Race Review: Rock N Roll Los Angeles

Marathon training is in full force and cooler weather is descending on the Island Northwest. This past weekend, travel took me to Los Angeles for the Rock n Roll LA Half Marathon. After taking care of things at home Friday morning, I left Friday afternoon and got in shortly after 6 pm. I ended up taking SuperShuttle to the LA Live district in Downtown LA ($15 rather than a $60 Uber…WTF) and got situated in my hotel. It happened to be Comic Con as well, so there were people swarming the place with costumes. Nothing like getting on the elevator and running into someone in full costume with a prop taller than you are with blades attached. I found dinner at the hotel and chilled the rest of the night

Saturday morning, I found a 5K a few miles away (different blog post for a different day) and afterwards, came back and showered before heading to the LA Convention Center (1/2 mile from where I was staying) to pick up my bib. There was no wait at all for me and I was able to get through and get bib, shirt etc in less than 5 minutes. I met up with a family friend, Amy, and we ended up having brunch before she headed back home. I spent part of the early afternoon watching the OSU game in the lobby before watching part at a bar and the second half at the hotel. I couldn’t leave until the game was over because OSU decided to play flawless in the 4th quarter and beat Penn State by one. Due to the amount of swearing, I went to 5 pm mass and then dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Bar and Grill. I had a nice little chat with a fellow runner, though she was in town for a concert

Sunday morning was race early. I was up by 545/6 and changed before heading to the start at 620. Like any good runner, I made another bathroom pit stop and missed out on getting a pre race picture with Mai and Justin, two other Bibrave Pros running. I got tucked away in corral 5 with the gun going off at 645 AM. After about 5 minutes, I was off with the rest of my corral. The first mile and a half, we were with the 5K before they headed back at their turn around. We continued on to USC, past the Museum of Natural History and the Coliseum before heading back towards downtown. After mile 5, the 5K runners peeled off towards the finish and we continued on. We turned on to Wilshire Blvd, where there was an occasional sketchy area and plenty of homeless people lining the streets. We ran through McArthur Park and Koreatown before heading back to Downtown LA.

The course itself had some hills (primarily around 6/12), though not terrible. My garmin somewhere between miles 5-7, miles seemed to be further apart. My garmin was hitting miles 1/3 of a mile before the actual mile marker, despite on course comparison from the garmin and course map being the same. I ended up running a 2:03:54, where if the course was long, I would have been on track for my 3rd Sub 2 hr of the year.

Afterwards, I passed through the finish, grabbed some chocolate milk and food and hung out as people continued to finish. I met up with fellow BRP Mai post race. After grabbing a shower and checking out of the hotel, I grabbed some brunch before heading to LAX to catch my flight home.

Overall, course was ok, but not a whole lot of people out supporting. Weather was perfect, 60s and overcast and there were plenty of aid stations and plenty of costumes. I wish they’d double check the course length though because plenty of us were hitting 13.6 miles on course

 

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Rock N Roll Las Vegas: Things to Know

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock n Roll Las Vegas 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!

We’re officially less than 2 weeks out from Rock n Roll Las Vegas! As exciting as that is, we also know that the city is still reeling from the tragic shooting earlier this month. On Friday Rock N Roll announced some changes after consulting with a whole host of people and ways to support the Vegas Victims Fund. Here’s what you need to know!

The Expo: Still at the Las Vegas Convention Center

Full and Half Marathon Start Line: Moving to New York-New York, Hotel and Casino

Full and Half Finish Line: Stays the same at the Mirage Hotel

5K/10K course: Stays the same!

Full and Half Course Map: stay tuned, things are still being finalized

Bands: first 2.5 miles of the course will be an on course tribute for the lives lost during the Vegas shooting

Wondering how you can help out?

  1. Donate to the Las Vegas Victims’ Fund: Donate your distance ($5 for the 5K, $10 for the 10K, etc), or whatever you’re comfortable donating!
  2. Volunteer Race Weekend: Head here for more info on Race Crew and medical opportunities!
  3. Purchase a Vegas Strong T Shirt: Funds benefit the Las Vegas Victims Fund!

Image from runrocknroll.com

 

Image from runrocknroll.com

Race Review: Craft Classic Phoenix

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Road Runner Sports Craft Classic Phoenix 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 only took 7 years of distance running to knock Arizona off my Half Marathon list. The funny thing is, my first marathon was in Phoenix back in 2010. Small world and a little backwards thinking! I got into the Craft Classic Half through Bibrave and ended up making a weekend trip of it. I was able to get a direct flight into Phoenix and got in around noon on Friday. After picking up my rental car, I went to the Road Runner Sports in Tempe for packet pick up and lunch.

Packet Pick Up/Expo: Friday from Noon to 7 pm at Road Runner Sports Tempe and Saturday from 10-4 at Road Runner Sports Scottsdale. You could pick up for other people with their ID. No race day pick up, which would have been nice for people driving in. You got a coupon to shop at RRS at, your bib, shirt and a beer pint glass

Cost: depended on how many people registered. As more people registered, cost went up. The half was anywhere from $75 to $105.

Race Day Parking: I arrived early and was able to park close to the start. You could park at the post office, the River of Time Museum or at retail parking.

Race Start: 630 AM off of the Ave of the Fountains

Race Day: I met up with Emily, a fellow Bibrave Pro who lives in the Phoenix area. I had also met up with her on Saturday for brunch after a running a 10K (I’m smart like that). We chatted a bit and then lined up at the start. There were pacers, every 10 minutes from 1:30 that I could see. The half marathon started at 630 AM and the 5K started at 7 AM. The half course started out relatively flat, and I was really hoping for a sub 2 hr race. The first 3 miles were comfortable, and that was appreciated. Then mile 4 showed up and all of the hilliness that decided to come with it. I felt ike it was all up hill from mile 4.5 to at least mile 6. By the time you got to the down hill, you thought the worst of it was over and then more rolling hills decided to rear its head. You figured out very quickly you weren’t likely to PR this course. It got to the point where legs got tired in a sense. It did warm up pretty quick, but we also got a nice breeze going, although it nearly knocked off my visor. The last 3 miles seemed flat to me (or at least that’s how I like to think of them). I ended up finishing just under 2:09.

Aid Stations: every mile or so. Water and nuun were available at each station, as were porta potties. I wish powerade/gatorade were available over nuun, as I don’t know it works all that well (though some people swear by it). Honey Stinger gels were available at some of the aid stations.

The Finish: right by the start. As you crossed the finish, you were given your medal. Plenty of water and nuun again. Only bananas and oranges to eat. Food trucks were available, but you had to pay for the food. I really wish they would have had some sort of food with carbs and chocolate milk. I get it’s a race with beer at the end, but I think having some food with substance and something cold to replenish the muscles would have been huge, especially given the heat. Each runner got a free beer, each additional was $5. My beer went to Emily, fellow Bibrave Pro.

Overall, a decent race. I would recommend doing some hills to prep for this race. I think that powerade/gatorade would have been a better on course option and some more food of substance and chocolate milk post race would be awesome! If you’re in the area, definitely worth checking out the race.

 

Race Review Das Frank Kush Footrace 10K

This past weekend, I escaped the coldness of Spokane and the PNW (we had trace snow going into Friday the 13th) and went to Phoenix for the Craft Classic Half Marathon (another blog post for another day). In all of my insaneness, I figured why not look for another race for Saturday. I ended up finding the Frank Kush 10K on Saturday. I got in early Friday afternoon, and initially went to pick up my Craft Classic bib at Road Runner Sports in Tempe. Turns out, the Frank Kush packet pick up was at the same place. After I grabbed some lunch, I got my bib for the 10K and headed to the hotel.

Saturday morning, I was up around 630 and headed down to breakfast at the hotel after I got changed. I left around 720 and was there and parked by 740. It started at Tempe “beach” which was less of a beach if I’ve ever seen one. If you couldn’t make it to packet pick up Friday, there was an option to get your bib and shirt race morning. To get to the start, you had to walk through Oktoberfest, and it was a little difficult to find if you weren’t familiar with the area.

The 10K started at 8 AM and the 5K started at 810 AM. The 10K course started along the lake (or river?) and went out about a mile and a half or so and came back 1/4 a mile or so. At that point, we met up with the 5K and went over a bridge to the other side of the lake and continued on our route. We stayed with the 5K runners for a bit and then we separated again. The 5K turned towards the finish and we kept going until we got to Priest Road. We turned on Priest and then again onto Rio Salado towards the finish. The finish was right inside the Beach park area where Oktoberfest was set up, however, it was easily seen.

Kush Course

Overall, the course was relatively flat. There were minor hills when we were going over bridges and such, but nothing to cry foul about. I ended up finishing in 55:50, about 10 seconds off a PR (grrrr). After the race, you got a beer mug and a free beer if you chose to get it (I’m not a beer fan and it was 9 AM). I hung around for a little bit and ended up leaving around 915 and met up with a fellow Bibrave Pro for breakfast. Afterwards, I ended up heading back to the hotel to shower and regroup for Craft Classic in the morning.

 

 

Product Review: Fun Run Box

Disclaimer: I received a FunRunBox 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!

Box subscriptions are something that’s big these days. Some are fashion related, some are make up related, some are fitness related. One that’s running related is the Fun Run Box. I’d never heard of it before Bibrave, so I was curious. What is it exactly?

  • A “running subscription box with a running experience” as they like to describe themselves
  • Good for novices up to experts
  • A monthly box with gear and challenges to inspire to get engaged.

Sounds simple enough! I had the chance to try the Oktoberfest box over the month of September. When it came in the mail, here’s what I opened up:

I got a shirt, hat, massage stick, beer flavored jelly beans, a bib number, a magnet and a granola bar. Additionally, you got a challange with two different routes to go down in terms of miles and time. For the month, it was the 5 Mile Dasch challenge. You were also assigned a team, for me, it was Team Diggity.

Over the course of the month, the goal was to get pictures of you using or somehow engaging with everything in your box. Whether it be rolling out with your massage stick, working out in your shirt or hat, completing your 5 mile challenge, afterwards you posted pictures with different hashtags. After the month was up, whichever picture got the most likes, engagements etc, was the winner (can we say gift cards and free $$??).

My training got mixed in with the amount of halves I’ve been doing. My 5 miles ended up being the first 5 miles of a hilly half marathon so my time was not that great, but I still have the over/under work outs to go off

Cost: only $45 for $70+ of gear. AND you can use BIBRAVE for 15% off your order by going through here

Fun Run Box is a good way to stay motivated and get competitive for any range of runner, whether it be getting back into running or starting out. Hey, it’s even something that can be used amongst a running group for some good fun. I personally had a hard time getting into it, but it’s solely because I was in marathon training mode, so I felt like I was trying to do two completely separate things. Part of what I also struggled with was the beer flavored jelly beans/granola bar as I’m not a fan of the taste of beer (I ran a race this weekend and gave another BRP my beer if that says anything!). Regardless, take a look at FunRunBox for yourself and give it a try!

Join us for Bibchat on October, 17 at 9pm EST/6 pm PST with Fun Run Box and get more questions answered!

Road Runner Craft Classic Phoenix Race Week!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Road Runner Sports Craft Classic Phoenix 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 for the Road Runner Sports Craft Classic Phoenix Half Marathon and 5K! To say I’m excited to escape to warmer weather for a few days is an understatement. I’ve been weather stalking and when 90s is the high, it makes me a tad worried about weather for race day. Don’t forget,

Online registration ends tonight at 1159 pm! You can save $10 from the half with BIBRAVEHALF and $5 off the 5K with BIBRAVE5k

The need to know for race weekend:

  • Packet Pick Up:
    • Friday, October 13: Road Runner Sports Tempe, 12-7 pm
    • Saturday, October 14: Road Runner Sports Scottsdale 10am-4 pm
    • Gotta pick up your bib! Can’t make it? Someone can pick up your bib for you, they just got to bring this release form
  • What You Get:
    • Bib
    • Tank or shirt
    • Beer tickets (find me on the run or after and you can have my beer!)
  • Then Do some shopping!
  • Race Day:
    • 630 AM start time (think that you’ll be done before brunch and avoid the heat!)
    • 4 hr time limit
    • Hydration Stations at miles 1.5, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12
  • Review the course before hand!

Looking for things to do in Phoenix?

  • ASU plays University of Washington Saturday afternoon for all you College Football Fans
  • Lots of Pumpkin farms in the area
  • Arizona State Fair
  • Four Peaks Oktoberfest
  • Go to VisitPhoenix for more events!
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