Monday, June 29, 2009

Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon 2009

Let me just say that this is the first Rock n Roll Marathon I've ever run. I had fun, enjoyed the course, the runners, the bands, the cheerleaders, and the great organization efforts put out by the race and it's many volunteers. We had wonderful weather with morning start temp around 50 degrees F and 75 degrees by the finish. There was a wonderful cool breeze off the water that was enjoyed by all.

As you can see by the picture above the crowd was huge(click on the photo to see the masses). The race had 25,000 signed up. Of that 25,000, 5,618 Marathon runners crossed the finish line. The balance either dropped from the marathon or ran the Half Marathon. The Half Marathon is so big I don't know why they give "Marathon" top billing. Portions of the course were shared in the first half of the marathon course with the half marathon runners and walkers. This led to a few navigational issues avoiding slower runners and walkers who had provided unrealistic finishing times upon application and were placed in the front corrals. I imagine this will always be a problem at these Rock n Roll races since they don't require any sort of qualifying time. Michelle was in corral 28 and it took her 48 minutes to reach the starting line.

This was not the largest marathon I have ever participated in since Boston at 30,000 and Marine Corps at 30,000 are both marathon only. It was the largest half marathon I've ever been at. A contingent of Puyallup runners carpooled with Cat including George, Michelle, Lorrie, and myself.
These half marathon runners added some color to the crowd!
Marathon after separating from the half marathon crowd heads north on the viaduct. Port of Seattle in the background.
Obligatory photo of one of the 24 or so bands along the course. The overall quality of the bands was GR7 with a mixture of really good to really bad.
Several Marathon Maniacs from across the country participated in this event.
I took an asphalt dive when I was running through the Battery Street Tunnel. A metal ring about 12 inches in diameter from a lost hubcap was laying on the sidewalk in the tunnel. I stepped on the edge of the ring with my left foot flipping it up in perfect synchronization with my right foot coming forward. The result was I had the ring around both ankles and I took a quick and unexpected dive. The tunnel is so dirty from car exhaust and dirt that I slid like I was going face first into second base. Managed to only get a scrape on my left elbow and knee. Good thing I have rock hard abs to slide on. First person to me asked if I was OK. Second person told me I should sue the city of Seattle. America... love it or sue them and make a bunch of money! Shortly after at mile 19 Laura Houston saved the day with a refreshing shot of beer for me.
Here's a picture of Michelle at mile 26. Mr. grouchy pants motorcycle cop in the background nearly cuffed me about 5 min. before. Seems they didn't want any runners going back out on the course. Since I very often run out to meet Michelle and run her in at races I called her and found that she was nearing mile 25. I headed up the ramp behind her only to be called back by the officer. He told me I couldn't go out to meet her. I gave him the old "oh come on" which didn't go over very well. I decided to go find another access point but based on Michelle's position I was not going to be able to go anywhere else. I went back up to the officer and asked him what Seattle law I would be breaking if I went against his wishes and ran out to meet her. He told me he would arrest me for trespassing. I replied that I didn't believe he could arrest me for trespass on a closed public roadway. He then told me that not only would he get me for trespass but also harassment should I proceed past that point. You don't know how bad I wanted to just start running up that ramp. I can see not having folks going up the ramp when the masses were coming in but let's face it the crowd had thinned. All the while Team in Training coaches were running up the ramp and running back down with their runners. Kinda like I was going to do. OK I've vented.

Results: 3:45:06 on mostly concrete. Course was moderate difficulty

Thanks to Larry for driving the gang from Puyallup to the starting line and meeting us at the finish.

Next race on the agenda is the Plain 100 Mile Endurance Run in September. I may run White River 50 Mile but my focus will be on preparing for Plain. The training runs should provide for some good pictures and blog postings.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Running in the Pacific Northwest

Not a lot of racing activity for me lately so I've been out running the trails of the PNW and getting some good training in with 60-75 mile weeks. Here's some photos from last weekend and yesterday:
Rob Hester up at the Bullitt fireplace on Squak Mt. We started our 21 mile run at 5:00AM and were able to go socialize with the folks running the Lake Youngs Ultra after our run.
Abi hanging with Terry at the finish of the Lake Youngs Ultra (LYU)
Jenny Appel who finished overall winner in the Rainier to Ruston 50 mile ultra the previous week still smiling after LYU.
Karen Wiggins trying not to tighten up too much.
OK, let the kids back into the pool now girls!
Frankie the Y-Run Club mascot
Bob Stoyles finishing with an entourage of supporters: L2R Abi, Linda, Bob, Steve
Stream crossing PCT Craig Hanela. Michelle and I will be marking a section of trail for the 20th Century 100K race this coming weekend. Last night Craig, Michael, and me scouted a section to see how the water and snow levels were. Looks great!
Rope section on really steep section we ran last night. We finished the run in the dark. Pictured: Michael Cartwright
Michael Cartwright crossing washed out section of Iron Horse Trail.

OK that's it for now! Time for me to catch up on your blogs!

Run like the wind!