Mud, water, more mud, more water, and you know what…yeah more of the same. Mud and water were the highlight, or lowlight depending on your perspective, and what made up most of the amazing course that was the Seattle Beast. This race was my 11th Spartan of the year and my third Spartan Beast. I absolutely loved this course, and this weekend, and here’s why.
First and foremost, for starters, I loved this race because of the venue and location, Seattle Washington. This was my first time visiting the Pacific Northwest, and I had a smile on my face the entire time. The weather was a change of pace from the constant sun of southern California (I like change) mixed in with more green, more water, and better views (sounds like a smoothie – minus the views, haha). The city has an awesome vibe, amazing people, and lots to offer any type of person and their like and hobbies.
Many of my clients and members at the gym asked me to do some video documentation, and who am I to say no? My guest appearance in Regan’s video blogs made an impression, and although I am certainly not an actor, I gave it my best shot.
This leads me into my second point of why this race was awesome, the people I got to spend it with. “The Year of the Spartan” has many highlights, from new places I have visited, to the wonderful people I have met and raced with. The Seattle Beast definitely provided some great company with Dan and Mikaylah. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Dan through work, and got to meet Mikaylah, his niece, at our first race of the year in Las Vegas. Her graduation gift the University of Colorado Boulder was this Seattle race; “Can we say crazy much?” and Dan was there to support Mikaylah as she went for her first ever Trifecta (completing all 3 types of Spartan races in one calendar year) as well as earning his second trifecta of his own. And the awesome Uncle award goes to you Dan!
Now lets’s go back to my opening sentence…”Mud, water, more mud, more water, and you know what…yeah more of the same.” All I can say is this course was beyond AWESOME because of this. The day before the race, this picture surfaced online. I can speak first hand that this picture was completely accurate.
Considering this was my third and final beast I set some goals for myself. I wanted to run fast, get dirty, kick ass, and drink beer. My competitive start time was at 8 am. The sun was barely up and it was 49 degrees when we took off. From the start the course was wet. The course was muddy. But, I couldn’t have been more grateful for my Saucony Peregrines. From slippery mud, to chest deep water, obstacles galore, burpees, (60 to be exact) and a very scenic course, the Seattle Beast had it all.
Two and a half hours later I found myself running in the sun with a crowd of complete strangers cheering me on. I could see the finish line. With a little less than a quarter mile left I helped a guy up who had fallen. I told him we were SO close and we should sprint it out. As we made our way to the finish I asked him a question, “what age group are you running?”
He replied, “competitive group 30-34. You?”
I smiled back, and ran faster. We had ourselves a race to the finish.
Spartan results: I finished in under 3 hours (goal achieved) I place 12th out of 96 people, including my new friend, in my age group, and I got to use some free beer tickets. All in all, it was a great race.
From the race to the city, Spartan has been a catalyst for me to see parts unknown and exploring Seattle was AWESOME. Perhaps its growing up in a small rural town, but there is something about being in the city that excites me beyond words. Seattle was no different. Boarding and leaving the light rail, (Seattle’s awesome touch on public transportation) I was right in the heart of the city. What I quickly learned was everything was in walking distance or a short ride away and for an explorer, that is perfection.
The night before the race Dan, Mikaylah, and I went to a restaurant named Tavolata, which was right down the street from where we were staying. The mood was excellent, the people were great, and the food was delicious (got to love carb loading).
Following the race, Mikaylah had made us dinner reservations at an excellent hibachi grill named Hamanasu. Here, we shared stories, drank some celebratory Japanese beer, and ate some amazing food after watching our chef’s skills at work.
The next day Dan and Mikaylah had flights to catch. Before they left we decided to be tourists and head to Seattle’s most famous site, the Space Needle. This area of Seattle has something for everyone. With limited time, we decided to head to the EMP Museum. This place was awesome. It had numerous exhibits such as the Seahawks superbowl victory room, a Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix exhibit, a fantasy world display (my favorite), the history of horror exhibit, the science fiction museum, and of course the Star Trek display. With limited time as a group we visited the Nirvana, Hendrix, Fantasy, and Star Trek exhibits.
This area was so cool that I could have spent all day down here. After that, Dan and Mikaylah left for the airport, and guess where I headed? You guessed it. But, before I ventured back to the EMP museum and other attractions, I decided it would be a great idea to get some food. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by its cover, but I totally went to this place because of the name. Enter the Biscuit Bitch! Seriously, this is a real place with a very unique menu. My love of Peanut Butter and maple syrup, forced me to try the “Canadian Bitch.” Verdict in…DELICIOUS, in that really unhealthy sort of way.
After that life changing food, I checked out the remaining exhibits, let my childhood wonder come back, and enjoyed being a tourist.
Everyone that I spoke too about coming to Seattle told me about the Chihuly Museum. I just happened to find a vendor that was selling discounted dual attraction tickets to the museum and the Space Needle. (SCORE!)
The Chihuly garden and glass exhibit was by far the most interesting place. The detail, the creativity, and the absolute mesmerizing display of hard work really spoke to me. This museum was mind-blowing. The pictures honestly don’t do it any justice. Do yourself a favor and check out one of these musuems.
The last stop before heading back to my hotel room for the night was the Space Needle. I was lucky enough to catch a break in the clouds to get a good view of the city, the port, and the mountains. On the way to the elevator to head to the top, were walls and displays sharing the history of the Space Needle. I found it really interesting that this place was built in less than a year, and could with stand 100 mph winds and a 9.0 earthquake. Science is so cool.
My final stop in Seattle before heading back to the airport was to the notorious Pike’s Market. It lived up to it’s hype. Great views, interesting people, one of a kind vendors, and an energy that was oddly addicting. My only regret is I didn’t have more time to explore.
Mud, water, Space Needle, Dan, more mud, more water, EMP Museum, Mikaylah, Pike’s Market, Chihuly Museum, and Spartan race… I’ll be Sleepless in Seattle anytime.
Top 5. Favorite Bands from Seattle
- Pearl Jam
- Band of Horses
- Modest Mouse
- Presidents of the United States of America
Oh…and some band called Nirvana.