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The Orca Half Marathon

the Silver Strider onlinpresents

Race Reports 

brought to you by

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    7210 Greenlake Dr N, Seattle, WA
   16095 Cleveland St., Redmond, WA

 

       The Orca Half Marathon 

 

 

by Nanci Larsen
with photos by Bruce Fisher

 

9/24/17 – Alki Beach

What a beautiful morning for a race! After finding a great on-street parking space, my running buddy, Marsha Murray, and I were treated to a spectacular sunrise over the city of Seattle. Many other early arrivals were busy with their smartphones capturing that spectacular sight.

The Orca Half Marathon is a point-to-point race beginning at Lincoln Park and finishing at Don Armeni Boat Launch along the shores of Alki.

Race participants were shuttled from the finish area to the start. After arriving at Lincoln Park, we had about a 1/2 mile hike down to the start line. I was most relieved to learn that we did not have to run back UP that hill during the race.

The race began in waves to help alleviate congestion at the beginning of the race. Race participants were allowed to choose their start wave times based on availability at time of registration. Late registrants were slotted in the final waves.

Super Pacers were provided for the first 5 waves with finish times of 1:50 through 2:30. The race was chip timed from start to finish, so as each wave received the start countdown, we headed out along the shores of Puget Sound and began our trip up into the park.

 

The course had two small out and back sections at the beginning of the race running through Lincoln Park. After exiting the park, we arrived upon a great downhill into the city streets of the Alki neighborhood.

The one negative would be the condition of the sidewalks. Being an old neighborhood, the sidewalks were narrow in spots and had lots of cracks. Runners were able at times to run in the parking lanes while keeping a watch for traffic.

 

Aid stations were positioned approximately every two miles providing Clif electrolyte drink mix, water and Clif gels packs.

The sights along the Alki waterway are always a beautiful treat; our Olympic Mountains (in view although now without their snow), ferries crossing the sound, people enjoying a walk, playing beach volleyball, cruise ships anchored along the harbors of Magnolia and the Seattle waterfront and the sights of downtown Seattle all there for one to absorb and enjoy. What a great way to spend a beautiful fall morning.

Porter Bratten, – Owner of Orca Running

Orca Running was stationed along the course with cameras at the ready to capture our smiling faces. Participants will be able to download their race photos “free of charge”.

Mile 7; the final out and back has arrived. Being a “newby” in the half marathon category, I always find it a challenge to have a race course that bypasses the finish area for a final out and back. It seemed like a very long 5 mile loop. Where oh where is that turnaround???

I am finally seeing some familiar faces of runners I know, so the turnaround is within about 15+ minutes out. Upon reaching the last turn alongside the West Seattle bridge, a very energetic young woman says “You’re doing great. You’re almost there.” I thought to myself, “I am not. I still have two more miles to go.”  

The finish line is finally in sight. Yes! Race completed. Success at last. People always ask me why I run half marathons and I tell them “It’s for the medal, of course!”

Orca Running does an outstanding job with rewarding each runner a great souvenir of their accomplishment. Our post race refreshments included bananas, sandwich wraps, chips, licorice vines and Clif Bars. I was pleased to see that Reliant Recovery Water, which has become a personal favorite of mine, provided runners bottles of their refreshing oxygen/hydrating water to help re-hydrate us after the run. Yoga mats were available for post race stretching.

Runners in the first two waves were eligible for the overall awards. All waves were eligible for age group awards in five year increments from age 20 up to 80 plus. Runners who placed in the top three spots of their respective age groups were awarded a mini pie from Alki Pie Company – yum!

All Orca Running events benefit The Whale Trail, a West Seattle-based non-profit dedicated to inspiring appreciation and stewardship of whales and our marine environment. A portion of every race entry went to The Whale Trail. It was a great surprise to see the back of our race bibs having the notation of the name, age and sex of a specific whale we were running for. What a great idea!

 

 

Porter and his team did an outstanding job planning and organizing this event. Thank you!

 

 

 

                           Race Results in pictures by Bruce (Flash) Fisher

Igor Velichko – 1st Silver Strider

Jenny Austin – 1st Female S Strider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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