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Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon - RunMarathon

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Seattle, Washington
United States
Elite Racing
Total Time = 3h 36m 59s
Overall Rank = 487/5618
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 74/438
Pre-race routine:

So, my wife and I are flying into Seattle for a wedding on Saturday evening. We're at Seatac airport picking up our rental car. The agent asks "are you here for the marathon?" We say "what marathon?" He says the big marathon with 25,000 people in it. wheels start turning.

While my wife is shopping for shoes for the wedding in Nordstrom's, I'm searching craigslist on my blackberry to find a bib to buy.

I find someone who has an achilles tendon injury and arrange to buy her bib (you can judge me (and the seller) for the ethics of this, but it's already fait accompli). She's in start corral 10 and was targetted to do a 4 hour mary which was roughly what I was expecting to do too.

By late afternoon, I'm starving, so I have my first dinner in the hotel restaurant - grilled salmon (hold the caper butter sauce), veggies (drenched in oil/butter), and a baked potato (plain, please).

We still have our rehearsal dinner, which is at Julia's in Issaquah. I wasn't hopeful when we walked up to it and I saw the sign that proclaimed their honeybaked ham, but in the end, the food was decent for what it was. Appetizers were plates of pita and hummus, bread and goat cheese dip. I ate a plate of pita myself. Salad was plain greens with balsamic vinaigrette. For my entree, I had the stuffed (mushrooms and spinach) chicken (tasty) and DW had the cashew ginger chicken (not bad either). Dessert was 4 cakes and I had about 1/2 piece of carrot cake which was nice and moist. I was really thirsty and through the course of the evening, I drank 4 glasses of water, but never had to pee (dehydrated...). All in all, a good second dinner, but it made for a late evening.

4:45AM rolls around and the multiple alarms go off as well as the wake up call. I have a the piece of banana walnut bread from Tully's that I bought yesterday as well as the Monster B Odwalla. I also make the in-room coffee (yes, I know, the horror, the horror given that I usually bring coffee I roasted myself. At least it was Tully's). By 5:30AM, we're out the door for DW to drop me off near the start. Traffic is light until we get closer to the exit and drop off and then it's stop and go. Slow enough that people walking on the sidewalk are making better progress than us in the car...

In any case DW drops me off in Tukwila (south of Seattle since this is a point to point race) and she heads back to the hotel and will meet me at the finish. I walk to the start area. It's a zoo of course. I spot where the row of UPS trucks is for the gear drop off. I head to the biggest row of porta potties and wait in line (at least I have my ipod with me). After that, I give kkcbelle a ring. She also decided to race last minute with her friend who trained a bunch of folks to do their first halfs. They're back in corral 30 something and I'm in corral 10. There are 25,000+ runners here so no way we expected to meet, but at least we were able to chat briefly.

It's coming up on 6:45 already, so I taking off all of my warmups, tuck my 4 gus into the hips of my shorts, drop off my gear bag, grab a bottle of water, and head to the start area. Interstingly, it seems like there is a disproportionate amount of women running. I wait in corral 10 and it's not long before the first corrals are off. It's a one to two minute stagger between each corral. We move our way up as each corral takes off. There are belly dancers here at the start. We're given the "ready..." by the announcer and then we're off!

Event warmup:

eh, I never warm up.
  • 3h 36m 59s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 17s  min/mile

I always start out a bit slow since it take me several miles to warm up. I'm ahead of most in my corral and I can see that many of the corrals ahead have a big mix of runners since I'm passing quite a few right away. I just settle into an easy pace. I'm passed by a good number of runners as well.

There's entertainment, either a band or high school cheerleaders every mile, but to be honest, I don't pay attention to any of it and to be honest, the bands are just too loud (man I sound like an old geezer).

Soon enough there's the first aid station, which I always skip in these big races since it's usually too crowded. Still the aid stations offer cytomax (my preferred sports drink) and water with one long line of volunteers on one side followed by a long line of volunteers on the other. No problem at all getting access to aid, esp. if you skip the first part of the aid stations and run on a bit further. Very nice.

I keep working my way through the crowd, having to dodge folks every so often, but it's not too bad since the course is wide (both lanes). I just work my way from pace booty to pace booth. By mile 3, I haved to pee already. Ugh. May as well be comfortable on this race so I use a porta potty.

More of the same through mile 6 near Seward Park where we start to run along Lake Washington. Nice. There's an odd woman here who is doing a fast walk/run, but when I pass her, she decides to speed up and pass me. This goes on until I finally leave her behind for good, but she seems to make a point of passing very close to me no matter where I am on the course (left, right, middle). Well, I have to pee again so I stop at a porta potty for that and when I'm back out, I'm behind her so when I do catch up to her again, she keeps doing that leapfrog near me until I finally leave her behind for good.

We're running along the lake until about mile 9.4 where the marathoners split from the half mary runners. The colored signs (matching our bib colors - yellow for mary, blue for half) are very clear with a lot of advance warning. We turn right onto Lake Washington Bridge and the 1/2 mary runners turn left to continue on the course.

This stretch on the bridge was beautiful since the bridge is flat (no structure above the road) so you have clear views all around. There is a set of lanes (on it's own brdige) that go to Seattle, a separate road/bridge that goes out from Seattle, and there is this separate middle section that we're running on that is normally switched either way depending on the inbound or outbound commute. So they just closed this middle section for the race not affecting the other inbound and outbound lanes of traffic (pretty slick). Since this is an out and back section, you can see the other runners on the return route. I'm guessing that the bib numbers were related to corral starts (i.e. 2xxx numbered bibs were in corral 2), but I don't know for sure. I'm heartened to see that I don't see many in the 10,000 numbered bibs and up. Also, the running is much less crowded here, because it's only the mary runners (e.g. 5,000 out of the 25,000 total runners), so that helps. I'm still feeling strong and I'm generally passing many and being passed by very few.

After the out and back on the bridge, we rejoin the route where the half mary runners turned right when we turned left. It's crowded again and I'm having to zig zag a bit. We have some mild inclines on the overpasses. We head into downtown and it's really crowded here. Plenty of spectators too to cheer us on. At about mile 14.5 we split again from the half mary runners.

We run on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which is pretty cool. We can see a few runners on the other side of the road who already on the return leg of this long out and back section. Wow.

We go through a tunnel. I'm steadily passing people (I note a woman in an IM LP tri top) and haven't really noticed that I've been passed by anyone. In fact I don't really note being passed by anyone for the rest of the race. It may sound very obvious, but it really seems like people are fading and I'm still going strong.

After mile 16, we start a climb, which is still fairly mild. I have to pee again, so I find the next set of porta potties and go then. Climb continues for maybe a mile. Then we get a bit of a downhill to the turnaround point at about mile 18.5. Then it's back up a bit and I can see the others runners, some of whom I recognized who I passed before. I check out bib numbers and it's a whole range of them.

Back through the tunnel and out. I'm still feeling great, my stride is relaxed, and I'm passing runners at a steady pace. At about mile 23, I can see there is another out and back to the south, but it ends up back here on the other side of the road for mile 26. I starting to feel some fatigue in my legs now, so now I just have to grind out the last 3ish miles.

Mile 24.5 or so is the turnaround. I'm still passing folks, but it's occuring much more slowly. Mile 25 and it's back up a little bit again. Near mile 26, it's down the exit ramp. The crowds are here cheering. I pass the 26 mile mark, but I can't see the finish line. It's a left turn onto a street, a short bit, and then another left turn. Now I see the finish. I know it's a little pointless after nearly 4 hours of running, but I give a final sprint and pass a bunch of people on the way to the finish line.

I turn around and see the clock time is just pass 3:50. I'm guessing a 10-15 minute offset at the start, so I should be sub 3:40. Can't complain on an impromptu marathon.

Splits and pace were as follows:

5 Km - 25:16 (8:08)
10 Km - 52:02 (8:23)
9 mi - 1:15:28 (8:24)
Half Way - 1:51:07 (8:29)
30 Km - 2:36:32 (8:24)
24 Mile - 3:18:39 (8:17)
Finish 3:36:59 (8:17)

Pretty happy with these results. Pretty steady and looks like I finished strong and ran a neg split.
Post race
Warm down:

I see DW who is right there at the finish (amazing since there are so many people here). I get my finisher's medal, stretch a little.

I grab the food and water (cytomax, honest tea, organic granola bar (yum), chips (i picked sun chips), bananas, oranges. I head out to meet up with DW who is at the designated meet up area (by letter) and I find her right away. Not bad considering how many racers and spectators are all around. We grab my gear bag from the UPS truck and we head back to the car.

So, it's back to the hotel. Quick shower then off for post-marathon brunch. We decide to go to Jak's steakhouse in Issaquah. YES, MEAT! I have the steak (10 oz. aged NY strip) and eggs (over easy) with home potatoes. DW has a burger with blue cheese (which I eat about 1/4 of) and virgin bloody marys. Yum!

A nap in the afternoon and then a wedding at Snoqualamie Falls. Not a bad day!

Last updated: 2009-06-26 12:00 AM
03:36:59 | 26.2 miles | 08m 17s  min/mile
Age Group: 74/438
Overall: 487/5618
Course: Inaugural Course Information Both the marathon and ½ marathon start together and run the same course for over 9 miles, culminating in an exciting side-by-side downtown finish outside Qwest Field. Keep your eyes and ears open as you run past some beautiful Seattle sites and hear the talents of local musicians on the entertainment stages. * Start Location: Gateway Corporate Center, Interurban Ave S, Tukwila * Finish Location: Qwest Field, downtown Seattle o Full & Half Marathon - on Occidental Ave. between King St. and Royal Brougham
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

2009-06-30 12:57 PM

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San Francisco
Subject: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon

2009-06-30 1:46 PM
in reply to: #2253511

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon

Great report!! And awesome race -- you did really finish strong. Look at your splits at the end. Wow!! I  have some friends who ran the full and, quite frankly, totally died the last 2-3 miles. I mean died badly. They felt the 2nd half of the course was quite hilly, but I'm sure our hills aren't anything for you living where you do!!

So the corrals were arranged by predicted time, which you predicted when you registered. You could change your predicted time well in advance (i.e. 1-2 mos.) and get a new corral number if you wanted to bump up. Anyone could bump down.

The I-90 bridge you went on is used for several local races, including Danskin and the Seafair sprint triathlon in July. These races do the swim at Seward Park (near where you ran), then bike an out-and-back along the route you ran (up the I-90 express lanes), then run along Lake WA for the run portion. Riding around Lake WA is a nice 50-60 mile bike ride (depending on your start/finish points) if you're here with a bike next time!!

Glad you enjoyed the day and congratulations again on a really strong race!

2009-06-30 2:11 PM
in reply to: #2253511

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Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon
Wow, fantastic race for someone who started the weekend with "what marathon?" Congrats! I love reading your race reports (even if I always end up hungry). You make me want to do all of your races.
2009-06-30 3:07 PM
in reply to: #2253511

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon
Once again, Donato, congrats!! An impromptu marathon.... what a novel idea!!
2009-06-30 3:21 PM
in reply to: #2253511

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon
Amazing...glad you had fun and were able to do get a bib!


Hope I get to meet you up at IM Canada!
2009-07-01 6:48 AM
in reply to: #2253976

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Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon
It's always fun to read your RRs! I don't know which made me laugh more, the leapfrog lady or the picture of your post-marathon steak Smile. Congratulations on a strong finish and a great run! 

2009-07-01 7:35 AM
in reply to: #2253511

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Modesto, California
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon
Too funny! "What Marathon"! I wish I had that kind of fitness!
It was probably a good workout for your IM comming up. Great R&R and pic's..
2009-07-01 2:34 PM
in reply to: #2253511

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Extreme Veteran
Bend, OR
Subject: RE: Rock 'n' Roll Seattle - Marathon

That's awesome!!  I need to do that some time....just drop in on a race at the last minute.  Great splits too! I'm glad you had fun

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