Fifth year of this event and my fourth time here. Logistics are easier this year with a start and finish at the Seattle Center a "short" walk from the condo. Jared is running the half and by luck we are assigned to the same corral. Corral #10 of 42. I am pleasantly surprised with my bib number.
Start - No trouble getting there. We line up in time and wait as the corral fills up. 7AM start but with the slow wave starts it is 7:15 before we get moving. Many corral jumpers. Runners and walkers with much higher corral assignments are ahead of us and I will have to dodge around them.
Mile 0.5 - Jared is going off way too fast. I had wanted to keep up with him, but it just does not seem wise at this point. We could have run together until the courses split at mile 6, but I let him go now. Not much I can do about it really and it is fine. Now I realize that although all 4 lanes of 5th avenue are closed, we are all squeezed into two lanes. I move under the monorail track and over to the empty lanes. Free to run as I wish for the next mile. I settle into a nice 9 minute mile.
Mile 6 - The bands are good, but it is such a short time that I can hear them. Fun turn to a downhill and a run under the giant dude. Now we split off from the half and it gets distinctly quieter. Over 12,000 in the half and under 3,000 in the full. Nice run along Lake Washington. Amazing view of Mount Rainier.
Mile 10 - Holding a steady pace and feeling good. Catch up to Maniac Mike S and we run together for the next five miles. Pleasant conversation. Warm but not too hot.
Mile 15 - Up the steep hill to the Interstate 90 bridge over Lake Washington. I leave Mike behind and continue on at my steady pace. This is a very long out and back, much farther than at the November Seattle Marathon. I look forward to seeing friends and it is a treat to see Pedro, Ginger, Deb and Tracy who is also running her 98th marathon.
Mile 21 - In to the long tunnel and still holding that 8:59 pace. It is not as easy, but to make it this far at this speed, I am pleased. Just maybe I can beat 4 hours. I would be happy with anything under 4:15, after my bad run at the Green River Marathon. The tunnel is humid. My feet are starting to tire from all the concrete.
Mile 22.5 - Walk through an aid station at the end of the tunnel and I have a very hard time getting my legs moving again. Warmer, concrete, and heading up hill. There is a runner on the ground with two medics tending to him. He looks OK and is talking on a cell phone, but it is a strong message to me to not push it. The desire to beat 4 hours is just not enough to chance a DNF and trip to the hospital. Really I mostly feel good. Just my legs that are having trouble moving. No pains, no fuzzy headedness or nausea. But I am walking too much.
Mile 23 - At Safeco field. I know that it is a 20 minute walk to the condo and another 20 minutes to the Science Center, so it will be 40 minutes unless I get some running in. Shuffle downhill. Happy surprise to hear Debbie G shout for me. Run a little with a Maniac. Then walk a little more.
Mile 24 - Run slowly with Maniac Ryan, who ran 20 miles to get to the start line today. Then I can sense the finish and get some energy back. Follow a woman who is breaking a path for me and I encourage her to keep up the pace. We leap frog a little, but having her and Ryan and some guy with an amazing mohawk to try to keep up with gets me through to the finish. Strong crowd support the last bit.
Mile 26.2 - 26.34 on the GPS. There is a high entry fee for this race, but they do take care of you at the finish. Bottle of water, an ice cold wet towel, bottle of gatorade, fruit smoothie from Jamba Juice, recovery bar, fruit, bagels. Medal of course. Maniac #1 is there and gets a photo of me and Ryan. Also we get one with Patti, as we both have cool bib numbers. I find Jared and we hobble back to the condo.
Going in to today I had said that this would be my last Seattle Rock and Roll. But I really did enjoy it. There are so many June race options though. I will probably take a year or two off and run something else, but I would not mind coming back here again.
753rd of 2346
Marathon or Ultra #98