Race: Lake Sammamish Half Marathon – http://www.lakesammamishhalf.com/

Runner: Dan S

Date: 3/5/2016

Results: 1:29.10

Location: Starts at Redmond Town Center and finishes at Lake Sammamish State Park

3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most

  1. This race was well managed (registration, packet pick-up, results posting, etc.) and supported (plenty of aid stations, most pretty well staffed)
  2. The course was flat and straightforward
  3. The race was logistically “easy” (proximate to Seattle, parking near the start, not crazy lines for bathrooms at the start)

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

I really have no glaring complaints about this event.  The course didn’t stand out as spectacular (e.g., awe-inspiring beautiful) or particularly engaging, but all told it was fine for what it was.

Weird factor – what’s the weirdest thing about this race

Nothing struck me as especially weird about the race.  The event was comparatively routine.

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

I met my time goal for this event.  I appreciated that fact.

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

This race is straightforward.  Once things thin out (very shortly after the start), the run is essentially a flat, straight shot on a dedicated trail in the neighborhoods on the eastern shore of Lake Sammamish.

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course

The course is not remarkable aesthetically.  There are some spots on the course where you can see Lake Sammamish.  Much of the course is on a trail through neighborhoods – homes and yards on either side of the trail.

Difficulty – is it a tough course

Not particularly.  The course is flat and mostly straight.

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

The event was comparatively well run.  Maybe not as well run as a big city “banner” marathon but it was clearly a professionally managed event and the organizers were by no means flying by the seat of their pants.

Competition – is there a strong field?

Comparatively.  I understand that this half marathon is a popular one in the area on account of the flat, “fast,” course.  There were also some fast runners out there for the event.

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.

No, no, and no.  Registration is pretty straightforward online.  I believe that a friend of mine registered within a week of the event – in 2016, this was not a “pay just to get in a lottery, nine months before the event, and hope for the best” race.

Aid Stations

The race was well supported.  One of the aid stations was not particularly well managed, but it is also possible that I caught that aid station at an “off” time in the morning.  There were enough aid stations that a fumble at one was not a catastrophic event.

Weather and typical race conditions –

Cool, with a mildish-breeze.  Sun towards the end of the race.  Of course, the event occurs in early March in Seattle so weather is a gamble.  The day following the race, there were strong winds and very cold rain. We got lucky in 2016 but that is no guarantee that the weather will not be miserable in other years.

Gear – did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

No.  This event is a comparatively routine, straight, flat half marathon.  No special gear was required in 2016.

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

Not really.  There are a couple of spots on the trail where I understand that spectators could stop, though I do not know that these spots were easy to access or that there were many of them.  The start was fine for support crew (plenty of parking), and the finish was accessible as well (Discovery Parking pass required, though).  In the middle… not a real spectator’s course.

Awards –

I do not know.  I wasn’t even close to awards territory.  I understand that awards were provided, though these awards were mementos, not cash.

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

If you are looking for a flat, straightforward, well managed, easy to access half marathon in the Seattle area and are willing to risk late winter weather in Seattle, yes I can recommend this event.