14 October 2008

Spokane Marathon Race Report

I'm all signed up for the Autumn Leaves 50m and Bandera 100k. So I thought it was about time I stopped being lazy and went for a little run. Hey, what do you know, the Spokane Marathon was on Sunday. Perfect timing.

I've been running the last two months, but with no runs on tap I considered it my break for the season and wasn't logging high miles. So, although I feel like I'm in great shape I didn't know what to expect from my legs on a hilly road marathon.

We were in Spokane the day before to watch a show so I thought it would be nice to stay there overnight so I wouldn't have to make the 70+ mile drive at 5am. It was a good decision. I got some sleep (kind of...the Red Sox/Rays game went into extra innings) and felt good in the morning.

But it was cold at the start. Very cold. 25 degrees kind of cold.

This is what it looks like in Spokane when
it's sunny and 25 degrees before a marathon

This is what it looks like at the start of a
marathon when it's 25 degrees

As with all my races, my first goal was to not kill myself. I want to finish able to run another day. My only other marathon was Portland last year and I finished in around 3hr 51m. This course has more climbing than Portland so I thought a 4hr run would be wonderful. This course is also much more beautiful than the Portland course. Portland has the wonderful entertainment and energy, but if you're looking for a low-key, scenic run then do Spokane.

Leaving downtown around mile 2

Everyone's seen this guy, right?
The guy on the left running in the road.
You know, the one who just because
he has a race bib thinks that the road
is all his. Several cars nearly hit him
on this section. Notice everyone else
running on the nice running path...

Views of the Spokane River west of town.

Ominous aid station next to a cemetery...

The views were worth running on asphalt

Crossing the Spokane River

Aid stations in small races like this are usually pretty slim. This race was no different. Water and sport drink. I was carrying a bag of nuts with me (I don't do gels) just in case there was no food or snacks at the aid stations and I was glad I did. However, at around the mile 15 station they had some gummy bears and a box of maple bars. Yum. So I took a couple minute break to down a maple bar. It was nice and my stomach liked me. While running a marathon is the only time I don't feel guilty eating a doughnut. That's a lie, I never feel guilty. :)

80's themed aid station (I think)

More views

In a recent Runner's World they listed the top 10 toughest hills on American road races. #4 is the Doomsday Hill at the famous Bloomsday 12k in Spokane. So what's a marathon in Spokane without Doomsday, right? Same daunting hill, but at the 22-mile mark instead of the 4-mile mark. Though, I will say that a "tough, daunting hill" is much more relative after running the White River 50 this summer. Doomsday seems like a foot massage compared with climbs in these mountain ultras. (But don't say that to anyone in Spokane.)

Words of encouragement on the
approach to Doomsday Hill

At the bottom of Doomsday looking up

At the top of Doomsday looking
back down to the river

Maybe it was no coincidence that around mile 23 my legs decided they were finished for the day. I'm sure I looked like a running tin-man those last three miles. At this point I knew I had 4hrs in the bag and I hobbled the last couple miles before crossing the finish line in 3:49:12 - a two minute PR. Official results. I placed 47 out of 140 (including early starters.)

Near the finish

A Guinness is the perfect after race beverage

A successful marathon to begin my 100k training.

Keep running!



  1. Just a nice little warmup race, huh? Great job! It sure does look like a beautiful race course.

  2. ROFLMAO!!! That's my motto in the first hour I transition from bike to run. Don't sh*t yourself!!! hahahahaha....

    Awesome job,dude!! Donuts are the best pre-race breakfast eva!!! :-)

  3. A PR while being a photojournalist! That is impressive. Congrats.

  4. ahh, makes me miss my hometown. Great job Scott!

  5. Great photos. Great report. Great run...

  6. ROFLMAO! You totally did not stop and take those pictures during the marathon and still rocked that time did you?!? So that's the key, eh? I've gotta sign up for ultras? Makes marathons look like cake walk, huh? HAHAH!

    CONGRATS homie! You did most excellent. I bet Grandma is proud! ;-)

  7. Nice photos! Contrats for conquering that hill. :)

  8. nice job. Great training run for your longer races coming up!

  9. Congrats on an awesome race...I love that you can just randomly decide to do a marathon and then PR on it! Very impressive!

    As always, awesome pictures!

  10. The "Don't Shit Yourself" photo is priceless! You have a good nose for Irish Pubs, O'Doherty's is my favorite in Spokane.

    Nice job running a PR when coming out of a self imposed slacker period.

  11. Hey, remember me? LOL. you're too funny.

    Nice job!

  12. Brilliant race report. I love the photos! Congrats on the PR.

  13. Awesome. Wish I could have been there...

  14. That motivational poster is the best I've ever seen!

  15. 25 degrees ???? WTH ? Wow - thats pretty cold at this time of the year. I love every picture of it. Makes me wanna sign up for Spokane Marathon. I love that sign the guy was holding !!! Cracked me up ! Great pixs!

  16. Way to go, Scott! Glad to hear you're signed up for Autumn Leaves. You'll have to join us for dinner, or at least a beer after the race.

  17. Sweet! Nice job! Hey, I might run Bandera 50k.

  18. Nice way to kickoff a 100k training with a marathon PR.

    Try the Honey Stinger Gels... I never could GU..ever ..until I tried these.

    LOL on the poster. Truly funny!!

  19. Sweet report! I love that sign "dont sh!t yourself" hahaha. congrats Scott.

  20. The photo of the cemetery reminds me of one the old folks home here in my community. The view out the front window? The cemetery across the road. How inspirational (but funny - to me, you too I bet).

  21. spokane marathon!?! are you kidding me! i'm in a twilight zone---i live at Gonzaga, what i didnt know there was a spokane marathon!? and here i am waiting for seattle and that was last weekend? arrrr i try but i guess i dont know anything about races. so it went up the bloomsday course? not one word on the bloody news.

    sorry random i know--i dont read many running blogs. ive only been running a couple years. anyways. don't you just love doomsday hill! the river around her is so smokey in the early morning.

  22. WOOHOO!!!!!!! Nice job!!

  23. Scott,

    Wow! My comments don't reflect it but I've gotten a ton of hits on my sitemeter for your picture of the inspirations poster. It didn't hurt that a guy posted it on Live.com with credit from my blog and your photo.

    Anyways - The photo provided some entertainment while I slogged through a rather boring couple of weeks with regard to running. Life in my running world has been fairly fast paced so the short break from any crazy runs was nice. We head out for Marine Corps Marathon on Friday and the crazy times begin again!

    Woo Hoo!

  24. Trail Scat,

    Thanks for spreading the fun. :)

    Glass Knees

  25. Congrats for the final time and the official results. A pack with few runners doesn't help to establish a new PR, but you did it! Bravo.