Overall Rating
Overall Rating (4 Reviews)
4
(4 Ratings)(4 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.3
SCENERY
3.8
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
4
Every year, thousands of runners and walkers cross the finish line at the annual springtime running of Mercer Island Rotary’s Half Marathon which includes 10K and 5K races along with a Kids’ Dash, all designed to help raise funds and awareness to fight colon cancer and to benefit an array … MORE
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Recent reviews

    thestudadam REPEAT RUNNER '14

    I have actually run this race 4 times, 2011-2014 but decided to combine my reviews all into one since my experience was similar during each of them. Full Disclosure I … MORE

    I have actually run this race 4 times, 2011-2014 but decided to combine my reviews all into one since my experience was similar during each of them. Full Disclosure I am also writing this review several years after the race so the race experience may have changed over time however the course has still remained the same.

    This was actually the first half marathon I ever ran, and ended up being the first 4 of the over 15 that I have now completed.

    EXPO/PARKING: I have never gone to the proper expo for this race and have instead always used the morning of packet pick up option. The day of there isn’t much of an EXPO to speak of but a few things are set up. This has always been no problem and I have easily been able to get into the area and get my packet in mere minutes. Parking has also rarely been an issue although it is a bit of a walk to the race site and I tend to arrive pretty early for a race because I prefer to be relaxed and have lots of time before a race. Most of the parking is in various strip malls near the race site or in surrounding garages although parking was always free.

    SWAG: If you run the half you always get a long sleeved tech shirt which is nice. Most of mine look pretty similar just in various colors although one of them is covered in footprints which makes it a unique addition to my collection. Not much else to speak of in the SWAG bag. If you run the 5 or 10k you get a short sleeve shirt. There was no finishers medal in 2011 or 2012, 2013 & 2014 did have ones but they were cheap and flimsy, I’m sure this has improved.

    Course/Elevation/Aid Stations: The race starts and ends at the Mercer Island Community Events Center. The start lines up along a driveway that dumps out onto a main road. It can be a little crowded for the first mile or so before people start to spread out. The course essentially just runs around the entire perimeter of the island. You are not running directly on the water but you can see the water through the trees and houses as you run. The trees and crazy expensive houses make for a nice view while you run. After the first mile or so the course narrows down to the right hand lane (water always on your left) which it maintains for the duration of the race aside from a quick use of a greenbelt in the final mile or so to get you back towards the finish. The course is almost all gentle rolling hills and turns. If you have ever driven a mountain road along a river you get a feel for the bendy nature of this road. At the 11 mile mark or so there is a pretty significant hill. Aid Stations are about every 1.5-2 miles (7 total) and have both water and some form of electrolyte drinks, they also give you a Gu packet at around the 7 mile mark. I’m fairly speedy so there is always still liquid available but I haven’t heard friends complain about them running out.

    Race Management: This a pretty well run race, especially for the price, (normally <$50 as late as Christmas time). Volunteers were nice and helpful. My only real gripe is as someone decently quick (~1:35 pace) the division of people by expected finish time/pace was not well managed. They have signs up which hopefully would get people sorted where they should be but it feels like many people ignore it and then crowd towards the front which can make the start a bit dangerous and frustrating as you dodge around people, a few of whom are even walking 100 yards into the course.

    One other nice thing that I’ve never seen at another race is they have a walking half marathon option that starts 1.5 hours before the runners, dodging the walkers as early as mile 7-8 can be a minor annoyance but having a walking half option is a really nice touch for people who are not quite ready to run one. They also have a kids dash which while I didn’t have children at the time of the race I now really appreciate.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
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    isilence FIRST-TIMER '19

    Rolling hills on the outside of the Island. Too bad there isn't more view of the water during the run. Could have more photographers. Parking was easier than I expected. MORE

    Rolling hills on the outside of the Island. Too bad there isn’t more view of the water during the run. Could have more photographers. Parking was easier than I expected.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Nancylorun REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Excellent course for 10K and Half marathon with very scenic views, some challenging hills AND the weather always seems to cooperate on race day! MORE

    Excellent course for 10K and Half marathon with very scenic views, some challenging hills AND the weather always seems to cooperate on race day!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Duma REPEAT RUNNER '10

    At this race, you'll find an awesome rolling course that is challenging, but not too challenging, and the weather will be chilly, but not too cold. You'll be surrounded by … MORE

    At this race, you’ll find an awesome rolling course that is challenging, but not too challenging, and the weather will be chilly, but not too cold. You’ll be surrounded by other runners who are enthusiastic and friendly. And every year, this race is incredibly well-managed; parking is easy, the course is well marked and there are plenty of water stops, and there are lots of people cheering from their homes along the way. And I’m never disappointed in the technical shirt! For all these reasons, I have run this race multiple times, and will definitely be running it again in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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  1. Races
  2. Mercer Island Half Marathon