I didn’t get to sleep in at all last weekend, but my near-triathlon spread over two days otherwise went pretty well. The back-to-back events, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle 5K on Saturday (June 8) and the 24-mile Woodinville Wine Ride on Sunday (June 9), were both worth doing.
More below on the bicycle ride that featured three wine stops. The 5K run that kicks off the annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle races — the marathon and half-marathon were both the next day, when I was out wining, I mean biking — was clearly the weekend highlight for me. I’d run the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon (2010) and the half-marathon (2009 and 2011) before, but this was my first time doing the shorter race, which was added three years ago.
The 3.1-mile course meanders through the Museum of Flight in south Seattle, just south of Boeing’s main Seattle campus. For my 230th road run, it was absolutely cool to dash around the wheels and underneath the wings of numerous historic aircraft — a first.
The museum features an assortment of both military and commercial planes and space vehicles. It has a roof and gated fences, but otherwise is an outdoor facility. I wanted to stop and take pictures, but I worried that I would get stampeded.
Nearly 1,800 runners and walkers weaved through the complex in the first mile. The run then continued along the ultra-flat, four-lane East Marginal Way for an out-and-back through Boeing country. The finish line, like the starting line, was in the museum’s spacious parking lot, and included food booths, a rock band and beer garden.
Rock ‘n’ Roll organizers do it right
Running through the museum was a bit slow and congested, but there was loads of room once we got on East Marginal Way. I shook off some pain in my right hamstring in the last mile to finish in 38:14 (12:18 per mile), my second-best 5K time this year (out of four races at that distance). That got me 924th place out of 1,786 total finishers, and fifth out of 15 in my age group. Full results are here.
Not only is the Museum of Flight an awesome venue, but the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series organizers put on a first-class event, with medals that could be engraved with your name and time, runners’ photos, lots of swag, music, and refreshments. I’m glad the organizers saw fit to add a 5K race for runners with less time to train, and also thankful to Brooks Running Co. for being a key sponsor behind the 5K event.
On Sunday, nearly 10,000 runners did the half-marathon and 2,100 the full marathon on different courses to the north in downtown Seattle and up through the Queen Anne and Green Lake areas.
These are the races where numerous rock bands play at spots alongside the course. The 5K had only a dee-jay spinning tunes alongside the course, but that was OK. I always wear headphones with music while running, and in doing the longer Rock ‘n’ Roll races before, I never felt compelled to stop and listen to any of the bands.
A shout-out is in order for my Microsoft and runner friend Jen Gaudette. She ran both the 5K and half-marathon and finished in the upper half of each. Congrats, Jen!
My bad left ankle would not have been happy had I tried to do that. So, I chose a bicycle ride for the next day instead.
Lots of wine poured, but no crashes seen
The Cascade Bicycle Club indulges beer lovers with its Seattle Bike-n-Brews ride in May. It did the same with wine lovers last Sunday with the Woodinville Wine Ride, taking bicyclists through Woodinville’s growing region of wineries, wine bars, and tasting rooms. About 500 riders turned out on a warm, sunny day.
The 24-mile course started and ended at the Woodhouse Wine Estates, a winemaking establishment just north of the Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia wineries. We rode west into Bothell and past the University of Washington Bothell campus, looped back east into Woodinville, and zipped south down the Sammamish River Trail into Redmond to circle around the Willows Run Golf Complex. Then it was back up the trail to the finish line.
Much of it was flat, but it felt good to climb a few hills and get some views from a bicycle of the I-405 corridor that I now drive everyday to my job at Fluke Digital Systems. I also got a chance to see a few areas of Woodinville and Bothell I hadn’t before.
The course was a mesh of those from a number of rides and road runs I’d previously done. And there was the stretch of the Sammamish trail that was all too familiar from my marathon training days (my last marathon was in 2012). I got a chance to relive some memories of pushing myself through 20-mile Sunday runs.
Along the way were two stops for wine: The Junction in Woodinville’s Warehouse District, where you could order bottles or fill your cup (I focused on the big cookies from Costco), and the Cougar Crest Estate Winery, where the upstairs tasting room was way too crowded. I must say that the wine samples were relatively small, the riders all seemed to manage their alcohol intake, and I did not see any crashes or incidents.
I personally held off on any wine consumption until crossing the finish line back at Woodhouse. After riding for about two and a half hours, a cup of Riesling went down nicely in the hot sun.
It wasn’t the most exciting ride I’ve done. But a highlight was seeing former Microsoft co-worker Susan Woodside at The Junction wine stop. Great to see you again, Susan!
For my next run, I am hoping to reunite with some Allytics teammates at the Redmond Derby Dash 5K on July 12. This race takes place after work on a Friday on the Sammamish River Trail. For at least a few hours that day, it would be nice if the bicyclists stayed away and let the runners have the trail.
Later in July, I have a chance to do another back-to-back bicycling and running weekend (I also did one in February). But I likely won’t. I am planning to decide whether to do the Seattle Night Ride on Friday, July 26, or the Seafair Torchlight 8K Run on Saturday, July 27, but probably not both.
Thanks for reading, Happy Father’s Day, and enjoy the summer, everyone!