Race Review: Halloween Run for Justice 5 Miler

Year #14 for this race and I somehow either haven’t been around or running somewhere else in past years for it. It’s put on by Hermes Road Racing in Cleveland and benefits Lawyers Giving Back community outreach programs including the 3Rs, helping students in the Cleveland and East Cleveland City Schools. Option for 5 Mile Run, 5K Run/walk or untimed 1 Miler

Registration: $20 before 10/16, $25 after. There’s also an option for family entry: $50 for 4 people of same family, but has to be mailed in in the same envelope. Also Team category, $90 for 4 people and you have to run the same event. Categories are Firm/Company, law school, college, and high school (male, female, mixed). I’m guessing some sort of prize is involved

Packet Pick Up: Downtown Cleveland at the Galleria of Erieview. You could do packet pickup the yesterday. Who does packet pick up in downtown Cleveland from 4-6 pm with the Cav’s home opener at 7 pm vs the Heat??? Packet pick up race day starting at 730 AM

Parking: Paid, either street or garages. I found a garage for $5

The Course: If you’ve done Hermes Races before, the course similar to other races that they put on. It goes out around First Energy Stadium [ie Browns Territory], along Lake Erie past the Rock n Roll HOF and further down parallel to Lake Erie. The 1 mile turn around is 1/2 mile in and the 5K turn around was 1.55 miles in at the water stop. Seems like there were a good amount of 5Kers and not 5 Milers this year. You hit the water stop twice if you were a 5 Miler. Fairly flat course, though you did have some inclines, especially when running after mile 4 when running over I 90. No traffic issues for the most part [cops were out directing people as needed], but with less than 1/2 mile left, we had bus drivers not paying attention to police officers about where to turn. As history would put it, there’s not a whole lot of people out in general on Saturday mornings in Cleveland. Start/Finish was in front of the Galleria.

Post race: held inside the Galleria Erieside. Cars cheerleaders were there. Food was available [bagels, cookies, donuts], as was water. DJs were there with music and they were also judging halloween costumes

Race management is good, but I wish they’d come up with different course routes, because I feel like I’ve done the same route multiple times at multiple races. It reminds me of being back in Philadelphia where races would always bank on using Kelly Drive for a good chunk of mileage over the summer since it was shut down to vehicles over the weekends

So You Want To Be A BIBRAVE PRO?

Guess what??? Applications are open to become a BibRave Pro!

What’s a BibRave Pro you’re wondering?! We’re a group of crazy [in a good way] group of runners who do a number of things. First off, we head over to Bibrave and review races we run on a regular basis. The good, the bad, the ugly, the weird and crazy. Heck, we encourage everyone who runs and races to do that- no need to be a pro! We’re also active on social media: Facebook, twitter, Instagram, blogging, etc. By using our social media, we promote races and running products. As a pro, we have the opportunity to test out products. Curious as to what? Try the 2XU MCS compression tights, OrangeMud Transition Wrap and Towel, Plantronics BackBeat Fit Wireless Headphones, you get the picture. Another perk? Race entries! Who doesn’t love free entries into races like the Kentucky Derby Mini Marathon, the Madison Mini and the One City Marathon. The easy part? Promoting all the fun stuff you’re trying or training for! Pictures, promotions from the races and fun facts about the race. Keep track of tweets, pictures, Facebook posts. After the testing period or race is over, we write up our reviews and talk it up over Bibchats on Tuesday nights.

Need more of a reason to apply to be a pro? We on occasion get to meet each other! I’ve met at least 4-5 other pros at races. And hey, we might let you on what we mean by #allthedonuts and #allthepoints!

Not familiar with Bibrave? Head to http://www.bibrave.com and check it out. Join us on twitter with #bibchat and join our chats at 9/8 EST/CST on Tuesday nights. Questions? Feel free to ask! To Apply, go here!

 

Race Review: Buckeye Half Marathon

Who signs up for a half marathon on their birthday? This girl. I was looking for a race after not heading to SC last weekend [OSU football took priority] for Myrtle Beach and I was able to sign up for $45 a week before the race.

The Buckeye Half Marathon was in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, a nice 40 minute drive Sunday morning. Bonus points for also having a 2 person relay team for runners to choose from as well. I didn’t have a chance to pick up my packet the day before, so I got to the start around 7:40 to pick up my bib. Instead of shirts, you had the opportunity to pick a sweatshirt or jacket. I have a thing for sweatshirts, so…you know.

I also appreciate the 8 AM start time. It was on the chilly side at the start. I actually grabbed my gloves out of my car before walking down to the start line. And forgot my garmin in my car at the same time.

The course itself was a 2 loop course. Primarily on roads, we still had to deal with the occasional cars coming onto the course. Some of those people didn’t know how to slow down. Police and volunteers were on course the entire time and directed traffic around us, which was good. Definitely some hills at this one, but I’ve seen some worse hills. One of the bigger issues I had was the uneven pavement. I felt like I had to watch my feet sometimes. Volunteers from Walsh Jesuit and another area High School were manning the water stops, which were every 2 miles or so. As you were finishing the second loop, you were directed into the park towards the finish line. My big issue was the gravel for a good 1/10 mile. Things just felt all uneven.

A good 2:30:52 ish time. Ohio shaped medals for all finishers and gym bags for top 3 in each age group and overall finishers. They also had soup, bananas and bread food wise. Cups of water for all- wish they would have had bottles!

Overall, a well run race by the Summit Athletic Running Club. It’s a very scenic race with a little over 400 runners. Definitely a race to consider, especially for a later fall marathon if you’re training for one!

BibRave Product Review: Plantronics Wireless Headphones

Disclaimer: I received Plantronics BackBeat FIT wireless headphones 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!

Headphones. Oh headphones. I have small ears [I blame my Lebanese-ness!] so I have issues finding headphones that actually fit well. I have my standard headphones that I’ve used for years and then had the opportunity to try the Plantronics BackBeat Fit. In short, these things are AWESOME!!!

Every other set of headphones I’ve had have had obnoxious wires that I feel like I can never get straight when I run. With the Plantronics FIT earphones being wireless, that takes any cord issues out of the way. They arrived at my doorstep in some fun packaging with a little note from their people

Mine are lime green [other pros have gotten teal ones in the past].  I proceeded to charge mine up so I could try them out on my next run. They take ~ 2.5 hrs to charge if they are completely out of battery and last up to eight hours. There’s also the Hub app for your iPhone to assist with anything funky while syncing the headphones to your phone. On one ear piece, there’s a play/stop button for your music, the other ear piece has a phone button so if you receive a phone call while running, you can answer it. I had 2 or 3 phone calls while running and was able to switch over and hear the caller perfectly clear! Since the headphones go through the blue tooth, you have to set up your headphones. Absolutely no issues doing that what so ever, very clear instructions.

Another fun little thing you get is an arm band. It’s very weather protective in terms of rain, etc- no phone damage issues there! and is big enough to fit my iPhone 6 with room. It’s also magical and flips inside out to act as a carrier. I ran the Akron 1/2 Marathon with it and had no issues with losing my phone or arm band.

The headphones are very flexible, which is always a good thing. Volume adjusting can be done either on your phone or with your headphones [fancy!!!]. One of the big things to remember with the headphones is to turn them on before your run and off afterwards. Battery life is about 8 hrs of just music, 6 ish if you’re dealing with phone calls, which isn’t too bad. If you’re in stand by mode, they last about 2 weeks. I ran the Akron Half Marathon with the Plantronics BeatBack head phones and by the end of the race, they headphones were at about 40% battery life and that was after about 30 min of pre race listening and 2.5 hrs of running (I hadn’t charged them the day or two prior to running).

Overall, these headphones are awesome. Definitely a must have for runners I think. The only issue I have is trying to get them into my ears initially, but that’s an operator issue. Definitely are weather friendly, especially in the rain. I can’t wait to try them in some snowy weather. If you’re a biker, no issue with them getting in your helmet with the way they sit!

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Look, no cords! #plantronics #bibchat @plantronics

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Price: $129.99

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Race Review: Akron Half Marathon

As life has been hectic recently, I’m a touch behind on the Akron Half Marathon from a few weekends ago. Typically, it happens the last weekend of September and is a Saturday race. After work on the Friday before the race, I headed down to Akron to pick up my bib at the John Knight Center. There’s no mailing option to get your packet sent to you, but the expo is open until 9 pm. I got to the expo and made it to free parking. You picked up your bib and bag first and then made your way through the expo to get your shirt. If you did the full marathon, you got a jacket (a touch jealous about that one). Plenty of vendors there and Akron Marathon specific clothing, including a pair of sweats that ended up coming with me. Race day entailed The Marathon, Marathon Relay and Half Marathon. It’s part of a series and if you did all 3 races, you got extra bling at the end

Even though I’m local [ish], I ended up staying at one of the race hotels so I didn’t have to drive the hour in to Akron on race day. They did have a shuttle that transported you to the start, but I felt like sleeping in. I was able to drive and get to the start within 15 minutes and was within 1/4 mile of the start. The weather was nice, but cool at the beginning. I was grateful for the indoor bathrooms of the student union prior to the start!

 

The Course: Akron has Hills. I hate hills. There were parts that were flat and/or down hill which were fine, but you do go over bridges which have some incline of their own. You see some good parts of Akron and then some other parts that are meh. They had a good amount of entertainment on course, a plus. There were parts with spectators and other parts where it was you and your music if you had any. Since there was a Half and Full marathon and a Full Marathon Relay, the course was marked well and had color coded letters (H, F, R) to let you know where to go. When the relay runners split for there hand offs, there was more than enough staff at each exchange during the first 2 to keep things in line. Also more than enough people and notice just after mile 12 to let the Full and Relay Marathon runners to go one way and the Half Marathon Runners to go another. If you missed it, it was your own fault.

The race finished in the Akron Baseball Stadium. Luckily we didn’t have to go around the entire stadium. Plenty of seating for people to come and watch and for runners to chill out after the race. It also had the post race party: you walked out of the finish and got water and your medal. You kept walking and there was a food tent that took your food tab off your bib and handed you a bag and afterwards, you got a banana, another water and chocolate milk. You were then directed to the beer tent and then there were the porta potties right there if you needed it. They also had a Pizza Tent that was off to the side and I almost missed. Took no more than 5 minutes if you weren’t waddling!

Organization: A+! Just wish there were 1-2 more aid stations at the beginning

Bibrave Product Review: Wigwam Lightning Pro Low Cut Socks

Disclaimer: I received a pair of wigwam socks 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!

To say getting my pair of wigwam socks was an ordeal is in understatement. I placed my order to try out my pair after I got the You’re In email from Julia and then I waited. And waited. And emailed Julia. And waited some more. Turns out, the socks came after our Bibchat sponsored by Wigwam thanks to the Cleveland Postal Service. I’m still not sure what happened, but I figured I’d still do a blog post!!

I’m always one who has issues finding socks. Some companies due sizes that are size 5-10. Really? I have munchkin feet due to the Lebanese ness that runs in the blood line (seriously, I could fit into kids soccer cleats through high school- score for saving money!). So whenever I find socks that my feet aren’t drowning in and that fit, I buy multiple pairs.

I’m a sure fan of the Wigwam socks after getting a chance to wear them. For one, the sizes are scaled down. A size 5-7 (ish) is perfect for my small feet and I like smaller socks to begin with so they don’t bunch up on my toes. It’s also a plus that the Wigwam socks are seamless. They fit well and I never felt them bunching up on me in my shoes. I also love the no blister aspect of them. I haven’t had a chance to wear them on any long runs yet, so that will be the true test of running.

Also, if you’re wondering what they’re made of, here you go: 42% Stretch Nylon, 32% Dri-release® TENCEL®, 22% X2O® Acrylic, 2% Stretch Polyester, 2% Spandex. If it were me, I’d go less dry release, more stretch nylon/spandex, but that’s just me.

They do carry fun colored type socks, though some weren’t in my size [sadness]- I’m a huge fan of fun colored socks. Sizes include MS, MD, LG, or XL.

Cost: $11. Hurry and save 15% off with 10-WG615BR through the end of October!

Colors: white or other solid colors

Positives: heal tab [which means no slippage!], no blisters, keeps the feet dry, very lightweight!

Social Media: website       Facebook       Twitter       Instagram

Social Media Team: awesome! will definitely respond on instagram and twitter

Overall: A definite runner/tri athlete/ hiker, etc must have!

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Socks small enough for my feet! @wigwamsocks #bibchat

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