Don Kardong, former President of Club Northwest and fourth-place finisher in the 1976 Olympic Marathon, racing in a Club singlet.

Don Kardong, former President of Club Northwest and fourth-place finisher in the 1976 Olympic Marathon, racing in a Club singlet.

Our History

Club Northwest began on a rainy afternoon (we presume) on November 20, 1972, when the representatives of seven small alumni clubs gathered at the University of Washington (UW) to form a new track and field club. The instigators of this process were Jim Johnson, Bill Koss, and Doug Hansen, the Track-house and UW steeplechasers, UW track and field manager Bill Roe, and UW distance coach Dan Ghormley. Since that day, Club Northwest has been a leader, both in the Puget Sound and nationally, for track and field and road running.

From our founding, Club Northwest has always sought to support the local and national running scene through by supporting athletes and engaging the local running community. CNW has supported a number of Olympic athletes, including Don Kardong (1976 Montreal Olympics —Marathon), Fred Luke (1972 Munich Olympics — Javelin), and Herman Nelson (1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics — 50K Racewalk), as well as several national champions. This tradition of excellence continues to this day. 

Our impact on the local community has been most visible in the events we organize and publications we've produced. We operated the Seattle Marathon (1975-1980) and Emerald City Marathon (1983-1990) and hosted the AAU/USATF Cross-Country (1978, 2011) and Track & Field Championships (2014). We also helped start and organize many races now staples in the Puget Sound running calendar: the Shore Run, Seafair, Resolution Run, and FireCracker 5000. Many remember the magazine The Nor'wester (Northwest Runner), started by the club in 1976 to chronicle the Pacific Northwest running scene and published continuously until 2016. Perhaps our most proud accomplishment is the Summer All-Comers Track & Field Series, whose precursor CNW took over in 1969 from the long-defunct U.S. Track & Field Federation and which we have operated continuously since. In that time, we've welcomed nearly 100,000 athletes from age three through middle school, high school, college, open, and masters athletes.


Club Northwest members are track and field athletes, road runners, and trail runners of all ages and abilities. We welcome every competitive individual, which we define as anyone seeking to improve their times or age-group place or train to reach a specific athletic or personal goal. You'll find us at almost any road race and track meet in the Puget Sound area. Just look for the bright orange jerseys. We'll also be lining the course, cheering on our friends and teammates.

Quarterly social events allow our members to get together, network, and geek out about running and track and field. From September to June, we offer a weekly Sunday run led by one or more club runners. Additionally, we organize and run two road races — the Resolution Run in January and the Firecracker in July — along with the Summer All-Comers series, the Winter Grand Prix races, and various other events, all of which give club members discounted entry! 

Lastly, Club Northwest seeks to attract and develop promising national and Olympic caliber athletes at the post-collegiate level. As one of the oldest USATF clubs, we take pride in the unique level of support we can offer promising open athletes and always field competitive men's and women's teams at the USA Club Cross Country Championships.

If this is a community you would like to join, visit our membership page and learn more about what Club Northwest can offer you.