Friday, June 24, 2016

Rock'n'Roll Seattle Half Marathon Race Recap 6/18/16

Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Half Marathon Race Recap
Last Saturday I ran the Rock'n'Roll Seattle half marathon with MyTeam Triumph Puget Sound. It was an amazing experience! It was my second time running this race, I ran it a couple of years ago and you can read my recap of that race here. This year, they changed the course and I really liked the changes they made. I especially loved that the finish was downhill unlike the first time I ran the run. Running with great friends, awesome crowds, running for a great cause, and seeing awesome friends at the finish made this race a memorable one!

PACKET PICKUP: The expo was at CenturyLink Field Event Center. It was a great space with lots of room and many vendors. We got there around 2:30pm on Friday and bib pickup was fast and easy. There was lots of fun things to do at the Brooks Run Happy Island. My sister's kids did the race, but we didn't have time to do all of the stations. It was pretty much the same as a couple of years ago, so we felt we didn't miss much. We browsed the booths and I actually bought a few things, some Nuun Energy and a box of honeystinger waffles. They had some great deals that I could not resist especially since I knew I would be using them up with Chicago Marathon training.
We made it to the werunsocial meetup and it was nice seeing some familiar faces and also meeting new ones.
Another great shirt to add to my collection.
RACE DAY: I set my alarm for 4am so I would have time to dress and eat something before heading downtown but I don't think I got up until 4:15. Me and my sister were coming from Mill Creek so we left around 4:50ish. Luckily it was so early there was no traffic. We opted for the $20 parking at the stadium parking garage and took the shuttle bus to the start. It was really nice that the buses were outside of the garage so we did not have to walk far. There were also lots of buses waiting so we did not have to wait long for a bus.
However, our bus driver did not quite know where to go at first and even had to turn around. Apparently he did not know that we could go through a closed off area until the police officer honked his horn and waved us to go on through. I was so glad the officer did that as I'm not sure what would have happened, I just envision our bus taking a crazy long route to the start and being late. Luckily that was not the case.

We got to the Seattle Center area a little before 6am. We were running with MyTeam Triumph Puget Sound and if you missed my blog post about it, you can read it here. We were told the wheelchair start was at 6:50am, so we had lots of time. However, we were supposed to meet up with the team at 6:15, so we visited the porta potty's (you can also go in the Seattle Center house, but we opted for the porta potty's since there was no line). Then we headed to the start to meet up with our team for MyTeam Triumph. We had to get a shot with the Space Needle.
There were five of us that would be taking turns pushing our "Captain" Anthony. It was nice because before the race, we were given an informational sheet on him about what he liked, just so we could get to know a bit more about him.  It was great to finally meet him and so happy that he was excited about the run. 
Photo credit: MyTeam Triumph Puget Sound
The race was running about 15 minutes late, so we had to wait a bit longer to start. The wheelchair start is about 10 minutes before the normal start. With all the excitement of the race, it wasn't too long and the national anthem was sung and then we were off. It was pretty neat that we got to start at the VERY front, even in front of the elites. Of course, it wasn't long before they passed us. :p
Photo credit: MyTeam Triumph Puget Sound
Here is a map of the course:
The hills weren't so bad this time around. I only recall a couple of big hills especially by the 11th mile but other than that it was fine. Here is a tunnel we ran in before heading on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.
It was really neat running on the viaduct especially since this will probably be my last run on it before they tear it down with the tunnel being built. I have always loved running on this stretch of road because of the views of Puget Sound, the mountains, especially Mt. Rainier on a clear day, the Seattle Great Wheel, and the sports stadiums.
It was really great to take the views in. We weren't running for time, but for Anthony. As long as he had a good time, I was happy. This was race would be his longest distance and he did great. His favorite song is Pop Goes the Weasel, so we ended up singing the song a majority of the run. It was fun. 
There were lots of great bands along the course and even this group playing the drums. We actually heard them twice. On the way back, we heard them below us as we were on the freeway above. 
Photo credit: happyrunningmom
 We also saw this mariachi band above us.
We loved that everybody that saw Anthony's name on his wheelchair cheered him on. He was so happy when people cheered for him. His smile is priceless.
Photo credit: happyrunningmom
The wear blue run to remember mile was very touching. Always such a memorable part of Rock'n'roll races. What made this even more memorable were the folks that held the flags. When they saw us pushing Anthony they cheered him on in full force. It was amazing! There was so much energy and positivity. Anthony was so happy. It made me so happy as well and at this point gave me such a rush, especially since I was pushing him here. 
Photo credit: happyrunningmom
 A team pic on the course.
Rock'n'Roll Seattle Half marathon & MyTeam Triumph Puget Sound
I felt great throughout the run. Pushing the chair wasn't so bad. It reminded me of my BOB stroller days, although this chair is a lot smoother and easier to push. The toughest parts were the hills, but we all helped whoever was pushing the chair at the time (one person on each side helping push).
It was a good run and before we knew it, we were finishing the 13.1 miles. The finish line stretch was another amazing part of the run. Everyone was cheering for Anthony! The words "Go Anthony!" "Way to go Anthony!" were heard all along the home stretch. It was awesome! Check out Anthony's smile.
This was Anthony's longest run and when we finished, I heard him say "again". Him saying that made me smile. I loved that he loved the race and even wanted to do it again. I am so glad I was a part of MyTeam Triumph Puget Sound that day. A big thanks to all those that cheered Anthony and the team on! It was a wonderful, touching, memorable experience. I would definitely do it again. The pic below was taken after we had just finished. We had not even gotten our medals yet.
Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon MyTeam Triumph Puget Sound
Photo credit: MyTeam Triumph Puget Sound
They had the usual goodies at the end of the race and the chocolate milk tasted delicious after the run. I didn't mention the weather, but it was perfect throughout the whole race until the end when it started to rain, so it turned out to be perfect timing for us. 
My sister and I did meet up with some of the awesome #runderfulrunners group on twitter.
#runderfulrunners at #RNRSEA
Here's a better look at the medal. Overall, another awesome race. I wish I could go back to Seattle every year! 
Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon Medal
If you haven't signed up and are contemplating a Rock'n'Roll race, feel free to use discount code RUNHIKEPLAY to save a few bucks (some restrictions do apply, see fine print).
Rock 'n' Roll Marathon discount code
Happy running!

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