Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Seattle Rock'n'Roll Marathon ~ Race Ratings (WA- #34)

Tag line: "Exciting Marathon in an exciting city!"

Seattle, Washington ~ Tukwila to downtown Seattle
Year Running: 2nd
Registration Fee: $105 Early ($130 After)
Runners:  4089 Completed,  2022 Females
Available Races: Marathon and Half Marathon
Average Finish Time: 4:41:30
BQ %: 6.6%

Overall Race Ratings: 4.0/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 4.0/5.0
~ Like most RocknRoll marathons this one has great entertainment throughout! The course is great with lots of sites and out-and-back areas that make it fun to see other runners. There is a little trouble with the event organization, but after only 2 RnR Seattle races they're still working out the kinks.

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~ Mile markers and correct distance are the most important thing in a marathon. The first thing I would do is fix those! The organization can use a little help... with 28K people running the race, there has to be people at information that know the best way to get to the start-- and hopefully without having to walk a few extra miles! I was also a little disappointed in the race T-shirts-- you would think a RnR race would have a great shirt, maybe even coordinate all the RnR races so they have a cool design and each has their own color??

Event Organization: 2.0/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: ~15 miles
Rental Car Required: No, but it would be helpful
~ The event organization can use a little help, and I think a lot of that comes from the organizers (rocknroll) not actually being from Seattle. They tried to communicate on shuttles for the race, but the officials there were fairly unclear about what to do, telling MB "just have somebody drop you off." The issue was that most of the roads are shut down and from certain areas, it's difficult to get to the start. In the end they DID have shuttles that came by, but we didn't find that out until the night before from the hotel and not the race organization. We didn't stay at the host hotel but we did see it and it looked a little... ehhh. Getting to the race isn't bad, since Seattle has a major airport!
Race Organization: 3.8/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Yellow Cytomax
Gel Type/Flavors:  GU/Variety including Octane!
~ The race organization was pretty good! The corrals were very well organized, easy to get to and made it easy to get around runners (no massive clogs past the first couple hundred yards). There were plenty of rest rooms along the course and at most of the turn points. There were more water/cytomax stops than anybody could need and a few of them had gummy bears and oranges. Bad?: Mile Markers were WAY off-- up to .2-.3 miles in some places. My garmin shut up at mile 18, but I heard the total mileage was as much as a half a mile longer than 26.2. Well (as Jill asked the night before) I guess this makes us all ultra runners???  
~Post Race Food: .Post race food was OK. Bagels, bananas, nature valley bars and chips. Nothing super special that stuck out.

Course: 4.3/5.0
~MarathonGuide Rating
Garmin Distance: Garmin stopped (I heard up to 26.7)
~ This course was pretty nice. Starting in Tukwila, winding into downtown Seattle, then jutting out in 3 out-and-backs around downtown Seattle. I liked the out and backs because there are so many people in the race and you get a chance to see them all. The course itself was definitely hilly, but not too many huge ones. There was a series of constant rolling hills throughout, which was nice because when you got through an uphill you got a nice break with a good sized downhill. I love this type of course with rolling hills, so obviously I found it a very fast course. There was also a lot to see-- space needle, stadiums, view of the water, etc.
Spectators: 4.2/5.0
~ Since this race is a big vacation spot and so many people come from out of town, most of the spectators are there to cheer on runners, but don't mind cheering for you as well. There are also cheerleaders placed throughout the course along with the 40 bands that are a key part of RocknRoll marathons. There were very few slow points until the last 3 miles where you're running over the viaduct, but that's where the TNT coaches are and they cheer you on as well.

Pace Group: 4.5/5.0
~ I ran the whole race in between pace groups so I didn't run with them. However, there were a lot of out-and-backs which made it easy to see other groups. All the ones around me seemed pretty well on pace and they had a good amount of people that seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Runner/Corrals: 5.0/5.0
~ There were a TON of corrals (24+) but they seemed to really help so there were no huge clogs on the course. There was also very little congestion within the corrals-- everybody had room to find each other, stretch out, take picture, etc. This is a great race for runners! There were SO many maniacs out there (this is their home state) and it was so much fun to cheer each other on.  

Expo: 4.9/5.0
~ The RnR races always put on a HUGE expo. All the usual characters were there: Bondi band, 1 more mile, etc. But there was also a little circus-type area put on by Brooks which had running fortune telling machines, a 3 ring leader giving out running prizes, etc. Sony was there as they are a new sponsor of the RnR races and they brought along the NYC Marathon winner, Meb! You could get your picture and autograph with him. They also had a RocknRoll marathon area where you could sign up for future races and get a discount and possibly a T-shirt.

Swag: 3.6/5.0
~T-Shirts: The T-shirt were a little disappointing. They were tech t's but they're an ugly color with a pretty boring image on the front and back-- a small skyline on the front and RNR Seattle on the back. 3.1
~Medals: There are sparkles!!! There are sparkles on a medal... and coffee! It's my kind of medal. Seriously, they're pretty nice. They have the skyline with a bunch of sites from Seattle and a cup of coffee (seattles known for). 4.1 
~ Goodie Bag: The goodie bags came with sample oil & vinegar as well as some other small samples-- but nothing crazy.

Results: Stephanie
Chip Time: 3:34:09
Place: Overall- 305/4089, Gender- 40/2022, A/G (25-30)- 13/482


  1. I enjoyed the review. There is still some work to be done there but I enjoyed it. Awesome race results. I can only dream of being that fast. Congrats!!!!

  2. I love that you review each of your marathons like this! Great review. Good luck in Portland!

  3. Great review! You rocked that race. Wow. I am a bit behind in commenting so from your race report...I loved "ran back to get a few more miles" You are amazing! (I'm just jealous!) ;-)

  4. Loved the review, as always. I don't think this will be a race high on my list. You're so amazing, congrats on another marathon - yay!!

  5. Okay so since I'm a dorky fashion blog writer, can you start adding a pic of the t-shirts in your race ratings? I can't picture them! Hahaha

  6. I'm just kind of discovering your blog. Love it! My girlfriend and I ran the RnR Seattle as well. Great recap! I might start using a format similar to yours for recaps. Thanks for sharing your experience.