Race: The Rain Run

Runner: Rohit E

Date: 01/20/2018

Location: Redmond, WA (Sammamish trail)

Results: 1:59:18.9

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1366749839

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

  1. The size of the race: Limited to 700-750, this makes for a much less stressful morning. No rush for porta-potties, you don’t have to stand out in the cold for ages, easy to pick up your bib quickly, and fewer people to jostle with on the trail.
  2. The location / start: Marymoor Park has tons of parking, so it was easy to manage on the race morning. I got there earlier than I needed to in retrospect, but I ended up parking 100-150 ft from the start line.
  3. The start time: 9 am. Seriously, I don’t want to get up at 4 am for your damn 7 am race.

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

Aid stations: Nit picking a bit, but the water cups at the aid stations had barely any water in them (about a third full), so I didn’t get enough water. By the third station, I start taking two cups. Seems wasteful. Also, it’d be nice if there were more aid stations, and to have solid food. Gels are ok, but I had to carry a Cliff bar with me. Also this wasn’t really documented on the site, and the folks at bib pickup didn’t know what was at the aid stations (not great), so I couldn’t plan in advance.

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

  1. Sleep: I’ve been going to bed early and waking up early for the last few weeks, so I got a solid 7.5 – 8 hours of sleep before the race. Combined with the 9 am start, this had me feeling much more rested than I usually am before a race.
  2. Pacing: My pace was very consistent throughout the race, and I mostly ran negative splits as well.
  3. Start position: I started all the way at the back, and while this usually doesn’t work well for me, it worked really well for me on this race. The trail is wide so it’s easy to pass people. Focusing on someone that’s 100 ft ahead and then “pulling them in” kept me motivated throughout the race and probably running faster than I would have without targets to aim for.

Lessons Learned – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner or yourself on the next time around

I think I might have missed a pre-race announcement that told people to run on the right side of the trail (most people seemed to be doing this). The trail is wide, so there is definitely something to be gained from hitting the tangents of curves rather than staying on one side. The trail is shared with bikers though, so watch out for those.

I dressed slightly too warmly for this race. I had a thin base layer on and a warmer top over that. I could have done with just the warmer top. I gambled on not wearing a water-proof / water-resistant jacket, and lucked out there. The weather report the previous day showed 60% rain likely, but on the morning of the race, it looked to be below 10%.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

The trail is wide, as noted above.
The trail is very flat, so a good race to set a PR.

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

It was mostly well run – I can’t complain too much. I think small races that have been going for a few years tend to run well. Minor things to be improved include the aid stations and documentation on the website.

Logistics – Anything special regarding getting to/from the race, hotels around the course, registration…?

Parking is pretty easy. Directions and signage from the race organizers weren’t the best, because it’s not obvious from Google Maps / Bing where “Parking Lot G” is. Also, the main parking areas were actually parking lots D, E, F (and presumably G, though I didn’t see a sign). But it wasn’t hard to just drive around a bit / follow other cars and figure it out.

Weather and typical race conditions

I would imagine there’s usually a high chance of rain, but I got lucky. It was cold (low to mid 40s) but dry. Pretty good race weather.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Not sure. I would think it would be, because the trail runs by city streets and you could easily pick points for spectators to meet and cheer / support the runner.

How’s the swag?

It’s a medal that’s shaped like a cloud and a raindrop. I guess some people are into that.

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

4.5/5 stars.

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