snohomish marathon race report
Photo: Snohomish Running Company

Race: Snohomish River Run Marathon

Runner: Pritam D

Race Date: 10/14/2018

Location: Snohomish, WA

Results: 3:26:57 (PR), 15th Male, 19th overall

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1905135837

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

  1. Beautiful course along the Snohomish river and running through farmland. In the Fall, the red and ochre leaves with the rolling farmland and the North Cascades in the background make for a beautiful setting πŸ™‚
  2. Great volunteers and planning. Aid stations every 2-2.5 miles mean you can run light (no need to carry stuff with you). Aid stations were also well planned – water, nuun, gu gels – exactly what I use for hydration/calorific intake. So, I was able to run with just my shoes, shorts and t-shirt πŸ™‚ – No need to carry water or hydration belts or stuff like that.
  3. Unusual for a small town marathon, but a great added bonus was the pacers. I was able to run with the 3:30 group for a long time without looking at my watch and then decided to go ahead of the group with 7-8 miles remaining. Pacers avoided the need for me to keep checking my watch.

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

In some places, signage was unclear so you had to ask volunteers which direction to turn. Not a big deal, but had I made a wrong turn at mile 20, I probably would have been unhappy…lol.

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

It consists of two out-and-back segments, the second of which overlaps with the 10k and half marathon course. So you can confuse pacing groups. For example, at one point I crossed a 1:55 pace group and was like “errr… this whole group is on track to break the world record” then realized that it was the pace group for the half-marathon.

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

Was very happy with the execution. Matt and I had discussed running by effort/feel and avoiding being too precise or tracking splits on my watch. Did that and it worked out pretty well πŸ™‚

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Its a nice flat course with two fairly steep uphills in the first 2.5 miles. Then it just settles in, so you can plan for a good consistent pace. The volunteers and spectators are friendly and fun so always high-five and say “hi”!

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Running by feel, avoid looking at the watch or tracking precise splits.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

None that I can think of

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Yes! Farms, the North Cascades, fall colors along the river

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

Not really. It’s 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?

Yes. Well run. Great volunteers with aid stations every 2-3 miles helped – I didn’t have think/plan too much about hydration or gel intake. I’m in two minds about this – I know cups are bad for the environment but unlike a cup-free race, you can run this race and not worry about hydration since the next aid station will be right there waiting for you.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

There were a few runners looking for BQs but seemed a good mix of mid-pack and first-timers too.

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.

No. I registered a couple of months beforehand but a friend of mine registered the week before for the 10k and was able to find a slot.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Gu gels, water and nuun. Also vaseline for chafing.

Weather and typical race conditions

It was in the mid-30s when the race started but then got up to early 50s, so ideal running condiitons. Though, this time of year, weather in the PNW is unpredictable so I wouldn’t count on the same conditions next year.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next guy?

No need to carry hydration belts or stuff like that. aid stations are frequent and well-stocked.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Yes!

How’s the Swag?

Ok – t-shirt, free massage.

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

4.5 stars out of 5