Monday, July 11, 2016

Race Recap: Rock 'n Roll Seattle Half Marathon

I can't believe Seattle was almost two weeks ago. After playing all day in the city on Friday, we grabbed food on the way back from the Space Needle, chowed down and got ready for the morning. With the forecast of rain still lingering, we were totally uncertain about what to pack for the morning! Long sleeves? Jacket? Shorts? Gah! Stupid crazy weather. 

I set out my tank and shorts and had my running jacket packed just in case, but lo and behold when we woke up in the morning and headed out - no rain! It had clearly poured that night, but it seemed to have all gotten out of its system by the time we woke up at 5:30. It was almost humid outside - 50-something degrees, but it felt warmer than that, so I had zero complaints. I walked to the start in my jacket, just in case.

A few of us rocked our rainbows to #StandwithOrlando.
We decided to walk the mile up to the Space Needle and found ourselves very quickly in the throes of all the other runners getting ready. We walked over to the start line and played around with photos and shenanigans before we decided to find our way to Solutions to grab my VIP bracelet. We caught one of the staff members and asked when the wheelchair start was, as I'd never seen the start line that empty, save for the four wheelchair athletes starting to line up. He told us the start was delayed until 7:15 (it was about 6:35 at this point) due to traffic.

Yes, that's Libby in a onesie. Loved it.
Hearing that, we headed back towards the Seattle Center to find Solutions and get my wristband for a little post-race action. After hopping in the longest Solutions line ever (downside to a Saturday morning race, I think, is that a Thursday-Friday expo is hard for folks to get to sometimes), I learned I could just check in at VIP after the race and get squared away up there. Woot. We headed back toward the start line so we could catch the wheelchair start.

Apparently Seattle is one of RnR's largest events, as it offers an 8K, half and full. With 40-something corrals, you could tell it is certainly huge! Tons of people not following their corrals and jumping wherever - though I was assigned 13, I ditched my jacket with Lindsay and figured I'd take the risk and see how weather turned out. I headed back to 16 to hang out with Libby and try and find Briana in the midst of it. No such luck, but we were in the middle of 16 at that point and decided just to hang.

Libby and I got started and contemplated the idea of her running a PR that day. She wasn't sure, but she had a 2:21 to beat and maybe - just maybe - this could be the place to do it. My only goals for the race were to enjoy it, take it all in, and just have a better day than I had at San Diego. Easy goals, right? We caught up with Briana and Andrew about a mile and a half in, and ran with them for a bit and then carried on!

I LOVED getting to run through the sights of Seattle - it made me wish I had stayed an extra day to play in the city and take it all in, but such is life! We had a little fun as we ran through Pioneer Square, by the cruise ship terminals and down and around CenturyLink in the background. A 10K split PR for Libby, and we were on to good things! Boom! Libby split for a restroom stop and I carried on, trying to keep steady so she could catch me. I found this guy about mile 8:

Andrew and Briana caught up to me about there, and I continued with them through the last tunnels and back into the city. About mile 10, we caught up with one of the wheelchair athlete who was going backwards up the last incline - can you say inspiration? My legs were tired, but certainly not any more tired than his arms. I fought harder just to be sure I really tired myself out by the end.

It got really humid inside the tunnel - certainly mostly thanks to all of us sweaty folks - but also for the impending rain outside. When we came out of the tunnel, it started to mist... and then rain a little harder. Never a full on rain, but at mile 12, it was a nice little repreive from the humidity and the rain just teasing us. At that point, I actually really liked it. 

You come down up and over the offramp that leads back towards CenturyField and SafeCo Field. It's a nice gradual downhill, just to climb a little bit up and around the stadium, which was a little cruel, but whatever. The rain started to come down just a little bit harder but actually felt pretty good - at least for a little while!

And just like that, that was it! My goal of just having a better day than San Diego was more than achieved, and my 2:17 finish was pretty on point with how I felt. I walked when I wanted, enjoyed the course, took photos and had a great day. Zero complaints. I will note that I think this new course is totally worth of a PR kind of day - a few gradual inclines but more than enough decline to make up for it. Fast and flat otherwise and a beautiful one, to boot! 

Overall, I loved this race. The course is definitely quieter than San Diego, but that's not a fair comparison by any means! Gorgeous scenery, a fun run through a new state for this girl and I have zero complaints overall. I am glad the rain didn't totally pull through and the mist at the end was just enough to cool me off and feel nice (again, for a little bit). 

I was lucky to have access to the VIP area, but more on that soon in an upcoming post!

Where will I see you rock this year?

Want to rock with me at an upcoming race? Use code RUNMEGANRUN to save!

Disclosure: I am a member of Rock 'n Blog and was given a 2016 Global Tour Pass from the folks at Rock 'n Roll and Competitor. The opinions expressed herein are my own and represent my experience at the race and over the weekend as a whole. Otherwise, no compensation was given for this review. 

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