Jenny D reviews the Seattle Marathon course and race. Check out her tips for Mile 23 below!
Race: Seattle Marathon
Runner: Jenny D
Race Date: 12/01/2019
Location: Seattle, WA
3 Bests – What aspects of the Seattle Marathon course did you like the most?
1) The finish line is in the middle of a stadium, so you feel like a champion as you’re closing it out
2) Bridges in Seattle provide some incredible views of the city
3) Started and ended in downtown Seattle, which was really convenient to get to and leave from
Not so much – What aspects of the Seattle Marathon course didn’t do it for you?
My watch tracked 918 feet of elevation gain during the course, and a good portion of that came at mile 23!
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about the Seattle Marathon?
There are a couple of squirrely turnarounds late in the race to make sure folks hit the right distance.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
I was particularly proud of pacing evenly on this run, and not going out too hot. Everyone on the marathon course was encouraging, and a couple of run clubs made sure to high five every person running by.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the Seattle Marathon to help the next runner
Mile 23 is not a drill!! Right when you feel like you’re close to the end, you have to head up a steep hill, which you think is leveling out… but then you have to go another mile or so up a bridge.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the Seattle Marathon?
If you’re able to run on the Burke-Gilman Trail ahead of the race, you can cover 50% of the course to have a better sense of when turns and hills are coming.
Aesthetics – Is the Seattle Marathon a pretty course?
Seattle is beautiful, and this course takes you to some pretty incredible vistas. Many of them are on bridges when you’re in the pain cave, but they are there!
Difficulty – Is the Seattle Marathon a tough course?
This is a bear of a course because of the elevation gain towards the end. The early parts of the race are very reasonable.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Each aid station seemed to have their system dialed in.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
My time put me in the top half of finishers, and the winning time was around 2:33. Overall, fairly competitive!
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 Seattle Marathon happen.
I booked far in advance (at least 5 months), but there were still spots available until the week before. Because it was the Sunday of Thanksgiving, the city was fairly quiet — so I assume there was availability for hotels as well!
Weather and typical race conditions
Seattle in December is unpredictable, and we lucked out with weather in the high 30s and no rain until very late in the race.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
With unpredictable weather, you need to be prepared for snow, rain, and wind. I wore a buff over my ears the whole race, which kept my ears warm but also allowed them to breathe.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
This is a great course for friends to spectate, but sadly there weren’t many people out.
How’s the Swag?
There were some cool new protein bars and drinks included in the race kit that I really enjoyed! Birthday cake flavored bars were surprisingly tasty.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give the Seattle Marathon, and do you recommend that others run it?
I ran this because it was so close to home — and probably wouldn’t recommend it to folks who don’t live nearby. It’s a hard course, and there are probably others at a better time of year with less elevation gain.