Tacoma’s running community is a proud bunch. You can hear that pride in the rhythmic steps that pound the pavement and dirt throughout the city on any given day.

sunset chevroletRegardless of rain, heat, sleet or sometimes snow, you’ll always find runners trekking miles through the paths of Point Defiance Park, along the waters of Ruston Way, or on the sidewalks of downtown.

These runners tend to schedule their lives around upcoming races. Saturday mornings mean free Saturday 5Ks at Point Defiance Park. The holiday season means it must be time for the Santa Runs Tacoma Half Marathon.

And, if you have any respect for the runners in your life, you’ll know never to plan any major event or celebration around the same time as the Rainier to Ruston Ultra/Relay race.

Crown of the Sound Medals
Each of the Crown of the Sound’s first three medals. The design changes every year. Photo credit: Claudia Hansen.

For Tacoma’s running community, there are no seasons. Each week offers yet another opportunity to reach new heights (and personal bests). That’s why it’s not uncommon to see the same faces crossing the finish line at the city’s major races put on by the Tacoma City Marathon Association.

Wanting to acknowledge and celebrate the dedication (bordering on sheer madness) of our city’s runners, the TCMA created the Crown of the Sound 13.1 Series. This 13.1 series, which began in 2014, recognizes those racers who have completed three of four annual TCMA-organized races, including:

  • Paddy’s Day Run Half Marathon
  • Tacoma City Marathon/Half Marathon
  • Tacoma Narrows Half
  • Santa Runs Tacoma – The Santa Half Marathon

“We thought it’d be a nice bonus for people who run a lot of our events,” said Claudia Hansen, TCMA Director of Operations. “We see a lot of familiar faces, folks looking to challenge themselves to run every race, and so we thought this would be a nice added bonus.”

The added bonus is not only the recognition of committing to running at least three half-marathons, but also a collectible Crown of the Sound medal, which changes in design every year.

Tacoma Santa Run
The holiday season means the Santa Run Tacoma race for Tacoma’s dedicated runners. Photo courtesy: OnTheRun Events.

So what do you have to do to be eligible for the series? Quite literally, all you have to do is run.

The TCMA automatically tracks entrants for each of its races. At the end of the year, Hansen and her team can identify those runners who’ve crossed the finish line in at least three of the four racing events; these runners will then be awarded their Crown of the Sound medal.

“The runners don’t need to contact us if they plan on completing the series,” Hansen said. “It all just happens automatically. They just have to sign up for the races.”

St. Paddy's Day Run Tacoma
The St. Paddy’s Day Run Half-Marathon Kicks of the Crown of the Sound series each year. Photo courtesy: OnTheRun Events.

In any given year, it’s not uncommon to see the Crown of the Sound medal find its way to folks as young as 10 and as old as 70 (or older!). But that’s the beauty of running, isn’t it? Regardless of background, experience, or athletic ability, running reminds us that we’re all capable of strapping on some shoes and placing one foot in front of another.

But do you have what it takes to complete at least three half marathons in one calendar year? If you do, you might just very well find yourself among running royalty.

Here’s what you need to know to get started:

Again, there is no formal registration for the Crown of the Sound. Simply run in any three of the four following half-marathons, and TCMA will take care of the rest:

  1. Paddy’s Day Run Half Marathon – Info and registration here
  2. Tacoma City Half Marathon – Info and registration here
  3. Tacoma Narrows Half Marathon – Info and registration here
  4. Santa Runs Tacoma Half Marathon – Info and registration here

You can also contact the TCMA directly via their website.

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