Race: Fort Ebey – Marathon

Runner: Jonathan G

Race Date: 02/23/2019

Location: Oak Harbor, WA

Results: 5:19:30 – 13th Male / 24th Overall

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

  1. Spectacular views from the bluff trail
  2. Great chance to rack up good vert without a single big climb (think lots of rolling hills)
  3. Good organization and great course markings

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

Lack of swag. Throw me a lousy pair of sunglasses or something a least, for the feel good factor.

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

The bluff trail is super exposed in places and there is little between you and falling several hundred feet…

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

This was little more than an early year, long, supported training run, so I went in with expectations to do just that and executed pretty well.

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

  • The aid stations are well spaced out and you don’t really need to carry anything.
  • The markings are excellent and despite having over 200 junctions and turns, there didn’t feel like a risk for getting lost
  • You will not get near a PR on this course, run it for funsies or training

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

  • Each loop is a half marathon. First 4-5 miles are pretty much either going up or down, virtually nothing flat. Lots of these climbs can be steep and gnarly and going can be slower.
  • The remaining 8ish miles of the loop have more running sections but still lots of up and down.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Most of the course is on pleasant enough single track. However, when you are close to or on the bluff it is incredibly beautiful with top-notch views across the Puget Sound.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Not really, but it sure as shit isn’t easy. The terrain is pretty smooth and can be negotiated easily, there are roots and rocks in places but it isn’t super technical. The challenges come from the near unbroken up and down which can take its toll.

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

Yeah, well organized, good aid stations and very well marked. They had it all together.

Weather and typical race conditions

  • This was an area of concern coming out of the snowpocalypse we witnessed in recent weeks. However, the course was completely snow-free and not too wet or muddy either.
  • Conditions were actually really very good.

How’s the Swag?

There is no swag. Bummer.

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

Solid 3/5. Isn’t going to blow your socks off but hitting all the bases.