I left Vancouver Friday evening after work and headed North to Seattle to pick up my friend. My timing didn’t end up being the best and I ended up getting to experience Seattle rush hour on my way there. I picked up my friend and headed to Chelan, passing through the town of Leavenworth which is now on my list of places I must return to.
We arrived in Chelan Friday night around midnight. We stayed at the Apple Inn Motel, which isn’t one of the more lavish hotels in the area, but was perfect for our short weekend trip; especially since we were able to walk to town from the hotel. If you do this race I would suggest booking your hotel in advance as they seemed to sell out really fast. Saturday morning we woke up and drove to the North Shore Bible Church to pick up our race packets. There was a pre-race day packet pickup Friday but we didn’t make it in time to take advantage of that. The lines on race morning weren’t bad and walked right up and picked up our packet. We were instructed that the shuttle for the half marathoners would leave at 7:10 am sharp and to make sure to be back at that time if we wandered off. We hung out in our car until the shuttles were about to leave then went and got one of the many shuttles available. This is the third race I’ve ever done that was a point-to-point race and required that you take a shuttle to the start line. I’m starting to learn that I really enjoy this type of race.
The shuttle dropped us off on the South side of the lake, at a little area on the side of the main road. There were a few port-a-potties available (as well as at the location we picked up our race packets). We didn’t have to wait long before the start of the race. We had just enough time to take some pre-race photos and wait in line for the port-a-potties before heading over to the start.
We started running West along the lake towards downtown Chelan. The views were stunning and I had to stop to take pictures. A couple of miles into the race we crossed over a beautiful little bridge over the lake and entered the town of Chelan. There were lots of people out cheering on their friends and family. We ran by the campgrounds and through a little park. After about a mile running through the town we headed Northeast to finish the run along the lake.
I think the North side of the lake was the most stunning. The majority of the lake was in front of you and vineyards surrounded you as you ran. There was so much to look at during this race; the lake, the vineyards, the towns, the little docks, the beachfront properties, and the many people out on watercraft. I was very entertained the entire race and almost forgot I was running 13.1 miles. The course was relatively flat until approximately mile 6, where we encountered a hill as we approached the town of Manson. Although the hill wasn’t that epic, I still walked through it and picked back up running at the top.
I was a little worried about the heat since it was supposed to be 90 degrees that day in Chelan, but the race started early enough it didn’t end up being that bad. There were aid stations every mile or two along the course passing out water, Gatorade, and energy gel products at some of the stations. I brought water with me and still ended up taking a water and Gatorade at each aid station. The second half of the race the water stations were closer together. There were a couple of aid stations which seemed to be only about ½ mile apart. I found this very helpful and appreciated the extra water; especially at the end of the race once the temperature really started to pick up.
I finished the race in 2:29 which was much faster than my last half marathon. Once I crossed the finish line I was immediately greeted by volunteers passing out water bottles and finisher medals. Behind them were tables full of all sorts of food to choose from. My muchie craving was in full force so I grabbed one of everything and sat in the grass and devoured the delicious food. There was a beer garden at the race area, however the beer wasn’t included in the race entry fee. We elected to skip the beer and go for some wine tasting around town later that day. It took us a little while to figure out where our car was, but once we figured it out it was pretty easy to find.
Every time I talk to someone about running the question always comes up “what was your favorite race?”. That race has historically always been the Vancouver BC Half Marathon. However, I think thethis one has taken its place as my favorite race. The scenery was amazing, the aid stations were plentiful, and there was plenty of food at the finish line. I would very much recommend this race to others looking for a fun, unique race and for those looking for a semi-local runcation.
Results are listed here.