*I am an Orca Running Ambassador, I received a free race entry in exchange for my honest review all opinions are as always my own*
I have been talking this race up for a while now, after months of waiting the Snoqualmie Valley Run Half Marathon Race Review is finally here! I have been looking forward to this race since April. With the rave reviews of a flat course in the country I couldn’t wait to get out there and see what I could really do. I learned the hard way that not everyday is a PR kind of day. You can log the miles and do everything in your control to make it a good race day, but when it comes down to it sometimes it’s just not your day. That was my experience at the Snoqualmie Valley Run this year.
Pre Race Details
Orca Running is great about pre race communication. They send out detailed emails that are to the point so there are no surprises come race day! Packet pick up was conveniently located at the Bellevue Road Runner Sports. The volunteers were friendly, organized and on their game! Orca Running always has great race gear, the gender specific tech T-shirts for this race where super cute, high quality, and comfortable. You have to love it when you get race shirts you will actually wear!
Race Day Morning
I felt great going into the race, I got up early and had my coffee, followed by foam rolling, and a solid pre race meal. I was very excited to finally be doing a run with my hubby. We got to the start line ready to run and have some fun. There where some last minute parking changes but there was plenty of parking around the park and we had no problem getting to the start line. While this was a small race there was still a long row of porta potties to accommodate all of the runners at the start line, an important consideration that is often over looked!
The run starts at the historic Tolt MacDonald Barn which makes for some fun pre race photos! With the smaller race field there was a mas start. This made for some great energy at the start however having a few waves may have made things a little less crowded on the trails in those first few miles. The first mile felt great, I was on pace to set a new PR, despite the uneven gravel trail that makes up the first 1-2 miles of the race.
At mile 1.5 disaster hit, I had a stabbing pain in my right side. I thought perhaps it was a stitch in my side, something that I haven’t had to deal with in years, so I slowed down and focused on breathing.
After those first few miles the trail becomes packed dirt winding through the woods which is easier to navigate. Despite the advertised flat course there is actually a slight incline for the first half of the race, which could make for some great negative splits. Miles 4 and 5 actually felt pretty good, but then the pain returned followed with some serious GI distress. At mile 8 I had to slow to a walk. Periodically I tested out easy running, hoping I could at least jog it in to the finish line, no such luck. I have been through some tough races, and this was the first time I ever actually wanted to quite. Sometimes it’s just not your day.Orca Runnings #SnoqualmieValleyRun #Halfmarathon #racereview Click To Tweet
I have never been so happy to be done with a race. As I was walking in to the finish line the announcer addressed me by name and asked how I was doing, one of the perks of small races is the personalization. My only real criticism of this race was that there was no bottled water at the finish line, for me that is the first thing I want after a race, even more than that finishers medal.
Snoqualmie Valley Run did however have great post race food. If you know anything about how I judge races post race food is pretty high on my list. A Post race BBQ is one of my all time favorite post race meals. I love how festive the finish line was with a summer BBQ feel.
One of the things I love about Orca Running events is the complementary race photos! Evan though I didn’t have a great race all of you who raced your hearts out get to enjoy those awesome race photos!
While I may not have had my best day I did have the chance to think about the advise I would give anyone getting ready for their first half marathon, which you can read in my post 5 Half Marathon Training Tips For Your First Race. Looking to sign up for your next race? Make sure to check out Orca Running Events and use the code E2SYL to save 10% on you registration!
For my veteran runners, what is the hardest thing you have had to overcome on a race? For my new runners, what is the one thing you are afraid of encountering on your first race? Tell me in the comments below.