The Seattle Marathon will be held in person for the first time since the pandemic began, this Sunday with COVID-19 protocols in place. This year’s marathon and half-marathon races feature a new course that is less likely to affect Seattle traffic but will offer less room for runners to spread out.
The course doesn’t start and finish at Seattle Center or take as many of the scenic roads as it has traditionally. Runners will instead toe the starting line at Gas Works Park and run mainly along the I-5 express lanes and on a segment of the Burke-Gilman Trail in Northeast Seattle.
Participants of the half-marathon will make a U-turn on the trail after mile 10. Those running the full 26.2 miles will go on to do a loop around Magnuson Park, between miles 12 and 16, before reaching their own U-turn just past Matthews Beach Park.
The I-5 express lanes will close between 4:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Parts of North Northlake Way, Sixth Avenue Northeast, Northeast 40th Street and Seventh Avenue will close starting at 5:55 a.m., with all roads expected to be fully open by 2:30 p.m., according to the event website.
Gas Works Park, Magnuson Park and the Burke-Gilman Trail will remain open to the public while runners are on the course. The Gas Works Park parking lot will be closed.
Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event are required to participate. Runners must also wear masks while gathering at the starting line in Gas Works Park and after finishing the race. The event is scheduled to start at 6 a.m.
The annual Seattle Marathon, the oldest marathon in the Pacific Northwest, was first held in 1970. Last year the race was virtual due to the pandemic, making this year’s in-person event a welcome return.