FAQ’s

Are your events races?

Our events are “runs” not “races”. While many of our clients come from race backgrounds and will have an interest in collecting information on their course times it is their responsibility to do so.

Can I run at my own pace or do I have to run with the group?

Our clients are fee to travel independently and at their own pace. Runners are encouraged to travel in pairs or small groups and are expected to exhibit a high degree of autonomy. Aspire staff are on the trail in the event of an injury or emergency.

Why does Aspire so STRONGLY recommend Trip/Travel insurance?

This insurance is standard among other guided or supported adventures and it protects runners in the event that an injury, illness, or personal/family circumstance prevents them from participating. There are many ways to purchase trip insurance and all offerings generally carry some sort of medical insurancetrip cancellation or trip interruption and will reimburse both registration and flight costs. Travel Insurance Review is a great site that gives a full description of travel insurance policies and has a search feature to and compare many different plans and pricing.

If I’m injured or unable to show up for my event, and I didn’t purchase trip insurance what is the Aspire refund policy?

When registering for an Aspire course all runners agree to a non-refundable course fee. Aspire does permit “bib” or registration transfers. It is the runners responsibility to identify a substitute, to work out the exchange of fee’s, and notify Aspire of the change. If this is not an option and if 3-week advance notice of a runner’s inability to participate in a course is made, and if Aspire is able to add another participant from a waitlist then the registration fees may be transferred to another Aspire event within a calendar year. The best bet really is to purchase trip insurance.

What if my course has to be cancelled due to fire, weather, or other such unpredictable circumstances?

A safe and successful event is always our priority. If circumstances beyond our control prevent us from safely hosting an event Aspire will first evaluate if an alternative course area is accessible and safe that fits into the same calendar.  If no comparable course substitute is available Aspire will work with runners who have not purchased trip insurance to arrange a credit or a registration refund.

Does Aspire hold permits to operate it’s tours with the national parks?

Yes. Aspire holds a commercial use authorization with the Mt. Rainier National Park, the North Cascades National Park, and the Baker-Snoqualmie National forest. However, because our courses exist within a designated wilderness areas, we adhere to specific use requirements including: a maximum group size of 12, a non-competitive run model, and a strong commitment to a leave-no-trace backcountry ethic.

Are Aspire courses flagged?

No. Clients are provided with map kits and course descriptions and when requested GPX files for individuals to navigate the course. Clients are encouraged to travel in pairs or groups and consult with guides if navigation questions arise.

Do Aspire courses have aid stations?

Most likely no. In general Aspire course are remote wilderness affairs that do not have road access and subsequently aid station access. If a particular course lends itself to aid support this will be noted in the course info.  Clients are expected to travel each course with a personal hydration system, water purification system, and personal foods.

I have friends and/or family who want to spend the day in the mountains, but don’t want to run. Can they come to?

Yes. Our small group size allows lends our trips to accommodating individual and specific group needs. We are happy to have non-runner family (including kids) and friends hanging out in camp, sharing in meals, and to help them find local trails and scenery to explore.

What happens if I am injured on the trail?

All Aspire guides are trained wilderness responders. Trail staff are equipped with first aid kits, emergency calories, and satellite communication technology. For non-emergent injuries Aspire has detailed evacuation policies. For life threatening injuries, Aspire guides initiate a satellite SOS response that initiates communication with local search and rescue resources. When possible evacuation decisions are made in collaboration with clients, if an evacuation becomes necessary then evacuation fees apply.

What happens if I’m not injured but I need more time to finish course?

In the event that runners are unable to complete the course within the give time frame due to fatigue or an underestimation of their abilities Aspire initiates a “supported runner” policy. This policy sets in sequence decisions unique to each runner that include;  identifying a potential evacuation routes and/or sending in additional support staff with emergency equipment, food, clothing, and shelter. Should a runner require additional time or support to complete a course additional support/evacuation fee’s apply. 

What logistical support does Aspire provide if I am traveling from out of town?

Out of town runners can consult with Aspire for basic concierge services and recommendations. Shuttle support is available from SeaTac airport and the Seattle area to all courses. Our small scale operation is committed to ensuring our travelling clients have access to the resources they require to make their trip to the Northwest both memorable and pleasurable.

Can I rent camping equipment?

Yes. When registering for multi-day courses camping rental camping equipment: tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads are available. Detailed gear lists for each course are provided with registration.

What kind of accommodations can I expect on an Aspire course?

True “glamping” pairs luxury destination travel with the intimacy of camping. Aspire courses don’t quite reach “luxury” status, but we hold high standards for client services. Sheltered dinning, propane heaters, portable shower stalls, and general high service standards ensure comfortable and memorable experiences on our courses.

I’m not sure what is an appropriate course for my ability?

Aspire Adventure Running offers diverse courses in terms of length and difficulty. Specific course descriptions, maps, and information relative to mileage and elevation gain are available on the Aspire website. We are happy to make recommendations and course selections relative to your personal ability. Contact abram@aspireadventurerunning.com