My 61st half marathon was sort of like a semi-reunion for all the Seattle Half Fanatics. I saw a lot of familiar faces, as this was a Marathon Maniacs supported event. We had Marathon Maniacs pacers, which ranged from 1:30 to 2:30 pacers. It was quite neat as they were given red Marathon Maniacs shirts with the famous “cat” logo on the back
That morning, the rain was pouring so badly, you could hardly see anything in front of you. My husband and I managed to find a parking spot close enough to the start. As usual, Starbucks was the only coffee shop opened early, so we sat there for a good half an hour to stay warm. Then the potty line began to get busy.
Many runners were standing inside these Irish pubs, which were surprisingly opened early for business (for St. Patty’s Day!). Everyone was trying to stay warm and dry. Runners were adorned with all kinds of St. Patty’s Day bling, from tutus, headbands, beads, green socks, green shoes, and green outfits. Felt like Mardi Gras. Everyone was so festive! I had on my bright neon compression socks. On such a dreary morning, I was delighted to see such vibrant colors everywhere!!
This course was so hilly, it was non-stop climbing. And the rain, coupled with the wind, proved to be the worst combination for racing. We ran the first loop one and a half times, followed by a straight-away until we began this slow, long climb up to the residential area. Crossing the border into the States, the customs guard said “hope your race is around the water part” – that is, the so-called “flatter part”. Even so, it wasn’t flat at all. Tacoma is by far one of the hilliest cities in the state of Washington.
On the way back, we faced such strong headwinds, that all the used paper cups on the ground were blowing everywhere. Not a great day for racing! As I ran along, fighting the strong winds really tired me out. The 2 miles uphill towards the end were pretty brutal for me. I don’t know if they purposely designed this course to punish us or to really test our physical and mental strength. I got tested alright! The last 200 metres were fairly steep. Most runners had nothing left to charge up those hills.
But…all the pain and agony disappeared as soon as I crossed that finish line. The medal was super cute! It can stand upright. I was not happy with my time, but loved my medal.
So…another one done. I will offer you the famous Irish blessing: May the road rise to meet you, May the wind be always at your back, May the sun shine warm upon your face!
Health be yours, whatever you do, and May God send many blessings to you!!