Friday, January 8, 2016

Seattle Half Marathon race report... FINALLY

This is what it looks like when you are banged up and super relieved that you "only" have to run a half marathon today.


This was my third Seattle Half Marathon... and I just realized that I have never run it fresh. My first time, in 2010, I had run the Seattle Ghost Half the day before. The second time, in 2012, Wil and I had completed the Widdle Waddle, the Half Bone, and the Seattle Ghost Half in the previous days as part of the Quadzuki.  And, of course, this time, Wil and I had run three FULL marathons in the days before.

Saying we were footsore, aching, and dead tired just doesn't say enough. But we were still ABSURDLY HAPPY that we just had to get through 13.1 miles. Let's do this. 

As usual, got great street parking on the northwest edge of the Seattle Center -- easy to get out after the race. Kept warm in the Armory while we killed a little time before the start, and then headed out. I did my usual "trick" of crossing the median to line up on the far side of the road, and somehow ended up reasonably close to the start. Besides the traditional pre-race pic above, I snapped one pick of the crowd. One major highlight? There's a guy wearing "my" 2014 Brooks Ugly Sweater Tee. Sweet.

run happy, my friend, run happy
No changes on the course; the gravitational vortex I witnessed in 2010 remained closed, the tunnel was, again, much nicer to run in this stage of the race, and -- WAIT! Did they actually spruce up that horrid little trail? I think yes??? 

Nice left turn to head to Leschi, though the lack of candy at the aid station remained disappointing. 

As we turned to go up the first big hill, we saw a gang from the November Project cheering and "running" people up the hill. We saw our pal Jess, who can running over, and she gave us big hugs and walked us up. (Yeah, we were most definitely walking at that point!) I was again slightly amused by walking past people who were running up the steep, steep hill. 

Then back down into Madison Valley, then right into the pretty, autumnal Arboretum, and then back and forth across, under, and over the freeway into downtown. 


With all the construction in South Lake Union, I think we might have run down a different road (maybe not?), but there was a really wide section where the Hashers had set up a little beer table. I almost missed it -- it was right before the Mercer underpass, and we were on the left side of the street while they were on the right -- but it was worth a detour, a high five, and a sip of beer.

I will say that it's super fun to run into a stadium for the finish -- even a high school stadium. So it's always a tiny thrill to run down the ramp and across the turf to the finish line in a slow but steady 2:56:34.

We picked up mylar sheets, our handsome medal (I love the little touch that the Space Needle extends past the bottom edge of the medal), and braved the finisher area. Maybe because we were slower than average, but still came in ahead of the first marathoners, it wasn't too rammed in there. But we still didn't linger -- we had a bottle of chocolate milk (seriously, I need to drink chocolate milk after EVERY race!) and then made our way up to the street. 

One BIG bonus of parking on the NW edge of the Seattle Center is that, well, we had to walk past T.S. McHugh's anyway... and since it was a Sunday during football season, they were open. So we went in, saw two seats (one of them Garth's seat) at the bar, so it was clearly meant to be. But the crowd was very football-focused, we were a bit cold and stinky, and we knew no one... so after one pint, we decided to just head home and eat there. 

2015 Seattle Half Marathon medal
When I run this race I always say that I enjoy it, but that I probably won't run it again. And now I've run it three times. It's a good one, seriously. I just wish it wasn't over Thanksgiving weekend!