Sorry for this much delayed race report/absence from blogging over the past week. For 1,349 reasons I have been too busy to sit down and write!
If you followed my daily sweats from last week, you know I got to travel to Washington state for work.
You also know that the first thing I did was plot out my run schedule. This involved 1) emailing Tall Mom Mel and joining her and the lovely Zoe for their 15 mile run on Saturday, and 2) finding a race while I was there. The race of choice? BIRCH BAY MARATHON in Birch Bay State Park in the very Northwest Corner of Washington State.
cold and waiting for the start
I selected this very bare bones race for its scenery (can you say panoramic ocean views and the cascade mountains? My good cam is unfortunately in the shop- my less than stellar replacement just does not do the views justice. Trust me. To die for awesomeness)
I did not select this run for its race amenities, can you say sketchy pre-race email:
My reaction to this email went a little like this: laugh, grow scared, pack pepper spray.
I decided in light of my Goofy Challenge (+2) that running 15 miles on Saturday and 26.2 on Sunday meant that I was going to run the marathon slowwwww, enjoy the BEAUTIFUL course, and take lots of pictures. And that’s exactly what I did. A
ll the pictures of me running? Totally posed. I would run up on a water station and ask the volunteers to take a picture of me. They obliged but definitely thought I was crazy. Doesn’t this chick know she’s running a marathon?
Before the race began, I met a Marathon Maniac in the parking lot who had done the race before. I asked him if the course was as beautiful as I was expecting. He said “No way, it really isn’t anything spectacular.”
Well, he lied. The course was outrageously amazing. The first few miles were along the beach and then we started a two loop course where we ran towards the mountains and then along the water. I think you Washington folk are spoiled and stop appreciating how beautiful your state was. At least my maniac pal certainly has forgotten what other parts of the country look like!
A few miles into the loop part of the course we hit what I deemed the HeartBaker Hill of the Birch Bay Marathon (we could see Mount Baker as we ran). The hill wasn’t all that bad the first time around. It definitely was long and steep, but I kind of like hills, so I enjoyed the ascent. When we hit it again at Mile 18, I did feel quite so fond of the hill.
On the second half of the loop we were running above the water and even when there were trees you could see the ocean and mountains through the woods and it was G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S.
Hands down this is the prettiest marathon I have ever run. I will be looking to run more marathons in Washington state when I return for future work trips. If you are doing any particularly spectacular ones, let me know. I’m pretty easy to persuade.
post run with bling in hand