Race: B & O Half Marathon

Runner: Meg Gayman

Race Date: 07/20/2019

Location: Buckley, WA

Results: 1:25:34 (https://www.itsyourrace.com/Results.aspx?id=12247&y=2019&eid=86551&g=A&amin=0&amax=99)

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/2548903169

B&O half marathon race repot
Photo: Eileen Brady

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

There was a lot to like. My favorite aspects were that it’s

  1. Small race that’s well organized
  2. Downhill but not too steep, you lose 700′
  3. All proceeds go back to the trail system!

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

There wasn’t a bike lead. I think if this race gets much bigger it would be good to have to warn other trail users that there’s a race going on. I’m hoping participants listened to the race instructions to not run more than two-wide out there since the path is narrow in some places.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

They didn’t get top 3 ribbons printed, just age group! Just a funny little thing, I don’t care since I’d prefer not to win anything when the money goes back to the trails.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I had a really great run, I went out fast and hung on to the third-place male through the first 7 miles of the race. He got away from me and I settled into 4th place. I kept my position by staying focused and running brave. I worked to keep negative thoughts from creeping in and staying under 7 mins for the entire race.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Let it rip. This is a fast course, one where you can take chances on without much consequence. There’s next to no climbing with almost the whole thing being downhill. Bring water if you’re not used to running without much or if you have a lot of trouble with cups.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Does increase strength training count? I kept it together through the majority of the race, but it started getting tough at 8 and I felt the wheels falling off at 11, if I can increase strength just a bit I’ll be able to make it to 13 just a bit faster and more comfortably.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

There are some roots that they marked up within the first mile. Just need to be careful if it’s crowded through there.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

It’s so pretty! It’s on a footpath all the way through, so no gravel to deal with. It’s partially tree-covered and you go over a few nice bridges. There was even some cool breeze along the way in the shade! I’d do it again just for the beauty of it.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

It’s an easy course if you like smooth downhill running.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Totally well-oiled. Started right on time, had pacers who seemed to do their job well, and they had popsicles at the end!! A very nice touch.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

This year was better than in the past. I won it with a 1:25, second place female was 1:26, third was 1:30. I would like to get some speedier Seattle women to get out on this next year to give it a good field. There’s no prize or award ceremony, so if you’re going for the W don’t expect fanfare.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

It’s pretty far from Seattle, but it’s worth the drive on a nice day. It’s so wonderful to see Mount Rainer as you look back on the path when you’re done with the race.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

There are only 4 aid stations that are 2.5 miles apart from one another. If you need more you need to bring it yourself.

Weather and typical race conditions

The weather was perfect for 2019. Not too hot, not cold.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

My friend was able to see me at mile 6 and at the end, if a friend wants to ride a bike up the path and stop and cheer that would probably work, otherwise it’s pretty secluded.

How’s the Swag?

The metal is nice and the shirt is fine.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

4.5- almost perfect score, I have yet to come across a perfect race, but when I do, I’ll let you know. I’m definitely recommending it and hoping to get some more fast women to come out for it next year, it will work well as a fun and fast season opener for those training for fall marathons.

Meg Gayman is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about her or to work with Coach Meg, check out her coaching page.

B&O half marathon race report