- Race weekend returns June 17 – 18 with new Saturday 5K at Tukwila’s Museum of Flight
- Participants who run the 5K and any distance Sunday will earn three medals
- Marathon and half marathon will debut new stadium to stadium route
This Sunday, Washington State’s largest city will play host to one of the most spectacular road races in the Pacific Northwest: the Alaska Airlines Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon and Half Marathon. The race celebrates its ninth anniversary on Sunday. According to Event Manager Miyoko Beetem, there are plenty of exciting new changes in store for runners that will make the annual event even better. “We’re introducing the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle 5K at The Museum of Flight, hosting the first-ever Remix Challenge in Seattle, and debuting a brand-new stadium-to-stadium marathon and half marathon course on Sunday going from Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium to CenturyLink Field,” she said.
True to the Rock ‘n’ Roll brand, the new course will give all runners plenty to look at. Beetem says that route for participants if full of breathtaking views, starting with a run across the Montlake Bridge over the iconic shipping canal and then continuing along Lake Washington, through Seward Park for marathon runners, and up Rainier Boulevard back to downtown Seattle. The marathoners will run the viaduct for the very last time ever and take in selfie-worthy views of the Space Needle, the Seattle Great Wheel, and downtown Seattle. Bands and cheer teams will line the course, and participants and spectators alike will get to groove to headliner Mayer Hawthorne at the Finish Line Festival. The weekend will feature two days of running with a Saturday 5K and more than 1,000 runners taking part in the inaugural #RemixChallenge.
Along with the beautiful views, cheer zones, and energizing music on Sunday will be a group of elite runners at the start of the half marathon. Wearing the top-seeded bib #201 is Rock ‘n’ Roll veteran Roosevelt Cook. The Oak Hills, California resident has stood on many Rock ‘n’ Roll race podiums and, most recently won his age group at the Carlsbad 5000. Expected to give Cook a run for the money is Costa Rica’s Jonnathan Obando. The 37-year-old took third at this year’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon and won last year’s United Airlines Rock ‘n’ Half Marathon Roll San Francisco.
The women’s half marathon is expected to be a U.S. versus Britain battle with Portland resident Jennifer Bergaman against British citizen Calli Thackerey. Bergaman, who boasts a 1:14 half marathon personal best, won the 2015 edition of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. For Thackerey, the Seattle race will be her debut in the half marathon distance. Her 5000m best is an impressive 15:37. She is a four-time All-American recipient from the University of New Mexico. A third runner who stands a chance of breaking the tape on Sunday is 39-year-old Heather Tanner who has run a 1:15 for the 13.1-mile distance and is a three-time Olympic Trials qualifier.
The Seattle excitement kicks off on Friday when the Health and Fitness Expo opens at CenturyLink Field Event Center. In past races, the half and full marathon have taken place on Saturday, but for the first time both races will take place on Sunday with the starting gun sounding at 6:30 a.m.
Music spanning all genres will be along the course and all runners and their loved ones will be treated to the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series headliner Mayer Hawthorne outside CenturyLink Field during the race’s finish-line festival.
“This is a spectacular event, and Alaska Airlines is excited for runners to experience our hometown along the beautiful race route. Runners should be on the lookout for our amazing employee volunteers, an on-course DJ booth, and some mid-race motivation from Alaska,” said Kelley Winn, Manager, Brand Sponsorships & Partnership Marketing for Alaska Airlines.