Race: Mercer Island Half Marathon – http://mercerislandhalf.com/

Runner: Jael A

Date: 3/20/2016

Results – 1:56:11 PR

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

The course runs around Mercer island so there is a nice view most of the way along the course.  The course wasn’t too crowded and as most of the two way road was closed off to traffic, it was quiet with occasional people cheering for their friends/family along the way. I completed my first sub 2 hour half marathon ????

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

I’m not a big fan of hills at the end of the race, there was a pretty big hill after mile 11 and then a smaller one right before the finish.  It just made the course more challenging for me which isn’t a bad thing.

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

I had to go to the airport right after the race to fly to the east coast….that was weird, or just plain crazy.

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

I ran much faster than I thought I would.  This is my first half marathon other than the Big Sur Half Marathon so I was a bit unsure of how I would run given I was unfamiliar with the course.

I liked the new scenery, the weather (only a bit of rain at the end, and no wind!), and the course was overall good (except for the hill I have mentioned many times at mile 11….).   It was nice having a crew of people running the race and others cheering on the team as they finished the race.

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

Study the course prior to the race to prepare yourself for the hills.  I didn’t study the map so the course was a bit of a surprise along the way.

Aesthetics – is it a pretty course

Pretty course along the road that runs around the outer edge of the island.  Trees and nice views.

Difficulty – is it a tough course

I didn’t find the course too difficult until the hill just after mile 11.  Definitely took some motivation to make it up that hill.

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

Organized and well run.  The parking was easy to find and in walking distance to the start of the race.

Competition – is there a strong field?

Appeared to be many competitors as they passed me during the race ????

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.

I registered a week or so before the race and didn’t have any problems.  I picked up my bib the day before the race and they seemed pretty flexible if you needed to change anything.  Parking was easy to find and walking distance to the start/finish line.

Aid Stations

Water, electrolyte and clif shot stations along the course.  I didn’t stop for any but many people were happy to have the stations there.  They made sure to communicate that the electrolyte was at the first table and the water was second for people who had a preference.

Weather and typical race conditions –

Weather was cloudy with a bit of a rain sprinkle for the last 2 miles.  In my opinion perfect as I prefer to run when it’s a bit cooler weather.

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

If it was a sunny day, I would recommend sunglasses.

Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends

Yes, my mom watched the race and she found the event and a place to watch at the finish line without any issues.

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

5 stars.  I enjoyed this race and think others would enjoy it as well.