Bibrave Race Review: Destination Races Santa Barbara

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Destination Races Santa Barbara as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Another weekend off, another weekend traveling! I was able to make it out to Santa Barbara for Destination Race’s Santa Barbara Half Marathon. Saturday races are always tough because of getting there, but it was a good weekend away.

Getting there: From the PNW, I flew threw Seattle and then to LAX. I rented a car and wished I had some anti anxiety meds for the drive up to Santa Barbara, which was about 2 hrs. The other option was to fly into Santa Barbara or take Amtrak up. The race itself started in Santa Ynez and ended in Solvang, so some runners stayed up that way, which was another 40 minutes from Santa Barbara.

Hotels/Lodging: I stayed in Santa Barbara at the Fess (a Double Tree) since it had a shuttle to and from the race. Only downside was it was $30 and wasn’t included in the VIP pass. There were hotels closer to Solvang with shuttles to the start from the finish area

The Expo: there was early packet pick up in Santa Barbara on the Thursday prior to the race with a shake out run afterwards. The main packet pick up was Friday in Solvang at the finish area. It was a small expo, some local races and other vendors. They had Bib Look up and the bib and T shirt pick up were all in one area. When I got my stuff, the volunteer didn’t realize I should have gotten VIP stuff until I said something (even though it said VIP on my bib…). The shirts ran small in my opinion. Afterwards, I walked around Solvang and found some lunch

Race Day: Getting to the race from Santa Barbara, I took a shuttle from the hotel to the start. It took about an hour, where as some of the other pros stayed closer to finish and took the shuttles from the finish in Solvang to Santa Ynez. Once I got there, I found the VIP area and checked my bag. The temp was on the cooler side and I ended up throwing on a long sleeved shirt underneath my Bibrave shirt. I grabbed some food, made some bathroom trips and headed to the start line. I ended up meeting fellow Bibrave Pro Carolyn, who drove from LA for the race.

Shortly after 7 AM, we were off and running. The first half of the race was all up hill. The first 5 miles or so, the hills didn’t seem that bad. They were noticeable, but not terrible. After mile 6, we hit corkscrew hill. You look up and start cursing because you can see people weaving up a hill that was at least half a mile long. I was never so happy to see the top of it (with water no less). The back half of the course was essentially downhill, which was much appreciated. The course itself was very scenic, which was a nice change compared to my knack for city races. I was hitting good times overall, minus getting through corkscrew hill.

The Finish and Post Race: you finish in Solvang, where you picked up bibs, etc during the expo. Post race was met with wine tastings starting at 930. After you got through the finish, you picked up your medal and a bag of food (much appreciated). I headed to the VIP area and had some light breakfast before getting my wine glass. I met up again with Carolyn and we were able to get through to some tastings, but it was so congested it made getting anything fairly difficult. Awards started around 1030 for overall and age group awards.

Shuttles: there were shuttles to and from Santa Barbara Select locations and the Fess. I wish there had been an earlier bus (sometime before 11:15) in addition to a later one. Both the shuttles were for either 1115 or 1145.

Medals: Very functional and could be used to hold your wine glass!

Social Media: Destination Races on twitter was pretty non active. Much more active on Facebook/instagram

Overall: I’d use this race as a Destination Race, just as the name implies. If you’re coming from further away, you definitely need a few days to get into town, get to the expo, deal with racing and getting home. Additionally, I think shirt sizes need to be looked at, as the women’s shirts were running on the small size. Packet pick up was pretty flawless, just need a better way for getting people who registered as VIPs there stuff without us looking for the extras. In terms of shuttles from the hotels, better communication needed to happen, as the evening shift on Friday seemed to have no idea where the buses for the race were picking up.

The race was fun and a definite race to have on your radar if you’re in the area or have the time to go run!

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Destination Races Santa Barbara: Race Week

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Destination Races Santa Barbara to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s race week! Who knew after a short work week (only 4 of my scheduled 7 days) that I’d probably need enough wine from the race to make up for it. Here’s some need to know information for Destination Races Santa Barbara

Registration: Register Online Through 5/11/2017 and save $10 with BIBRAVE10. Don’t forget, you gotta be 21 or over on race day to enjoy the wine at the finish!

Want to be a VIP: Upgrade and get:

  • Personalized Race Bibs
  • Express Packet Pick-Up at Expo with a VIP Gift
  • Exclusive Warm-up, Stretching Zone, Private Restrooms, and Breakfast at Start line
  • Transportation to Race Start from Select Pick-Up Locations
  • Private Gear Check
  • VIP Finish Line Tent, Recovery Brunch
  • Charity Donation

Packet Pick Up

  • May 11, 2017: 3-7 PM at Santa Barbara Running Company
  • May 12, 2017: 12-6 PM at Solvang Visitor Center (1639 Copenhagen Dr, Solvang, CA 93463)

Welcome Reception: May 12, 2017 from 630-830 PM at the Kalyra Winery. Tickets are still available!

Runner Tracking: Get all Set up here!

Race Day: May 13, 2017

  • 7 AM start time in Santa Ynez
  • Post race Party (with wine!): 930-12 in Solvang Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibrave Race Review: Capital City Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Capital City Half marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

After taking a few days to swallow this past weekend, I’m finally up for reviewing Cap City. I grew up outside of Columbus and actually ran Cap City back in 2012. I was excited when Bibrave partnered with them because it gave me an excuse to get back home for a few days. I flew in Thursday (since going from West to Midwest takes all day) and got in around 330. My mom picked me up from the airport and off to the hotel and for a late lunch we went before heading to the expo.

The Expo: held at the Vue in the Brewery District, which was a first. In the past, it had been held at the convention center and had more vendors, races, etc. The Vue was a smaller site and really only had Fleet Feet, Front Runner and Second Sole. I wouldn’t be a fan of going back to the site, just because parking wasn’t the easiest and it wasn’t close to anything or necessarily easy to get to if you were coming out of town. I forgot about being upped to VIP, so when the regular bib pick up didn’t have my bib, I had a mild panic attack until I went to VIP pick up. There was also a shirt exchange for getting different sized shirts, which I volunteered at on Friday (and had people assume that the small shirt sizes were the volunteers fault. Really?).

Swag: T Shirt (cotton) from Second Sole and a sturdy string bag. I loved the design of the shirt, but they definitely ran small. I was seeing women up a small to a large at the expo because they were running so small.

 

 

Race Time: 8 AM, which was nice for getting a decent night’s sleep the night before, but with weather coming through, hindsight 20/20, I wish it would have been a 7 AM start.

The Race Itself: Starts in downtown Columbus at Columbus Commons. It took you through the Arena District, OSU, the Short North, Downtown, German Village and a few other areas of Columbus. The course is fairly flat which is nice, though a hill towards the end.  The start was divided into corrals with the elites heading off at 7:55 and corrals A-I being started every few minutes after, so I didn’t start until about 8:12.It was cloudy at the start, but not raining. I was making good time, but we got our first round of rain trying to figure out what to do with itself around mile 2-3. It did let up and onward I went. I was pulling probably my best time in a few years until thunder and lightning hit right before mile 9. I was at the split for the 5K/quarter marathon going to the finish and the half marathon going towards the last 4 miles of the course and ended up getting diverted to the finish, as the race was black flagged. Some friends of mine were a mile ahead of me and were out in the open and had to figure out how to get back to the start. I was pretty bummed out after because of how well things were going. I’m not sure how much of the 8 AM start time was due to the US Half Marathon championships, but a 7 AM start time would have probably avoided post race issues and let more people finish the half (really only 1200 people were able to finish the half). I ended up doing another 4 miles at the hotel to get the full 13.1 miles in.

Post race: most of the activities were cancelled because of the storms that came through. I was able to see the VIP tent for a brief period of time and got some food from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants that was really good, but the line was long for drinks, so I missed out on that with the chaos of trying to get to safety.

Things to work on

  • So for future races, I think there needs to be better planning for weather in terms of if the race needs to be altered or cancelled. There was no real direction on where to go, etc. At one point, a bunch of us were in an alley between 2 buildings. There were also people stranded on an open course and were essentially on their own with trying to figure out what to do.
  • The shirts: I get wanting to go for a local company, and in fairness, there was  a sizing chart prior to registration, but they run really small. I was seeing women switch smalls for larges because the shirts weren’t fitting chests well at all. I would go with a different company
  • The expo: I wasn’t a fan of the location. It wasn’t easy to get to and there wasn’t a lot that endorsed the local running community that I know. There was nothing set up in terms of other local races, running groups, etc which was kind of sad. I know there was construction going on at the Convention Center, which is where it’s been held in the past, but I feel like there could have been a better place to have this.

Overall, weather wasn’t on my side this year, but I’d still go back for redemption of Cap City. It’s been a fun race to do in the past and at some point, I’ll get back to running it again!

 

Capital City Half Marathon: The Need to Know

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Capital City Half marathon to review [or I received a free entry to XYZ race] as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It’s Race Week!!!! Come Saturday, runners will take over the streets of Columbus, OH for the Cap City Half Marathon and this year’s US Half Marathon Championships. Here’s some need to know information for this week

The Expo(tique)

  • New this year, this is taking place at Vue Columbus in the Brewery District. Normally, the expo was larger and at one of the area hotels
  • Vue Columbus Address: 95 Liberty Street Columbus, Ohio 43215
  • Packet Pick Up Times:
    • Thursday, April 27: 12pm – 8pm
    • Friday, April 28: 10am – 8pm
  • Important info: NO RACE DAY PICK UP!
  • Need parking Info? Head over here for more info!

Things to do (From a Central Ohio Native)

  • Easton Towne Center: If you’re into shopping, head over here and enjoy some stores and restaurants
  • The Arena District: restaurants, sports and a good time!
  • German Village: Good Restaurants
  • Short North: Arts and Food!

The Courses

  • Get to know the courses before race day so people can come watch!
  • Half Marathon Course
  • Quarter Marathon Course
  • 5K Course

Race Day

  • Remember, no race day packet pick up!!
  • Start Times: Half Marathon/Quarter Marathon: 8AM; 5K 8:30 AM
  • Post Race
    • Recovery Zone: open 8AM-1PM
    • Byers Xtra Finish Line Party: 9AM-1 PM. Get 1 Coors Lite, 1 Patron Margarita, 1 Sparkling Wine and 1 slice of Pizza 🍕 from Papa John’s!
    • VIP Tent: be one of 200 runners/walkers to enjoy (and find me and some other Bibrave Pros) with some catered breakfast/lunch from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants and some drinks!
  • Driving in for the race? Head over here for Parking Information!

Not Running? Come out and cheer everyone on and party with us afterwards!

Bibrave Product Review: Eagle Creek Pack it Sport Active Set

Disclaimer: I received an Eagle Creek Pack it Sport Active Set to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Another fun month of testing some good work our products!  We had the opportunity to try out the Eagle Creek Pack It Sport Active Set, and I quite frankly was excited to try it. Plenty of times I go from a spin class to the gym or am driving somewhere for a race and want to change out of clothes before driving home if I’m far enough away and things end up stinking up the car or I’m dragging along a huge gym bag full of stuff.
Enter this dual set of Pack It products

You get a Wet Dry Fitness Locker and Shoe Locker that’s incredibly versatile. Though they’re marketed as products to keep your sweaty and clean clothes separate, don’t think they’re limited to just that!

The weeks I’m off from work, I sometimes will go spinning prior to the gym. The shoe locker is great for carrying the extra pair of shoes around and keeping them in the car if I’m not using them. Since it’s just getting nice out, the windows haven’t been open all that much. Needless to say, my car still doesn’t smell like sweaty feet, and this includes leaving post work out shoes in the shoe locker. With my size 7 feet, I can fit at least a pair of spin shoes or running shoes and a pair of flip flops easily in the bag. I even have extra space for a HR monitor/car keys and phone!

The Wet/Dry Fitness locker is the second piece to this set and double sided, which is even better. You can keep clean stuff on one side and sweaty clothes on the zipper side. On a recent trip to spin class, I had my water bottle hanging out in one of the pockets.

 

You can also fit a good amount of clothes in the zipper side. I’ve been able to fit in a full change of clothes and then some into the wet/dry locker pack. If you’re worried about your car smelling, don’t be! I’ve left dirty work out clothes in the car for a few hours and came back to a non sweaty smelling car.

What’s even better is that you can wash these puppies and they tolerate it well. I haven’t had the chance to throw mine in the washer yet, however, just let them air dry out!

I have quite a few races coming up and I can’t wait to take this along with me. They’re definitely travel size and easily packable for races anywhere or if you’re going out of town!

Join us for Bibchat on 4/25/2017 at 9pm EST/6pm PST with Eagle Creek. Convinced enough? Use SPORT15 for 15% off!

 

 

Bibrave Product Review: OOFOS

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos Project Pink Sandals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Oofos. An interesting name but a brand that does recovery shoes. Lord knows with all the running I’ve been doing, I need some recovery for my feet. Bibrave teamed up with Oofos to test out their Project Pink line. What’s up with the Project Pink? It means $10 of every purchase from the Pink Line goes to cancer research. Recover your feet and support a good cause at the same time!

I first heard about Oofos through Bibrave a few months ago and saw them when I met up with fellow Bibrave Pro and Aussie, Erin T. while in Honolulu for the Marathon. She was raving about them there. Locally, our Fleet Feet carries them and I happened to see them while in looking at some sale running tights. Enter the chance to try them out for Bibrave and I was all over it.

The Pink Line has a few options, all in men’s and women’s

I was worried about the sizing, just because I run weird on shoe sizes. I can be anywhere between a 6 and a 7 depending on the brand. My Oofos were a size 7, but my regular flip flops are a 6. Then again, I have others that are 7s. Oh well

The perks of these nice pieces of footwear involve getting more shock absorption to the feet. They also give more cushion and cradle your feet more. This is huge after races when you’re walking more around town. It’s made out of a moisture resistant closed cell foam that can be machine washed. I haven’t gone as far as machine washing, but I’ve definitely wiped mine down a few times to clean them off.

I’ve been wearing mine a lot around the house because they’re that comfortable and when you’re on your feet 12 hours a day at work and then go running, your feet hate you at the end of the day. I’ve also worn them pre and post spin classes and after my most recent Half Marathon in San Antonio.

I love my Oofos! They really are that comfortable to wear and keep your feet happy. I wish I had a pair of the clogs on top of the sandals so I could get away with wearing them to work as well. You feel like you’re walking on something soft and your feet will love you for it. My only gripe about them is they’re a bit bulky, so packing them means they take up a little more space than I’d like (I don’t check bags 95% of the time I travel). Overall, though, a good investment for any runner or athlete who’s looking to give their feet a break after a race or event

Looking for Oofos? Check them out

Website: Oofos

Instagram/Twitter: @oofos

Facebook: oofosfootwear

Check out what other Pros are saying about Oofos: Jeremy    John      Jenna      Mary Jo

Bibrave Race Review: Alamo 13.1

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Alamo 13.1 as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Weekend getaways to warm places are always too short. This weekend, I was in San Antonio, TX for the Alamo 13.1 Half Marathon. I was last in San Antonio 4-5 years ago for a race (that ended up being short for whatever reason).

After getting stuff done throughout the week, I headed out to Texas Friday morning after waking up ridiculously early for a spin class. Needless to say, going from 40 degrees to 80 degrees was much needed! I took an Uber to the Menger Hotel downtown and checked in without any issues. I walked around downtown and the River Walk to find dinner. The amount of St. Patrick’s Day shinnanegans going on was insane!

Saturday was expo day. In the past, it had been held in downtown San Antonio, but this year it was moved to the Granberry Events Center about 15 min from downtown. I had the chance to talk to the RD, David, and in the past the expo had been downtown. With Spring Break and the Texas Rangers taking over downtown, the past year or two, people had been driving around for 40 minutes and paying $50 to park and walked in ready to beat someone. I ended up taking an Uber to the expo (about $15-$17 one way), which wasn’t all that bad. Packet pick up was easy. There were areas for the Half Marathon, 10K and 5K. I wish before hand, you had the ability to look up your number instead of having to just give your name at the pick up. The Expo was small with some local places et up there and some photo op chances. If you were from out of town, you had the option of picking your bib up at The Menger Hotel that evening, but no expo vendors were there.

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Saturday afternoon, I found some lunch, went to church and found a wine bar with college basketball on for March Madness. There was the added amusement of sitting next to someone at the bar who asked for Coors Light and chips and salsa. What the what?

Race Options: Half Marathon (individual or 2 person relay), 10K and 5K.

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Sunday morning, I was up early and got changed and ready to go. The race was right in front of the hotel, so getting there was the easiest it’s been for me in a while. No parking, no shuttles, no issues what so ever. The half marathon was set to start at 7:15, but we headed off about 10 minutes late. The 5K and 10K were scheduled to start at 7:45 to give us a good amount of leg time. The first part of the race took you around downtown and back to the front of the Alamo. We then took some roads through some neighborhoods of San Antonio. Some parts weren’t the best and there were some parts that had someone not been there, I might have been a touch confused. We also went through Breckenridge Park and around some athletic complexes before turning back and ultimately ending up on the River Walk. Though I appreciate the amount of stuff we saw, here were my issues. We ran on no fewer than 5 surfaces: gravel, pavement, sidewalk, brick and brick with holes in it and pothole filled roads. I hardly ever get sore after halves anymore, but I was feeling this one. The mile markers seemed a little off to me as well. I wish the course had less of the iffy areas and less of the river walk with amount of narrowness that there was (it was only 2-3 people across along the river!).

Aid Stations: every 1-2 miles it felt like with some impromptu ones set up along the way.

The Finish: literally, right in front of the Alamo with announcers calling out people as they came across. Post race there was plenty of food, but the line to get it was long. It would have been helpful to have people be able to go either side of the food tent in order to move things along a little bit quicker. They also had music, massages, medical tents and the ability to check your time. The Krispy Kreme Donut truck was an added perk if you could stomach it!

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Overall I think this was a good race. Definitely one to look into if you need Texas! A few things to work on though: getting the course a little bit fine tuned (not so many surfaces, less of the iffy areas), faster food lines, etc.  I also think social media could be improved. I don’t think their twitter account has been used in a few years!!! The Race Director, David, was a good guy and I think is one who takes all suggestions to heart in order to improve the race! Keep this race on your radar, because it’s one to do every March!

Race this weekend? Don’t forget to go to Bibrave and review!

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