|All smiles post race with iconic Seattle backdrop.|
The first part is why run this particular marathon? The in Unity We Run Marathon and half Marathon is a very small, low-key race just south of Seattle in Kent. I'd never heard of it but decided to run it because two longtime online running friends had chosen it to as the race to complete their quest for running a marathon in each state. Yes, that's amazing isn't it? I have run now 8 marathons in 3 different states and I can't fathom attaining that feat. AND these guys are really strong runners so all of their marathons are fast.
Not only were these two guys coming into race but a fair number of other friends from all over the country flew in to celebrate this accomplishment and some to run as well. One other friend was also checking WA off as a state by doing the marathon. The two guys were bringing a lot of family.
This marathon looked to be the best option for a lot of reasons. It's a completely flat marathon and temperatures would likely be good. It's easy to get to especially from the airport. It was later in this year which gave the guys time to knock off multiple other states. And even better, it's $10 day of race with no real concerns with it selling out.
My take: local, no hills and likely to be good temps for me. So this was my goal marathon this year too.
This is a really small no frills race. However since the guys were using this race to finish their quest, they decided to contact the race director and ask if they could design and supply a race finisher medal. The director agreed. One of the guys had shirts made up for our group and one of the women who was also running the full had bibs made up for us. It just made the race feel like family.
K came out to support me which was a huge help. I carried a small handheld and needed it changed out every 6 miles or so.This was great though for everyone else running because they got to see a familiar face and K ended up driving some visiting family members around. He got huge bonus husband points for this as well!
it is a small race with few runners and no volunteer/support beyond aid stations in two places at the turnarounds. Many got off course because it isn't necessarily obvious where the flat paved trail goes at times. There were course markings but some had been obscured by fallen leaves.
I've not been on this trail in probably 5 years or so. the Howard Hanson Dam is upriver from the Green River. in 2009 it was discovered that there were problems with the dam and the Green River trail was partially closed/obstructed in places with sandbags to protect against flooding should the dam breach. The issues with the dam have been resolved but as of this year, levee work along the trail commenced. This meant that there were trail detours in place for this race. It took me a bit to figure that the orange spray painted arrows were for the race but eventually i really started paying attention to them. Especially the last half of the race, i was all by myself when running and it was easy to lose focus with marathon brain.
One of the guys ended up winning the marathon! He got off course three times but that was still less than the two guys who had been ahead of him! Another local friend, unfortunately, could've won the marathon and qualified for Boston but got off course the last mile! D'oh!
50th State done! It really was an honor to be able to be there to witness their accomplishment. I was very happy with my race too. As a big group, I shepherded the family and friends downtown on the lightrail for post-race celebration at the Pike Brewery. What fun and what an accomplishment.