This was a good year for the Seattle marathon. My eighth year in a row, tenth overall. I have told a couple people in the past week that I’m not sure why I do this event every year, but I just do. I wonder if other people have things like this. For me, it’s a bit of a measure of the aging process, a bit of a streak, and a bit of a window on northwest weather year in, year out. There have been rain years, semi-snow years, and some good years too. Traditions and rituals have their place--this seems to have become one of mine.
In the morning, the weather looked unsure of itself, with clouds above after a long night of rain. It was kind of cold at the start. But the conditions turned ideal—overcast, but about 40 degrees. Easy to click the miles off. I ran with my friend Keri, and we improved big upon the last time we ran a marathon together.
The shirt is good—dark blue. Lots of GU on the course. I think I noticed some new poison oak signs in Seward Park. So, more or less, same old, same old. And that is sometimes reassuring.
Lots of friends on the course, though I think more of my trail running friends are opting for the Ghost and other earlier week runs, with good reasons. I miss the Ivar’s clam chowder at the finish of Seattle. They should bring it back, and maybe have Jay Buhner or Chip Hanauer serve it. Yeah, the Seattle Marathon really could benefit from making the marathon more Seattle. Maybe get some salmon flavored gels on the course. Space Needle timing chips. A grunge band in Madison. The marathon should instill hometown pride.
Seattle should do more, especially for the price. My packet included an early bird entry form for next year--$75, to register 12 months in advance. Too high, and I find it somewhat puzzling that marathons raise prices in a down economy. I concede that I don't know all the inputs, but since I do this race annually, I have also noted the annual tradition of the price going up. Seattle is not alone, and by far not the most expensive, I know.
Not sure what’s up next, besides my couch and Sunday night football. December is sort of slow for ultras. I might be looking into an avalanche course, or a course on raptors. Maybe a Skagit float for eagles. I want to do some outdoor education. And some cross country skiing and snowshoeing. And then there’s always the Frosty!