[BEGIN BACKDATED RACE REPORT FOR JUNE 13, 2015:
Marathon #12 / Overall #17 / State #5 (Washington)
Race: Rock ‘n Roll Seattle Marathon
Location: Seattle, WA
The Rock ‘n Roll Seattle Marathon was a race that I had decided on doing upon completing the Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon on 5/3/15. I flew into Seattle on the evening of 6/11, and drove up to downtown for the expo on 6/12. I had actually gotten in contact with people from our ICOC church up there in Seattle. One of the brother (shown here) I met was Loka, who was in the singles ministry and an avid runner, and also in charge of a local pacing group. He wasn’t going to do the Rock ‘n Roll, but he was planning on doing the Light at the End of the Tunnel Marathon the next day (Sunday).
It was refreshing to finally see another disciple marathoner!
The expo was pretty big, and there were a good number of vendors who were present.
The afternoon and evening before the race – did a little sightseeing around the Space Needle area, including a couple of the museums in the area, and got some carb loading…
On the day of the race, temperatures were in the low to mid 50’s and the sky was bright sunny clear (unusual for Seattle, right??). I stayed at a place within walking distance (less than half a mile or so ) from the start. The start line corrals began to fill with runners as we all gathered beneath the space needle.
A group of the Maniacs got together for a picture right beneath the Space Needle… Apparently the Maniacs’s home base (including the Prez Steven Yee) is located in the Seattle-Tacoma area, so I guess this race had hit home ha…
The starting gun for the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon… fired from the Space Needle… how awesome was that!!
Traversing through downtown Seattle (where the monorail is) for the first few miles… There were some pretty good sized hills (both up and down) at the start within the first few miles!
As the course left downtown southward, we past by a number of historical iconic neighborhoods or just random cool little spots. Not sure if this part of town is supposed to be historical or ghetto… lol
Unlike many other races, the half and the full marathon course split and merged a few times. The first split was around mile 6, where the half marathoners started turning back and the full marathoners began making our journey down to Seward Park. As you can see, there were tons of trees and blue skies for us to enjoy while we’re at it…
Seward Park – this was a little indentation of the land into Lake Washington, and we ran right through it and turned around around mile 10…
On the turnaround route from Seward Park, the full and the half course eventually merged again around mile 12. It was interesting because (on the bottom left) although the course merged for a few miles, the half and full marathoners were urged to stay only on their respective sides (half: left; full: right). At this point the temperatures creeped up into the 60’s, but fortunately this northbound segment along the lake shores of Lake Washington had plenty of tree coverings. It was a little emotional when I passed by the memorial of those who have fallen while serving the US armed forces.
And the half and the full split once again… at our mile 14-15ish. But only the full gets cheese ballz!! LOL
And then the REAL fun begins… As we all entered the I-90 express lanes bridge (through an uphill ramp) on our journey towards Mercer Island…
The I-90 bridge and tunnel were quite the experience and was what made the Rock ‘n Roll Seattle Marathon apart from many other races!!
The only sucky part was… temps were starting to creep up into the high 60’s, and I could feel the sun BAKING down on us at the middle of the interstate…
About almost 2 miles later, we finally left the bridge (on an uphill slant…) and entered the I-90 tunnel at Mercer Island (one of the richest places in the US btw ha). The only sucky part was… the tunnels were cambered and there was NO flat parts anywhere to be found… So my hips started to bug me…
Leaving the I-90 tunnel, the express lanes became relatively flat again, but I can now feel the heat… The turnaround was in the middle of the express lanes…
Return from Mercer Island – that meant we got to go through the tunnel again!
What was cool about the tunnel – there was a band playing in there and even flashing some disco lights haha, and because of the tunnel you could hear it and even faintly see it from half a mile away…
…only to be roasted by the sun once more on the I-90 bridge!! OUCH…
Yay… Mile 20!!
Finally… there is relief from the sun as we made it back to Seattle and the I-90 express lanes merged under the I-90 main lanes, as we entered yet another tunnel!! This one la
sted about a mile or so.
Leaving the I-90 tunnel in Seattle, we eventually took an exit (lol…) towards Century Field (where the expo was the day before) and started heading back downtown. At this point the course merged with the half marathoners again (although 4 hours into the race start, there’s hardly anyone left but slow walkers lol).
Even though this was the same route that we came down, it looked foreign and new to me… but that’s good, bc that’s what makes things exciting lol.
Then, we made our way on State Hwy 99 and went by Pike Place market place (where THE original Starbucks was…)
The end is near, but wait… it’s not over yet… there’s yet one MORE tunnel – the Battery St. tunnel!
This one wasn’t as dramatic or exciting… nonetheless it always feels good to be out of the sun for a half mile or so (maybe not even that).
And here’s to the finish at the Seattle Center shortly after exiting the Battery St. tunnel…
This was a Maniac-filled race, and I ended up befriending several of the Maniacs on Facebook after socializing for quite a bit after the finish. Finished in 4:45 which is so-so, but considering that this is only a fun run (not a competitive PR-driven race), I was pretty happy!
What I appreciated about the RnR Seattle was that the marathon was on a Saturday. That meant the next day, Sunday, I was able to go to our sister church in west Seattle, fellowship, and grab dinner with them. I did a good amount of sightseeing after the marathon on Saturday (including walking around Pike Place, checking out a few museums, visiting the “gum wall”.. nasty lol, and going on that boat cruise in Puget Sound), met and hung out with Donnie (one of the brothers who lived on the west side of Seattle), and grabbed dinner at a Japanese place where they served sushi on a conveyor belt (that was so cool I had never seen anything like that before and was taking videos… the other disciples were probably like, “what a tourist”… lol)
-END OF BACKDATED RACE REPORT]
Today’s date: 3/31/17
This was a great marathon course experience AND a mini-vacation that I still remember vividly to this day, turn by turn – trees, bridges, tunnels, and downtown were the four things that I remember the most… and Maniacs of course!! After all, that’s the best part, right?
This was the first time in which I witnessed and experienced a strong bond in the Maniac community. It was like, if you see someone else with a Maniac shirt you can almost automatically start a conversation and befriend them as the ice is already broken haha. In many ways the Maniac community and support resembles the family of believers and disciples in the (greater) church – of those who belong to Christ.
Speaking of church, I thought I was just a visitor to the west Seattle ICOC church and simply going to service and met some people up there, cool… After all, I met one of Jason Riley’s close friends Danny (whose kids call him Mr. Flea.. LOL!!). But I guess some people appreciate being visited to a greater degree than I can imagine… At my goodbye party last December before I left for El Paso, Jason mentioned to me that to this day his friend Danny still talked about how I made the trip to visit them… many things that I do not see as a form of encouragement, some people do. One of the many plus’s about being part of the Kingdom.