Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Race Recap

Wow, where to start?! What a FUN race – the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon will definitely go in the books as one of my favorite, most beautiful races. I’d highly recommend it if you’re in Seattle, or if you’re looking to travel for running (which is the best kind of travel, clearly).

seattle rock n roll half marathon

As you know, I was in Seattle with the Brooks Run Happy blogger ambassador crew, which I’m honored to be a part of. Such a great group of inspiring women! Here are some of us with the Brooks CEO, Jim Weber, before the race. From left: me, Meghann, Janae, Jesica, and Cori!

seattle rock n roll half marathon

As I shared previously, Brooks had us out to tour their headquarters (more on that in this post) and enjoy Seattle (more on that in this post), and also timed our visit to coincide with the Rock ‘n’ Roll race series, of which Brooks is a big sponsor! Perfect.

seattle rock n roll half marathon

Race morning was easy since we were lucky enough to be put up in a hotel near the race start. We strolled about a half mile to the start and were ready to go with plenty of time. We all lined up together with Lauren (in the dark gray tank below), who does PR for Brooks and was our fearless leader for the weekend. <3 her!

seattle rock n roll half marathon

We also found our friend Emily, who lives in Seattle. Party in the corrals!

seattle rock n roll half marathon

Before we knew it, we were off! I couldn’t believe I was at the starting line of my 12th half marathon. That’s so insane.


I settled in with Meghann, Janae, and Cori and the four of us chatted away, all aiming to run the race for fun vs. time.


Around mile 3 on a big hill, we heard a yell and saw Derek, who works for Brooks, running alongside us cheering! I love the Brooks team – they’re so fun and they really live the “Run Happy” attitude. We saw him and a few of the other Brooks employees out again later in the race, too! It meant so much to us that they were out there cheering (not just for us but for Brooks staff too of course)! (Derek ran a 10k the next day and won it, btw, in 33:42 – insane!!)


Shortly after that Meghann and I hung back and let Janae and Cori take off – we were both feeling a little sluggish and not trying to crush the race. We decided to stick together and make sure to have as much fun and to take as many photos as possible. Deal!

Around mile 4, more excitement happened: look, it’s Doctor Dribble!

doctor dribble

I’ve been hearing about this guy and was so pumped we (literally) ran into him on the course. This guy is amazing – he travels around, completing half and full marathons while dribbling two basketballs, all the while raising money to help children that are underprivileged or overcoming traumatic experiences.

dr dribble

Meghann and I chatted with him briefly and he is such an inspiring guy – I love that he’s using his impressive basketball/running combo skills for a good cause. He raises money for Our Kids and has also started his own charity, Doctor Dribble’s Helping Hands. Incredible.

doctor dribble

After being impressed by Doctor Dribble, Meghann and I carried on. I didn’t wear my hydration pack for this race so we stopped at all the water stops and walked through them. A huge thank you to all the volunteers who were out there for us on Saturday!

seattle rock n roll half marathon

And to all the fun bands that entertained us along the way!




At one point around mile 5 or 6 in the race, we could actually see Mount Rainier in the distance! It was such a beautiful day for a race – clear, crisp, and sunny. Love that lack of humidity, too. :)


At one point in the course there was a double back and we saw that our friend Emily was just behind us! At the starting line she was saying how there was no way she could keep up with us and I told her that she needed to believe in herself more – she was stronger than she knew! Told ya, Emily. :) She caught up with us at this awesome Brooks blowup guy and ended up taking off ahead, looking strong!


Time to keep left!


The first part of the race wasn’t too beautiful scenery-wise (minus seeing a distant Mount Rainier), so I was really pumped when we reached about mile 7 and saw beautiful views of Lake Washington!

seattle rock n roll half marathon


There was also a whole row of American flag holders and signs honoring Washington military who have fallen in the line of duty. It was so powerful, and many people clapped as they ran by.


Just before mile 9 we came across Emily again, who was walking. “Oh no you don’t!!” Meghann and I said, and on the three of us continued together. Emily said she had wanted to get ahead of us a little so that in case she walked, we’d see her and keep her moving. “Don’t let me walk anymore,” she said. You’ve got it!


For the first half of the race up until we hit the lake, I was feeling pretty sluggish; when we hit the lake I got a nice second wind, and by the time we reached mile 9 I was feeling great, especially as the views of the city were getting cooler and cooler.


By mile 10, I was fully “endorphin wasted,” as my friend Theodora would say. I normally hit that endorphin high in the last mile of a race – rather nice to get it early!

seattle rock n roll half marathon


Emily was feeling a bit rough, so Meghann and I focused on positive mantras and being as encouraging as we could. She wanted to finish in under 2 hours and we told her we’d do everything we could to get her that goal!


The views kept getting better and better. It was such a beautiful day to be out running!


My favorite part of the whole race was around mile 11 when we rounded a corner and saw the Great Wheel and the gorgeous water with mountains in the background. SO beautiful!

seattle rock n roll half marathon

Emily was definitely digging deep and stopped to walk a few times but we did our best to keep her going. She kept telling us to leave her – nope! Not happening. We’re in this together!

We knew that Emily’s husband and two little boys were around the 20k point cheering and were so excited when we spotted them. A good boost of energy for her!


Soon after, the finish line was in sight! There was a hill leading up to it, and Emily started to walk. Meghann and I looked at each other, shook our heads, grabbed her hands, and the three of us charged towards the finish together.

seattle rock n roll half marathon

We ended up finishing in 2:01, which was 18 minutes faster than Emily ran this course shortly after her first son was born (her second son was born about 8 months ago). So, so proud of her!


She has another half in 3 weeks and I know she can sub-2 hours if she works on her mental game. You’re stronger than you think, Emily – remember that!

IMG_5523 (425x640)

What a beautiful and fun race. I was so happy to share in the experience with my friends, and proud to have another half marathon under my belt, too!


Overall, I give the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half two big thumbs up! The course was a bit hilly but the views were worth it, and I found it well organized and with really friendly volunteers, too. Also – cool medals! Love the coffee theme. :)


After the race, all of us had fun talking all things running and sharing stories from the half. A huge congrats to Jesica and Lauren, who both set new PRs! Proud of you ladies! :)

We also were honored to get to meet Olympic gold medalist Apolo Ohno, who was out there running the half, too! He finished in 1:36:49 – a personal best for him!


One more huge thank you to Brooks for hosting me this past weekend in Seattle and making the trip such a fun celebration of running. :) Until next next time, Seattle! I’ll miss you!

What’s the most beautiful race you’ve ever done? The LA Marathon was pretty gorgeous, too, although I do love my DC monument views! :)

And if you ran Seattle, too, how’d it go?!


  1. 1

    So good of you guys to stay with Emily. Read her post earlier, so proud of her having run it 18 minutes faster, and she was so close to being sub 2 hours, totally has it in her! 10 k in 33 minutes is EPIC!!! Well done to you too of course!!! 12 halves…also epic!

  2. 2

    Unless there are two guys that dribble basketballs in races (which, who knows, maybe there are?) I think I saw Dr. Dribble at the cherry blossom 10 miler earlier this spring! I didn’t know about his charity but I remember being blown away by his skill. That takes some serious coordination!

    • 3

      Right?? I was even more impressed he could chat and smile for our photos while doing all that, too! Apparently at water stops the volunteers pour water into his mouth and he keeps dribbling!

  3. 4

    I ran Seattle 1/2 last year and bawled like a baby during the Lake Washington stretch with the flags. Snot galore. DANG YOU RNR!!

  4. 5

    haha, who is the creeper in all black sitting on the bridge overlooking the wheel?
    congrats on the race! looks so fun!!

  5. 7

    What an awesome race! I love the medal!

  6. 8

    So much fun! Hope you guys come back to run this one again!! :)

  7. 9

    Congrats on the race. It sounds like you were an amazing race buddy, so much encouragement. I love hearing stories like that. It’s amazing what a little positive motivation can do! It looks like it was a beautiful day for a half marathon!

  8. 10

    Loved reading this! :) And congrats on another 1/2 finish!

  9. 11

    Sounds like a fantastic weekend! I’m training for my first half this fall (doubt I will get anywhere near the 2hr mark–finishing will be enough for now!), I love reading recaps like these to get myself excited!

  10. 13

    I also ran the Seattle RNR! And I PR’d!! I was so proud of myself, I almost started crying at the finish line! That last hill was tough!!

  11. 15

    Where did you get those shorts? They look comfy, but not too short…hard to find!! I am starting to train for my first “big” race (Army 10-miler) in October!! :)

  12. 19

    Emily looks SO familiar. Did she go to college with us?

  13. 21

    I always LOVE your race recaps, so cool to virtually experience the race firsthand. Next year I’m planning on a destination half and I think I’ll be scrolling through your race recaps to see which one would suit me most. Congrats on another half, keep up the good work!!

  14. 23

    This looks like such a fun race. Seattle is high up on my wish list of places to visit! Love your shorts by the way, are they from Brooks?

  15. 25
    Lisa 831 says

    So I mentioned before on your post that you were going to run right by my office. Well you even got a picture of it. The picture with the cones and red building to the right. That red building is my office!

  16. 27

    I love RnR races! That bball guy is pretty cool huh?

  17. 28
    Roadrunner says

    Well done, Anne. Another half, and yes you have run an insane number of them now! Great work on pulling your friend along so nicely!


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