Monday, June 25, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon (Race Recap)

Saturday, June 23
Marathon #11
State #5
Seattle, WA
Weather - Mild at the start, sunny and hot mid race, FREEZING COLD RAIN at the end

8 months of planning for what was to be the most epic event of my summer... the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle marathon!

L booked us pretty close to the start (less than a mile), so thankfully we would not need to deal with taking public transportation or trying to drive to the start. However, obviously we were not going to be done in enough time to come back to the room to shower before we would need to check out. So we had to pack everything up before we left for the race. We headed down to the lobby, and since they were already serving breakfast we peeked in to see what they had. I chose a cinnamon roll as pre-race food. It was the best tasting thing EVER. Heather, you really missed out. Then, I luckily had the brilliant idea to check with Ronda (staying in the hotel directly behind us) to see if we could leave our stuff in her room since she was staying an additional night. Heather sent her a text, and she didn’t mind and we ran our stuff up.

We all walked over to the start together and didn’t get lost. We managed to NOT miss the big bloggy picture at 6:30 (shocking, since I almost always miss the group pictures). 

So much awesome in one picture! (This might also be from Tricia)
Heather, Kim, Me (Thanks, S!)
Then we parted ways as most of the half marathoners were starting in corral 11, and we were going to start in Heather’s corral, 24. We had been given the Brooks potty passes at the event the night before. I would never actually pay for these, but wow. I will admit, I was impressed. They have trailers with 5 flushing toilets and a sink. I LOVE WASHING MY HANDS! They also had available things like q-tips, Vaseline, lotion, hairspray, rubber bands, etc. Outside there were guys with trays of gum, mints and GU. AWESOME.

The tuxedo shirts were a nice touch
We headed over to our corral to meet up with Lesley and Tricia. Took some pre-race pictures, and then spent about a half hour after the gun went off moving up. Slowly. Then it was time to go.

Me, Heather, Ronda, Lesley, Tricia
It was forever before we even SAW the start line
Heather was running her first marathon, and I’m not sure whether she asked, if I volunteered, or what, but I planned on sticking with her the whole time. I was not really optimistic with how the race was going to go. I haven’t been running that much over the last month. Between work, the heat, travel, and the Peruvian jungle plague that I contracted, I just haven’t been in the best shape lately. I had warned her in advance that if she needed to take off and go on without me, I would understand – I didn’t want to hold her back and wreck her first marathon!

Anyway, L was also planning on running with us. None of us used our iPods (I KNOW, who knew I would ever be so willing to run without one??) and off we went. The first mile went pretty well. Surprisingly, we didn’t really have that much dodging and we were maintaining a decent pace. This part was a slight downhill (I think), and I was feeling pretty decent. I don’t remember that much of the first five or so miles. It was running through the city, and I was trying to be sure that we weren’t going out too fast (we didn’t) and that we were all running a pace that felt comfortable. I hope I wasn’t annoying, but I kept asking Heather if this was a good pace for her, if she wanted to go faster/slower, etc.

Lesley took this picture somewhere around the first mile

I took off the arm sleeves I had been wearing somewhere after the first aid station. When the sun came out it heated up pretty quickly. We were sticking with our plan of just walking the water stations, and apparently we were all feeling ok.

The first big hill was just before mile 4. L decided to run up it (because she is a badass), and Heather and I walked it. When we go to the top, L said she had passed Ronda. 

See the hill, off in the distance?
Heather immediately took off trying to catch her. The course split shortly after the aid station at roughly mile 5 and we didn’t end up seeing her. 

We head to the right into the woods. Turns out that was going to be the best (pretty much the only good) part of the course. It was a lollipop loop through a really beautiful wooded area near the bay. We were keeping a good pace, and the course was really pretty. We stopped somewhere around mile 7 to use the bathroom. Even with all three of us stopping, it didn’t really take that long. 

Nice view from the port-o-potties
Lots of pretty trees!
Thanks, Heather

There were signs warning about poison oak. I don’t even know what poison oak looks like. They should have had a picture of it on the sign or something. We spent the out part looking for A, who we knew was fast and also running the marathon, but we didn’t see her. Then we looped around and used a REAL bathroom one more time before heading along the bay (Lake Washington?)

This is when the course got rough for me. It was at least eleventy billion degrees once the sun came out. I was SO hot. The aid stations did not seem close enough together. And the water was NASTY tasting... very obviously hose water. Ew. Heather said she was feeling great so I tried to keep my complaining to a minimum. My watch became possessed and started flashing back and forth between different screens without me touching anything. Then trying to get it back on my main screen wouldn’t work, so I had to lock it finally on overall time. This meant I couldn’t really monitor our pace… which is SUPER ANNOYING for me. I know I shouldn’t rely so much on my watch, but…

Anyway, we met back up with the half marathon course just after mile 12. They were the tail end of the pack – all of them were walking. The organizers did a better job of keeping us separated with cones AND yellow tape. Our side was a bit narrow but still wide enough for us to stay together. It was a nice shaded downhill for a bit, until just before mile 14. I’ll argue that is pretty much when the race totally fell apart.

We separated again from the half marathoners, and we had this weird out and back (for distance). Down on the out, and uphill on the back. Then we had to go up the first overpass to cross the bridge. Talk about defeating/awful/horrible. I think this next section was the worst part of any course I have ever run. Ever. About mile 14.5 and we start running across the bridge over the bay. It is the longest bridge in the history of the world. Aid station in the middle around mile 15. Runners are coming towards us at mile 20 and they look hot and miserable. The bridge is obviously not shaded, and it is boring. And long. The longest EVER. I think the end of the bridge was past mile 16. Then we had to go through tunnel #1. I almost immediately lost satellite on my watch. The tunnel was at least cool and shaded. However, the road was very graded, which I HATE running on, and there was a DJ in the tunnel blasting music and it was LOUD. And not very good music.

Once we got out of the tunnel, we were at about mile 17, then we had more freeway to run on until we turned around after the aid station around mile 17.5. That’s pretty much when we started walking. Heather was not thrilled about the graded tunnel, so we walked that. The whole tunnel. Once we exited, we ran the downhill and part of the tunnel until we hit the aid station. Then we walked. And walked. I asked her if she was ok, and she said she was, but that she didn’t really want to run anything unless it was flat or downhill. We ran into Paulette, Oiselle ambassador, and talked with her briefly before she took off. We then got to yet another tunnel. We walked this one also. This one was also about a mile long. (I think? My watch wasn’t working). Aid station right at the end was mile 21.

I'm done with you, bridge!
From this point on, we really didn’t run at all. We ran only the downhills, and there wasn’t too much of that. The sky was looking angry, like it was going to storm. I commented that we should maybe run so that we didn’t get caught in the rain, but decided to walk it anyway. 

Century Link Field
I think we finally started to get rained on between miles 22 and 23. And this was NOT just a light drizzle. Well, it started that way, but then it was a true downpour. I was soaked. Heather was done, which I can understand. This was not a great course, and I wasn’t feeling too great either. We still stuck together – I mean, it was going to be raining at the finish line too.

There was another tunnel around mile 25, which was welcome because at least we weren’t getting rained on. We got to the end of the tunnel and it looked to be raining even HARDER on the other side. I knew we only had about ¾ of a mile to go, and I suggested to Heather that we run it in, so we did. We walked up the very cruel hill right at the end, and ran to the finish together. Crossed the line, got our medals and bottles of water then got our mylar blankets. SO COLD. Never been so cold in MY LIFE.

Bib #20202
Official Time - 5:30:34
5K - 34:18
10K - 1:08:55
Half - 2:29:27
17.6 - 3:23:19
20 - 3:57:38
Official Pace - 12:37
Overall - 2621/3089
Gender - 1132/1434
Division - 246/313
Garmin Time - 5:28:11 (watch died about 2 min before we finished)
Garmin distance - 26.5 (again, died about 2 min before we finished)
Garmin pace - 12:23
Mile 1 - 11:14
Mile 2 - 10:16
Mile 3 - 11:13
Mile 4 - 10:43
Mile 5 - 10:36
Mile 6 - 11:55
Mile 7 - 10:50
Mile 8 - 14:00 (bathroom)
Mile 9 - 10:40
Mile 10 - 11:33
Mile 11 - 12:32 (bathroom)
Mile 12 - 11:05
Mile 13 - 10:27
Mile 14 - 11:28
Mile 15 - 11:20
Mile 16 - 11:17
Mile 17 - 13:16
Mile 18 - 10:34
Mile 19 - 15:18
Mile 20 - 11:45
Mile 21 - 24:25 (tunnel screwed up GPS)
Mile 22 - 5:54 (same)
Mile 23 - 14:18
Mile 24 - 14:01
Mile 25 - 17:06
Mile 26 - 15:23
Mile 26.5ish - 10:06

SO happy that we got to run this race together. Other than the rain, I really enjoyed myself. Even though we are BFF’s and both run a ton, this was really the first time that we have ever run together, if you can believe it. For your viewing pleasure, courtesy of, here are a ton of us running:

We saw Lesley and Tricia briefly at the finish, but then parted ways and headed to our separate hotels. Thankfully, Heather has a pretty good sense of direction and we didn’t get lost finding it. However, it DID take us about 20 minutes to walk there. We got even MORE drenched, and the wind had picked up and it was FREEZING. Thankfully we got to Ronda’s room and she was awesome enough to let us shower before heading out. I cannot believe how cold I got in JUNE. I pretty much had hypothermia. My fingers would NOT work. It took a long time to get my socks off as my fingers could NOT grab the sock. And I had to stand under the hot water for a couple of minutes before my hands were thawed enough to undo the rubber bands holding in my braids.

After showering, Heather, L and I headed out to get some lunch. Alma didn’t live too far away, which is where Heather would be going, so we wanted to find a place nearby that had a burger. Briefly getting lost and having a hard time finding somewhere to park, we found a place. With the worst service ever and no French fries. A half hour later, about 3:40 pm, we finally had our lunch. Then we dropped Heather off at Alma’s and L and I began our drive for the second part of the adventure… heading to Canada.


  1. Hey, remember when we ran through a really pretty park, and then the Bridge of Death tried to kill us?

  2. Sorry you had some bad experiences in really is a nice place with many good burgers. :) I agree that the traffic SUCKS and seemed especially bad Thursday and Friday nights! Did you go up to Vancouver for the Scotiabank Half Marathon? I did Seattle (the half) and then Vancouver on! I felt lucky that the weather during both runs was perfect, despite the misery of Saturday afternoon.

  3. You got some great pics! Maybe SOMEDAY you will come to run in Seattle and it WON'T rain? Nah, probably not.

  4. Congrats on another great marathon!!!! You are such a string runner!

  5. Great recap. I did Seattle last year and I remember the course being very boring (lots of highway running). I see they changed it this year, but didn't really add that much excitement to it. Oh, RnR! Congrats!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. That is so great you all got to run together. Makes it more fun. Sucks about the rain but way to gut it out.

  8. Loved your arm sleeves - wicked cool! Congrats on another amazing race!!

  9. Wow...sounds like a tough race, but glad you had fun with your friend. :)

    I'd love to feature this post on our Seattle-based site. Email me for details.

    shondra (at) dwellable (dot) com


  10. love the recap. yall got a ton of awesome pictures. that bridge/interstate stuff sucked. i remember it well. congrats on another one!

  11. Sorry you didn't enjoy running here. I ran the half and yes it wasn't the best course but I had an AMAZING time. It helped that the sun was out and gorgeous when I finished (2:17:03) and I got to enjoy the afterparty. I signed up for the full this year though. I'm a bit nervous for it, it'll be my 2nd Marathon this year and I've got mixed emotions ranging from dread to excitement of course. I just want that medal (although I'm bummed it's red this year. I liked the blue and yellow)


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