Monday, June 3, 2013
6/1/13 Green River Marathon
May is the month that I always run Tacoma and Capital City marathons. For April and June I seem to be finding different races each year. Today finds me running from Kent to Alki Beach in Seattle, mostly along the Green River. 17th annual event and my first time here. I know that it will be urban, with lots of turns and some major street crossings. I have heard that some runners have taken wrong turns in previous years, and I do not want to be one of them. I have printed out the directions and have them in my pocket just in case. Here is a portion, from mile 15.5 to mile 19.0:
Runners continue on path until it runs out. Continue North on "the access road" to 14th Avenue Bridge. Runners continue to the right (East) to the first stop light, Henderson Street. Turn left. Runners will go up a short steep hill and then go down hill. You will see a pedestrian bridge (DO NOT TAKE THE BRIDGE). Stay to the left and GO UNDER THE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE on the bike path. The path will end shortly. Stay to the left. Continue on road (8th Avenue). Run straight through the next light. Follow all 'Arterial Turns' road signs. These are the main roads. Signs will say Arterial Turns, left (on Kenyon), right (on 5th), left (on Holdon), and then turn right at stoplight.
The good news is that the course is very well marked with orange painted arrows. Other great things about this race are 1) It is free. I make a small donation to help with costs 2) It is a low key mostly Marathon Maniac event. There are a couple of first timers here though. Small race with plenty of parking and easy logistics for a point to point course.
I park at the finish and hitch a ride with Maniac Jason. A relaxed hour wait for the start. A little cool but it will warm up as soon as we start running. Some aid stations are a little spaced out, so I will carry a water bottle.
Start to Mile 8 - Running too fast and I know it. I planned to go a little quicker than recently, just to test what kind of shape I am in. 9/mile would be good, but I am cruising along at 8:45/mile. Long sleeve shirt came off at mile 2 and it is warm now. Shade is nice. Mostly a paved trail along the Green River. The riparian zone is in awful shape. The river is levied with a wall of blackberries on either side. Sometimes there is poison hemlock or reed canary grass to compete with the blackberries. The other side of the trail is bordered by industrial centers. Not scenic, but an urban greenbelt I suppose.
Mile 9 - Mel Preedy sighting.
Mile 15 - Been running off and on with 4 others. Nice company and I am still on that fast pace. Starting to feel confident that I may have a good race.
Mile 16 - And just like that I start to tire. It gets tougher to maintain. Plus the course has gotten uglier. We are on the side of some road with cars coming at us from behind and a narrow shoulder. It is a long straight way and I am glad to get off it.
Mile 17 - That short but steep hill and now things really fall apart. Oh, so tired. I have to walk a lot.
Mile 18-22 - Misery. Lots of walk breaks and super slow "running". Ugliest course ever. Shipping containers, train crossings, giant pile of 55 gallon drums, cracked sidewalk, broken glass, big trucks. Seems like everyone is struggling too. Not many passing me, and I do have the early starters to catch up to. Serious low point.
Mile 22-26.2 - Things get better when Maniac Ted passes me and then Maniac Mike catches me too. Somehow I get my energy back. I am able to run much farther without a walk break. I catch back up to Mike and we run off and on together to the end. It is a nice day at Alki Beach with lots of people out, that I must dodge. This slow running with some breaks is more of what I am used to doing late in marathons. Compared to the previous miles, I feel great. Happy to see the finish though and be done.
With so many June options, I probably won't be back for this one again soon. But I did have a mostly enjoyable day.
Results have me at 75th of 167 but some listed ahead of me took the early start so I may move up when that is sorted out.
Marathon or ultra#97