Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon

Posted by Lauren

Clap your hands if you would sign up to run a half marathon on your birthday!!

Really though. There are 52 Saturdays and 52 Sundays in a year. That means there are 104 days to race. You could spend almost 30% of your year running weekend races. But your birthday only comes around once a year, which means the odds of running a race ON your birthday is a mere 0.07%!!!!

As a Statistics major and avid runner, I just couldn’t let these spectacular odds go to waste.

I also argue that you really have 12 MAJOR birthdays (16, 18, 21, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80…. and beyond?), making the odds of running a race on a MAJOR birthday 0.0065%.

Those odds just make me wanna go AHWOOOOO!

DISCLAIMER: Before I get to the race, I need to outline what happened after the glorious Pike’s Place Market Food Tour

pike place market food tour family

Such good times at the Chukar Cherry stall with my Aunt Marilyn, Nicole, my mom, and David… Uncle Rem took the photo

and after the Expo

seattle rock n roll expo with mom

…I met up with Krizia at a Starbucks (of course, we were in Seattle after all)

fran's head tilt mo8

Krish finished up a 1/2 hour of work and then we set out for the hotel my mom, Nicole, and David were at so I could pick up my bags.

When we got there, they headed out to a fancy dinner at the famous Ray’s Boathouse. Krizia and I braved the rain (aka LIQUID SUNSHINE) and took the bus up towards our hotel. Three things.

  1. Seattle public transportation is clean. And comfortable. The seats had so much cushion!
  2. Google Maps failed me and we ended up walking around for ~20 minutes until we found the place (Quality Inn & Suites)
  3. I booked our room 2 days before the race. Risky decision, yes, but I wanted to wait until they lifted the 2-night minimum

Katie and Doug drove up just in time for a carbolicious Italian dinner at La Vita e Bella (2411 2nd Avenue, Seattle, WA)

la vita e bella seattle italian

While the service was a tad bit slow, the four of us definitely enjoyed our meals! FYI: Krizia, Katie, and I met in high school and spent a lot of time together on the dance team. Both of them were dance captains and had to deal with me :) such a mischievous teammate.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped by Walgreens to buy some balloons. I was adamant on running with balloons. Unfortunately, the Walgreens had a poor selection of helium balloons with ZERO ‘Happy Birthday’ ones. We went with plan B and blew up a bunch of plain balloons ourselves! Krizia tied them up like a pro:


After a full night’s sleep, the four of us woke up and got ready! It was birthday time! DJ Kriz played this ironic tune, among others:

I’m guessing Doug listened to motivational music on his headphones while Katie contemplated what to wear…

I ate my favorite pre-race bar, donned my balloon belt, and tried to go to the baaaathroom (if you catch my drift).

We walked to the start line with our cheerleader, Krizia, and posed for a few pictures before separating into our assigned corrals.

i loved Krizia’s sign… she put EVERYONE’s name on it…. even people who weren’t running hahahaha

Some nutso put me in corral 4. Uh, yeah, maybe back in my heyday that would make sense… Doug said that a few lower-corral-runners looked at my ‘4’ and my balloons and scoffed. HAHA.

I joined the fast runners and did this…

…and a little bit of this…

… and then set off to run a half marathon around Seattle!

Miles 1-3 took runners from the Space Needle start line at the Seattle Center, through downtown, and out to a quieter neighborhood. I loved the steep downhill and cowbell-clad crowd. The only thing exciting about Miles 4-6 was my dreadfully long portapotty stop near Mile 5. I saw a blue portapotty in the distance, sprinted towards it, and had to wait for a volunteer to finish up her business before I could do mine. The volunteer clearly wasn’t in a rush (gah!!) but, oh well! Lot’s of people passed me by, but this was just a race for fun. I had balloons tied to my butt for goodness sake. Also on Mile 5 was a short n’ steeeeeep hill.

That took us to Miles 6-8, which ran along the beautiful Lake Washington Blvd. I attempted to take my iPhone out of my belt pocket to snap pics, but feared my loose cash would fly away. I think it was Miles 8-10 that had us running on the freeway and in a long tunnel (to which my Garmin freaked out and un-located the satellites). At Mile 10, right near Safeco and Century Link Fields, I got a nasty side ache. I don’t think I’ve ever had a side ache during a race; naturally I did not know what to do to make it go away. I walked a little, stretched, walked a little more. Basically, it sucked. This continued until the end of the race, but felt better when running uphill between Miles 11-12 along the Viaduct. While running on ragged hard concrete was a little unpleasant, the views more than made up for it!

seattle rnr viaduct

photo taken on the sunnier Sunday

Miles 12-13.1 came sooner than I knew it, and I mustered up my remaining strength for the final hill. Side ache or not, I had fancy birthday balloons blustering behind my booty, bolstering my body to the finish line.

Done! 1:47:36 (including bathroom pit stop and walking/side ache bits, not too shabby). I won’t even look at my age group placement because now I’m in the 25-29 group and they are super-duper fast. It’ll be depressing haha…

I walked through the food stalls (oranges, banana, bagel, jamba juice) and then found Krizia to cheer on the rest of our runners! :)

[Nicole was too speedy; we didn’t realize she was running past us until it was too late to snap a photo :( ]

Twinsies – Shirley and David

First timers! – Doug and Katie

Let me just say how proud I am of Katie and Doug. This was their first half marathon ever!!! They did such an amazing job, finished strong, and were hardly sore the next day! They trained for 3 months and got serious 1 month before the race. There’s nothing better than crossing the finish line at your first longer-distance race. I remember my first race with my mom in the fall of 2006 (San Francisco Half – 2:30 finish) and I wanted to cry I was so happy and triumphant. I hope they felt a bit like that :) and maybe the “running bug” bites them and they’ll sign up for more :)

I didn’t see Marilyn or Rem cross the finish line because they were running the full marathon, but I heard they ROCKED it. Rem had to battle the last three miles in rain/liquid sunshine, so more power to him!

Here are a few post-race photos:

Nicole looks so pretty after the race!

We walked to the giant lawn area at Seattle Center just as Gym Class Heroes took the stage. In my opinion, they take the cake for being the best, post-race band at a Rock ‘n’ Roll race. The bands usually cater to older audiences, so it was fun to rock out to something more modern!

And “rock out” we did!

My mom started dancing like a wild woman, so naturally the rest of us followed suit. Too funny!! Halfway through the GCH show, we realized that we only had an hour to go back to walk back to the hotel, shower, and check-out. Yikes! We cut the dance party short and headed back, but not before I picked up the “Pacific Peaks” medal (a special designation for those who ran both Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland and Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle). Yes, I will write the Portland post one day…

The birthday festivities continued with an amazing, authentic Chinese food lunch and then a chocolate tour/food/drinks in the hipstery Fremont area of Seattle… details saved until next time!

Question: If you could pick one physical activity to do on your birthday…. what would it be? Don’t say this, sicko.

Last year we hiked up Yosemite Falls and jumped into natural swimming pools on my birthday!


Comments (5)

  1. francesca

    love this post for many reasons:

    1. the dedicated head tilt pic <3
    2. the balloon booty
    3. gym class heros
    4. the fact that you did something so AWESOME on a BIG birthday
    5. the runners belt thing krish & i gave you :)
    6. the lil video snippet things to show your emotions
    7. your visit to starbucks

    ps can't believe that Yosemite was a whole year agoooooo!!! cray.
    francesca recently posted..making the best of everything.My Profile

  2. Ali

    Congrats on your half marathon!! PS-LOVE the blueberry flavor of those oatmeal squares! :)

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