VM Team Medicine Seafair Marathon: Jared Loranger's Interview

07 Apr 2008 22:58
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview

As for every interview I do on this website, I asked Jared to introduce himself. Here is what he replied

I am a 25 year old working in a field I have a strong passion for. I started right out of college and learned a great deal from my predecessor on what runners enjoyed in a race and what was needed to create a successful event both from a participants point of view as well as an event producers point of view because after all a successful race is only successful if the participants had a good time, not if the race meets its goals.
When starting here over three and a half years ago I was a sports nut but didn’t enjoy ‘running for fun.’ I actually started running on a bet with a co-worker that I couldn’t finish a marathon in under five hours without training. I ended up running that event in four hours and twenty minutes. After that I became hooked. I’ve now ran four marathons in the past 3 years and close to 20 half marathons and love getting home each day after work and winding down with a run. I graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Business and a concentration in Marketing.

I just love hearing passionate people ! And Marathon running seems to attract them all.

Evergreen Point Floating Bridge
Credit : James Brooks

Jared, on June 29th, you’ll be organizing the VM Team Medicine Seafair Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The VM Team Medicine Seafair Marathon is located in Bellevue Washington just minutes from Seattle. The start of the marathon is located in Seattle Washington at the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium. The route goes through 7 jurisdictions along the marathon course including Seattle, Hunts Point, Clyde Hill, Medina, Kirkland and Bellevue giving participants a true feel of different areas around Lake Washington.

I heard you designed a new route for the 2008 edition. What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it? (I would very much like this question towards the top or top to highlight the new course!)

Since after the 2007 race we at Seafair tried to figure out what our race was missing and what would bring a larger number of ‘tourist’ runners (Those runners that set a vacation around a running event) to our destination event because the Northwest is one of those hidden tucked away regions of the United States that if you as a traveler don’t have a reason to visit it typically gets overlooked. We realized this and wanted to give people a reason to come out west and visit everything the northwest has to offer during a beautiful time of year. So, to answer the question route specific we have changed our course and if I was the judge and jury I would tell you it is one of the most scenic and beautiful courses in the United States, if not the most scenic! Race participants will start in Seattle for this brand new point to point race at the University of Washington’s famed Husky Stadium then crossing over the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. We are very excited to give participants this opportunity as it is the first time in over 20 years that the bridge will be shut down for a road race. Participants will then traverse nine miles of picturesque waterfront neighborhoods in Kirkland and Bellevue finishing the marathon or half marathon adventure at Bellevue Downtown Park in the heart of downtown Bellevue. This new route shows off the beautiful lakes, majestic mountains and tree lined streets the northwest is known for. My goal was to bring the beautiful views of Lake Washington to participants at every scene, and I think it was accomplished!

How old is the marathon? Why was it created in the first place?

The Seafair Marathon was created in 2005. June 29, 2008 will be the fourth annual running of the race. The marathon was created as an addition to the half marathon Seafair had been producing the previous two years. With the cool climates in the summer time here in Seattle it is one of the only places in the United States that can have a race of this magnitude and not have to worry about the threat of over heating. Historically the temperature at the start of the race is in the mid 50’s and when 85% of participants have crossed the finish line at 11:00am the expected temperatures will be in the low 60’s. It truly is the perfect time of year for a marathon here in the Northwest.

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

For the past three years we have held pretty steady at about 3,500 participants. With all the buzz this year the race is getting here in the Northwest I anticipate this number to grow exponentially. With the new marketing campaign and promotion of the new route I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see attendance reach over 4,000 for the 2008 race.
At Seafair we are known for putting on a fun festive race that attracts many different people from the elite athlete to the first time participant looking to have a good time. I don’t expect this to change at all with the new course, in fact, I expect more first timers that wouldn’t typically participate in a full or half marathon to come out and give this race a shot because of the ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to cross the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge on foot. You always hear about a runner’s first experience in a race and how they’ve become ‘hooked’ on running after it. If this race with the scenery and exciting elements installed doesn’t turn a lot of people into runners I would be very surprised!

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

On Sunday June 29, 2008 we offer multiple events for the whole family to take part in whether you are 9 years old or 99 years old there is an event for everyone. We start off the day with our Full Marathon at 7am, but we also offer a half marathon run and marathon team relay (4 person relay, each leg consisting of 6.55 miles) that will start at the same time of the marathon. Then, at 7:05am, we offer a half marathon walk & half marathon nordic walk division for the participants looking to take in the scenery of the northwest. All courses are open for 6 hours for participants to enjoy the day and not worry about rushing to the finish line.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

In late June it is perfect conditions for a marathon or half marathon. With the cool climates in the summer time here in Seattle it is one of the only places in the United States that can have a race of this magnitude and not have to worry about the threat of over heating. Historically the temperature at the start of the race is in the mid 50’s and when 85% of participants have crossed the finish line at 11:00am the expected temperatures will be in the low 60’s. It truly is the perfect time of year for a marathon here in the Northwest

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

Seafair is a 59 year old summer festival here in Seattle with events happening every weekend including the marathon, a triathlon, 8K torchlight run, torchlight parade and hydroplane race and air show. Each year we looks to add events and add to the events to keep everything very fresh for northwesterners as well as everyone that comes to visit. If interested there is plenty more information about the festival as well as dates of each event at seafair.com.
As for marathon specific festivities everything we plan revolves around having fun and creating an enjoyable experience for participants. One of the very unique things about our race is the Seafair Pirates that start the race, participate at water stations at the finish line handing out medals to finishers and award winners and running with the kids during the mini marathon. The event starts at Bellevue on Saturday June 28, 2008 at the First Tech Credit Union Health & Fitness expo that will have over 30 exhibitors for participants to shop through as well as a pre-race pasta dinner offered by our host hotel The Hilton Bellevue. Sunday, after the race we hope participants will stay in the park and relax enjoying the free food and drink samples offered in the park as well as live entertainment, music and a post race awards ceremony for finishers of all events. Not to mention the best part of the day, the Kids Mini Marathon that starts at noon and runs around the outskirts of the festival area in Bellevue Downtown Park.

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Bellevue before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

After relaxing in the park enjoying your accomplishment I would recommend walking across the street to Bellevue Square Mall and having a meal at one of the many fine restaurants there is including PF Changs, Manzana Grill and The Cheesecake Factory. After a nice meal and your looking to do a little site seeing Bellevue has many parks to offer along with some famous breweries and pacific northwest wineries. If you venture back over to Seattle, only 9 miles away, there is plenty to do including a the underground tour seeing the subterranean passages that were once Seattle’s roadways and first floor storefronts of old downtown. A ride to the top of the Space Needle, a visit to Experience Music Project, or a Ride the Ducks land and water tour of Seattle. And, if you’ve traveled this far and want to get out in the Puget Sound and Pacific Ocean there are daily whale watching excursions!

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Virginia Mason Team Medicine Marathon at Seafair?

The VM Team Medicine Seafair Marathon race course and time of year provides runners of all abilities the perfect combination of an extremely scenic road race and the beauty of the pacific northwest for runners and families.

Thank you Jared.

The Seafair marathon has been replace by the Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon.

St. Jude Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & 1/2 Marathon