The Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon, Seattle’s hometown marathon has become a Thanksgiving weekend tradition for runners and walkers in the Pacific Northwest.
The race began in 1970 when 38 friends from the University of Washington decided to hold their own 26.2-mile running event. Fast forward 43 years and it has grown to a 3-day weekend event that includes a full marathon run and walk, half marathon run and walk, 5K race and kids marathon. Add to that a 2-day Health & Fitness Expo and summer 10K Race, which combined sees more than 13,000 participants annually.
Even with so many fans, mention the Seattle Marathon to folks across the nation who are unfamiliar with the race and you’ll inevitably be met with the questions “Why November? Isn’t it always rainy in Seattle then?” followed by “Isn’t it hilly?”
The answer to both, of course, is a qualified yes. It is often wet and there are hills on the course. So what is it that keeps runners coming back for more?
The Fall Date – Ask any runner what their race calendar looks like and, more often than not, plans get pretty slim after September. Always held the Sunday following Thanksgiving, the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon fits nicely in the calendar after a summer packed with races and provides the perfect motivation to keep moving during those cold and dark months of the year. It also goes without saying that having a 13.1 or 26.2-mile race around the corner allows you to pile on second helpings at Thanksgiving dinner guilt-free.
The Rain – Though the number of rainy days in Seattle may be higher than the average American city, the amount of rain that comes down is hardly worth noting (more like extended drizzles really). Compare this to the frigid temperatures or harsh conditions found elsewhere in the country during late November and you’re looking at fairly ideal running conditions.
The Course – You’ve got to hand it to Race Director Louise Long, for charting out 26.2 miles of race course with minimal hills and spectacular scenery to boot. We’ll put it this way; combine a floating bridge, dozens of Olmstead Brothers-inspired parks, Lake Washington, the Arboretum, and the Space Needle and it’s easy to see that this course is jam packed with some of the best sights Seattle has to offer.
The Organization – After 43 years, the race organizers of the non-profit Seattle Marathon Association have got things down to a science. The details are covered from each individual volunteer and medical team member to every cone and honey bucket on the course, all while staying true to the Seattle, hometown culture.
When it’s all said and done, our goal is to create a memorable race experience that is fun for the entire family. We hope you’ll join us for the 2014 Seattle Marathon Family of Events.
In the meantime, be a part of our community. Visit us online, or through your favorite social media platform. We love our runners and we're here for you!