Seafair Marathon - RunMarathon

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Bellevue, Washington
United States
90F / 32C
Total Time = 5h 01m 15s
Overall Rank = 144/533
Age Group = 40-44
Age Group Rank = 25/33
Pre-race routine:

Got up bright and early and ready to rumble. Roy drove me to the start line and we got there with plenty of time to hit the potties and relax. The beginning was really hectic, though. Lots of walkers and half marathoners, not as many fully marathoners. I am curious that the only place I see this particular phenomenon is at our local races...half marathon walkers with back packs full of food as if they are going on a 40 day march in the desert.

Event warmup:

Craziness will warm you up! The event was held up for 15 minutes because the buses couldn't get everyone to the start line. So the announcer was saying, "Everyone line up in the road! Elite runners up front!" and behind us a police officer on a loudspeaker was saying, "Everyone off the road! The road is still open!"

Huh? The road wasn't open. It was a two lane road with a meridian on the west side, sidewalk on the east. In the middle of the road at the intersection was a "Start" banner with the timing mat set up across the entire road. There were "Road Closed" saw horses closing off the road. So unless a car materialized in the middle of the runners, and then proceeded to drive south through the start line, there wasn't any traffic. So we thought they were talking to people who WERE standing in the road west of the meridian. So we stayed.

Pretty soon the officer gets out of her car, and starts shooing the entire crowd up onto the sidewalk. Um? What!

Two minutes later the announcer, unaware of what was going on with the officer (and probably quite confused) starts telling us to get BACK into the road to prepare for the beginning of the race.

So the officer starts yelling again, "Get out of the road! Yes you! Even you behind the black vehicle (it was a race vehicle that was stopped, no engine running, no one inside)! The road is open!"

Perhaps that word "open" does not mean what she thinks it means.

The announcer says again "Everyone ON the course! Line up according to your pace!"

It was ridiculous, but we did get warmed up!
  • 5h 01m 15s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 30s  min/mile

Even though I will say this was by FAR the hardest race I've run, and by far FAR SUPER DUPER FAR-EDY FARNESS the most disorganized race I've run, I am glad that I did it. It was a HUGE challenge for me to see if I could two races two weekends in a row. I actually LOVED the course. Oh "anyone could run a flat race" but when you've run from Seattle to Bellevue through the 99 hills of Kirkland, you know you have run a SERIOUS race! I also loved the new route. I don't think it's any less hilly, but it is by far more beautiful than courses in years past.

Will I run it again? I might, but only after ensuring that the children's marathon will not complete on the same course as the regular marathon. I actually love the idea of the children's marathon and support it 150%. I want to see more opportunities for families to get their kids involved in sports early, particularly running. I am children's races biggest fan! But to have the kids and adults on the same course was foolhardy at best. I also believe it was kind of unfair to those of us who had just accomplished 26.2 miles and deserved to "own" that have our names called out (correctly) at the finish line, to have a medal placed directly over our heads (rather than be pointed to another area where someone asked, "Did you run the marathon?"), and to not have to push down small children to get some water. (Okay, I didn't push anyone...I didn't have the strength.) I also think at the same time it takes a bit from the kids' race too. Let them have THEIR OWN area to bask in their glory! Don't "not" do it, just don't do it in the same spot at the same time!
What would you do differently?:

I definitely should have brought my own water! I will not make that mistake again! However, I asked one of the people at the expo if there would be plenty of water on the route, considering the forecast, and she said there would be extra water stations. There weren't.

Other than that, I think I did well. I ran/walked. I did not push on the hills. I wish I could have, but it's good I didn't. I did not once wish I weren't doing it, even when I felt icky.
Post race
Warm down:

I grabbed my water from the child (LOL) and looked up and saw Marie. I met Marie in Couer d'Alene where we hooked up and ran together. She pushed me to a PR! She is a marathon maniac and had run three races in a row over three weeks because she is truly insane! We caught up and commiserated that we hadn't found each other earlier. I told her how wonderful Roy had been and she waved and called to him. We got some food, although not much sounded even remotely good. I had an apple slice, an orange slice, an oreo cookie, and a melted otter pop. After talking with Marie and Tim (her husband, also a great guy from what I understand) Roy and I headed to the car where he whisked me off to sushi! Best post-race food EVER!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

The heat and the fact that I'd run a marathon the week before and hadn't tapered at all during the week. (I'd taken one day off, and run or biked quite a bit each other day.) Oh yeah, and I'm not very fast. There's always that.

Event comments:

I really REALLY want to love this race. It's in the summer and at a good time. I love the whole Seafair festivities that go on around this time of year. But they make it so hard! The paper the next day told of how 400 runners were not transported to the startline, but to the halfway point because they wanted to start the race. So people who paid and trained to run a full marathon (some of whom were going for a BQ) were only allowed to run half. Not only that, but three GPS units (mine, Marie's and another person's) measured the route almost a mile short. If it had just been mine I would have blamed it on losing signal, but three? Hmmm.

I hope they learn a lot from this race. There was a lot to see this race, but the lack of organization was really really bad.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2008-06-30 12:00 AM
05:01:15 | 26.2 miles | 11m 30s  min/mile
Age Group: 25/33
Overall: 144/533
Performance: Average
Average HR was 155 Pace was slow, but I haven't ever run two marathons two weekends in a row. It was also extremely hot and hilly, so while I really wanted to break 5 hours (and did, according to my watch...and crossed the finish line with the clock reading 5:00:13, so not sure where 5:01:15 came from), I am not unhappy with my time.
Course: This is probably, no this is definitely, the most challenging course I have ever run. It is an incredibly HILLY course. Somewhere I read that it is a "fast" course and not as hilly as in years past. I've run the half marathon three times and yes, it was hilly, but no it was not hillier in years past. Maybe once upon a time they ran up K2 or something, but I can't imagine a hillier course. It was, however, a very beautiful course. We started out running right across the 520 Evergreen Floating Bridge. It was breathtakingly beautiful! It also afforded us a really nice breeze and some lovely shots of Mt. Rainier. To watch the ribbon of people running up the hills was amazing! After the bridge (about mile four) we went into some areas that weren't overly remarkable. Then we started running through areas with just beautiful homes. There were a lot of people out with sprinklers (thank you SO much sprinkler people), which was heaven-sent because the thermometer was rising quickly. The first water stop was at mile three and had me already wishing I'd brought my own water. It was such a disorganized madhouse that people had to wait for water. I timed two full minutes of waiting for someone to give me some water. Someone handed me an EMPTY cup. That was helpful! (NOT!) The next water stop wasn't until mile six and it was hot, so I wasn't going to skip this one. Another good call. Mile six was equally disorganized. This time I just pushed right in and grabbed a cup and asked (nicely) for water. I question the intelligence of water stops only every three miles when the weather forecast had this hot weather for over week, and I also really was chastising myself for not bringing water with me. Stupid move. Mile seven was a joke. First we climbed up a small mountain. Then at the top of the mountain, we climbed a short steep hill. At the top of that hill some guy sitting cross legged in the lotus position pointed up. I thought he wanted us to show reverence to the Lord, but he was really pointing to the mountain we had to climb to complement the hills we JUST climbed! I tried to run up the hills because I love the feeling of passing people on hills, but when I saw even the Mountain Goats were walking with nordic poles, I decided to save my energy for the rest of the race. Good call there. At mile 11 the last water stop that was for both full and half marathoners was the worst. There were no cups! The volunteers were offering to pour water into our mouths, but I declined. Later on, as I hit a very hot unshaded area, I was kicking myself for not just picking up a discarded cup and using that. But at the time I didn't think of it. I was ANGRY by this point. The entire first half of the race was one big disorganized mess! Unfortunately when I get emotional, I start up my new "running buddy" who goes by the name of Exercise Induced Asthma or "Chokey" for short. Well Chokey started settling in, and I couldn't breathe so I knew I needed to settle down and just let it go. I had money in my shoe pocket if I needed to dash into a store and buy some water. If I could make it another 3 miles, I'd be fine. At mile 12 we said Adios to the half marathoners, and to the shade trees! The rest of the course was equally hilly, but it was also not shaded! So that made it WAY better because now we were trudging up hills...may MOUNTAINS without benefit of shade. But I saw alpacas! Actually, the Bridle Trails area was gorgeous (where I saw the alapacas...obviously in their native territory). There were also these young men standing at every street corner holding signs that said "Run!" and smiling. Not cheering, just smiling. They made me smile. It was kind of cute. I was ready to find a store to get some water when finally saw another water station. Thank GOD! Of course since there were probably 1/8 as many marathoners, these stations were much less chaotic. The volunteers handed me cup after cup of water. After downing two waters, a Gleukos, and pouring another water over my head, I felt like a new woman and was ready to tackle the rest of the race! I took my second Luna Moons (like Gu, but in the shape of cute little moons and tasting of pomegranites) and trudged on. The next few miles passed with some thoughts creeping into my head, "Now why did I think running two marathons in 8 days was a good idea?" I tried to banish them because I know it was just stinkin' thinkin' (as my good friend Al says), but I have to admit. With the relenting hills, the relenting heat, and the relenting loneliness it was getting rough. But I think I always go through a rough patch on every race, and I seldom remember it afterwards. The only reason I remember this one was because there was this lovely downhill at the end of mile 17 and then a shaded area in a park, and then the most welcome site I'd seen all day! Just as I was rounding a corner going one way, a cutey man was rounding the same corner going the other! Roy had parked at the finish line and biked out to see me and it was kismet that we literally hit the exact same spot at the same time! My spirits soared! Not only that, there were red vines! A group of high school boys were at the water stop handing out red vines! I took one and said, "Did you lick it??" He assured me he hadn't, so I took it. I heard him high fiving his friends yelling "Woo! She took mine!" (Apparently some sort of contest? Or maybe he'd really licked it...). A few feet later another kid said, "Mine is 110% BETTER!" "But did you lick?" "No!" "DAMN! I can't get ANYONE to lick my licorice!" (That sounds really naughty, but I didn't mean it that way.) So I took his licorice too and settled back into my run. At this point we were heading through Kirkland around Lake Washington. It is just such a beautiful area! I could live there, if they would quadruple my teachers' salary and move my school to Kirkland. Since that's not going to happen, I just have to be happy with biking and running through that area every now and again. As I'd biked (and run) this area before, I knew where I was and enjoyed it. It was getting hotter and hotter, though. Roy biked beside me and every now and again he'd hold up a sign that said "You're looking good!" and it would make me laugh. The odd thing is, I was wearing a shirt with my name on it. I'd worn the same shirt at Grandma's last week and EVERYONE cheered for me by name. This time only two people on the entire route did! Maybe they thought I was a visiting Brit or Canadian declaring my partisanship! At mile 23 we left the lake behind. I had literally just finished saying to Roy (trying to be positive) "It's hot, but I don't think it is as hot as yesterday" when I think it got to be about 9000 degrees. I Hit The Wall. I think the lake was offering just enough of a breeze to keep me from being completely miserable. Now no lake, no breeze, complete misery. But hey, I only had a 5k to go. I was totally going to do it and in doing so, I would make my goal of becoming a MARATHON MANIAC! The other reason I think I was staring up the wall is because I was also staring up a mountain. I had thought we were done with hills, but there was another one. I literally almost started to cry. I was just DONE! But I realized that if I cried, Chokey would join me and I needed to breathe to run. (Pesky little detail, but I have found that oxygen intake is a definite performance enhancement on the marathon.) At mile 24 Roy said "I think I can hear music! This is the best part, when you hear the music you know you're almost done!" Soon the "25" sign came and I said "OH! My SECOND favorite number!" and tried to pick up the pace a bit. As we got closer there were more spectators (nothing like Grandma's, but was nice) and I felt my pace quickening as best I could. It was definitely not the "kick" I would have liked, but it was kick-like! I said goodbye to Roy and told him I loved him and appreciated him SO much for staying with me. He said he'd meet me at the end. Man, what a guy. Husband of the Year for SURE! My FAVORITE number! Mile 26! We rounded the corner into the finisher's chute. I could hear footsteps behind me trying to overtake me, so I sped up. In front of me I saw a child. Why is there a child in the finisher's chute? Next to her was a lady in capris and flip flops. I am in the right place, right? Yes, there is a sign that says "Finish" in large letters at the end. Wait, there is another child...and another...and that one is turning around and running towards me. Why is she doing that? Why is she in here. "You can't do that!" I called out (more like whispered out, I was so exhausted). "She can't do that! She's going to hurt someone!" I choked out to Flip Flop. May I just take a moment to ask who in the name of all that is good and holy on this earth, thought it would be a GOOD IDEA to have the children's "marathon" (they ran a mile) run on the same course through the finishers' chute as the ADULT MARATHON?? Because whoever thought that was a good plan needs to have his/her/their head examined. You take kids, who do not know how to run a race (ie...see finish, point at finish, run to finish, do not stop) and put them in the same narrow field as extremely tired adults who have been running for five hours and see the word finish and are only thinking "I want to be done. I want my bagel. I hope there's ice cream." and you think this is a GOOD plan!? I nearly CREAMED that little girl, and I saw other kids nearly get creamed. Someone could have been HURT! I finish the race to the sounds of "ToNy Klementsen from Marysville!" (thanks, my name is ToRy) and run up to receive my medal. "Oh, this is for the children's marathon. Your medals are back there." *grrr* So I stumble to those people and get my medal. I was feeling extremely lightheaded and nauseous so all I wanted was water. I see a water table (pleaseletitbecold) and I go over. The volunteer tries to hand me the cup. A little boy pushes in front of me (or is pushed by Mommy) and reaches for the water. The volunteer moves it out of his reach as I'm reaching for it. Mommy says, "Take the cup, Johnny! You need water!" He reaches up for it. I take my hand back. The volunteer gives Mommy a look. I am unable to form a complete thought outside of "I thinkimightfalldownnow,okthxbai". The volunteer says, "Here Dear, you need this" and thrusts to water towards me. Mommy gives her a look. Good LORD woman! I know your kid is thirsty, but I am the walking dead here. Mind if I get some hydration?
Keeping cool Bad Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Too hard
Organized? No
Events on-time? No
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? No
Post race activities: Below average
Race evaluation [1-5] 2