Race InfoLocation: Kent to Alki Beach, Washington
Date: Saturday, June 1, 2019
Distances: Marathon, Relay
Well this race came up fast! I first discovered it last year at North Olympic Discovery Marathon when another runner mentioned another marathon in just two days. Upon pressed for more, I found there was a race much closer than the distant Port Angeles!
I vowed to race it next year and waited to sign up. I also discovered (a bit too late) that the Race Director puts on another marathon in November, and two half marathons in January and February. Oh, did I mention the races are dirt cheap? The race director requests a donation of your choice and that's all you need to sign up. The sign up process was a bit foreign but it worked well. With so many races making you go through registration websites that will charge you an extra fee just to sign up, all you had to do for this one was email the race director with your necessary info and viola! You were set.
So I was quick to sign up, and show up race day morning with a later than usual marathon start time of 8:30am. (I considered that sleeping in on a weekend!) Check-in was easy and you exchanged your donation for your bib and headed to the start line.
In poor planning on my part, this marathon fell less than a week after I returned from backpacking through Scotland. So if spending the week readjusting to the Seattle timezone wasn't enough, I was also sore from lugging around a 40+ pound pack for 15-20 miles a day for 5 days, PLUS I picked up a painful sore throat, ear ache, and cold right before I left Scotland, which meant I had quite a rough week leading up to this race. I figured I'd just take it easy. I really didn't want to miss out on this race.
In retrospect, we probably should have done the early start. It seemed like most of the runners who finished in times over 5 hours started early, although I remember reading on the website that if you could finish under 6 hours you didn't have to do the early start.
For being a cheap, low frills race, the course had excellent markings to follow and plenty of aid stations. I've definitely paid $100 for a marathon and had less water stops than this race had. The aid stations were stocked with not only water and gatorade, but also some fruits, candy, and chips.
Part way through the race when I was at an aid station waiting for James to use the bathroom, I was chatting with a race volunteer who mentioned they were worried they wouldn't have enough water stops because volunteers were bailing last minute. I wouldn't have noticed given the great number of stops. It was much appreciated on a hot day, especially when the clouds disappeared for the last 8 miles or so!
The course follows a couple of different sections of paved trails, with only two signficant road sections. One is about a mile or so of road on a road that has a small shoulder (I found it's a bit wider on the left, although the course follows the right side). The other is through South Seattle, one spot in particular is through a warehouse section with tons of gravel. The warehouse section is quiet on the weekend though, and I didn't feel like it was a problem running through it.
Finally, you finish through West Seattle where you have a beautiful view of the Seattle skyline, as well as the port and boats/kayaks at play.
Final Time: 5:27:34.40