seattle marathon race report
Peeling off layers midway through the race

Race: Seattle Marathon

Runner: Matt P

Date: 11/26/2017

Location: Seattle City Center

Results: 03:42:25

Strava Activity Link:

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

  1. Scenic course along Lake Washington’s coast and through some of Seattle’s most beautiful, historic parks and neighborhoods.
  2. Lots of support being a local race, familiar faces, sense of camaraderie among runners and supporters.
  3. LOTS OF HILLS to cash in on the training

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

Weather. I tried to follow weather predictions for a week and prepare accordingly, which actually meant I was overdressed and carrying too much stuff. The weather was off with less wind and more sun than predicted, which is great! However during training I intentionally ran at night in the rain for long runs in order to condition myself for this race!

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
The dancing dinosaur I high-fived at mile 13.

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

In particular I trained and prepared for the race well. I tapered much better than previously, paid special mind to nutrition, packed accordingly and planned for a nearby stay at a cheapish hotel.

I felt changing paces to match goal needs throughout the race was a big accomplishment. I made mental games out of the distances and by chasing pacing groups. Very mental to gamify the race and I felt that contributed to a solid P.R.

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

Train for hills. Most of the race is at a gentle uphill grade that is hardly noticeable but there are multiple steep hills to climb. At least one category 5 climb, where many many runners stopped to walk.

seattle marathon race reportMost important course specific knowledge to know about the race

It’s hilly but this year’s course allowed for recovery pretty easily. I.e. After the hill you’re either going right back down or running mostly flat. Nothing sustained for more than a couple of miles at a time.

It’s likely to be wet – November is typically Seattle’s wettest month.

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

It was pretty well run but a lot of the volunteers didn’t know where things were. I couldn’t find the promised shower and changing facilities, so ended up going for a follow-up run to get back to my hotel without freezing!

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

The Holiday Inn Express on Aurora had tons of room, is super close and relatively inexpensive for the SLU/Downtown area. I left my hotel just before 7:30 and made it to the bag drop and then starting line with time to spare for a bathroom break. They even worked with me to set up a late checkout time so I could come back and use the room after the race.

Weather and typical race conditions

Wet, cold, windy. Though we lucked out and got some sun!

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Totally. Everyone in good spirits.

How’s the swag?

Pretty good swag. I like the finisher shirt, the medal is solid and there were a lot of handouts. One of the handouts were these Strawberry Jam, Chia seed gel shots with caffiene — I actually used it during the race and I’m going to purchase more of these.

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

5 stars: It’s a challenging course because of the hills and weather but it represents Seattle well in that it’s gorgeous and you’re likely to encounter some fun personalities on the course. Example: Found some 20-somethings carrying a portable stereo listening to electronic dance music, and I joined up with them to enjoy some tunes for a while. Super friendly crowd and I recommend the race for anyone looking for a challenge. I suspect it’s not a good P.R. or B.Q. race though because of the ~1500 ft elevation gain.

Gotta love reaching the finish line with a PR!