Tacoma City Marathon 2014 Expo and Race Review
Before the Expo, the friends who I were staying with in Redmond, they took me to a brunch place nearby. Even with my eating capacity, I could only eat the pancakes, eggs, and some of the potatoes. I skipped on the toast on the left edge of the plate.
Expo: A bit small but a few vendors, including marathon maniacs. That’s where I got my green MM shirt! It was expensive but it was the only place to get it. It was being sold only at race expos.
Pre-race parking and start area:
I drove down to Downtown Tacoma near the art museum where the bus to the start were. The art museum is by the race finish and we were recommended to park near the art museum. There wasn’t a parking lot for the art museum so you have to find some street parking. However, even though I got there 10 minutes before the last bus, I easily found a parking space and there were many others. I caught one of the last buses. There weren’t many people on it and it left at 6:10. There was another bus behind us. I believe that this was the same bus for the half marathoners who start an hour after us.
The start was at a small airport so there was a large indoor waiting area inside an airplane hangar. This was a great way to keep dry.
There were some portapotties inside the hangar and outside as well. I managed to time it correctly so as I was walking out to the start area after using the bathroom, the race was just starting. I wanted to start from the rear so I was in perfect position.
A drizzly start but cleared up for the rest of the race. Ran in my waterproof jacket in the beginning but once it was dry, I took it off as I was heating up.
First major uphill was the Tacoma Bridge. It was a great run along the bridge as it was very scenic to and across the bridge. I ran downhill towards the base of the bridge, then speed walked up. Still maintained pace with the 5:00 group
Right after the bridge was a memorial park and there were volunteers lined up holding American flags with pictures commemorating veterans who passed away from the area.
Many hills so I walked most of them and then sped up to the 5:00 group.
There was a good number of volunteers and people cheering us on throughout the course.
Right before entering the park, Burt Yasso came up towards our group and ran alongside us for a few miles. It was pretty cool to run with Burt.
In the park, one turn wasn’t mark so we ran about 400 yards too far. We ran down the road and had to backtrack. There were about 20 of us who ran a bit too far. There should’ve been a person there. Usually for any of the turns, there was an aid station visible after the turn. However, the aid station was behind the hill so it wasn’t clear where to go.
About mile 18, there was the Blues Brother themed aid station, which was pretty cool.
About mile 21, we were running along the coast again at sea level and next to the rail tracks. This was where I saw a long freight train and also an Amtrak Cascades. Below was a picture of it going the other way about mile 25.
The last mile was along downtown Tacoma. It was a bit deserted when I finished but it was a good downhill finish which I sprinted through.
The finish area was in the parking lot behind the art museum.
Overall, it was a great race and the rain held out for the entire race, save for the last 15 minutes or so. If I ran a 5 hour marathon, I could’ve stayed completely dry. When I got back to my car, it was starting to rain and heavy rain came through as I got on the highway.