Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon recap

Good GOLLY that was fun!


I’m flying high as a kite on the endorphin and endocannabanoid-fueled afterglow of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon. The whole race was a wonderful experience! I had so much fun. Right now I’m overflowing with optimism, exploding with enthusiasm, and thoroughly permeated with positivity! Waking up at four in the morning to go run 13.1 miles with thousands of strangers might be a peculiar hobby, but this morning’s race has left me gushing with gratitude. I’m so glad to be a runner. I love the city of Seattle. The Rock ‘n’ Roll race was such a delightful way to enjoy my sport of choice in my happy habitat.


Ok, Sam. Enough maudlin sentimentality. Let’s recap this race, wash your hair, put on a fresh pair of compression socks, then get out and enjoy the rest of this sunny Seattle Saturday.


I woke up at four in the morning, and made myself my typical pre-race breakfast: lobsters Thermidor.


I am, of course, lying like a bear-skin-rug. I don’t actually know what lobsters Thermidor is, but it sounds like a one-way-ticket to gastric distress. These are uncertain and troubling times: the Middle East is in crisis, the job market is still shaky; yet amongst all of the uncertainty you can have faith in some universal constants. The velocity of light in a vacuum is three times ten to the eighth meters per second, the sum of the squares of the legs of a right triangle are equal to the square of its hypotenuse, and Sam ate oatmeal for breakfast.

After fueling up with my favorite carbohydrate, I hopped in my Subaru and proceeded to Seattle Center. I was slow getting out the door so I had to finish getting dressed in the driver’s seat of my car.


Even though I laid out all of my gear yesterday night, I manage to leave my wallet and sunscreen at home in Lake City. Luckily I didn’t forget my most vital running accessory: high-proof mustache wax.


I finagled my facial hair, and then jogged to my starting corral. I lined up right behind Dr. Dribble! This guy is awesome, he runs marathons while doing basketball tricks to fundraise for charity!


I didn’t have too much time to balk at the B-Baller; just as I was assuming my position the announcer gave the go-ahead and it was time to run!


I’m still not sure what my official time was, but I finished right near the 1:40 pacer. I felt comfortable and strong throughout the entire race. I was not trying to run hard, or nab a personal record: my goal was to support the Humane Society and enjoy myself. I do believe I succeeded on both counts!

I have to give a shout-out to Competitor Group International. The Rock ‘n’ Roll race is SO well organized, and truly a delight to run. The course really highlighted some of Seattle’s best features: I loved the the gorgeous view of Mt. Rainer as we ran down Rainier Avenue; running along the shore of Lake Washington gave us refreshing breezes and beautiful scenery; it’s even kinda fun to run on the freeway with the Space Needle in the distance as the motivation to push through to the finish.

There were great bands at every mile marker. Elvis impersonators directed traffic. Wear Blue Run to Remember had an emotionally powerful, patriotic display at mile 8. Cheerleaders from local high schools lined the streets throughout the race (my favorites were a group of “grunge-rock” cheerleaders in flannel and Nirvana shirts, doing their best Kurt Cobain smells-like-teen-spirit fingers). I was so entertained the entire time that the race FLEW by. Before I knew it I had a medal around my neck, a water bottle in my hand, and a powerful hankering for a banana.


Tragically, there were no bananas to be found in the recovery area. I DID bump into my super-speedy friend Jaki, who finished just before I did! Jaki is a running rock star and swims like a mega-sonic mermaid. I’m still trying to get her to teach me how to do flip turns without inhaling half of the pool up my nose.


Jaki and I made a tentative date to go on a long bike ride together (summer is triathlon season, Jaki rocks it at those, too), then I went and said hi to the kind folks at the Seattle Humane Society.


None of the other charity athletes had finished yet, so I picked up some treats for Porter, and made my way back home.


I had a fantastic experience, start-to-finish. I’m so glad I had the chance to participate in this event. I don’t have any races coming up on the calendar, but today was a wonderful way to kick off summer in Seattle and celebrate the simple joy of running. Nothing compares to the feeling of accomplishment after a good long run; sharing the experience with thousands of other runners to a live rock and roll soundtrack turns a good experience into something transcendent. Isaac Newton’s first law says that a body in motion tends to stay in motion. This body is so happy for the motion it maneuvered this morning.

Or maybe I’m just blissed out because it’s a beautiful sunny day in Seattle, and the rains are finally retreating.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody! What are you doing to move your body?

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