The last destination race I ran was at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas half marathon, which is definitely a tough act to follow. Fortunately, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle half marathon was just as much fun, although a little different when it came to pre and post-race activities. Most people have enough trouble as it is to fit in some type of workout when traveling, having to run a half marathon is a whole other issue. But I knew I would be able to run it around my average time. The plan was to spend the day in Vancouver and then drive back to Seattle the night before the race. Unfortunately, there was a huge line at the Canada/US border so I didn’t get into Seattle until very late at night. I ended up only get about 3 hours of sleep before the race! Despite that, I was still able to run a pretty decent time. Results: 1:37 (7:24 min/mile), 36/540 age group, 197/4125 males, 234/11071 overall. What was even more impressive was my splits throughout the race: 5K, 23:59 (7:44 min/mile), 10K, 47:06 (7:35 min/mile), 10 mi, 1:15 (7:30). So I was able to run negative splits throughout the race and because of that, was able to pick up the pace later on in the race and have a strong finish.
I liked the course, although there were a lot more hills than I expected there to be. There wasn’t any specific hill that was very difficult, just random rolling hills throughout. The start was great because it was right inside Seattle Center, where the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, and International Fountain were located. What was even cooler was that they had fireworks at the top of the Space Needle so they used that as the starting gun for the race! The race took us through most of the popular sights of Seattle including Pike Place, the Waterfront, near their sports arenas, along Lake Washington, even through a tunnel that was at least a mile long.
A very special part of the race was dedicated to all of the fallen soldiers that have dedicated their lives to protecting our freedom. I felt honored to be able to run through all of the flags, signs and supporters along that particular part of the course. I found a photo of what it looked like to run through it. Learn more about the Wear Blue to Remember group here.
Before the whole border incident, I was thinking about how hard I wanted to run this race. I was deciding between 1:35 and 1:40. 1:35 would have been very hard to do, although I had just run that same time about a month prior. But I probably would have been too tired after the race to enjoy the rest of my vacation in Seattle. So I opted to run with the 1:40 pace group for at least half of the race and then see how I felt at that point. We ran under the 7:38 pace for about 8-9 miles, the tunnel was around mile 9, so I’m not really sure how fast that split was. But it was during the tunnel where I seemed to pick up the pace and left the pace group. I remember the last time I tried to do that, the pace group ended up catching back up to me and eventually passing me. But since this was a slower group, that didn’t happen this time around. The last 4 miles were 7:03, 6:44, 6:58 and 6:10. I remember being gassed by the final stretch of the race, which isn’t surprising now looking at my last mile! I was able to make one more push to the finish line (I think because I was trying to prevent one person from passing me..) It was a hard run, but I was able to recover quick enough to not be exhausted for the rest of the trip.
Check out some photos from the race.