I toyed with the idea of doing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon this year, and walking about half of it. The closer I got to the June 21 date, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon seemed more realistic. But, alas, I’d spent more time in recent weeks training for bicycle races, and not distance runs or walk/runs.
So I looked for a shorter run for that weekend, and found it. The Snoqualmie Valley Half-Marathon and 10K event was held for the first time on June 21 in the Carnation area, and was well-organized and an enjoyable trail run. It drew slightly more than 700 runners, including 460 who chose this quiet, woodsy half-marathon over the loud, music-filled Rock ‘n’ Roll Half.
By the way, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon drew more than 14,500 runners for the full and the half-marathon, so I am not inviting a comparison in event size (I did the full marathon in 2010 and the half in 2009 and 2011). The Snoqualmie Valley run was much smaller and more relaxed. Good thing, too, because the trail route we ran through Tolt MacDonald Park and the area to the south and west was pretty darn narrow. A Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon through there would have been worse than 5 p.m. traffic anywhere near the Microsoft campus.
As it was, the event was just the right size for the venue. The course was not difficult — a flat out and back, much of it on a dirt-gravel trail. Still, I labored. I was hoping to beat 1:20, but finished in 1:22:33 (13:18 per mile). That was better than my previous two post-ankle-surgery 10K times, but I should have been faster. I remember in 2008, when I did a 10K and finished for the first time in over one hour, how disappointed I was. I didn’t feel that bad last Saturday, but I was disappointed. Full results are here.
I’ve done more than 20 10Ks since 2001 — not as much as I’ve run 10Ks or half-marathons — and my PR is 51:44 (8:19 per mile) in 2004. So age and my ankle injury have added a half-hour to my 10K time, sad to say.
I must add here that I run with a bit of a limp. People notice it is a slow struggle for me, though I am not in pain (at least not until after the race) and I am purposely running gingerly to avoid further ankle damage. In this out-and-back, where runners were able to watch each other while going by, I got a number of thumbs up and encouraging shouts for just persevering. That is certainly not something that I seek out — on the contrary — but I took it as fellow runners just trying to be good-natured and supportive.
Other things of note about the race:
- Cool finishers’ medals: Everyone who finished either the half-marathon or 10K got decent-sized, well-designed finishers’ medals, which was a nice surprise.
- Excuse time: Back to my time. Let me blame it on some confusion about where the 3.1-mile turnaround was; I turned around too early and had to re-trace some steps when I figured it out where it was. One more: The trail had some big rocks that stuck out and I could have really twisted my ankle had I landed on them. OK, end of lame excuses.
- First-place runner well ahead of the rest: The 10K winner was Keith Laverty in 33:47 (5:27 per mile), finishing more than seven minutes ahead of the second-place runner. In the out and back, I was just past the Mile 2 marker when Keith came speeding by going the other way. It was a long while later before I saw any runners behind him. The half-marathon winner, by the way, was Joe Matheson in 1:22:48 (6:20 per mile).
- Congrats to Paras!: A fellow Edifecs associate, Paras Bedmutha, also ran the 10K and finished ahead of me. It was great to see him at the finish line.
I’d like to congrats the many friends who ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon or half-marathon the same day. This includes Mark and Tyra Nelson, Sherry Scherer, and Lisa Baker, among others. Congrats to you guys, as well as all of those I am missing here.
Looking forward to riding the Tour de Peaks bicycle ride, starting in North Bend, on July 19. I’m likely to do the 50-mile ride, rather than the full century this year (I did the 100-mile ride in 2012 and 2013). A week after that, I’ll be running the Seafair Torchlight Run 8K in downtown Seattle, happening right before the Torchlight Parade on July 26.
Thanks for reading! Till next time.