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Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon


Updated June 28, 2009

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Medal

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Medal 2009

Wendy Bumgardner © 2009

Seattle RNR Date and Location:

The inaugural Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon & 1/2 Marathon was held Saturday, June 27, 2009

The expo/packet pick-up was held at Qwest Center on June 25 and 26, 2009. On race day, participants were bused to Tukwila for the starting line. Shuttles were provided from the Westin Hotel and the south side of Qwest Field from 4 am till 6 am. There was no parking at the starting line or shuttles back to the starting line following the event. The finish line was at Qwest Field.

Due to traffic jams caused by those dropping people at the starting line in Tukwila, it is strongly urged that racers take the shuttles.

Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon Course:

The inaugural Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon course shuttled racers to the Tukwila starting line. The first five miles are through the industrial area and then four miles along Lake Washington Boulevard. Marathoners crossed the Lake Washington Bridge to Mercer Island and back. They rejoined the half marathon on I-90 to downtown Seattle. The half marathon finished at Qwest Field while the marathon continued north on 99 to Lake Union and back south along Puget Sound to the finish. Photos of 2009 Seattle RNR

Course Amenities:

The Seattle RNR features the following each mile:
Live bands
Cheering squads
Water and sports drink stations
Portable toilets

Medical stations are located appoximately every two miles, with roaming medics on bikes.

The half marathon course is about one third shaded. Temperatures in the Seattle area are usually mild, but as this is a late June event, a hot day might bring more hydration and heat sickness problems.

The course is closed to vehicle traffic.

Cheering stations for family and friends are readily available along the course, but they may experience traffic delays.

Walker Friendly:

The finish stays open for seven hours for the marathon and four hours for the half marathon. Marathoners who are behind the 17 minute mile time at 14.5 miles (11:55 am) will be rerouted to the finish line to finish a 15.5 mile course. The time limit starts from the starting time of the last corral of racers, giving everyone the same time limit. Do not enter the event if you can't finish within the time limits.

What You Get:

All registrants receive a technical T-shirt and goodie bag at the expo/packet pick-up, with medals for finishing. Registrants get free entry into the post-race concert, with tickets available for purchase by friends and family members. All finishers receive a personalized finisher certificate, mailed after the event.


Registration fees vary, but are generally $80 or more per event, with prices increasing as the date gets nearer to the event. Register online and pick up your bib number, timing chip and goodie bag at the expo the day or two before the event. The inaugural 2009 Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon sold out before race day, with 25,000 registered.
Seattle Rock 'N' Roll Marathon and Half Marathon

About the Rock 'n' Roll Marathons and Half Marathons:

The Rock 'n' Roll Marathons and Half-Marathons are held in locations around the United States by Elite Racing. The events are open to runners and walkers within the time limits of seven hours for a marathon and four hours for a half-marathon. The Rock 'n' Roll series features entertainment by dozens of bands along the course for a party atmosphere. Events vary as to whether they offer a marathon, half marathon or both.
Elite Racing

Review 2009:

I walked the first Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon and I was impressed. The Expo had a full slate of vendors and freebies. Photos of 2009 Seattle RNR

I had a 30 minute wait for the bus at 5:15 am from the Westin Hotel. Then we were stuck in a traffic jam of those dropping people off at the start. But the gear check was very convenient on the way to the corrals.

There were enormous numbers of pora-toilets at the start, but the lines were 15 minutes long to use them. I was able to grab a bagel at the start point, and bottled water was available, but I didn't see any remaining fruit or coffee. By the time I arrived, people were getting desperate to get into their corrals and so there wasn't much of a party atmosphere in the start area.

There were 36 corrals for the 25,000 racers. I was assigned to number 34. This meant I would start 45 minutes to an hour after the starting gun. This totaled about two hours of standing in line before the race. The morning was sunny but cool, so I was glad I kept my long sleeved technical shirt as a cover-up.

Once we finally shuffled under the balloon arch, we soon came to the first live band and cheering section on the course. The organizers promised a band every mile, and near each was a cheering group from a local school or other community group. Water and sports drink stops were also found almost every mile. The number of porta-johns on the course could be improved, there was a long line at every stop until mile 10.

The water stops were huge. The first stop was out of sports drink, but they always had water, sports drink and cups at every stop thereafter. The energy gel at the designated stop was gone, however.

The course was perfectly marked at the splits where the half marathon and marathon diverged. Medical assistance was immediate for two accidents I came across. Blister-fixing medical stops were found every two miles.

I finished with the tail end of the half marathon, under the cutoff time, which is when many marathoners are finishing. The finish line was still well stocked with a variety of food, but it appeared the heat sheets were in short supply.

Overall, this is a first rate event that I found very walker-friendly.

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