Lake Sammamish Half Marathon Race Report – Matt Hall

Race: Lake Sammamish Half

Runner: Matt Hall

Race Date: 03/04/2023

Location: Redmond, WA


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

  • Great Trail
  • Great Communication
  • Great Race Swag/Free Photos

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

First mile is narrow trail; got stuck behind slower people.

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

Part of route was under construction and detoured onto road (won’t be the case next year). In the last 2 miles there was a very sharp left hand turn through a puddle and mud.

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

Maintained target pace for full first half of race.
Was well rested/hydrated/fueled.

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

Start at the front of the pack if you plan on finishing sub 1:30.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Start a bit faster; I was running with a group for the first 4-5 miles but then they slowed down and I ended up in a big gap between runners

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

First mile is crowded but the rest of the course is very wide and open.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Very Pretty. Most of it is an old rail corridor and winding through parks

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Normally no, but the trail construction detour added a stupid big hill at mile 8.

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

Very well run. Orca puts on a good race.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Very Competitive; Multiple people finished sub 1:10. Too competitive for my taste 😆

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.

Race sold out so make sure you register at least a month in advance.

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

Aid Stations are cupless; basically useless. They had a few goos and snacks but I stuck with my hand waterbottle

Weather and typical race conditions

Weather was way worse than normal; 35 and raining 😭

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Lots of good spectating spots along the course but it is a point to point so you have to drive.

How’s the Swag?

Swag is great. Super comfortable t-shirts. Nice handcrafted medals.

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

9/10. Definitely plan on doing every year. If they can figure out the first mile clog with some heats or something I’d give it a 10/10..