Bibrave, A Whole Bunch of Orange and a Weekend in Chicago

I’m currently somewhere in a string of however many days at work, but this past weekend, I spent the weekend in Chicago. For National Running Day in 2018, I signed up for RnR Chicago, thinking I may or may not make it out depending on my work schedule. Earlier this year, my Bibrave Peeps sent out a weekend Bibrave Pro get together in Chicago over the same weekend, so even more reason to sign up! I flew out the Thursday before and got held up with flight delays, but such is life. After getting in late on Thursday, I met up with some friends of mine from college for dinner.

Friday, July 19, 2019

I was up early and thought it was a good idea to run 4 miles in heat and humidity at 8 AM. I may have taken the 147 a mile back to my hotel. I got some breakfast, did some shopping and met up with a friend of mine from residency working in the Evanston area. Afterwards, I went to the RnR expo and met up with my fellow Bibrave Pros and got my bibs for the 5K and Half Marathon.

We hung out for about an hour, vendor surfing and getting to know each other, plus some shopping to boot. We took some time to go our own ways before meeting up for the Bibrave Orange Carpet. I met up with fellow pro Sam and ubered to dinner with her and her boyfriend. About halfway through dinner, we got news that the 5K on Saturday was canceled due to heat potential, which was a bummer, but not much you could do at that point

BibRave Orange Carpet Event 7.19.19 (30 of 61)

Saturday, July 19, 2019

Since the 5K was canceled, Samantha and I ran to the Lake Shore Path from our hotel and met up again with our fellow Bibrave Pros. We had a short shake out run before pictures, bagels and some fun. Afterwards, we broke for a bit and then went to the Cubs vs Padres Baseball Game at Wrigley Field. Thankfully, we were in the shade, but it was hot! Some of us made it through the 5-6th inning and nearly 3 hours before calling it good. At some point in the 7th inning, people were cheering when a wind gust came through (it was that hot!). After the game, we had a pre race dinner, had a live taping of a podcast with Cindy Kuzman.

HTS_8702

BibRave Current Kitchen (Day 2) 7.20.19 (29 of 52)

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Race day! The clouds were sketchy early on and I’m pretty sure we had some pre race lightning. Rock n Roll Chicago started at 630 AM with corrals being let out every few minutes. We were overflowing with runners, so things were crowded, especially while we were waiting. Runners who had signed up for just the 5K had the option to run the 10K on Sunday (some of us were remix runners, meaning we were doing the 5K Saturday and the 10K or Half on Sunday), so we were out of luck. The RnR course itself was a little north, a bit west and a lot of south in terms of directions. Water stations were spaced out, and I was kind of wishing they were more like a mile apart given the heat and humidity (I thought the same thing in 2010 and 2012 when I ran this race). The course is relatively flat, though gets somewhat boring the last 4-5 miles. I’d also like if the part going under McCormick Place could be taken out. It’s dark, wet and poor surface to run on. We chugged on and made it through the finish, despite heat and humidity. If only the chocolate milk was still around when I got in (just over 2 hours!). In the finish area, I hung out with Bibrave some more before heading back to the hotel for a shower and then ended up getting some lunch before heading to the airport.

Overall, a fun weekend, awesome people and good times for all!

 

Red, White, Boom and a BBQ!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Red White and Boom Half Marathon 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!

July 4th has come and gone, BBQs and fireworks have happened, and I finally knocked off Minnesota off my 50 state half list. Last week, I headed off to Minneapolis for the Red, White and Boom Half Marathon. It was my first half marathon on a holiday and my first weekday half marathon race (it only took 90+ half marathons!). I spent Tuesday getting caught up on adulting (microwave delivered, fuse blown that required an electrician and a worn out Moe the cat).

I flew out to Minneapolis Wednesday morning and got in just before noon. I arrived to some pretty humid MSP weather and Ubered my way over to packet pick up at Summit Brewery in St. Paul (10 minutes from the airport). Had a fun conversation with my driver and who else gets to say packet pick up is at a Brewery?! Pick up was small, which I was ok with. I’m a fan of no frills pick ups where you’re in and out, not pressured to buy anything. They did have some gear for purchase and bib look up. Beer fan? Beer tastings were available too!

I headed over to my hotel in downtown Minneapolis, just a short walk from the start. After checking in, I found some lunch and explored downtown some. I went for a quick shake out run in the hotel because of 90* and humid weather. After some dinner, I hung out in the hotel room for a little bit and went to Whole Foods (because let’s face it, I wish I had one in eastern Washington) to find some pre race breakfast for the 4th. Because of the heat and humidity, the race was good about communicating with us about race updates, which is always appreciated.

Race morning started bright and early. The half marathon started at 630 AM and the 5K started at 6:50. For quite a while, I was worried we were going to get rained on, though we got lucky, in that the rain held off until after noon. Because of the humidity and weather, we actually started out as a yellow flag on the EAS system and runners were given the option to downgrade from the half/relay to the 5K at no cost. While in the starting corrals, I actual ran into Mary Jo (a fellow Bibrave Pro) and we chatted prior to the start. The start was at the Mills Ruin Park and it’s actually in a residential area. The organizers are mindful of the community, so there wasn’t loud music or an MC on the microphone due to it being so early. After the national anthem, we were off and running. We went through West River Park and Theodore Wirth Parkway until you got to Victory Park before making your way back through the streets of Minneapolis. Be ready for some hills the first part of the race (all before mile 6), some fun facts along the way and some fun people and volunteers along the course. By 9 miles in, we were red flagged to run with extreme caution, but overall, us 2000 runners were able to finish. Aid stations every 1.5-2 miles, though with the humidity, every mile would have been nice to have. Something I did miss were something like oranges or bananas, or even sponges. The last 2 miles were back along the Mississippi River where we started with the finish being across the Stone Arch Bridge (lined with flags)

The race finish was hopping and the place to be. It was a big old BBQ and a party waiting for runners to finish. You were met with medals, water, chocolate milk and popsicles at the finish (red, white and blue of course). The post race party was filled with games (corn hole and hanging donut contests), post race recovery, BBQ and a whole bunch of family fun. There was plenty to do for runners, family and friends a like!

Overall, a fun race and a race to look at for Minnesota. Looking for a holiday race with a great post race party?? Come looking at this one! Great communication, good course. I bu wish there were a few more aid stations on course. Be prepared for some humid weather, but be prepared for it in the midwest. Great people, great atmosphere and a fun time

Red, White And Boom (fireworks I hope?!)

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Red White and Boom Half Marathon 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 4th of July week, which means it’s Red, White and Boom Half Marathon week!!! This is the first time I’ve done a half marathon during the week, and it’s throwing me for a loop (on top of not having a working microwave and a surge that I’m pretty sure blew as well). I leave tomorrow for Minneapolis and am praying to the weather gods that what ever thunder storms are happing can kindly hold off, or just leave the area all together. Fingers crossed!

Still haven’t signed up yet? Hurry up and use 18RWBBIBRAVE for 5% (good up until 6 pm TOMORROW or 50 uses for the 5k and 50 uses for the half marathon)!

If you’re traveling like I am to the race, be ready for some humidity and possibly some rain so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This morning, race staff emailed out about starting the race at flag condition yellow, so take a look at the EAS System of what to expect at each color flag


Wondering how much fun the race is?? Take a look at what happened in 2014 on their recap video too (credit: Twin Cities in Motion)

Wondering what type of 4th of July fun is going on? Head over to the Parks and Rec website to figure out what other fun is happening after you race

 

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