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2014 Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon Recap

by Meghann on June 26, 2014

We came, we ran, we rocked Seattle!

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Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect going into Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle. I’d registered for this race planning to run the full distance marathon (I was hoping to knock Washington off my 50 States bucket list), but time got away from me and I eventually dropped to the half marathon. It didn’t hit me how sad I was not running the full marathon until I arrived in Seattle. I was so close to crossing Washington off my list. What if I just walked it? Would that work?

But, alas, it wasn’t in the cards. I was there to run the half marathon and I was going to give that race hell.

The best part about running races on the west coast is when the early alarm goes off, it doesn’t seem quite so early. Hell, with a 7:00am race start – and staying at a hotel that was walking distance from the race start – getting up at 5:30am felt like sleeping in. Plus, the sun was already shining when I got up. Win. Win.

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Our group stayed at Hotel Five in downtown Seattle. We left the lobby a little after 6:00am and had a half mile walk to the starting line at Seattle Center. I’ve been to Seattle three times in the last two years and this was the closest I’ve ever been to the space needle.

After dropping our bags off at gear check and downing two muffins as pre-race fuel, we headed straight to our corral. The majority of our group was in the 3rd corral, but the corrals went all the way back to twenty. Unlike Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego, the half marathon and marathoners started together. The starting area was packed!

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Janae, Jessica, Lauren, Cori, Anne, and me – Ready to go!

The majority of us didn’t any goal besides “let’s have fun” so we decided to all run together and see what happened. It was an AMAZING day to race. A beautiful blue sky, cool temps, and low humidity – I definitely wasn’t in Florida anymore!

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The first couple of corrals were released, then it was our turn.

3-2-1 GO!

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And we’re off!

Anne, Janae, Cori, and I stuck together for the first couple of miles through downtown Seattle. I was warned this course was hilly and it did not disappoint. There were a few rolling hills with a sharp descend right before leaving downtown.  We were maintaining around an 8:30ish pace, which was definitely pushing it for me.

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Around the three mile mark, Janae and Cori started to gradually pull ahead of Anne and I. It was great running with them, but I knew I couldn’t keep up for long. Anne and I settled into a 9:00ish pace, which felt much more doable at that point. At this point I was very happy I was doing the half and not the full.

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It wasn’t long before we ran into Doctor Dribble on the course.

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What a great guy. Seriously. I remember running by him in San Diego the other week, but this time Anne and I actually had the chance to talk with him on the course. Doctor Dribble has run over thirty races while dribbling two basketballs non-stop for the entire race. When I saw him in San Diego, he was crouched down at a water stop – still dribbling – while someone was pouring water in his mouth – now that’s dedication!

When Anne asked why he started, he said he did it on a dare. A year and a half a go friend bet him he couldn’t run a whole marathon while dribbling and he wanted to prove he could. Now he uses his power for good by fundraising for each race he runs. Check out Team Doctor Dribble to learn more.

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The half marathon and the marathoners split just before mile 6. Again I was happy with my decision to drop to the half a this point. One day I’ll return for the full, but that clearly wasn’t happening today.

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This is also the point where the course really got good. We had a mile or two along the water and it was stunning.

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We had a steep hill around mile 8 – my glutes were not happy with all these steep inclines!

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The course took us down a tunnel and then out onto the interstate, on our way back to Seattle. The Rock ‘n’ Roll director had told us this was the portion of the course a lot of people complain about because they’re essentially just running on an interstate, but he had a good point when he followed up with the fact that he enjoys it because when else are you going to be on an interstate with no cars? Personally I liked the interstate, only because we were above everything and had stunning views of the surrounding area. It really was a gorgeous day to run a race.

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We had started the race with our friend Emily, who is a recent mom of two and incredibly inspiring and amazing. Emily wanted to start slowly, at her own pace, so she lost us at the start. Somewhere around mile 5 Emily passed us looking strong and gunning for a sub-2 finish. We wished her luck and spent the next four miles talking about how proud we were of her.

When we saw Emily again just past mile 9, she was walking and struggling. Now, I know Emily, and I know she’s way stronger than she thinks she is. Anne knows that, too. We made a silent pact to run the remaining miles of the race as a trio and get Emily to that finish line. We warned her we were going to be those annoyingly chipper people who won’t let her give it – and we didn’t disappoint.

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So we ran, we talked, and we had fun.

Plus, the views didn’t hurt either. I believe the words “this is amazing” or “best course ever” were uttered more than once. Hills be damned.  It’s funny, now that the race is over, I don’t remember any of the hills – all I remember are the killer views. Clearly I’ve been brainwashed.

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The last mile took us through the final hilly stretch of downtown Seattle.

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And at 2:01 – we were done!

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We did it! And Emily earned a killer course PR. Go Mama, GO!

Mimosas and medals for everyone. 😉

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I can’t say enough wonderful things about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle race. I’m not sure if we just lucked out with great weather, but it was absolutely perfect – this Florida girl could not get enough of it! Yes, it’s a hilly course, but the views and great weather make up for it. I didn’t even mind the hills. I probably would have minded them if I was gunning for PR, but for a fun race it wasn’t terrible.

There were plenty of water stops, plenty of spectators, plenty of amazing views, plenty of signs, and plenty of post-race treats to go around. Everything from the expo to the start and finish lines were well organized and all of the staff and volunteers were very kind and welcoming.

I would highly recommend this event and I hope to return someday soon to finally knock that Washington full marathon off of my bucket list.

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What’s your favorite race with the best views?

 

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 hillary gras June 26, 2014 at 10:55 pm

What is your 50 states bucket list!?

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2 Jen June 26, 2014 at 10:55 pm

I did this one too and I found it quite a lovely course. It helped that the weather cooperated!
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3 Mike June 27, 2014 at 2:20 am

Great job and I think you made the right choice. People tend to forget that is n reality its all about competing against yourself and having fun. Unless you are a professional runner. Lol

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4 Runner Girl Eats June 27, 2014 at 6:36 am

This city/race has definitely been added to my bucket list. Looks gorgeous!!
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5 Laureen @Peachylau June 27, 2014 at 7:16 am

Nice recap! It does look really hilly!
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6 EB @Running on E June 27, 2014 at 8:26 am

Wow, that course looks beautiful. I didn’t realize so much of it was along the water, but I guess it has to be since it’s in Seattle. Congrats and great job on helping a friend through tough miles.
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7 Sara @ LovingOnTheRun June 27, 2014 at 9:20 am

Looks like a great race to participate in! Way to go!!
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8 Chelle @ Blogs Like a Girl June 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

What states have you done already?

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9 Meghann June 29, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Florida, Ohio, Illinois, and California

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10 Courtney June 27, 2014 at 4:50 pm

I ran the full in 2012 and it is still one of my favorite courses.. the perfect mix of downtown city and peaceful waterfront. And you are totally right: I really don’t remember it being very hilly with the exception of one really steep hill at the beginning and the on/off ramps to the highway 🙂

Those coffee cup medals are super cute! It’s definitely a race I would run again!
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11 Emily June 27, 2014 at 5:36 pm

I’m definitely biased being from Seattle but this is one of my favorite races, especially when the weather cooperates like it did this past Saturday!! I do like running on the freeway because when else do they close a freeway? Plus there are some great views. Glad you had a great time!!
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12 AndreaClaire June 27, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Let me just say that I am bias in my opinion, but both the TC10K and the Victoria marathon run along Dallas Rd which means you get views like this:
http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000cikwSs90_FA/s/710/victoria-waterfront-coho-ferry-3161.jpg

It looks like you have fabulous weather in Seattle. Seattle-Vancouver BC-Victoria BC are in that area where it rains so bloody much in the winter that you start to wonder why you continue to live there, but then Spring/Summer hit and you get glorious weather and amazing vistas with gorgeous hiking areas and water sports and you remember why you put up with 8 months of rain.
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13 Meghann June 30, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Thanks for the tip! Looks like a gorgeous race!

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14 Diana C June 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm

This looks amazing! I need to get myself to Seattle one of these days 🙂

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15 Nora @AdventuresMotherDaughterDuo June 28, 2014 at 5:47 am

Looks like a GREAT race! I haven’t done one of the Rock n Roll races yet, but I hope to someday! It looks like Washington would be a great place to do it 🙂
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16 Emily @ Sweet Summer Smiles June 28, 2014 at 6:29 am

The course looks so beautiful! Looks like you had a great time! Good job!

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17 Hillary Gras June 29, 2014 at 9:36 pm

What is the 50 states challenge?

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18 Meghann June 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm

It’s the goal to run a marathon in all 50 states.

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19 [email protected] June 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Doing my first Rock N Roll race in Aug. Super excited!
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20 Addie July 1, 2014 at 3:46 am

The Summerfest Rock N Sole half marathon in Milwaukee. Awesome views, course support, music, and medals. Plus there is always chocolate milk at the end.

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21 Jesica @rUnladylike July 1, 2014 at 11:50 am

I’m glad we got a chance to finally meet in Seattle. Congrats on a fun race. I totally agree that the course was awesome and I loved every minute. That hill at mile 8 was kind of evil though 🙂 Love all your race pictures along the course! Hope to see you in Tampa sometime soon. xo
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