Runner: Laura R
Race Date: 10/14/2018
Location: Snohomish/Everett, WA
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- Flat Fast Course
- Small field, less than 200 people made logistics easy
- Pretty course and nice spot and less than an hour from home (I live in Seattle)
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
- Mile Markers were a little wonky. There were a few times where I did not see mile markers but not for longer than 2 miles. The mile 22 marker did not appear until just before the mile 23-mile marker.
- Some long lonely stretches on the side of the road.
- Not quite enough volunteers at the water stops so was sometimes hard to get a cup. The good thing is that there were not a ton of people going through the water stops and I would rather have more water stops with fewer volunteers.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
Seeing the 22-Mile marker literally feet before the 23-Mile Marker. That was weird.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
This was one of those rare perfect days. I had trained hard, kept a fairly steady pace, did not go out too fast. I liked that it was flat.
Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner
- There were not a lot of volunteers at the water stops so if there was a clump of runners it sometimes took a minute to get water because there were only one or two volunteers handing out water. You might be better carrying your own if waiting is an issue for you.
- They had pacers, and though I am aware of them, I run my own race. The pacer for the 3:50 time was clearly very experienced but he did mention that he was not required to provide proof of his pacing abilities as some other races do. Just something to note and another reason to be strict about following your own plan in a marathon.
- Familiarize yourself with the course. There is a left turn you need to hit at the 9 mile mark. Some of the Half Marathon participants missed a turn because there were not enough course monitors to tell them where to go and some people ended up running an extra 3+ miles.
Lessons you learned that will help you next time around
I will be prepared that the mile markers might be a bit wonky and I am glad to know the course because it can be a little confusing.
Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race
- The marathon course is basically 2 out and backs (4 miles out and back and then 9 miles out and back) which turns out to be a nice way to break things up.
- The running surface is paved road and trail.
- There are no hills to speak of except a very small one just after you turn the corner to head to the finish. It caught my legs a little by surprise after the flat course for the previous 25 miles but nothing to be concerned about.
- The 10k and Half-Marathon runners are out on the same course so be aware and make sure you stay on course.
Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?
Snohomish is a pretty little town. For the most part, the scenery was beautiful; you run through the cute town of Snohomish, in and out of a park and are surrounded by fields and farms with mountains in the distance there is a fair amount of time spent on the road which seems as if it will go on forever (but I guess this it is a marathon 😉
Difficulty – Is it a tough course?
The course is very forgiving, flat and fast.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
Not flying by the seat of their pants but not well oiled either. The marathon runners have to be aware of the course as well as there is a left to take after the out and back that you cannot miss or you will be disqualified. They could use more volunteers on the course (see comment about the half-marathon runners getting messed up) and at the water stops.
Competition – Is there a strong field?
It is a very small race, the winner had a 2:54. If you are wicked fast and would like a trucker hat that says, WINNER, I say give it a go!
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.
Logistics were great. Easy drive from Seattle. You can pick up your packet in Everett starting on Friday or you can wait until race morning. Parking near the course was very easy and at this point the race is small so you and register up until the week before.
Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?
Aid Stations are placed fairly well throughout the course about every 1/5-2 miles. They had nuun and water at every stop and I think they had Gu as well.
Weather and typical race conditions
This is year two of the marathon and the weather was absolutely perfect! It was a gorgeous day that was quite brisk at the start, around 37 degrees and a little foggy but then cleared up to a perfect 55 or so with sunshine and blue sky. It is the Pacific Northwest so we may have been extremely lucky.
Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?
Throw away gloves and arm warmers served me well!
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
There are a few spots but mostly a lot of long stretches where it would be hard for friends to get to. Spectators can watch at Mile 9 and also enjoy the cute town while you run.
How’s the Swag?
- Medal and a short sleeve T-shirt. The design is nice.
- Age group winners received a trucker hat with WINNER on the front- -very cool! I finished 2nd in my age group and apparently there was a prize but I wasn’t aware.
- Post-event tent had apples, cherry juice, soup, rolls and of course water.
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
When you have a “post-kids” PR, It is hard to give a race anything less than a 10. 🙂 If you like small locally run races on a flat fast course then this is the race for you! Overall a great race!