Don't know about the FIT Project? Here is a 411 of it! The Seattle Half Marathon was June 25, 2011, and the weather could not have been more perfect. Getting to the race expo was a different story.
I had a conference in Boulder, Colo., Friday morning/early afternoon. I wanted to make sure I heard the keynote speech (Shellie Pfohl of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition) and getting to the airport in time to make my flight would be a miracle.
I got picked up by Super Shuttle, made another pickup stop and then headed to the airport. I asked the driver how long it would take to get there (in hopes that he would at least drive the speed limit) and he replied 45 minutes. Forty-five minutes would put me about 10 minutes before my flight would depart. I think he got the hint as he started driving a little faster :).
We got to the airport, I ran with my carry on (I never check a bag) and backpack to security. Praying the lines would be short. Not only were they short, they were nonexistent!! Triple score! I have security down to a science so I was in and out in about five minutes. Made a mad dash for the train to my terminal and ran to the gate. They were just boarding. I can now breathe. Whew!
But I wasn't out of the woods yet. I still had to get to the race expo by 7 p.m. and my flight landed at 6:18 p.m. Time was not on my side. The SEA airport is not close to downtown and it being a Friday evening, traffic was also an issue. A friend picked me up and we dashed and prayed our to the expo. Normally the drive is about 35-45 minutes. But tonight the drive ended up being about 25 minutes. And I sprinted to the expo door at 7:01 p.m. Got my packet and breathed a sigh of relief. Race start time was T-minus 11 hours.
I was staying with friends in Bellevue, so we headed over to their home. After eating (which I hadn't done much of all day!) I thought that some sleep might be a good idea. Seeing as I had to get up in a few hours!
The road that we had to take to get to the race start was going to be closed at 4 a.m., so that meant we had to leave at 3:45 a.m. Which meant I didn't get much sleep.
After rolling out of bed, prying my eyes open, having some breakfast we made the drive to the race shuttle area. And then took the shuttle bus to the start line in Tukwila. It was only 5:30 a.m.
I tried to close my eyes after we got the athlete area, but that didn't work out so well :). I was really looking forward to a nap later on!
Pretty soon it was time for the race to start. All I could think about was A NAP! I told myself to run fast, because the faster you run the quicker you can sit down. Or something like that :).
The gun went off and soon our wave crossed the chip timing mat. Let the games begin!
There were two themes of the day. Nap and hills. Who knew Seattle had hills? Well it does!
I was wondering how this course would compare to San Diego race course (because that one sucked). I was happy that we got to run through neighborhoods and also along Puget Sound. It was a beautiful overcast morning! Couldn't ask for much better than that!
Remember the themes of the day? Nap and hills! This course had several hills (the one at mile 9-10 was the worst). I actually don't mind running uphill. It's the downhills that aren't so much fun!
My favorite mile was mile 9. You could feel the silence as hundreds of runners passed by the fallen soldiers posters. Here the Wear Blue: Run to Remember held American Flags and posted photos of those men and women who had served us. It was indeed a humbling mile. I and the other runners high-fived the photos as we ran along. I thanked them for their service.
It was indeed very touching.
Then it was the end of mile 9, start of 10 where we had this killer hill. The photo above doesn't give it justice! But it was a fun challenge to run, breath and get a photo all at the same time! At the top of the hill, the half marathoners veered left and the full marathon went right. I wished them a good race!
By this point, I knew I was almost done (hello nap!) so I pushed a little harder and kept on running.
I thought the hills were over, but at around mile 12, we turned a sharp left and ran up another steep hill. I guess they wanted to keep us on our toes! We reached the top of the hill and turned left to run on the bridge which eventually lead us to the finish line. But it sure seemed like a long ways off! My watch kept ticking the time so I pushed a little more and soon enough I crossed the finish line. Ah, home sweet home.
6th Rock n' Roll Half Marathon of 2011 and 9th race of 2011 finished! Helping kids and kids at heart around the world become healthy, fit and happy. Because that is what life is all about!
After enjoying the comforts some food and a chair, catching up with some friends, we made our way back home. Where I promptly took a nap. Of course. :)
Sarah Stanley is a Sears Fitness sponsored athlete.