Join me in running the Seattle Marathon 10k on August 22! Two years ago I was looking to get back in shape following surgery and registered for a 10k every week for the month leading up to Dumbo Double Dare. Seattle Marathon 10k was the last of these races. As some of you know, I choose local races by start time and distance to house (8 a.m. start and just a couple miles from home, this is a winner!) Last year, I ran SeaWheeze so missed out, but I’m back this year and looking to spread the fun as an Ambassador. While in 2013, it was my last race before Dumbo, this year it will be my last race before the Marathon Du Medoc. I will hopefully be in peak condition and ready to rock this 10k!
The Seattle Marathon 10k Run/Walk is the sister race of the Seattle Marathon (and is conveniently about 14 weeks from that race, so a good time to add a 10k to your training plan for the full).
This year I am an Ambassador (which gets me a free race entry in case your wondering, but I’m not paid to say nice things). But back in 2013, I was already spreading the word about this race, because it seemed to be a little lesser known despite the connection to the Seattle Marathon. I even recruited strangers from the Best Dressed 10k earlier that year, as they were looking for a more “slow runner” friendly event. I had signed up in mid-May, just before the Best Dressed race and was looking forward to it being my peak 10k that year (not knowing I would be recovering from surgery instead). I ran into them at the Seattle Marathon 10k–she finished ahead of me and her husband finished directly behind me; they had no need to be worried!
This race starts and finishes at Gasworks park! Now if you’re used to the 10ks that start at Gasworks, this one is a little different as it doesn’t run around the lake but does two almost out and backs with the park a little off center. I love running around the lake, so this one threw me a little. I have to admit that I find the course mentally challenging because of the second out and back. That section from GasWorks to the Wall of Death and back is my downfall even on training runs. I’m so close to being finished and it seems to last forever. I can’t see the finish line and I lose motivation. Plus out and back are my kryptonite. It doesn’t help that the fast runners are walking back along the course with their goodie bags as you’re trying to finish! I won’t mention the blackberry thorns that attacked me…
If I ignore my own mental block, the course is easy and fast with just enough rolling hills to keep it from being tough on the legs or hard to climb. It’s also less congested than the around the lake courses, allowing for more people running and cheering. Now if it was just any other race with this course, I would not be so excited to do this 10k again, but the Seattle Marathon 10k draws me in for so many other reasons.
- Use of Gasworks: The Seattle Marathon knows how to welcome runners. Unlike every other 10k that uses the park, this one really takes over the whole park. From massages to amazing freebies (runners were loading up on swag from some great sponsors in 2013), there was so much to see and do before and after the race. We laughed as runners loaded up bags with stuff BEFORE the race and chose to grab our freebies after the run like the info said. There was still plenty for everyone. We wandered around the park, took in the views, and hung with friends. We even got posed for some silly photos in the photo booth, which I can’t seem to find 🙁 I don’t tend to hang out after races; my normal routine at a 10k is to cross the finish line, grab my medal if there is one, throw away my bib, and leave, but we were there for at least an hour. I don’t even linger at runDisney races that long. It didn’t seem like “just a 10k” or the sister race to the marathon, but an important race all on its own.
- The People: Runners will be runners; some amazingly social and some in their own world. The ones in this race were no different, but the spectators were astounding for a 10k. The out and back course may have sent mental shock waves through me, but there were spectators along a good portion of it, some with cowbells! Always need more cowbells at races! And there were volunteers everywhere it seemed, all super excited to be there. The aid station was stocked with Gu in 2013 and there were a bunch of really nice volunteers handing it out. It came a little early in the course for me, but Artboy welcomed the treat. Volunteers were also on hand to direct runners on the course, all with a smile. I didn’t see a disinterested face in the house. My massage therapist was also beyond friendly (plus it was the best massage I’ve ever had after a race), chatting about the race and his method. All of this made this a really fun race. I found myself smiling almost the whole way. Plus, so many of my friends did this race that even though it was a large field, we were still able to keep this race personal for us! And because we were all different paces, we were able to motivate each other along that second out and back on the trail (waving and shouting from the other path).
- The Finish Line: Except the Dawg Dash, which ends at Husky Stadium and runDisney races, I can’t really remember the finish line at most 10ks. Nothing special usually, but Seattle Marathon pulls out all the stops. Big and flashy with plenty of room for spectators to hang around and cheer in the runners. Plus it was the perfect distance from the entrance to Gasworks from the trail–not right there or up a hill! And I didn’t run into any pylons, so always a plus…
- Prize Money: This is a modestly priced 10k (just $45 right now, and that’s the “late” price), but there’s actual cash prizes for top finishers. I’ll never get my hands on that $500, but that’s good motivation to make this your fast 10k for the season. Fifth place (male and female) receives $50. (Division finishers receive non-cash prizes.) Run fast people!
- Dogs: This course is dog friendly. Not pug friendly, but for runner dogs who are not pugs. In 2013, I was running near a woman with an adorable dog. I was feeling a little off that day and mentioned to her that the dog would probably beat me. She laughed and said, just wait. About five minutes later, the dog had to take care of business and I pulled ahead. They didn’t finish that far behind me. Just remember, keep the pooch on a leash.
- Massages: Washington Sports Massage Team is on hand to massage away those aches and pains. Did I mention it was the best massage I’ve ever received post-race? Well, it was. My massage therapist stretched me like rubber girl; it was brilliant. He was impressed with my flexibility and I was impressed he wasn’t just going through the motions. He listened to me and stretched my hips, which was exactly what I needed to head into my next races the following weekend. The massages are $18 for 15 minutes this year and worth every penny.
- The View: Space needle, city, lake, boats, pretty….not much else to say on that. Gasworks is a stunning location in Seattle and there’s plenty of time to take it all in.
- Time of Year: This race falls in late August, so the heat of summer is usually passing but the rain hasn’t started yet. It’s also a perfect 10k race to see where you are for November races (ya know, like the Seattle Marathon!). It’s also a quick course, so a great easy run before Labor Day races.
- Walker Friendly: Like the Seattle Marathon, there is no stress for those of you who are walkers, run/walkers, slow turtles, crawlers, or the like. No pressure, so you can just get out there and do your best! While roads reopen and the recovery area closes at noon, the finish line and all essential support stick around until the last person finishes; although, I’m pretty sure even meanderers can finish a 10k in 2 hours, so you have plenty of time to finish and enjoy the park.
Having missed it last year, I’m thrilled to be running the Seattle Marathon 10k for a second time, and excited to spreading the word as an ambassador. This 10k is perfect for walkers, newer runners, and those looking for a PR. It’s also competitive enough for you super fast athletes looking to pick up that top finish. I’ll be somewhere in the middle, hopefully with a smile again.
Register now and it’s just $45. It will raise to $50 on race day. Ping me for more info on this race and I will be happy to chat, maybe even throw a Friends & Family discount code your way. You’ve got 8 weeks to train between now and then, so this is the perfect time to add the Seattle Marathon 10k to your schedule.