Friday, July 1, 2016

FINALLY - 2016 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon race report

A couple of weeks ago we ran the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon. Another year, another new course... but I actually really liked it. But I am getting ahead of myself again...

On Friday I worked the Brooks booth at the expo. Sadly, I think this will be my only Brooks expo this year. 

welcome to Run Happy Island!
My job was simply to keep the line for our Run Signature gait analysis under control... that and to praise the amazing Run Happy Island cooler bag. No, really, this bag will change your summer!

Met Wil at the expo (he needed to pick up his bib, too), and then we took advantage of being in Sodo in the early afternoon to make a quick stop at The Bar Shoppe for Seattle's finest Pisco Sour.

cocktails at The Bar Shoppe
This year the race started at the Seattle Center and ended next to Qwest Field.  Most years we drive downtown, but we figured we would end up busing from the finish to the start, so we might as well just bus to the start, too. A lot of people had this same idea, which meant we got to enjoy RUNNERBUS! (Seriously, I love a city bus full of runners.)

2016 Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon course map
The rain was coming down pretty heavily first thing in the morning, and it looked like we might be in for a wet one. So we wore our Gore-Tex jackets since we knew today would be a long, slow day.  Happily the rain pretty much held off, so we ended up just tying them around our waists during the run. 

Got to the Seattle Center and realized we had NO IDEA just where exactly the start was. Of course, it wasn't too hard to spot!!

As we moved toward the start corrals, we heard an announcement that the start was being delayed by fifteen minutes. Apparently the parking and shuttles were a bit of a nightmare...

But we got into our corral, took a couple of pics, and eventually got to the start. 

Raceface = duckface. 

The start was in a different spot this year, so we were lined up on "the hill" where traditionally the Torchlight Run starts and finishes. Looking back up the hill: 

Finally! The start!

This year's course still included the Viaduct, but this year it was at the start of the race. We ran a little loop to get into th tunnel, and then out onto the top deck, possibly for the last time ever. So sad. As a result, I needed to take this panorama:

And is this possibly the last #viaductselfie we ever get to take?


It was over all too soon, and we made our way through the International District and out along Rainier Avenue South. Really cute: a mariachi band playing on the pedestrian overpass:

On and on we trotted, eventually turning toward the lake. Quick shot of my two favorite running dudes:

my two favorite dudes

Nice to see the Dude looking great on the course, as usual. Overheard a couple of runners say "Oh, cool!" when they saw him. Seriously the best on-course arch in the racing world. 

the Dude abides!

By the time we got to the lake I was flagging pretty hard. We seemed to again be in that weird lull between bands on stages -- either that of there was way less music than usual. 

Also, the water stops were really badly organized. I think the low point was just before the Dude where there was a table with a bunch of Gleukos chews strewn across it. Now, I'm really not a germophobe, but that grossed me out. Probably not the activation the brand was hoping for...

Ran through the tunnel and the interminable ramps... I'm not sure, but is it possible there were no bands and no water stops this entire stretch? Or maybe I was just really struggling. 

As we came off the ramp -- so glad not to have to run back to Seattle Center! -- I glimpsed the Elvis impersonator and wondered why he was weirdly off to one side. Shame. 

A little squiggling around the stadiums, including a funny corkscrew to get up and over the train tracks. It seemed a little cruel, but of course the Hash House Harriers were there to perk is up with little paper cups of beer. God bless the Hash House Harriers!

Sip of beer imbibed, we ran down the last hill and around the final turn to the finish chutes. No shout outs, but at least we were done. 

why, yes, that *is* a gore-tex jacket wrapped around my waist

so happy to be done!

I had a really hard time this year -- I was seriously undertrained and still recovering from being sick. But I got to the start  AND the finish, and that's what counts, right?

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