Seattle Marathon Recap

Those of us on the course Sunday were grateful for yet another rain-free start at the Seattle Marathon and half-Marathon. In hindsight, most of us are probably also grateful that the cold snap was spared an extra day. Temperatures of 37 degrees were just a few degrees chillier than typical at the start, but being huddled among masses of hyped-up athletes keeps one warm while waiting for the gun to go off.
As if there was any doubt, Uli Stedl again took the win for this year’s run and smoked his competition with a finish time of 2:24:24 – a full 10 minutes ahead of the second place finisher and giving him a 7 of 7 winning streak. Sara Otepka took the win for the women with a time of 3:07:44. It was her first time on the Seattle course and her sixth marathon.

With an estimated total of 15,000 participants completing 4 events (half and full marathon runs and walks) there were people streaming into the recovery area for hours. The course ends with a 2 mile overall downhill grade into the Seattle Center which takes a heavy toll on one’s quads after pushing yourself for at least 11 miles. In the Recovery area, it’s all made worth it by free chowder from Ivars, smoothies from Jamba Juice, warm beverages, fresh fruit and even Krispy Kremes (for some tragic reason). Bastyr University offers massage and accupuncture at a deeply discounted rate ($10!!) and multiple vendors are onhand to give you a foot soak or offer a goodie bag or coupons for their products.
The course itself is not easy, but it is quite scenic. I have yet to complete the full marathon, and don’t know if I even want to, given that the extra 13 miles are a trip through Seward park and then a run on I-90 to the Eastside and back. It seems pointless to run out and back over the bridge, especially knowing that around mile 20 you head up some nasty hills before you decend into the city.

As far as marathons go, Seattle is pretty good at taking care of you pre and post run. There is a warm place to go when you finish, an assortment of vendors and speakers the day before the race to pump you up and get you set, and plenty of onlookers for the length of the half-marathon course to cheer you on. A special hello to the young man at mile 8 or so who told us we were well-primed athletic machines. That was pretty rockin’!

If you are up for the challenge of running or walking 13.1 or 26.2 miles, you can join Team in Training or one of the many other groups that offer support and professional assistance to get you to your athletic goal while you raise money to support their cause. Or you can hire an experienced personal trainer or running coach if you feel you need to. It may seem like an unsurmountable distance, but it really is quite achievable!

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