See my preparations & course map here or Part 2 (coming soon). I’ll start out my Washington State and Tahoe trip review by getting right into the main reason I went- to run another Rock n Roll Marathon. The race was on a Saturday and started at 7 AM in the suburb south of the city called Tukwila. My uncle was kind enough to drive me up there, sit for about 30 minutes as we snaked closer to the runner drop-off area and the drop me off. The offered shuttles from the downtown area and the light rail made a stop somewhere near Tukwila, but I think you probably still had to walk.
I started out in corral 24 and was glad to have a long sleeve t-shirt most of the morning to keep me warm. It was about 30 minutes after the official start gun when I shoved the last bit of PB&J sandwich in my mouth and started my race.
The first few miles were pretty typical freeway side streets- wide, fairly flat, surrounded by green. As usual, lots of bands the first few miles and then we were quickly onto the freeway.
Running towards Lake Washington, we ran through some fairly scenic neighborhoods. We had the Light Rail beside us for a while that occasionally provided a nice breeze, and there were a few nasty hills once we entered into the more residential part of town. I will add that the portapotty situation at this race was much better than San Diego or Nashville.
We were up on a ridge, that occasionally provided some nice views down the streets, but it was mostly really well manicured laws and hills for us to see.
Probably the nicest and most scenic part of the run IMO was along Lake Washington. It was flat, beautiful and a decent amount of spectators cheering people on.
The weather was mild and overcast most of the time & the miles passed quickly on this part of the course.
There was one group there called “Wear Blue to Remember” and they did a special salute to service members killed in action before the race and then we came across this stretch of the course where they had dozens of posters out with photos, names, and the rank of those killed. It was such an inspiring and heart-breaking challenge to run through here without crying- especially past all those flags, each with the name of one of the service members.
The pretty part ended around mile 9 and the marathoners split off to run out on the Lake Washington Bridge. Up a crazy steep hill and then a quick turn had the group significantly thinned and running out over the waters of Lake Washington.
I really didn’t mind this bridge at all- there was a slight hill at either end, but we could run right by the jersey barrier and had great views all around as we ran out a mile and then turned around to meet up with the half-marathoners again as we entered into a pretty long tunnel.
I knew about the other tunnel, but wasn’t expecting this one. It was nice to be out of the sun for a few minutes (on the bridge was really the only time it came out for the whole race), but it was very still/stuffy inside the tunnel. One cool thing is that waves of cheers pulsed through the tunnel and created an incredible energy with all the runners excited and happy. We emerged from the other end on a somewhat scenic freeway surrounded by lovely trees, a cool breeze, and some neat homes up above us.
Continuing on the freeway, there were some great view of downtown as we continued west near mile 13 and 14 we approached Safeco Field and Qwest Field.
We were downtown only briefly and there were lots of things to look at- especially some really nasty hills I was glad that we were not running.
We then ran down a VERY steep decline (I had to walk it to not fall forward) and then quickly up an equally steep ramp to get onto the Alaskan Way Viaduct where the full marathoners again split off and started their long trek north of the city for the rest of the race.
GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: Going to spend the day in the pool with H’s cousins and the puppies.