we have a fantastic 360 deg view of Seattle.
After the hotel check- in , I went to Washington State Convention Center to pick up my bib and to attend the health expo. There was no health expo in the center and when I asked around, only then I discovered the big time screw up. My bad. The expo was moved to the Qwest Event center, which was adjacent to the finish line and 2 miles from the hotel. At 6:00 a.m on Friday, I ran from the hotel to the Qwest center to scout the route. Seattle downtown is like San Francisco, built on a mountain. Streets ascent/decent are steep, clean and perfect place to run for legs and cardio exercise. Found the expo place, a good 1.94 miles from the hotel. The route back to the hotel is a long uphill. Have to walk to conserve my energy for the big day.
Under ideal conditions on Saturday morning more than 27,000 runners from all 50 states and 23 countries ran from Tukwila to Seattle for the second annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & ½ Marathon benefiting the American Cancer Society.
The big day for me started at 3:00 a.m. After going thru my daily morning exercise and a light breakfast of cereal and home made suman, I walked three blocks to the shuttle bus pick up station. Runners were then bused to the start line at Tukwila. Stations filled with cases of bottled water, bagels, tons of banana and hundreds of port-a-potties dotted the assembly area. No hot coffee though. The assembly area was about half a mile long and my coral #20(finish time estimate of 2:15) took 30:11 minutes to reach the start line. Thirty nine(39) corals been assigned.
Started counting my steps as soon as I crossed the start line to keep my running & breathing in rythm. The race was well organized & supported by the community of Tukwila & Seattle. Hydration stations were located every mile and lots of medical stations and medical aids on bike. Spectators were out in force cheering and shouting encouragement. There were dozens of cheer leaders and rock bands along the course. There were 2 challenging ascents and 1 nasty downhill. Lucky me, I already started training for the San Francisco 1/2 mary. I found my Pacer at mile 6 and ran behind her, dusting off her a$$. She is young, long legged and ran gracefully like a peacock. Unfortunately for me, we have to go separate ways at mile 9. She ran the full mary.
The highlight of the ran, was when the runners entered the 1/2 mile expressway tunnel. The sound of thousand footsteps and heavy breathing made an eerie sound and at end of the tunnel is the beautiful view of downtown Seattle, Puget Sound and Qwest stadium --- the finish line. Although, still 3 miles to the finish line, I heard the PA calling the names of early finishers. I speeded up my pace at mile 11 as it's downhill from here to the the finish line and to make up for lost time during the uphill ran. Spectators line up all the way to the finish line cheering, giving high five and encouraging runners to keep it up.
Shifted to my "old man sprint to the men's room mode" and crossed the finish line @....
Div Place: 11/56
I grabbed a bottle of water, banana and with aching knees and body headed back to the hotel on foot. It's uphill all the way to the hotel and after 1 hour of torturous walked, I finally made it to the hotel.
It took me an hour to walk 1.94 miles, almost half
I was happy though, for I just ran/walked my first 15 miles.