I ran this last year and it was OK but I did not care for the course. Last year I tried to run fast and had a major meltdown. That probably affected my attitude about the race. I decided to come back and just have fun. I ran hard at NODM six days ago so I expect to have a slow one today. 4:45 sounds about right.
It is still a free race, with plenty of aid stations every 2.5 miles. It is point to point, so I drive to the finish at Alki Beach in West Seattle, and hope to find a ride to the start. Last year it was no problem. This year it takes a little longer, but I do get a lift.
Mostly sunny and it is going to get warm. Nice enough at the 8:30 start.
Start - Number 8 sharpied onto my arm (why waste money on race bibs?) and soon we are off on the paved trail along the river. I fall in with Maniac Jay who I had not met before. We talk most of the way to mile 5, then he gets ahead.
Mile 5-13.1 - Running with Micaela. We miss our friend Tracy who could not make it today. Running faster than I should. It started with Jay, and now Micaela, going at a very steady but unwise pace. I know that I am setting myself up for another epic blow up. But I feel really good. No aches and no soreness from the last race. I have been a step behind Micaela most of the way and trying to bring myself to go slower. Now very suddenly she starts walking (before an aid station) and tells me to keep going. I do continue running but am now able to slow the pace some. Micaela will finish just a few minutes behind me.
Mile 13.1 - 21 - Setting my own pace. Warming up but not too hot. I am pouring some water on my head and I am glad that I have a small hand held bottle. Remembering where I blew up last year and every step onward I feel happier that this is going better. Just a long ugly stretch of course and then the nice Alki beach front. First part of the ugly stretch is a long straight shot on the side of the highway. I can see an exit sign far ahead and decide to try to go that far with no walk breaks. I make it, no problem. I continue running and only walk a bit later when I need to take a gel. I have walked through the aid stations and walked while taking an S!Cap every 5 miles and gel every 7 miles. Past Pedro's Tire Shop. Now wait at a cross walk and then up the steepest hill on the course. I run most of it and it is not as bad as last year. The next couple of miles go really well. Other than the heat, I am doing fine. Catch early starters Tim and Wendy. Tim tries to get Wendy to run with me but she does not want to leave her Dad yet. Next I catch up to Joe and Nikki. They have their dog and are helping a friend to his first marathon. I would never pick this as a first marathon, but it is legit and he will get it done.
Mile 21 - 26.2 - Another wait at a crosswalk. Wendy catches up to me. She decided to do some running after all. We are about the same in marathon times recently, but since she took the early start and has been walking with her Dad she is much fresher than I am. But we run together for a long way. It is great company and I am surprised that we just talk and I am able to run all the way up the big hill and a good couple of miles without walking. We do have to stop forever at a traffic light. So what I expected to be miserable miles to the finish turn out to be most pleasant. Monte sighting. I decide to beat last years time of 4:24 and it looks like it will be no problem. At about 24.5 I decide to walk a bit and she continues on. It is a beautiful day along the waterfront, lots of people out, but no one gets in the way of our race. I can see far ahead to the finish and make it without any problems. So happy to have no pains or super low energy events. Since I felt good, and had company most of the way, I did not mind the ugly course as much as I had last year. I actually feel like I could come back and run this one again. 26.19 on the GPS
63rd place of 168
Race#328, marathon or ultra#112, Green River Marathon#2, 100th marathon in Washington State