Race: Mercer Island Half Marathon

Runner: Dave S

Date: 3/20/2016

Results – 1:21:53, 8th overall, 3rd Masters

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

Weather – This was my third time running the race and it’s been in the low 50’s each time

Community Center – I love being able to wait inside ahead of the race start

Views – The run around Mercer Island has some beautiful views running through winding streets in the trees and views of Lake Washington.

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

It’s hillier than you would expect, and there is a hill at the finish that is a killer. Overall about 600ft of gain. My time was a lot slower than I was shooting for, but with international travel leading up to the day before the race I didn’t have my hopes too high for a PR.

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

The island is shaped like a foot without toes, which is what they use as their logo (with toes added)

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

I was happy to pass 1 person over the course of the race, and no one was able to pass me. It was a good fight with the person I passed, and I ended up holding him off with an all out kick at the end.

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

Respect the hills and don’t go out too fast. The race starts with a downhill and I think it’s easy to get in a rhythm early that is beyond you.

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course

Absolutely! One of the prettiest half marathons I’ve done!

Difficulty – is it a tough course

The hills make it tough.

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

It is well organized and well run. Plenty of aid stations and an organized packet pickup.

Competition – is there a strong field?

Typically it’s a pretty strong field.

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.

Nothing special here. You may have to search for parking, but as long as you show up 90 minutes before the start you should be good, and with a nice 9am start it isn’t tough to do that.

Aid Stations

More than enough.

Weather and typical race conditions –

Typically overcast and low 50’s, sometimes some light rain.

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

Nope

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

It’s a smaller race as far as spectators go, but there are some that seem to come out from their houses along the course.

Awards –

Medals 3 deep in each age group and overall. You pick them up from a tent and I didn’t notice any event to hand them out to the overall winners.

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

I’d give Mercer Island 4 out of 5 stars. The hills make it a tough race.