As you probably already know, we went down to Seattle for this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series event on the weekend. Originally, we’d been contemplating the half marathon, but then decided that we didn’t think we would be ready after an injury and an unplanned running hiatus over the snowy winter. (Little did we know, we actually could have done it.) But when later on they announced the much more achievable first ever 5k, we signed up immediately.
The 5k was held the day before the half and full marathons to allow participants the chance at the coveted Remix Challenge medal. With our race happening on Saturday morning, we decided to make the trek down on Friday, check out the Health and Fitness Expo and then hang out at our hotel (which was totally awesome!) We did all that, but as happens, everything took way longer than planned. We left later than we’d planned, we spent longer at the expo than we’d planned, we arrived at our hotel later than we’d planned. But, all good. We had a great day.
We arrived at the expo being held at the Century Link Field Event Centre midway through the afternoon. At the entrance, we picked up our race packets including our bibs, race t-shirts and a bag with a few samples and promo items in it. As relatively inexperienced runners, this was a big point of excitement for us!
From there, we entered into the Health and Fitness Expo. It’s like a trade show, but with really exciting (to us) vendors and displays. I particularly enjoyed the festivities being put on by Brooks including Brooks Big Endorsement among other things, the CEP Compression booth because I’m already a big fan, the Nuun booth with a trillion sample flavours and finally an opportunity to get my hands on some (Cherry Limeade is the bomb, though, FYI, caffeinated) and, of course, the RnR booth itself where they display alllll of the medals from alllll of the races and alllll of the challenges. That’s also where we got a killer deal on next year’s Seattle half marathon. (What can I say? The excitement is contagious!) There were many fun and interactive setups in the expo – lots of food and local races and shoes and other equipment for sale – these were just a few of my personal highlights. (Kevin loved the Hoka booth best because he got the one thing he was looking for and at a really great price.) With the exception of one surly salesman (I’m looking at you, KT Tape) everyone was really friendly, enthusiastic and excited to be there.
We were at the expo for a few hours easily and that made the $20 we paid for parking sting a little less. From there we took our loot up the I-5 to our hotel in Bothell and enjoyed the resorty vibe happening there. We had a great dinner, wandered around, collected some stamps and swam in the pool. We were in bed around midnight and prepping for a 6am wake-up call. Race time was 9am, but we wanted to get there early enough to ensure a parking spot since we’d read that they were limited.
We slept straight through that night. I swear, I closed my eyes and then I woke up again. I didn’t even move a muscle. We were excited and ready to go. We got dressed, packed up our stuff, said goodbye to our room and hit the road. The estimate for our trip to the start line was one hour, but we ended up getting there much faster – with more than an hour to spare! I had a little nap in the car while we waited. It wasn’t warm enough to go out in just our t-shirts, but we didn’t want to get stuck holding our jackets.
Eventually, we headed out of the car and towards the race. The parking lot was about a ten minute walk from the Museum of Flight where the race started and finished. We got there and took a few minutes to use the washrooms and get organized into our corral. The start/finish was set up right beside a runway and we actually saw massive planes taxi by (complete with waving pilots!) after the race.
Overall, things went really smoothly. The corrals were well marked and they used barricades to keep everyone contained. The race started exactly on time and they were able to send corrals out every minute or two. Once we got our race underway, we realized that the course was pretty straightforward. We headed out of the parking lot and then down the road, turned around, came all the way back.
Just minutes before our corral left, Kevin noticed our friend Lexie just slightly ahead of us in the same corral. By then it was too late and crowded to connect with her so I tried to keep an eye on her while we were running. I eventually lost her in the crowds because I was dodging a bunch of little kids that were serious hazards dodging in and out of the runners in their vicinity.
Spoiler: we caught up to Lexie after the finish line for our (their) post-run beers.
They’d referred to this as a fast course and that was absolutely true – not even a hint of a hill and wide open spaces to run the whole way. The only hurdle was the humidity. It was a LOT muggier than it has seemed and we all talked later about how deceivingly hot it had been despite the overcast skies. Also, I totally failed on my playlist. AGAIN.
The course was really well marked, but it threw us both for a loop that the distance markers were in miles. I mean, I understand metric vs imperial, but it was a five kilometre race, after all. I’m sure 90% of runners were getting distance updates through their headphones so it didn’t make much difference, but that stood out as funny to me and Kevin mentioned it later as well.
Overall, I was happy with my results. My run felt steadier than usual and I finished stronger. Official results say that Kevin and I had an identical time, though they put him ahead of me in the overall placement.
Also, I think this glittery medal – in my favourite colours, no less – is aces.
Want to sign up for next year’s half or full? They’re only $59 and $69 now until June 25th!
They say every race serves its own lesson (okay, maybe that’s just something that I say) and here is this race’s lesson for me:
i need to get serious about hydration
If you know me in person, you may know that I am already pretty serious about hydration. I drink a ton of water. It’s my favourite thing to drink and I go through litres of it on any given day. I don’t know anyone who drinks more water than I do and it’s completely effortless on my part. Still, as I’ve become more and more active, it’s become more and more apparent that I need to do a better job. No matter how much I drink, it never seems to be enough and that was definitely the case on Saturday. It’s nothing new and I’ve brought this up with my health team. We’ve looked into possible medical causes and don’t have any leads. It could just be how I am, but I want to be more conscientious about hydrating before runs and races in the future because that was definitely an additional challenge for me on the weekend.
Have you done the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle half or full marathon before? What did you think? And if you’ve ever struggled with hydration, tell me your solutions!