The East Lake Sammamish trail runs 11 miles from Marymoor Park in Redmond to Gilman Boulevard in Issaquah, and is a favorite training venue for me. That’s not in the least because it is mostly flat, mostly straight, and mostly on soft gravel. Add to that, there rarely are more than a few bicyclists, so you feel much less threatened if you accidentally veer to the left.
So when I heard about plans for a marathon and half-marathon on this trail, I was definitely interested. In fact, I started writing about how I might run both the Lake Sammamish Marathon and the Seattle Marathon — dreaming, I guess — before I scrapped the post, as the pain and scar tissue in my left ankle brought me back to reality.
Even if I wasn’t there, the first-ever Lake Sammamish Marathon and Half-Marathon happened this past Saturday, October 23, and those I know who ran it say they enjoyed the experience. The weather was mostly dry on Saturday, fortunately; had the race been on Sunday, when I did a training walk of 12 miles in the rain, it might not have been as much fun. And … there was pizza at the finish line!
Congratulations to Evergreen Trail Runs for putting on what people have told me was a well-organized event. Participation had to be limited because of the width of the trail. In the half, 296 runners finished out of 297 entered, and in the full marathon, 78 finished out of 79 entered.
Marathon runners started and finished at Marymoor Park, running the trail not quite to Gilman Boulevard but to Lake Sammamish State Park — where they did a loop of several miles inside the park — and then back to Marymoor. Those running the half-marathon started at the halfway point in Lake Sammamish State Park and finished at Marymoor.
Richard Mareno, a fellow Microsoftie, fellow Oregon Duck, and fellow member of my Ragnar Relay team, had a great race, finishing the marathon in 3:29:22 (7:59 pace) for eighth place overall. “It felt pretty good. Last mile was pretty tough,” he said on Twitter. Of the race, he said, “It was a tiny, well put together marathon.”
A former boss and Microsoft colleague, Steve Fox, said he fought cramping in his calves for eight miles to finish in 4:17:50, good for 43rd place.
Two women from my Ragnar Relay team, friends Larissa Martin Ralph and Audra Cardwell Ramerman (a volunteer for the relay team), ran pretty much together as they did their second marathon in two weeks. Both also ran the Victoria Marathon on October 10. The “2 Marathons in 2 weeks,” as their shirts proclaimed, earned them both memberships in the Marathon Maniacs club.
You see them in the picture above, Larissa in the center and Audra at right, running with friend Cari Williams. Audra finished in 4:51:10 and Larissa in 4:51:17. Both had positive things to say about the event, the volunteers, and the race organizers afterwards. You can read theirs and other participants’ comments on the Evergreen Trails Runs Facebook page.
I would have loved to have run it myself. Maybe next year.
Till next time …