Last week we told you about three Cobalt employees who rode 202 miles from Seattle to Portland. We’re happy to report that all three made it and are eager for their next ride.
A few weeks ago, another of Cobalt’s finest completed a very different journey.
On an overcast morning a few miles from Cobalt, 27,000 runners finished Seattle’s second annual Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon & Half-Marathon. They came from every U.S. state and 23 countries, but one athlete in particular was especially notable for us at Cobalt. On June 26, our own SEO Manager Lyda Hawes crossed the finish line near Qwest Field.
“I’ve been running for 15 years,” she said. The idea for a full marathon was always at the back of her mind as a lifetime goal. While she had already done a few less-intense events, such as 5Ks, and had worked her way up to a half-marathon, “It was time to take the next step.”
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon follows a typical 26.2-mile marathon format except that live local bands are stationed at every mile, entertaining runners and spectators alike. At the end of the race there’s a post-race concert. All together, there were three DJs, forty musical acts, and the headlining act Tonic, a 90’s rock band.
In addition to live music, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is also a charity run, benefiting the American Cancer Society. Cobalt’s Hawes took the aid aspect of the event a step further. She worked with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, who provided training and coaches for five months leading up to the run. Every Tuesday evening, a group would run around Green Lake, along with Saturday morning runs that got progressively more challenging, with the longest run being 4.5 hours. The training paid off as Hawes’s run had raised $3,600 for the Society.
Early in the morning on June 26, the runners left Tukwila’s Gateway Corporate Center at 7:00 AM, winding their way along the shores of Lake Washington, over I-90, and through the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Aurora Bridge before finishing up at Qwest Field.
“It was hilly… and gorgeous. When I drive on the Viaduct, I think about what it was like to run that. The views from up there are amazing,” she said.
Of course, it wasn’t all fun and beautiful views. “It’s more than a physical challenge, it’s mental. When you get to the 20-mile mark, a part of you doesn’t want to” continue, she said. The support provided by other race participants kept her going. Cheerleaders from local high school were there till the very end; and when other purple-shirted runners from her charity team recognized each other, they yelled ‘Go team,’ as other participants shouted, ‘You are a rock star!’
At the 15th mile, one of Hawes’s friends joined and ran with her to the end, while her husband helped her run to the edge. As she finished in just over seven hours, a feeling of relief washed over her.
“I felt really grateful to get all 26 miles on my feet,” she said.
After the race she had a well-deserved Slurpee and took an “invigorating ice bath,” the training ritual that inspired her husband to call her “Lyda on the rocks.”
Hawes’s perseverance in running is unwavering, and though she is recovering from a hip flexor injury, she plans to do a 10K in September.
Only someone with her humble dedication would call this a “small step.” Go Lyda!