Race: Skagit Flats Marathon
Location: Burlington, WA
Results – 3:47:03
3 Bests – what aspects of the race did you like the most
1. I is a small race and chances are you will feel like you are running alone.
2. It is a flat course for BQ and last chance to better your time to qualify.
3. The volunteers at the aid stations are very nice and quick to help you with anything you need
Not so much – aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
Although one can consider a rural area is nice and sometimes pretty to look at, but when the temperature raises so does the manure smells in the air. And when you are breathing hard it almost like you can ‘taste’ what you smell in your mouth.
Also the course is very open with nothing to protect you when it is windy. In this race we got a headwind all the way back to the finish line after the turnaround. Last but not least, the turn around was at a point where someone put up a big TRUMP-PENCE sign on their barn, I guess that’s where you know you need to turn around 🙂
Highlights of your race – what did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular
After the turnaround at mile 13 we had a headwind. And after mile 20 my left leg started to cramp up on and off and this slowed me down a bit. In the past I probably would have panicked a bit. But this time I was able to manage the circumstances and dig deeper. I knew it was a flat course and there shouldn’t be any surprises on the course. I stayed calm and focused and was able to finish it without stopping at all.
Lessons for others – share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner or yourself on the next time around
If anything just be prepared for the wind. The weather should be mild around this time of the year in early September, if it rains you will get wet. But if it is windy it will blow.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
It is flat on the road the entire time. At the end your legs can feel it.
Organized and well run – did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Yes, it is a well run and organized race. Given the fact that they did not close any roads the police and volunteers that help with the traffic were fantastic.
Logistics – Anything special regarding getting to/from the race, hotels around the course, registration…?
The race was on Sunday. You can pick your package on Saturday at Hampton Inn that offers 10% discount for lodging. It takes about 50 minutes driving from Seattle, I picked up my package on Sunday with no hassle at all. And if you pick it up on Sunday it will be at the stadium where the race starts. Plenty of parking at the stadium. The gym at the high school was open to allow people to use their showers, very nice indeed.
Weather for race day?
Typically mild and in the cooler side in the morning (in high 40’s to low 50’s). It was in low 50’s when I started and high 60’s when I finished. But it could also be raining as this is in early September.
Spectators – is this a friendly course for your friends and family?
Very friendly. Your friends and family can basically follow you and stop anywhere to cheer you on. I saw a runner who was being followed by her friend on a bike the entire run.
How’s the swag?
It was ok. There’s a cotton t-shirt and bandana, but mine was missing the bandana.
The Overall Score – how many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it
4 out of 5. It is a well organized small race, flat and fast course and can be beautiful scenery here and there. But at the same time you are in a rural and agricultural area where the smell can be unpleasant.