both the Saturday and Sunday races.

Please note that Sunday runners cannot pick up their packet from the race site on Saturday. Sunday runners can come on Friday or Saturday to Road Runner Sports.

Day of race packet pickup will also be available on Saturday and Sunday from 7:00am to 8:45am at the race. However, to avoid long lines, we would recommend that you come to packet pickup at Road Runner Sports. In addition, all Beat the Blerch participants receive 10% off any purchase at Road Runner Sports while picking up their packet.
Again, don't forget to bring photo ID. We will not give you your packet without it!

Friends and family will be able to pick up your packet if you can’t make it, but be sure to send them with your confirmation email with written consent. Also, the person picking up your packet will need their photo ID.

Where and when is the race?

Saturday, September 20th and Sunday, September 21st, 2014.

King County’s Tolt MacDonald Park
31020 NE 40th Street
Carnation, WA

Race Start Times

  • These times apply to both Saturday and Sunday
  • 9:00am: Marathon start
  • 9:30am: Half Marathon start
  • 10:00am: 10k start


Here's a map of parking locations in Carnation.

Blerch Merchandise for Sale:

  • Friday, 10am-7pm at Road Runner Sports Green lake(The Oatmeal will be present and signing autographs)
  • Saturday, 7:00am-3:00pm at the race
  • Sunday, 7:00am-3:00pm at the race
  • Merchandise for sale will include the new running book and Blerch: shirts, socks, water bottles, stickers, magnets.

Aid station information:

  • 10k: Mile 3
  • Half: Mile 3, 6, 7.2, 10.1
  • Full: Mile 1.5, 4.3, 7.5, 10.3, 12, 15, 18, 20, 23
  • Aid stations will have Water, Clif Shot Drink, Clif Gels and Bars, Nutella Sandwiches, and birthday cake

Where is it?

Photo via the Student Conservation Association

Beat The Blerch will take place in Carnation, Washington, a quaint little town located about 35 minutes outside of Seattle. Here's a map.

It begins at King County’s Tolt MacDonald Park, and it's a beautiful flat, out-and-back course that winds its way through evergreen, mossy forests along the Snoqualmie valley trail. Near the starting line of the race are strawberry farms and pumpkin patches, which offer guided tours in case you’re still up for a bit of walking after the race.

For more details about the race, read the FAQ.

King Country Parks

Register SOLD OUT

Beat the Blerch has sold out, but we're expanding to several new cities very soon. Please follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

Virtual race kits

What's included

What's a virtual race kit?
The actual race in Carnation, Washington sold out in a matter of minutes, and only a fraction of the runners who wanted to attend were able to get in, so per the requests of the masses we've added a virtual race option. A virtual race is a race that you run on your own time and in the location of your choice.

When you order a virtual race kit, we'll send you a race shirt, medal, bib, stickers, fridge magnet, Blerch stress ball, and a bunch of other delicious little Blerchy surprises.

The shirt is a lightweight, athletic-cut running shirt composed of cationic polyester, so it wicks sweat well.

We encourage you to try and run the miles on the weekend of September 20th - 21st to coincide with the race in Washington, but you're welcome to run it whenever you please. You're also welcome to just order the kit and keep the shirt, medal, and bib without running any particular distance (or any distance at all). We promise not to tell anyone.

Please note: we are only selling these for a limited time. The finisher medals take a long time to fabricate, so we will only be accepting orders for these for the next week.

You have until July 28th to order your virtual race kit.


The Book

In addition to running the race, Matthew Inman will be hanging out while signing copies of his latest book: The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances.

Due to arrive in bookstores on September 30th, the book contains over 140 pages of comics, stories, and illustrated hilarity about running, eating, and blerching.
Each copy also includes a pair of Blerch race stickers.

Pre-order: Amazon

0.0 Blerch race sticker

Over 140 pages of comics about running, eating, and blerching.

The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances - table of contents




We are currently seeking sponsors for the race (I’m looking at you, Nutella). If you’re interested, please contact us.


We need volunteers! If you want to participate in the race but don’t want to run, you can always help out by volunteering!
To volunteer on Saturday: sign up here.
To volunteer on Sunday: sign up here.

If you're a local running group or business and you wish to volunteer, please shoot us an email:


We had nearly 4,000 people on the waiting list for Beat The Blerch, so we went ahead and created an additional race day on Saturday, September 20th. We did not open up registration to the public for the Saturday event, but instead sent email invitations to those who were on the waiting list. These invitations were sent on a first-come, first-served basis, and the Saturday event is now sold out.

The Saturday event will be identical to the race on Sunday (except it'll be on Saturday, of course), and Matthew Inman will be running the race on both days.

Please be sure you show up for the appropriate day that you signed up for.


  • How do I register? Registration has SOLD OUT!
  • Are you going to add a virtual race option? Yes, this will enable you to order a shirt, bib, goodie bag, and medal and run the race on your own time. This is intended for those who couldn't get registered in time. We'll post more details about this soon.
  • Are you looking to expand to other cities? Yes, we'll post more details about this soon. In the meantime, feel free to let us know on Facebook or Twitter which cities you'd like us to expand to.
  • Where is it? King County’s Tolt MacDonald Park
    31020 NE 40th Street
    Carnation, WA
  • How much does it cost? 10k: $50
    Half marathon: $75
    Full marathon: $100
  • Where can I find a hotel? Click here for a list of hotels in Carnation. The race is also a short drive from most nearby cities, including Redmond, Bellevue, and Seattle, so hotels in those areas will work as long as you leave early.
  • Where and when is packet pickup? Click here for race day info, including packet pickup information.
  • What's the course like? It's a flat, out-and-back course that follows the Snoqualmie Valley Trail through forests and farms.
    Course maps: 10k course map  -  Half course map  -  Full course map
  • What's included with my registration? Race registration comes with entry into the race, a "I Beat The Blerch" race/tech shirt and medal, and goodie bag full of snacks, stickers, and Blerchy surprises.
  • Are refunds available? Sorry, No refunds will be given for any reason.
  • Can I transfer my registration to another person? Transferring your registration to another person is allowed ($10 transfer fee) as long as this is done at least 7 days prior to the race.
    Please use the appropriate link below to make the transfer:
    Saturday runners can access the transfer tool by clicking here: Saturday runners transfer
    Sunday runners can access the transfer tool by clicking here: Sunday runners transfer
  • Can I swap days? If there's space available, we can try to swap your days around. If you plan on swapping days, please let us know so we can get your registration changed.
  • Where should I park? Here's a map of parking locations in Carnation.
  • What time does the race start?
    • These times apply to both Saturday and Sunday
    • 9:00am: Marathon start
    • 9:30am: Half Marathon start
    • 10:00am: 10k start
  • Is there a cutoff time? Yes, there's a seven hour cutoff.
  • What's the difference between the Saturday and Sunday races? Both races will be identical.
  • Is Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal) running both days? Yes.
  • Will you be selling books at the event? Yes, the book will be available for purchase during packet pickup the day before, and Matthew Inman will be there if you want it signed.
  • I pre-ordered a book but it doesn't ship until after the race, what should I do? You can either buy another copy during packet pickup, OR The Oatmeal will happily draw you a picture instead, which you can neatly tuck inside your book once you get it. He prefers to draw pictures of obese mammals and Nicholas Cage.
  • Can I wear a costume? Yes, please.
  • Will there really be cake and Nutella? Yes, lots. Eat (and vomit) at your own risk.
  • Will the race be chip-timed? Yes.
  • Can I register day-of-race? No. You have to pre-register.
  • Why couldn't Dracula's wife get to sleep? BECAUSE OF HIS COFFIN.