Tuesday, July 2, 2013

12th event of 2013: Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon

Seattle Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon

Thursday, June 20th:

I got home yesterday afternoon from my 6 days in Michigan and 12 hours later I was leaving my house for the airport, en route to Seattle for the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon. It was an early start to my day, 3:30a.m., and by the time I land in Seattle it's already early afternoon on the West Coast. 

Upon arrival I get my rental car and arrange to pick up my husband (he was here a day ahead for his business trip) then head to the hotel to check in while Jim meets with another appointment of his. After getting settled at the Silver Cloud Hotel in the Capital Hill area of Seattle I meet Jim again then we're off right away to an interview with FoxQ13 at South Lake Union.

The same sign is still in place in the lobby at Q13. This time Jim is with me so he gets his own "New Girl" photo op.

We made it back to the Green Room...

...and after 45 minutes we make it into the studio!

Reporter Marni Hughes grants us another interview to follow up on last year's journey. 
 Thank you, Marni and Q13 for yet another opportunity to spread the GetBackUP message in the Northwest!! For as long as this will remain active, please check out the link for our interview:


Following the interview we make our way back to the hotel. According to my body clock it's after 8pm and I'm famished after my long day so I'm hoping to find a place within walking distance of the hotel to grab an early dinner. My hope is to be asleep in my room in 2 hours or less since I've had so little sleep in the past 3 days.

The interview at Q13 was live on their early evening newscast which had us returning to the hotel in rush-hour traffic. As you may have expected, it is now raining here in Seattle which adds insult to injury regarding the traffic woes.

To my pleasant surprise we find a restaurant 2 doors down from the hotel that holds promise for a healthy, fresh meal. They have a "daily fresh sheet" in addition to an extensive regular menu.

From the logo you may not expect the "non-bar food" offerings they had...

YUM!! Vegetarian Brussels Sprouts for Beth!! Sorry, just can't hide my enthusiasm when a restaurant (much less a BAR) has perfectly cooked B. Sprouts sans bacon!

Jim and I also shared the local cheese and fruit plate. I didn't want to eat too much since I planned to be asleep within the hour.

Here's a look at Garage from the outside. It's huge inside with 25 regulation pool tables, 6 separate bar/food areas and a 20-lane bowling alley. 
I couldn't get over how great the food choices were at Garage Bowl and I loved the way they utilized the space to accommodate so many activities. Don't hesitate to stop in the next time you're in Seattle:

Not wanting to go to sleep directly on a full stomach, Jim and I walked around the Capital Hill area of Seattle. In all my previous trips here I've never spent any time in this neighborhood so this was a new adventure. Here are a few shots of what I saw along my 30-minute walk prior to returning to the hotel for some much needed sleep:

An almost-equal mix of industrial, retail and residential spaces make up the Capital Hill area.

This sandwich spot was recommended to us by a local so we had to pop in to check it out.

Both Jim and I found numerous options on their menu we'd enjoy so we may stop back in while we're in town.

I love the artwork on display in the Honey Hole.

Another view.

This is a view from the center of Capital Hill looking down the steep hill that feeds towards the water and Pike Place Public Market.

One of the many gorgeous homes nestled in and among the commercial properties in Capital Hill.

Cables form a web over the entire city of Seattle. The public transit system is ranked as one of the best in the nation and had I been staying here longer than 2 nights (or without so much packed into such a short trip), I would not have bothered with car rental: 
The “Metro” public bus system which operates throughout Seattle and King County is one of the most extensive and highly praised in the nation. Having been honored twice as the best-run large public transportation system in North America, Metro operates a fleet of approximately 1,300 vehicles – including standard and articulated coaches, electric trolleys, dual-powered buses, hybrid diesel-electric buses and streetcars – which serve an annual ridership of more than 100 million.

Friday, June 21st:

Unfortunately this day was long on work and short on photos! I did sleep in to catch up on my rest, but that still had me up-and-at-'em by 8:00am Pacific Time. Jim had work with his distributors today and I took the opportunity to finish my Michigan blog post and attend to some neglected emails and voicemails. By the time I was ready to head to the Expo for race check-in I realized that my phone battery was nearly spent. With my Mophie battery back-up still not functioning properly (and no time to get this taken care of between Michigan and now) I was out of juice for any photos...sorry!!

When Jim returned from his day of work here I was able to use his phone for a few shots of dinner before we returned to the hotel to get our gear ready for the Half Marathon tomorrow. In addition to our race prep, we had to be mostly packed to check out of the hotel in the morning; after the run tomorrow we will kill a few hours in town before taking the red-eye flights back to Greensboro tomorrow night.

I read a great review of this place, The 8oz. Burger Bar, in this morning's paper. This was just 5 doors down from our hotel and they offered plenty of vegetarian options in addition to the carnivorous fare so it was a good match for our purposes!

A view from the bar at 8oz. Burger Bar. The place was already packed at 5:30pm.

Another view.

My vegetarian burger--homemade and piled high on a gluten-free bun!

Yum, fresh avocados on the top and tomatoes, onions and pickles on the bottom.

After dinner we walked to Blick Art Supply to pick up some foam board for my Get Back UP sign. From here we strolled back to the room and got ready for our long day tomorrow.
 Saturday, June 22nd...RACE DAY!!!

For the second trip in a row (albeit all in an 8-day stretch) I am so far north in the US that it gets light early and stays light late. We were awake by 4:00a.m. and by the time we left the room around 5:00am the sun was ready to peek over the horizon.

What a gorgeous day here in Seattle!! NO RAIN in the forecast which is a welcome occasion for us on this race day. Here's a view a few blocks West of our hotel before we turn North to head to the starting line area. I love Pike Place Market when it's bustling with activity but it's so peaceful in the early morning when the vendors are setting up for the day.

Jim is all smiles as we make our way to the Space Needle for the race festivities.

All weekend long we've seen media reports that this Rock 'n Roll Marathon/Half Marathon is the first big event in the city of Seattle since the Boston Marathon bombing in April. We decided to show our support for the city's commitment to the events today.

Friendly faces among our RnR Gypsy crew!

George Melichar is signing a copy of his Sports Illustrated article. Congrats on the great Press, Geo!!

I've made George an honorary TeamUP member for the day. Thanks, George, for being so generous in helping the GBU campaign to reach more and more people! (And thanks, Jim, for lending your jacket to the cause.)

Beautiful flower arrangements at the Competitor Group VIP lounge.

Full sunrise is about to reach the VIP tent as my sign cheers it along.

Our dear RnR gypsy buddies, Susan and Ron Carino--ready to rock and roll!

And a Kamika Smith sighting!! 

And a Carl Brance sighting!! Carl is the Northwest District Manager of Sales for Allard and also a wearer of the Blue Rocker by Allard. Carl has foot drop as a result of an accident years ago. In the "small world" category: Carl just realized that Kamika Smith of Kauai, HI signed his marriage certificate when he and his wife, Ashley, got married in Kauai a few years ago at the Smith Family Gardens/Luau. Kamika has become a great friend of mine (and Jim's) since we met on the RnR circuit last year. 

Thanks for coming out to support us today, Carl, and thanks especially for being such an inspiring person to all of us with foot drop.

Jim and I are ready to rock 'n roll! Well, in reality Jim is wondering whether 2 straight days of hard workouts was the best thing to do leading up to this hilly half marathon. We shall see...

Waaaayyyyyyy up front is the starting line. The corrals are packed with thousands of runners waiting to enjoy the beautiful weather this morning...we are slowly making our way towards the start.

Hmmm... that guy on the left doesn't look too happy. If he feels this bad at the start I wonder how he will feel after 13.1 or 26.2 miles today?!

At the band stage near mile 5 I spot a lead singer with a Delorean shirt on! (My sisters and I were the not-so-proud yet oh-so-grateful owners of a Dodge Dart Swinger to share while in high school. Due to our last name, it was affectionately referred to as "The Delorean". I wish we had this man's shirt to go with it.)

So many cheerful sights along the route today.

Optimism abounds on this perfect day to run!
(Get it?... "Half full" as in the glass is...)

Happy runners behind me along the flattest, shadiest stretch of  the Half Marathon today.
I feel so lucky to have come from the beautiful lake runs in the U.P. of Michigan straight to this spectacular marine scenery along the sound in Seattle.

We had a great, flat stretch of road in the shade of the early morning. Jim and I know what to expect with the sun and the hills in full strength for the miles ahead, but for now we are enjoying wonderful running conditions.

Full sun and a nice, long downhill after some tough climbs to this view. Roughly 3 miles to go with some serious uphills still to come. That's Safeco field directly in front with Century Link field behind it to the right.

We've made the turn back North finally along the final 3-mile stretch. Last year they were just finishing the construction of the Ferris Wheel to the left. We had fantastic views of the water and mountains all the way back to the finish line.

And speaking of the Finish Line, Carl is cheerfully awaiting us as we complete our event today.

Most of the Half Marathoners are streaming in now while the Full Marathoners are dealing with the sun and rising temps. The headliner band will be playing in about 45 minutes so the crowds are starting to gather at the main stage.

Gettin' Back UP with amputee runner Nick Roumonada (who also happens to be a sales rep in the industry, so he works to make sure others are getting back up, too.) Nick paced a friend, who shed 50 pounds this year, through his first Half Marathon ...nice work!

Friend and RnR Gypsy, Kevin Gonzalez who is all smiles this morning. Congrats, Kevin!

Carl was fantastic as race-support crew for the weekend. Thanks so much, my friend, we love you!

The Space Needle keeps watch over the finish line festivities.

Says Susan Carino, "This is why I run!!"
(Congrats on another great Half this weekend, Carinos... see you in Chi-Town!)

Though Jim and I needed to rush back to check out of the hotel, we couldn't leave without cheering for Kamika and George at the finish. Great to see you, friends! Also, Kamika...YOU ROCK!! I still can't believe you brought fresh leis all the way from Kauai--thank you, they are incredibly fragrant and beautiful! I think leis are the PERFECT "apres run" accessory!

Post race lunch with the most hard core RnR Gypsies we know. Most of these crazy-determined runners are planning to pull off 2 Half Marathons on the same day...one in San Antonio then in Vegas. To be continued....

As the sun begins to set on Seattle, Jim and I are at the airport for the first of 3 flights tonight.  By tomorrow mid-morning we will be back home in Greensboro. Whew, it's been a whirlwind 9 days.

The Seattle RnR medal along with the bonus Heavy Medal, Pacific Peaks, for completing Portland and Seattle in the same calendar year.
Next up: I'm hosting the Dralla Foundation Review Committee in Greensboro the next 5 days, ending with the Freedom Run 10K a week from today. Another busy schedule but all the work is going towards helping many more people Get Back UP. See you soon! 

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