Bibrave Race Review: Run CRANDIC

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Run CRANDIC  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!

First things first, May the Fourth Be With You! This past weekend, I made the trek out to Iowa for Run CRANDIC. Part of my bucket list involves hitting half marathons in all 50 states, and some of the middle of the country states have been hard to get, so I was excited about this one. To boot, it was the inaugural race and fellow Bibrave Pro Ang was part of the set up team (at one point over the weekend, she even said how running Sunday was going to be like a vacation for her).

I got into Cedar Rapids Friday late afternoon and drove about 30 min from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City (staying at the finish seemed easier since I was running the half marathon, rather than the full). After checking in at my hotel (I always appreciate discounted rooms for races), I went out for a run around town. Iowa City is more of a college town (read Univ of Iowa) and classes were nearing the end of term. While running, I ended up passing the packet pick up for Iowa City. Friday, you could a quick pick up in Iowa City with no vendors, etc (think quick in and out), so I ended up getting my packet on my way back to the hotel (only a mile run back of awkward bag holding). Bub numbers were posted on the wall of the Robert Lee Center and pick up was quick and easy. I ended up having to go back though because my number didn’t make it into my bag initially- at least I was only 1/10 mile away!

Saturday, there were shake out runs in Iowa City and in Cedar Rapids. I ended up sleeping later than I expected and missed the group run, so I went out on my own shake out run. After a shower and lunch, I decided to head off to Cedar Rapids to take a look at the vendors and hear about the course. There were some running stores, OrangeTheory, and packet pick up. It was held at NewBo Market, which had food and vendors set up. I ended up getting some throw away gloves because it was going to be chilly at the start. I met up with fellow Bibrave Pro Ang briefly and we chatted a bit. Since she was doing the full and I was doing the half and the races had different starting points, we got an early BRP picture before I headed to church, dinner and back to Iowa City.

Race day, I was up early and changed before heading over to Kinnick Stadium, where the finish was. The start for the half was in North Liberty and runners had to be shuttled there if they were parking at the finish. We were given parking passes during packet pick up, but no one checked them at the shuttles. I happened to be on the first shuttle out to North Liberty, so we were waiting for the start for a little over an hour. Part of the downside with where we were is that there was no barrier against the elements. Thankfully, it wasn’t raining, but it was on the colder side. Shout out to Corridor Dental though who opened up their office for runners. Something to think about for next year is tents for runners to gather under depending on the weather, +/- heaters if the area can’t decide what season it wants to be. There was limited packet pick up until 730 AM and bag check that would be shuttled to the finish.

The race started at 815 and had waves go off every minute based on pace (and I was thankful people put themselves in the correct corral). The first mile was around a lake before we went on the sidewalk/ road. The first 4 ish miles didn’t have much incline and weren’t bad overall. We jointed up with the marathon about 4-5 miles in to their race. We had some race on road, though a lot on paved running/bike paths through North Liberty and Coralville. The middle few miles definitely had some hills to it, though they weren’t terrible. I was running on tired legs, so I was slowed down a little bit. Around Coralville, we were funneled to sidewalks, which created a bit of bottleneck and made passing difficult. There were also areas where the mile markers were off, and not by a little bit (mile 8 was placed at 8.5, mile 12 was at 11.75), though at the end, you still ran a complete 13.1 miles. The last few miles, the elevation did let up, which was appreciated. Once we got back into the athletic stadium area, we passed the baseball field, which had Iowa playing and signs out to watch for flying baseballs. Can’t blame the race because the game time got moved up a few hours. Once you got to Kinnick Stadium, you went in part of it, had the chance to wave at the kids in the Children’s Hospital, ran through part of the stadium and finished outside one of the entrances.

Aid stations were well stationed and had a variety of water, gatorade and gels, oranges, etc. What was a good touch was signs saying what was available at each water stop.

The finish itself was pretty crowded. They needed somewhere with some more space where things could be a bit more spread out and less cramped. You were directed to a table to get your medal. Part of what needs looked at for next year is the medal situation. If you registered before a certain date, you were guaranteed a medal, but at the finish, your bib was checked to make sure you were one of those people. This led to some unhappy people (an order was going to be placed for people who didn’t get medals and they were sent out). Something to consider is getting medals in the future that aren’t dated and use them to make sure people get medals on race day. There was water available and organic chocolate milk, but I didn’t see any food. For further Run CRANDIC, I’d stick with something like a TruMoo. I saw so many partially full chocolate milk bottles that people didn’t finish (I felt like there was a huge taste difference from what I normally do and couldn’t stomach the rest of them). More food at the finish would have been a plus, in addition to the post race party they had at one of the local breweries. Kudos for the shuttle back and forth between the finish and the Brewery.

Overall, a good race, especially for it being an inaugural race. Every race has their hiccups, so I think if the finish congestion, medal situation and post race food situation can be hammered out, that would boost Run CRANDIC up a bit. I heard some of those involved with the race speak over the weekend, and they definitely seemed like they’d take feedback into account. If you’re in Iowa next year, be on the look out for Run Crandic and do it! Race this year? Don’t forget to review on Bibrave and look to claim your results on Athlinks!

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Bibrave Movie Review: GODSPEED

Disclaimer: I received an opportunity to see and review GODSPEED prior to it being released in theaters 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!

In the PNW, it’s finally deciding to warm up. It decided to go from 40s/50s to the 70s in 30 seconds (or a few days), but I’m not complaining! I’m in the mist of Ironman Training and most of biking has been my Peloton since the weather hasn’t been cooperating as of late. Normally I come on and talk about races I’ve run or products I’ve tested, but we were presented with a unique chance to catch a sneak peak of GODSPEED, The Race Across America. If you think running a marathon or doing an Ironman is difficult, try biking across America (I’m pretty sure this beats out an ultra marathon). I watched the movie a few weeks ago, but feel like I needed some time to really think about the movie

The Background

GODSPEED follows two cyclists (Jerry Schemmel and Brad Cooper) as they ride as a 2 man team across the US as part of probably the longest Endurance event I’ve ever heard of, The Race Across America (think 3000 miles). The catch? Competing against other 2 and 4 man teams to complete this sucker in 7 days. Mind Blown. Think about it, 3000 miles, 12 states, 170,000 feet of climb all in 9 days maximum. NINE  DAYS. Solo racers? You get a whole 12 days. Mind. Blown. On top of that, you’re dealing with the elements, an open course and trying to figure out where you’re at in relation to your competitors.

Who Does This

It sounds crazy, and likely something I wouldn’t do. But, there are crazy endurance junkies out there, so Kudos to them! Schemmel and Cooper ride as a team supporting Enduring Hope, an organization with goals to build orphanages in Haiti.

Take Aways

If you’re looking to see what some grit, team work/camaraderie, strength and a little bit of faith can do, go see this movie. There are some spots where the faith/Christianity theme is obvious, but it’s not overwhelming (think a prayer or two trying to get the two cyclists through the race).

My Thoughts

Overall, a well done movie. I don’t want to give away who wins, who finishes, who doesn’t, etc, but for any endurance buff, this is a good movie to go and see. To see what goes into something that’s a pretty decent sized endurance event is insane. You’re on the edge of your seat trying to figure out which 2 person team will win, will any 2 person team beat 4 person teams, who will finish, who doesn’t. Expect some twists and turns, some correct turns, coupled with some missteps and circumstances (like weather and mechanical issues) out of the riders control. Faith weaves its way into the film, but it’s not intense or overpowering.

Interested? Not Convinced? Take a look at the teaser

GODSPEED comes to theaters on May 22, 2018. Tickets are on sale through Fathom Events. To find a location and purchase tickets, head over here and get on board!

RUNCRANDIC Race Week!

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

Race week is here for RUNCRANDIC! Not signed up yet?! What are you waiting for??? Be sure to sign up before 11:59 CST tonight online so you don’t miss all the fun (and Bibrave18 saves you 10%).

Now that we’ve gotten the hurry up and register before you miss out on this inaugural race, here’s some things to be on the look out for this weekend!

Not quite there in terms of being ready to run? Volunteer! We’re still looking for some help in terms of packet assembly, packet pick up, aid stations, parking and traffic control. Wonder how to sign up? Take a gander at these websites. We’ll love you more for it@

The fun stuff. Some shake out runs are happening on Saturday (4/28/2018). There’s a group meeting in Cedar Rapids and from Iowa City (I have a feeling I’m going to see a lot of Kinnick Stadium this weekend). If you’re in town/local or just looking for something to do, come run with us!

The Logistics 

Packet pick up happens Friday and Saturday. Can’t make it to the expo? Someone can pick up your bib it up for you

Friday, April 27: 12:00pm-9:00pm at  Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, Iowa City

Saturday, April 28: 12:00pm-7:00pm at NewBo City Market, Cedar Rapids. Also be on the look out for the Expo (same location) with a pre race party

Sunday, April 29: NO MARATHON RACE DAY PICK UP! The half marathon pick up will start at 630 at the University of Iowa Community Credit Union. The 5K pick up starts at 730 AM at Northwest Junior High in Coralville

And what’s a race without a party! Post race party all day (or at least from 10A-6P) at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City.

RunCRANDIC has provided some useful information for runners and spectators, as there’s good information about parking, the weekend, start times, etc.

Photos: FREE downloads available after the race (give them a few days post race to get them up). But they’re FREE!

Be sure to follow RunCRANDIC on social media. They’re providing updates on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Bibrave Product Review: CTM Band

Disclaimer: I received  a CTM Band 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!

I’m well known to beat my legs up. I may like to do my fair share of endurance events, and to top it off, I hate foam rolling, despite the necessities of doing it. I’ve been fairly lucky that I’ve only had 2 IT band injuries over the course of my running life, and that was when I had no idea what I was doing. Enter my new friend, the CTM Band.

 

CTM stands for Compression, Tension and Movement. The goal? Increase flexibility, decrease muscle pain by simultaneously having compression, tension and movement. The goal? Quicker recovery by targeting specific areas that are sore and tight.

How To Use the CTM Band

  • When you first get the CTM Band, it’s wrapped on itself. Unwind it and choose which part of body needs some TLC
  • On the CTM Band are 4 half golf ball type balls. Align them with what’s sore
  • Wrap away and do it tight, because let’s face it, tight is good (but not beyond painfully tight).
  • Keep it on for 2 minutes and take it off
  • Need a visual? Take a lookhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEH8_iOtjG8

 

CTM band was developed by Dr. Kyle Bowling, a Chiropractor and former D1 Athlete. It’s goal is to help with soreness and trigger points, as well as help with recovery/treatment of injuries such as plantar fasciitis, IT Band Injuries, and large muscle group tightness. Let me tell you, he’s on to something. With the amount of endurance training I’ve been doing, coupled with my love (or not) of taking days off, the legs get tired, sore and a bit beat up. I’ve come home on more than one occasion and wrapped my CT Band on to a few different areas for 2 minutes each to get some muscle relief. It helps with the tired and helps loosens things up in multiple areas. I feel like I’ve decreased the amount of foam rolling I’ve had to do because of this (it takes 2 minutes. TWO MINUTES. to use).

What else I like about the CTM Band? You can modify the amount of attachments on it. You can have 1 attachment or all 4 depending on what area you’re looking to treat. They easily unscrew and detach from the band itself. Larger muscle groups? Go with all 4 attachments. Smaller muscle groups or a more specific area? remove 2-3 attachments and only have 1-2 on the band for more isolated therapy. I’ve used it mainly on my quads, hamstrings, IT bands and calves with some good relief.

Pros of the CTM Band

  1. Target relief
  2. Travel sized (though I’m not sure it’ll make it through airport security)
  3. Adjustable
  4. Lifetime guarantee (something breaks? It’ll be replaced)

One thing I hope CTM Band looks at is maybe doing a version a of the CTM Band with a band that’s wider (think the width of a 4″ ACE Wrap) for some of the larger leg muscle groups. I feel like things may stay better in some instances or you may even be able to hit a little bit more.

Overall though, I like it. I think it’s a good product that is filling a void in the endurance community. Want to give it a try? Use CTMBIBRAVE to save 20% off through their at https://ctm.band/collections/all!

Bibrave Race Review: The Hapalua

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

Holy heat and humidity of Honolulu! I made it through a few days of Hawaii and lived to tell my tale of Hapalua 2018 (an honest win in my book). I flew out to Honolulu Friday morning. For some reason, a 545 AM flight after working until 7 pm the night before seemed like a good idea (it’s really not) and this was only leg one of the trip (leg two is to Amsterdam. Talk about different climates). I ended up getting in around 1 PM HST. My flight from Seattle ended up leaving an hour late because it was late coming in from wherever it came from. At least I know the places I can hide. My bags made it in one piece all the way to Honolulu and after getting my checked back from baggage claim, I picked up a taxi to the hotel. I checked in and cut lose for a run along the beach. Sitting for 6 hours on a plane tightens me up pretty good, so I ended up getting in a good 5 miles. It’s amazing what running in sun, tank tops and shorts can do after not being able to wear them outside for a good 6 months. Thanks Washington. I ended my run around the Convention Center so I could pick up my packet. I did the Honolulu Marathon in 2016, and the Expo was smaller, though I don’t think there were as many runners with Hapalua. Some local running stores, etc. It was easy in and out. You picked up your bib, followed by going to a second table for your shirt. They had a third area with clear bags if you planned on checking gear at the start area. I went back to my hotel, showered and found some dinner before walking around some on the beach and enjoying some Friday Night Fire Works.

Not even 12 hours and a completely different Honolulu view from my room!

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

Saturday, I started off with an open water swim. Because what’s a vacation if you can’t try something new, like swimming 1.25 ish miles (2000 meters/2K) in the ocean to try and get some triathlon training in. Find out how that went over here. Afterwards, I kept things easy and enjoyed Waikiki and the beach some. I also went wetsuit searching, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I ended up going to 5 pm mass and getting dinner at Hula Grill before calling it a night.

Sunday morning meant getting up at 430/5 AM for a 6 AM start time. Kind of nice still being somewhat on PST time since the start felt like 9 or so, but I was still a bit tired. My only regret was not staying closer to the start because it was a good 1.25 miles to the Duke Statue, where the race started. Part of what The Hapalua does is something called the Chase. It’s Hawaiian runners vs the Elites with the Elites trying to run down the Hawaiians (fun idea, I think).The Chase this year had a 24 minute handicap, so some runners started around 5:36 AM, with varying starts up until 5:54 or 5:56 this morning. The elites started at 6 AM with the rest of us. I missed watching the start of the Chase though, because of the time it took me to get to the start.

Weather. Oh weather. Be ready for heat and likely some humidity. It was in the 70s with about 70% humidity today. I’m glad the rain held off though.

One thing that needs worked on though is the start. It’s kind of a hot mess. There’s no division of runners and no corrals, which actually makes the first mile difficult. There were walkers at the front and people who were inappropriately placing themselves faster than they were, so faster runners were trying to not run over other people. If there could be some sort of corral system like for the Honolulu Marathon or other races in general, it would make life a lot easier.

The course is fairly flat for the first 9 miles or so. You start in front of the Duke Statue and head along Kalakaua Avenue to Ala Moana Blvd and the Nimitz Highway. You pass Ala Moana Beach Park, the Harbor and Aloha Tower before turning and coming back some on King Street. You make some turns and double back on Ala Moana and it’s kind of fun seeing runners come towards you. If you time it right, you can see some of the chase happening on the way out on Ala Moana Blvd. Over the next few miles, you end up back on Kalakaua Avenue and you get some crowd support there. You pass the Duke Statue and head towards Waikiki and Kapiolani Park. Here, you pass the 9 mile mark and start making the trek around Diamond Head. Be ready for some hills/incline because you don’t realize how much there is until it’s there. Or, like me, you forget what the hills were like during the Honolulu Marathon because you chose to forget that part of the race. You have some pretty decent incline from miles 9 to 10, some downhill before heading back up again at mile 11 for about half a mile. After that, it’s all downhill along Diamond Head. The last part of the race takes you along some neighborhoods and into Kapoilani Park, same finish as the Honolulu Marathon. You were greeted with medals and water misters (so needed). Afterwards, when I was walking back to the hotel, though, you could see more than a bunch of walkers still on course who had to move to the sidewalk as traffic opened back up.

Aid stations on course: It felt like every 2 ish miles or so, give or take. I felt like they needed more because it was so hot and humid on course. Hard to stay hydrated when the water stations are so spread out. They had water at all of them, gatorade at most of them and gels at 1-2 of them.

What happened with The Chase you ask? One of the Elites ended up winning and passed the final Team Hawaii runner in the last half mile. Close!!!

Post Race: plenty of entertainment, food, drinks and things to do. Or just relax. You were given your medal as you came through the finisher chute, you were given your medal. In typical fashion, you don’t know what the medal looks like until you finish (or if you check social media while you’re still on course). They also had water misters which was so needed. Food wise, there was shaved ice, malasadas (alllll the malasadas), moon pies, water and pineapple juice. I would have loved some chocolate milk though!!!

Results: Find them over here to find them. Also, go over to Athlinks and claim your results! Not on Athlinks, join for free and then claim them!

Afterwards, I hiked back to the hotel and took a much needed shower. It’s nice getting back to the hotel at 9 AM, as opposed to like noon. I was able to get a later check out and found a laundry mat to wash my clothes. I’m not spending time in Europe with running clothes I was peeling off because of sweat and humidity! Best money I spent all trip other than the money to get here!

Overall, a great race. I just wish the start and the aid stations would be looked at, because they could use some work. If you’re looking for a Hawaiian race, look up the Hapalua!

The Hapalua: The Chase is On!

Disclaimer: I received free entry into The Hapalua 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!

Race week is here! I’m so excited to be getting on a plane on Friday for Honolulu. The cold and dreary of winter in the Inland Northwest takes its toll on you and work has been on the crazy side.

Here’s some things to look for this weekend!

Packet Pick Up: At the Hawaii Convention Center

  • Friday, April 6 10 AM to 8 PM
  • Saturday, April 7 9 AM to 4 PM

Shake Out Run with Team Hawaii and the Elites

This year, Team Hawaii takes on the Chasers (Elite) to see who can win this thing. Saturday, April 7 at 8 AM, meet up with the Chasers and Team Hawaii for a shake out run in Kapioloni Park

What’s the Chase?

The best local runners take on the professionals (Elites). The Locals get a head start while the Chasers try to run them down. Team Hawaii gets a 20 (ish) minute head start before the rest of the field starts at 6 AM! Read up on the Elites and the Hawaiians here!

Things to Do In Honolulu

  1. Diamond Head: take a hike and enjoy some views!
  2. Pearl Harbor: A must. I went in 2016 when it happened to be the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor
  3. Try some Snorkeling, surfing or paddling
  4. Be crazy like me and do a 2000 meter open water swim (gotta get into Ironman shape some how!)
  5. Waikiki Beach: if you hit it right, you can get some good sunset pictures!
  6. Ioloni Palace: who knew Hawaii it’s own monarchy at one point?

Not registered yet?? Register at the Expo! Hope to see you there and look for the Bibrave Orange!

 

Bibrave Product Review: KT Tape

Disclaimer: I received samples of KT Tape to try and 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!

Nagging injuries, runners injuries, large muscle injuries. We all get them. My first running injury was in the Fall of 2009 when I was starting on long distance running and thought the regular shoes I had were ok for running. I ended up with an IT Band injury so bad I ended up with a month of Physical Therapy (after I ran the half marathon the orthopod told me to not run. Sorry Mom). Part of what I found while doing PT was KT Tape. Don’t believe me? Flash back to January 2010 with my first marathon:

KT Tape is an elastic sports tape designed to relieve pain and support muscles/tendons/ligaments. When you get hurt (and not the tired/stiff/sore that my trainer tries to get out of me on a regular basis), KT tape (when applied correctly) lifts the skin from the area of pain , swelling and/or inflammation to provide decompression to the fascia and greater movement of the lymphatic fluid through your system.

The nice thing about KT Tape is it can be used for Common Injuries like

And the list goes on! I remember having Turf Toe in high school and looking back, I wish I would have had some KT Tape rather than the tape the trainer had for me at that point in time. What’s even better is that there’s instructional videos on how to apply KT Tape depending on where you’re hurting.

We had a variety of different tapes to try out and I’m still trying to make my way through them. I started with the KT Tape Pro version (we were also sent KT Tape Pro Wide, KT Tape Pro Extreme, KT Tape Gentle and the original KT Tape). I was in New Orleans for a 5K/Half marathon race weekend and was dealing with some heal pain due to cracked skin. I came up my own little tape job:

I applied two pieces and left it for the whole weekend. I was able to get through a 5K on Saturday and a half marathon Sunday and 2 showers without it coming off.

When you apply KT tape, make sure the area your applying to is clean and dry. If you’re a woman, shave before hand; men I’m sorry. Also make sure to apply it an hour or so before a workout to allow maximum sticking. The key to putting on KT tape is the stretch. It does have stretch quality to it, but when applying it, you want to really only it stretch it about 50% with the main point being over the area of injury or pain.

Depending on how long you plan on wearing the KT Tape can dictate which version you want to choose.

KT Tape Pro is good for 4-7 days and stays on in water

KT Tape Pro Extreme is good on for a week and highly water resistant. The difference between this and the original Pro Version is that it has extra strength adhesive

KT Tape Pro Wide is a 4″ wide strip that’s good for your larger muscle groups (hamstrings, quads, low back). Typically this is good for 4-7 days and water resistant. Yes, if you’re short armed like me, you can still get it to your low back

KT Tape Gentle is made for gentle adhesive for easier removal and good for 1-3 days. If you’re going for harder work outs, maybe not the best one to use though.

While going through the KT Tape Website, I was able to find some newer stuff that I jumped on. I’m excited about the Blister Prevention  Strips which are small strips aimed for blister/chafing/hot spot prevention. Needless to say, I bought 2-3 roles and tested out the strips this past weekend while in NC. Two thumbs up for that! The next one is the KT Tape Pro X which is two 10″ strips combined to make an X for point related pain. I’m still working on getting the right placement for this one, so we’ll see.

Overall, LOVE the KT Tape. It travels well, is durable, can be used for multiple injuries or sore spots and does it’s job well. They’ve come out with a ton of different products since I first started using it back in 2009 and quite frankly, it’s gotten a lot better (huge fan of the Pro and Pro Extreme Versions!). Get over to their website and use BIBRAVE30 to save 30% off your order!

 

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