Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
After the 5k on Saturday, it was time for the half marathon on Sunday. This year featured a brand-new stadium-to-stadium course from the University of Washington Husky Stadium to CenturyLink Field, home of the Seahawks.
I opted to take the Link light rail from downtown to the University of Washington for the start, since I only needed one way transportation. I showed up to the train station and let the first train pass because it was unsafely over-packed with runners. I waited for the second train and had to jostle my way for space. When we made it to the UW station, it also became an unsafe experience with so many riders spilling out of the over packed trains and flooding the escalators. Things were not off to a great start…
I finally made it to the start line area with about 40-45 minutes until race started. This was later than I wanted to be there, but due to the issues with the trains it was the best I could do. I had to ask runners and volunteers where gear check was because it wasn’t immediately visible. I then had to walk over halfway around the stadium to find the gear check buses, then walk all the way back to the middle of corrals to get into the bathroom line.
Oh, the bathroom line…this is where things really went downhill. I waited over 45 minutes to use a porta potty. I missed my designated corral while standing in line. I made the best of the situation and chatted with the other runners stuck in line, but it was very stressful to watch corrals being released while we waited. In fact, I had to run from the porta potty to the start line and I barely crossed the start line as the last corral was released. I was panicked and beyond stressed that I would have (within mere minutes) missed starting a race that I had travelled to.
Once I was finally able to start the race – and way behind my designated corral – I had a lot of bobbing and weaving to do in order to catch my stride. The course started at Husky Stadium, featured some serious hills around the Washington Park Arboretum, and took us along Lake Washington Blvd by Lake Washington with gorgeous views. Around mile 8 we turned to cross S Genesee Street and headed north on Rainier Avenue, crossed I-90, turned onto Dearborn and went up an on-ramp within the last mile to finally end on a downhill slope into CenturyLink Field.
It was incredibly moving to run through the wear blue Mile. wear blue is an organization that honors the service and sacrifice of the American military, and they participate at several events throughout the United States. The wear blue Mile features posters of fallen soldiers, followed by volunteers holding American flags each draped with a black ribbon, bearing the name of a fallen military member. I grew up in a military family and I’m passionately supportive of our troops. I cried the entire mile, looked every single volunteer in the eyes and thanked them.
The course had some challenging hills but was scenic and fun. There were very fun sections of supporters and bands along the course. My favorite was the Seattle Kokon Taiko Japanese ensemble drumming band and the Seattle selfie station.
Goal: Feel strong on the hills
Date: June 18, 2017
Location: Seattle, WA
Distance: Half marathon; 13.1 miles
Conditions: 57 °F, 5 mph wind and 100% humidity
Total time: 2:33:36
Pace: 11:55 min/mile
Outcome: I felt strong! Even with the hills, this was only 3 minutes behind my distance PR.
I wasn’t pushing very hard during the race and was surprised my time was as good as it was. I can’t believe I was only 3 minutes behind my PR! I even hit sub 8 min/mile pace during some downhill portions of the race (WOO HOO, I FELT FAST!). Looking back, I wonder how much better my time could have been if I hadn’t stopped for photos and had pushed myself. But I’m still really, really happy with my performance. The race started off rough with the logistic issues, but the course really brought up the experience.
Crossing the finish line in front of CenturyLink was really fun. I collected my half marathon medal and then headed to the tent to get my Remix Challenge medal. The headliner Mayer Hawthorne put on a good show and kept the energy up for a group of tired-looking runners!
One weekend. Two races. Three medals. This race was great preparation for my ‘A’ race of the year – Reebok Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage – which will bring me back to the Seattle area next month!