The Blerch is based off of Matthew Inman's comic The Oatmeal.
More specifically: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running
A beautiful out-and-back trail run in Carnation (about 30 minutes from Seattle), mostly shaded, with three distance options. Surrounding the area are strawberry farms and pumpkin patches that are open to visits, if you're up for post-race family time. Also nearby is Snoqualmie Falls, a must-see if you're visiting. They are stunning, falling about 100ft taller than Niagara. The full marathoners take off first, the halfers follow a half hour later, and the 10km runners shortly after that.
Let there be SWAG! er... That's the saying, right? Cake.. Let them eat CAKE!
Well, there's that, too!
The packet included gummy temptations, Blerch temp tattoos, bumper sticker, a Saucony cotton tee (in previous years it was a tech. Not sure why that changed this year), playing cards, and your bib.
Build your own doughnuts? Sure, why not!? Chocolate and maple syrup shooters? Alrighty then! The festival area was fun and silly with the Blerch surrounding you in the form of delicious treats and.. well.. literally blerches. Guys in inflated Blerch suits and Nutella all around.
Race Day Attire:
Top: Lululemon singlet
Bra: Lululemon Flow-y bra
Bottoms: 2XU shorts
Socks: Swiftwick Aspire
Shoes: Topo Athletic Runventure
Amphipod race bib belt (holds fuel and bib number so you don't have to use safety pins)
Fuel: Munkpack, Nature's Bakery, Huma Gel
Being the weekend after Santa Cruz Ironman 70.3, I chose to not push for a marathon and signed up for the half. I chose correctly. Leading into the weekend I had a fun turf toe injury and the start of a cold. The bod was done and over it. I managed a 1:51 half time but it was rough the last 5km. Mostly because of the 10km runner turn-around. The 10km is also an out-and-back on the same course. While they start after the full and half marathoners, the faster half runners ran into the big group of the 10km runners at this turn-around point. It was a bit of a collision as that's where the main water station is. From that point on, it required quite a bit of weaving and slowing down. Had this not occurred I definitely would have been closer to a 1:45 half.
Overall, Beat the Blerch is a race I would easily sign up for again. It's light-hearted, hard packed ground made for the option of trail or road shoes (I wore Topo Athletic Runventures which are trail shoes), and it was well staffed. Plus it took me less than 10 minutes of driving to pop over the Snoqualmie falls for a little hike and some photos post race!