Overall Rating
Overall Rating (24 Reviews)
3.7
(24 Ratings)(24 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.4
SCENERY
3.8
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3.6
Experience the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon! This show-stopping event takes you through some of the cities most popular neighborhoods and, treats you to picturesque views of the iconic Seattle skyline and tree lined city streets. The event … MORE
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Recent reviews

    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '11

    This was my first ever full marathon so it is also one I will never forget. At the time this was the largest race that I had run. Full disclosure … MORE

    This was my first ever full marathon so it is also one I will never forget. At the time this was the largest race that I had run. Full disclosure I am writing this review several years later so the course is now much different but the race experience remains similar.

    EXPO: No day of pick up which is to be expected for a race this size, they had the expo in the events center attached to the Seahawks Stadium. I went in the evening after work so parking and getting to the expo was not really an issue if you know where the free parking is (most who have been to Mariners games know). As with any other Rock and Roll series the EXPO is really large and filled with vendors of all kinds and you can get your running needs met. I bought a few shirts to commemorate the experience (again first marathon) while I now tend to buzz in and out and just get my bib.

    SWAG: A few coupons and pieces of food from around town but nothing special. The finishers medals as with all the rock and roll races is solid and nicely made and shows off the scenery of the city. The short sleeve tech T shirt was nothing special although the design is mildy interesting.

    Parking/Access: This was a point to point course from Boeing Field to the Mariners/Seahawks stadiums finish, this means that someone had to drop my off. The course has changed nearly every year some as a loop some as a point to point which means you either need to get dropped off or find parking in downtown, neither of which is easy/cheap.

    Course/Aid Stations/Elevation: The course started near Boeing Field which isn’t a real pretty area and made its way towards lake Washington where we ran along the water which was really pretty. We reached I-90 and the half/full split happened at around the 9 mile mark. The half marathon people headed for the stadiums/finish, the full marathon people got on the I-90 express lanes and headed on an out and back along the freeway to Mercer island and back (this was safely guarded by barriers and was actually pretty cool, friends who are slower or ran in hotter years have told me this stretch can be hot/brutal due to the lack of shade). The course headed back towards downtown through the I-90 tunnel which was really cool and had a band inside. After running by the stadiums we ran on through some of the tunnels and roads all the way towards the Freemont bridge over lake union where we turned around and ran back on HW99 and then the viaduct (RIP) before finishing in front of Safeco field. Running on the top level of the viaduct made for some really pretty views.

    It’s Seattle so of the course was hilly which can be difficult especially at the end of a race (did they really need to make us run back up to the top level of the viaduct at mile 24.5 just to run down the off ramp to the stadiums a half mile later?)

    Aid Stations were plentiful throughout the course, I’m pretty quick (3:22) so there was plenty of liquid there when I ran through but I have not heard of friends telling me they ran out at any time. They also handed out Gu packs twice on the course.

    Race Management: I love how the R&R series does starts and uses Corrals, they do a decent job of policing things and then they give a little gap between letting each group start which means that you are running almost entirely with people with the same goal pace as you (you can also change your corral at the expo if your expected time changes). Also this meant that it took only 2-3 minutes before I had room to run and stride out since they close the entire street that the race is on. The bands on the course are a really nice break every mile or two even though you only get to listen for a few minutes. Also something that I thought was really cheesy when I heard about it was how they ask the cheerleaders from local schools to come out and cheer for the runners (elementary through high school). For the first 20 miles or so I ignored them and ran by them, but towards the end of the race especially when crowd support was sparse I really really appreciated the encouragement and now always give a wave and say thank you when I run by similar groups in races.

    I highly recommend R&R race series events due to their high level of management. The Seattle event continues to be one of their best and most attended.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
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    BrianYowler FIRST-TIMER '19

    I've run over 30 marathons, and this was the hilliest (and 2nd slowest) race I've run. There are 3 hills that are almost a mile long and several steep ones … MORE

    I’ve run over 30 marathons, and this was the hilliest (and 2nd slowest) race I’ve run. There are 3 hills that are almost a mile long and several steep ones in the last few miles that are clearly added intentionally. It’s a tough race. The reward is that there are amazing views of the city and the mountains in a few places.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
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    4
    SCENERY
    5
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    3

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    bayna6 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was an awesome 5k. It started at the museum of flight and ran us through an open air hanger with display aircraft from the museum. Very flat. MORE

    This was an awesome 5k. It started at the museum of flight and ran us through an open air hanger with display aircraft from the museum. Very flat.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    bayna6 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This is another well run rock n roll event. T-shirts and medals are getting better again after Ironman bought them. The course was much hillier than I was expecting. One … MORE

    This is another well run rock n roll event. T-shirts and medals are getting better again after Ironman bought them. The course was much hillier than I was expecting. One steep hill lasted for a mile and a half (mile 10-11.5). Seattle is a very pretty city. The weather was great.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
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    4
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    4
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    3

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    50statesSandy FIRST-TIMER '19

    I've been to a couple Rock n Roll races now and they always seem to do an upstanding job. I was not able to get to the expo in time … MORE

    I’ve been to a couple Rock n Roll races now and they always seem to do an upstanding job. I was not able to get to the expo in time on Friday for my bib and got it easy peasy Saturday AM. In fact they warned me of lines and I got there right at 7:30am and the start line wasn’t up yet. I wish I had drove and parked. Parking seemed ample and not far at all. I took an uber and could have saved myself. Scenery was fun for me – but I work for an airline so it was neat to run in and about the Boeing planes. Race was simple. Not much race support as the RnR Half Marathons, but there were a couple of bands along the way. I enjoyed it.

    DIFFICULTY
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    bnobach18 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Great views over the water, awesome tribute to those who’ve fallen while serving our country. Nice atmosphere! Everything from the expo to race morning went smoothly for everyone in our … MORE

    Great views over the water, awesome tribute to those who’ve fallen while serving our country. Nice atmosphere! Everything from the expo to race morning went smoothly for everyone in our group! The course will be changing in the future, so be aware, but Rock n Roll certainly run a smooth event.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    CG23 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Course was nice running around the Space Needle, several hills made the course tough and one hill in particular was a beast. Temperature was good with a threat of rain … MORE

    Course was nice running around the Space Needle, several hills made the course tough and one hill in particular was a beast. Temperature was good with a threat of rain but it held off until after a good finish.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    amy.schaumburg FIRST-TIMER '18

    Having never been to Seattle before I did this race, it was a GREAT way to see the city! Hilly but not ridiculous, the course was oddly enough one of … MORE

    Having never been to Seattle before I did this race, it was a GREAT way to see the city! Hilly but not ridiculous, the course was oddly enough one of my faster races. Just so happened that this year, the weather was divine! (Not sure how often that happens in Seattle!) My only complaint is that the course is VERY crowded until the half marathoners turn for the finish line. Of course, that’s a plus too because we were able to run with our friend doing the half almost the entirety of her race.

    Great job – beautiful place! Well-organized and fun!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    4
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    4
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    4
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    sarahs0716 FIRST-TIMER '18

    This race was a lot of fun minus the hill at I think mile 10. Volunteers were somewhat helpful. I was wondering why they did not have more bands. I … MORE

    This race was a lot of fun minus the hill at I think mile 10. Volunteers were somewhat helpful. I was wondering why they did not have more bands. I only saw a few during my run. At the end of the race I was suppose to have my metal engraved but did not find anyone who knew where I was suppose to go to get that done. The expo was cool they had a lot of vendors. The clothing was a little pricey

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    rjgarner527 FIRST-TIMER '18

    This is my second Rock N Roll race, and it was a little underwhelming. Compared to DC, there weren't as many performers on course and there weren't as many spectators … MORE

    This is my second Rock N Roll race, and it was a little underwhelming. Compared to DC, there weren’t as many performers on course and there weren’t as many spectators along the way. There were some scenic views but much of the course was boring in my opinion. There were plenty of aid stations although some were either understaffed or under stocked which was surprising. The weather was nice for the race but because I prepaid for medal engraving I waited for the “estimated” 45 minutes in the rain and wind. After an hour, I finally asked for my medal back since I had to catch a shuttle to Vancouver. They were kind enough to pull my medal and move it to next in line for which I was grateful.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
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    4

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    Mueller375 FIRST-TIMER '17

    THE BLUE MILE WAS AMAZING - It is the only reason this course gets 2 stars. FYI for those that don't know you run a mile through picture after picture … MORE

    THE BLUE MILE WAS AMAZING – It is the only reason this course gets 2 stars. FYI for those that don’t know you run a mile through picture after picture of fallen HEROs with US flags and if you don’t tear up you don’t have a soul….

    The course didn’t go pass any of the must see things in Seattle… You only see the Space Needle if you do the Marathon, neither distance passes Pikes Place and the original Starbucks… There were a few places were you can almost get a cool view but overall nothing special was seen.
    The medal was eh at best the shirt was weak also… I have been very disappointed with R&Rs shirts and medals overall (NOLA and Vegas were the exceptions)

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
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    2

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    TeeBabi REPEAT RUNNER '17

    One of my favorite Runcations. Lots of sites, sounds and good eating. The races is wet most of the time, (it’s Seattle) but a nice light, misty, cool rain if … MORE

    One of my favorite Runcations. Lots of sites, sounds and good eating. The races is wet most of the time, (it’s Seattle) but a nice light, misty, cool rain if any at all. Will be repeating this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    dpchiavetta FIRST-TIMER '14

    This is the first time I ran a Rock n Roll marathon. When you pay top-dollar for a race, you expect everything to be the best - from the goodie … MORE

    This is the first time I ran a Rock n Roll marathon. When you pay top-dollar for a race, you expect everything to be the best – from the goodie bag to the course to the post-race treats. Overall, this race was a significant let-down from start to finish.

    The expo was well-attended and the typical hard-sell for a bunch of cool stuff. The goodie bag, which didn’t even say the name of the marathon on it, was virtually empty. It included the purchased tech t-shirt, plus a small bottle of fish oil and two water flavoring packets. That’s it. Not even a little packet of icy hot or a mini-Clif bar. I’ve run in much less expensive races that went all out on the swag. Not the end of the world, but just wanting value for money. The medal was cool, though.

    The morning of the race, port-a-potties were at a premium. I estimate the average line was 30+ people long. We scrounged around at an indoor food court to get to a shorter line (for men, anyway). I lined up in my corral at 7am for race start. I was aiming for a sub-4:00 time and was in corral 17. It took me 26 minutes to cross the start line. By the time I started, my knees ached a bit from standing and I had to use the restroom (again)! But away I went. The race was shoulder to shoulder for the first six miles. That’s when the half and full marathons split. An earlier split or allowing the marathoners to go first would have been much preferred (there were 6 times as many half marathoners).

    We spent four days in Seattle leading up to the marathon and found it to be a beautiful city. More than half of the course led us through downtown, around lakes, and in parks. That was great. But a significant part of the run (many miles) were in tunnels. This was a horrible way to run (and I sure didn’t train for that). They were dark and without spectators. The tunnels were banked so that by the time I emerged, one leg was killing me due to overuse (until I turned around and ran the same tunnel – then both were in equal amounts of pain!). There was a multiple-mile stretch on an exposed highway, which was without spectators, without bands, and without vistas. Between the tunnels and highway, the run was boring. I had always pictured a Rock n Roll marathon to be highly populated with cheering people and bands rocking the whole way through. Seattle did not live up to this expectation.

    Im a bit of a data geek and the tunnels totally messed up my watch. By the time I was done, my watch showed 26.8 miles. I checked with a handful of people who finished with me and their watches ranged from 26.5 to 26.85. That made staying true to my plan very difficult throughout the race. I didn’t bring music because I expected frequent bands. There were many the first half and they were very enjoyable. The highway and tunnels were lonely and music-less. There were good crowds around the bands, but sparse or non-existent everywhere else. The way the course was designed made it very difficult for families to find a place to watch and cheer (unless you have a car and could navigate around closed roads). The web site did not list ‘spectator spots’ like most marathons do, because there were none. And signing up for text alerts cost $5 and you had to agree to Facebook updates.

    Yes, there was enough water and Gatorade. Yes, there were enough port-a-potties on the course. Yes, I got a finisher’s medal. But these are not the signals of a well-organized race. These are table stakes. The Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon was poorly done on enough of the basics that it makes signing up for the race a big mistake.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    2
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    donjol16 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This had gone to smaller corrals which move better. The course was very nice along the water. There were 2 hills, one long gradual hill and one short steep one. … MORE

    This had gone to smaller corrals which move better. The course was very nice along the water. There were 2 hills, one long gradual hill and one short steep one. Not bad for Seattle. The race support was great. My only complaint was that did not have heat sheets at the finish. It was drizzling and I was cold.

    DIFFICULTY
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    m.cimeno FIRST-TIMER '17

    For some reason, I went into this race with low expectations (likely the result of Yelp/Facebook reviews of previous years), but was very pleasantly surprised. I ran both the 5K … MORE

    For some reason, I went into this race with low expectations (likely the result of Yelp/Facebook reviews of previous years), but was very pleasantly surprised. I ran both the 5K (Saturday) and full marathon (Sunday). The start area for the full was the worst part of the race. I arrived via the Link from a downtown hotel, and found it difficult to navigate getting to the bathrooms, any food, and corrals. The Seattle event would have benefited from those people who wear big balloons saying INFORMATION or BATHROOMS -> or CORRALS ->, like I have seen at RnR Las Vegas. Also, I may not have seen them all, but I felt that there were only 10s of portapotties (maybe 30?) at the start area, which was not enough. Despite being in the 13th corral, I still saw massive lines for the portapotties when I began the race.

    This is my recollection of the course: The 2017 year course began, as stated, at Husky Stadium, then went through the arboretum, along Lake Washington and around Seward Park, then across some neighborhoods toward CenturyLink Stadium (which was the finish line), then on Route 99/Viaduct past the Space Needle, and back to the stadium. I really enjoyed the first 10-12 miles along the Lake. I don’t remember anything particularly motivating or picturesque en route to the first pass of CenturyLink, but I did really enjoy running on the Viaduct! Running on Route 163 in the San Diego RnR Marathon is my least favorite part of the course, and I was expecting that here…but, it was an incredible view, made even more special thinking that it may no longer exist within a year! Part of this portion of the course included a tunnel, which terrified me at first, so it helped me run faster! After the tunnel, the runners come out heading toward the Space Needle. Sometime after the tunnel, the ground changed from asphalt to concrete. That was killer, especially paired with the fact that this was an incline to the highest elevation of the course! I ran this two weeks off of a PR during Mountains 2 Beach, allowing myself to enjoy the scenery and go at an easy pace. With that, I would not rate this course as challenging, despite some hills.

    I visited the expo once on Friday. There was a lot of room in the CenturyLink Field Event Center, but I felt the expo was smaller than other RnR events (hard not to compare them to one another).

    Other than the start line, my only complaint about this race is that they changed the course after many people had booked hotels. With that, they offered a shuttle from the expo area. I think this is standard, but it would have been better had they offered a shuttle from the downtown (hotel) area. To get to the expo area from the downtown area, one would have to take the Link in the opposite direction of the start line…which seems nonsensical (why go the opposite way when you could just ride the Link to the start?).

    OVERALL: I liked the course a lot! I am curious how it will change next year if the viaduct is removed. I hope that RnR works to organize a better start area with improved transportation options.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    DrewNYC REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I ran the inaugural Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon in 2009 and liked that course better (more scenic). If I remember correctly, in 2009 you HAD to take the shuttle … MORE

    I ran the inaugural Rock N Roll Seattle Marathon in 2009 and liked that course better (more scenic). If I remember correctly, in 2009 you HAD to take the shuttle to the start. Transportation to the start in 2017 was a bit more chaotic. I took Uber, which was fine, but I would recommend either allowing more time than you think for driving or ride-sharing to the start or take the shuttle. Traffic was sort of bad. This created a scenario where the back corrals were packed because some of the faster runners arrived late and had to start with those of us that are a bit slower. That, in turn, causes some tension when things are crowded the first several miles.

    This race had a blue mile mid-way through the half–which I always fine quite moving.

    The expo was a decent size. I liked the medal and shirt.

    The day before there was a 5k (I think it was the 1st time they had a 5k) and I would recommend it.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    3
    SCENERY
    3
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    4

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    TBurgess FIRST-TIMER '14

    The course has completely changed since 2014, so I'll avoid referring to specifics of the course. Understand that there is no flat places in Seattle, so prepare yourself for at … MORE

    The course has completely changed since 2014, so I’ll avoid referring to specifics of the course. Understand that there is no flat places in Seattle, so prepare yourself for at least a hill or two. I sure hope they don’t get rid of the row of U.S. flags along the course that ran about a mile that was dedicated to fallen soldiers. That was so neat & inspirational.

    I wasn’t a fan of the medal for this half, because it was a coffee cup and I don’t like coffee. I do acknowledge that is somewhat representative of the Seattle area, so I’m not completely disappointed, but the medals in the 2 years following were way more awesome.

    I would recommend this half marathon to everyone (and have).

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
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    4

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    I.Ran.That REPEAT RUNNER '16

    R 'n' R Seattle is my favorite road marathon race to date. Seattle is a beautiful and historic city with amazing water and mountain views. Thousands of runners bring a … MORE

    R ‘n’ R Seattle is my favorite road marathon race to date. Seattle is a beautiful and historic city with amazing water and mountain views. Thousands of runners bring a fun energy to the course. Highly recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    tinamartin REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I never made it to the finish line. It took me over 8 hours to get to Seattle and back which is an hour drive away to pick up my … MORE

    I never made it to the finish line. It took me over 8 hours to get to Seattle and back which is an hour drive away to pick up my race number Friday night. The next morning as I exited to park the car I had well over an hour to get to the start. 45 minutes later I was finally getting to the end of the exit ramp, still hadn’t parked the car and the start was 2 miles away. The start of the race and finish line are 2 miles apart. We were parking the car near Century Field/Safeco….a place that regularly handles large amount of people but this morning no one was out helping and it showed. People were getting out of their cars and running to try and get to the start line.

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    MadelynMarino FIRST-TIMER '10

    The race starts very early somewhere slightly outside of Seattle and ends in downtown Seattle. Fortunately the hotel I stayed at provided buses to the start of the race. This … MORE

    The race starts very early somewhere slightly outside of Seattle and ends in downtown Seattle. Fortunately the hotel I stayed at provided buses to the start of the race. This race was a Rock and Roll event and as such had bands performing at every mile.
    Overall the race was a great experience. Parts of the race were scenic, including running along a lake, seeing the sights of the city and even running on a highway.
    This was my first official half marathon, so I can’t compare it to others except to say it was beautifully organized.

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    3
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    My Report
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    3
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