This post is a long time coming. Sorry for the delay!
My alarm went off o-dark-thirty (also known as 4:30) and I started with my pre race rituals. You know how it goes… Get dressed in a complete and total daze, then get redressed because your shirt is on backwards, eat oatmeal, gag on said oatmeal, etc. Before I knew it, it was time to head to the race start.
Somehow, I talked hubs into driving me there. It was PERFECTION. We hit absolutely zero traffic and he dropped me off about a block from the start. Can’t get better than that! I had some time before the blogger picture, so I decided to break in the porta johns before the lines got long. Luckily for me, I got to break in a brand new one. Yep… No vomit inducing smell here!
After, I headed to corral 7 to meet up with the other bloggers.
Some of my favs… Adrian, TriGirl, Me, Rebecca.
Gloomy morning, but no rain!!
I ran into a bunch of my Ragnar teammates! Of course, we had to pose for a pic. Team Nuun Kids on the Block all the way!
[Picture shamelessly stolen from Holly. L to R: Me, Tasha, Holly, Lauren, and Alanna]
All of the bloggers showed up, so we took one huge group shot and then headed to our corrals.
Rebecca, TriGirl, Adrian, Ann Marie and I decided to start in the same corral even though I am approximately one bajillion times slower than them.
[Panoramic view of the race start!]
Before I knew it, it was time to take off. I had only one goal for this race: have a freaking blast! I didn’t want to focus on time at all. I wanted to feel like I could stop and take pictures if I wanted to, take in the scenery if I wanted to, etc. Since my garmin wasn’t working right for the first couple miles (since we were in the heart of downtown surrounded by huge buildings) it really forced me to run by feel. A little after mile 1, I pulled back and my bloggy friends kept on chugging along.
I took my first little walk break around mile 4. I stripped off my arm sleeves, tied them to my fuel belt, and took a couple sport beans. Then I kept chugging along.
This part of the course was slightly boring. We ran down Rainier Ave which is kinda run down. Soon, we made a turn towards mile 5 where I noticed TONS of people walking. Why would tons of people walk during a race? Oh, because they expected us to run up a mountain, that’s why! Steepest uphill and downhill ever. The downhill was kind of scary!
Then we headed towards lake Washington. This is where the course started to come alive.
The views of Lake Washington were unbelievable. Just like the Seattle Half Marathon, they had a whole section full of people holding American flags. Gets me every time. I tried to snap a picture of it, but it just doesn’t do it justice.
Next up was the I-90 tunnel. I had heard a lot of complaints about running through the tunnel, but it didn’t really bother me. It was a big steamy schwety mess, but other than that, it was kinda cool.
Before I knew it, we were coming up on mile 9.
From the mile 9 marker, we could see views of downtown Seattle and the stadiums. In true “taking my time and enjoying the race” fashion, I stopped and snagged some pics.
At this point, my legs were slightly tired but they weren’t nearly bad as I was expecting given the number of hills we had climbed. Next we ran right by the stadiums and then hopped onto the on ramp of the 99. The views of the Puget Sound were GORGEOUS, so I stopped and snapped some more pics.
Then, right around the mile 11 marker, I noticed a marathoner down (at their mile 24). There was a man helping him, but since most runners don’t carry phones on them but I do, I immediately pulled over to help. The poor guy only had 1 gel and 0 water up to that point in his race. I don’t know what he was thinking. I immediately gave him the rest of my Nuun to help hydrate him and we got a hold of the EMTs. It was pretty scary because when I first got there, the guy was able to tell us his name and age, but by the time the EMTs got there, he couldn’t. Because he couldn’t, the EMTs looked at the back of his bib for his info. I never fill out the info on the back of my bib, but I COMPLETELY understand the importance of it now. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS fill out the info people!!! I will from now on!
10-15 minutes after I pulled over, he was in good hands, so I continued finishing my race. Some old school jams came on my ipod and REALLY helped me to kick it up a notch to the finish. P.S. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put a HUGE ass hill at the very end of the race needs to be kicked in their shins. That was brutal!
I ended up finishing the race in 2:56. If I wouldn’t have stopped to help the runner, there is a good chance I would have gotten a PR even with all the stopping I did to take pictures. Oh well. It was worth it, and I would stop again in a heartbeat. After all, we are all in this together.
After the race, I met up with more bloggy friends. They all KILLED their runs. Amazing job ladies!
Overall, I absolutely LOVED this course. It was seriously gorgeous. The only boring part was running down Rainier Ave, but since it was at the beginning of the race, I didn’t really care. I will absolutely be doing this race again. There are definitely some big hills, but there are also some good downhills to make up for it. Highly recommend!!!