I have made it no secret, that Seattle Marathon is one of those events that I love, and I hate all at the same time. It has always been one of those races that has challenged me, but also helped me find how strong I really am.
This year was no exception.
Let’s start with the expo. The expo was actually smaller then previous years, but I really liked it being smaller because it made it easier to move around and get through. You start in one room to pick up your number, and then you head into the expo to enjoy the fun and get your shirt and goodie bag. The shirt was a bit of a challenge this year as they had been considerably bigger then last year. The goodie bags are always awesome and chalked full of runner friendly goodies.
As an ambassador for the Seattle Marathon, I actually had the pleasure of volunteering at the Kids Race registration pick up Friday night. This was a complete thrill because I spent a lot of time talking to young runners who had been so excited, and parents both. I would love to help out with that again next year just because the kids are so worth it.
As for the race.
If you remember the recap from last year, it was seriously cold last year. This year improved a tad bit, maybe by 5 degrees.
But I was smarter this year and I was well dressed for the weather.
The race itself is beautiful. It starts at the Experience Music Project and takes you right through the center of downtown Seattle. I was actually running really well in this strech and nailed my run walk perfectly. Its fun to run through downtown Seattle when it is still sleepy. You notice little things a lot more, you notice the bright and pretty window displays more. You notice the skyline more.
After downtown you hit I-90. You actually get to run in the freeway. They close down the express lanes and you get to run through the tunnel. The full marathoners get to run the floating bridge, but the half marathoners turn off after the tunnel. Last year I don’t remember ice being an issue, but there was enough moisture in the air that it was. That slowed me down quite a bit.
Once you head through the tunnel you head out towards Lake Washington which by far is the best part of the run. It does have a few little rolling hills, but there is a peaceful feeling as you run by the lake and there is a layer of fog on the lake. I started to rebuild my speed and I was pretty happy.
We all know what hill I am talking about. We don’t need the description. Its the hill that goes straight up. Then turns, and goes straight up again, with one more up before you head straight down to the arboretum.
Knowing it better then ever. I made sure my walking intervals had been right on the money. The hills are beautiful but they push you and challenge you. I kept the slower but steady pace I was planning for.
The Arboretum is many peoples favorite part of the race. Scenically its mine. But the up and down hills make you focus in on what your body is doing and pushing through. And honestly, not falling on your head on a crack in the road way. I got sidelined in here somewhere because of the fact I really had to go to the porta-potty.
Speaking of. I always have to laugh. Mile markers are also porta-potties. Every one of them.
The last three miles take you back into the downtown part of Seattle including a wicked downhill and around the Seattle Center before you get to come down into Memorial Stadium to finish in the 50 yard line.
I am a huge fan of the post race area. You get your medal, and get a space blanket before heading into the bowels of the stadium where they have all the food you need, a place to change into warm clothes, a chance to pick up any more Seattle Marathon Souvenirs. It is the perfect place to warm up and get your wits about you before heading back to the cold.
I love how well supported this race is. One thing that is never in short supply is fully stocked water stations with amazing volunteers. It has always been near the top of my “must-do” list. The event is ran truly with runners in mind.
And I love the fact that it continues to challenge me. The last five miles remind you how tough you are, and how beautiful of a town Seattle is. Time wise it was the best race I have done this year and I am so much closer to my “bigger goals” for 2016.
I will be back. It is my yearly reunion with my strength.