Race: Tukwila to Alki Half Marathon
Runner: Aaron R
Start: Green River Trail in Tukwila, WA, USA; Finish: Alki Beach Park, West Seattle, WA, USA
Results: 1st Place, Overall. 1h27’15″68 (PR!)
Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/1378308298
3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?
- The competitive field is such that I typically can challenge for a podium finish.
- Entry fee is a *$20 or PAY WHAT YOU WISH!* donation to Northwest Harvest.
- The elevation profile is very favorable for a fast time.
- The course is very well marked.
Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you
The absence of traffic control is the one factor of this race that can make or break your P.R. attempt. Race photography is also an afterthought. If the race crew are ready for you at the aid station and finish line, you will most likely have an opportunity to flash a smile and give a thumbs-up. This is not a 100% guarantee.
Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?
The weirdest thing about this year’s race was when the leader hit the crosswalk button at an intersection and presumably waited for the light to change so that he could cross.
Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?
This was an excellent race for me. I ran it patiently and wisely. I kept my cool, ran within myself, and took down the “W!”
I took the lead at the 7k mark and ran the rest of the way solo. Running alone for so long, with an almost guaranteed 1st place finish awaiting me was a real treat. It allowed me to groove on my pace and also allowed my mind to wander a bit. There were multiple times when I felt goosebumps rise on my neck as I reflected on my journey over the past decade to get to this level of fitness and to win my first race in 11 and a half years.
Lessons Learned – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner or yourself on the next time around
It was the second time I had run this race. After the first time, I took mental notes on how to best run the route, an awareness about when the challenging parts of the course would arrive, and a strategy for how to address these challenges.[From my workout weblog, rocheam.com/move] 1) From that last time I ran this race, I anticipated when the South Park hill would arrive (7.2k). In my memory, it was a bit more steep. Though, in actuality, it was still a pretty respectable 13.6% at its steepest part over the 200m stretch. Knowing that the hill was soon approaching, I carried some good momentum going into it and hit it pretty hard.
2) Coming up on the course would be a couple tricky turns and intersections on the Duwamish Trail: a quick visit through Terminal 107 park (at 12.4k), across traffic and W Marginal way to the other side to get back to the Duwamish Trail. The route would continue up the course’s second momentum breaker: a short hill underneath the West Seattle bridge (at 14.2k), then a complicated traffic intersection, and a turn onto the West Seattle Bridge trail. Having run through this area many times, it was easy for me to assess the traffic situation, then run safely, and diagonally, through the intersection, rather than orthogonally at the crosswalks.
Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?
The Green River Marathon Series team have the organization of this and all of their races down. They are extremely efficient and are very transparent regarding that the race is run with a minimalist approach and with very little support along the course.
Logistics – Anything special regarding getting to/from the race, hotels around the course, registration…?
Carpooling from the finish line to the starting line is recommended. The race starts at 9am. Meeting at the finish in Alki between 7:30-8am will give you time to find a buddy who’s also running with whom you can carpool.
Weather and typical race conditions
The race is the last weekend in January. In the Puget Sound Region. Prepare for wind. Prepare for rain. Prepare for variable temperature. DO NOT PREPARE FOR SUNSHINE! The first time I ran, the starting temperature was 57°F and overcast with 7mph wind. This last time, the starting temperature was 49°F and overcast with 17mph wind and 30mph gusts from the SSW. It started to mist about 15 minutes into the race, then was dry the rest of the time. The sun was nowhere to be found.
Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?
Yes, this is a family friendly course. The course is open to all, from start to finish. The best place to view is along the Alki Trail once on Harbor Ave SW, then when Harbor Ave SW turns to Alki Ave SW.
How’s the swag?
The swag for this race is perfect. There is no swag for this race. Who runs for swag? Is this a thing?!? ~(;
The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?
5 stars. And I absolutely do recommend it! Checkout greenrivermarathon.com for more info on this race and others put on by this group. And checkout rocheam.com/move for more info on running in Seattle and fun workouts from ya boi, A. Roche! (: Full race report and photos can be found here: rocheam.com/move.html#T2AHalf
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