Surf City Half Marathon: I’m Coming For Ya!

Disclaimer: I Promoting The Surf City 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!

The holidays have come and gone and 2019 is a week in the books. How did that happen?! I’m still trying to figure that part out. In Washington, it’s getting dark ridiculously early, and I’m luck if I can get a run outside with my work schedule (hence the love for noon to midnight shifts for a bit…). With the new year comes my itch travel where it’s warm and for the past few years, it’s meant heading to Huntington Beach, CA to run the Surf City Half Marathon. I’ve ran the half 3 times total (2013, 2017 and 2018) and am gearing up for year number 4. I’m super excited for this year because it means I get Legacy Longboard Status. What’s Legacy Status? It means you’ve run the half/full marathon 3 years in a row (consecutive is key) and get some extra perks! The extra shirts were revealed and I’m excited to get mine!

📸: @runsurfcity (Twitter)

New this year is the Cowabunga Challenge. Surf City is introducing a 1 mile run on Saturday, February 2 and if you run the 1 miler in conjunction with the half or full on Sunday, February 3, you get more bling!

Other awesome things to look forward to is racing along side (not on!) the beach, an awesome Expo that takes place Friday and Saturday before race day along the beach, sun (let’s face it, winter’s depressing when you live in places that involve cold, snow and running in 5 layers) and a whole lot of positive vibes. The swag is also fun, as you get a tote bag (I use mine for groceries/shopping if that says anything), long sleeved tech shirts and a bunch of other goodies. It doesn’t help that they also entice you with other races that are in warm weather! Did I mention the surf board bling?

Aren’t convinced? Check out my race reviews from 2017 and 2013 on why it’s a must do race! Don’t forget, you can save 15% off registration with SCMBR10!

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Bibrave Product Review: Buff DryFlx

Disclaimer: I received a Buff DryFlx and headband to review as part of being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about being a Bibrave Pro and check out http://www.bibrave.com to review, find and write race reviews.

Buff. ALLLL the Buff. I’ve tried and still use Buff throughout the years and have Bibrave to thank for introducing me to the Buff. It’s one of the few running things that can be used all year in a whole host of ways, and they’ve come out with a new line that I’m excited about.

The Buff DryFlx is lightweight and has a design for cooler outdoor use (read, winter weather in Washington State). Additionally, this design is bright. It’s meant for you to be seen! Warm, lightweight, reflective, what more can you ask for?

Well, there’s the fact it has this 4 way stretch thing going on. And it’s seamless. And UPF 50 Sun Protection….

Because of travel, I’ve actually had the chance to use my Buff in both Washington State (where I’m running in 20-30* weather when I can get outside), and Arizona (currently here for a conference). Ever been to Washington? It gets cold over the winter, so having something that’s lightweight but keeps. You warm is important. I’ve used the buff and the headband, which I love, however, my head is a little small for the headband. It makes a really good wrist version of the Buff though, if you’re looking for ways to help with sweat control!

In Phoenix, it’s been in the 50s-60s, so a world of difference compared to what I’ve been dealing with the last 6 weeks. The lightness of the Buff makes it so you don’t feel it and you don’t feel like you’re overheating either. Additionally, the whole reflectiveness idea makes it so you’re seen (can’t help the people who don’t pay attention).

Overall, love my buff. If there could be some sort of way to get a smaller headband for us small headed people, that’d be awesome, but a great product overall!

Portland Shamrock Run: Running to Find Leprechauns

Disclaimer: I received 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!

Fall racing season is essentially over (let’s face it, Spokane got snow last Friday if that says anything) and the NYC Marathon is in the books (I’ll get to a race review, promise!). I’m jumping on races for the start of 2019 that don’t involve snow and am excited to do a Irish themed race this year in Portland! March 15-17, 2019 will bring the Portland Shamrock run and the way race times are set up, I’m set to run the 5K and Half Marathon.

St. Patrick’s Day this year falls on a Sunday (excited for a holiday on a weekend!) and there are so many race options. On Sunday, the races start at 8 AM with a 5K and over the course of a morning, there’s also a 15K, Half Marathon 8K, Kid’s race and 4 Mile walk. Race for everyone right?

All races start in front of Water Front Park in Portland (OR), runners 21 and older get beer from the beer garden and the 15K and Half Marathon finishers get medals. Feeling extra speedy? Winners of all distances (5K, 8K, 15K and Half Marathon) get their weight in beer (men’s and women’s divisions). There’s also a 2 day Fitness Fair at the Convention Center open to the public and runners!

Come join the fun in the PDX and enjoy St. Patrick’s Day with a Shamrock themed run. Save 10% with SHAMROCKBR10 off any distance and look for the Bibrave Orange!

Bibrave Race Review: Onward Shay Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Onward Shay Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

One would think that living on the west side of the country and 30 (ish) minutes from the Washington/Idaho boarder would mean I’d hit a half marathon in Idaho before now. believe it or not, I was suppose to do a half marathon in Coeur d’Alene a few weeks ago, but dropped down to the quarter marathon. This weekend I flew out to Boise for the Onward Shay Half Marathon. I signed up for it last year (a whole $25) on Black Friday. I was so excited when Bibrave partnered up with them so I hopped on board.

Boise is a quick 45 min flight from Spokane if you can get a direct flight from Spokane. I’d take that over a 6 hour drive. I flew out Friday night and took an Lyft to the hotel. I ended up booking a hotel that was about 1/2 mile from the start/finish line and the expo. I spent most of Friday night trying to (and failing to stay up all 18 innings) watch the World Series. I ended up sleeping until 9:45 am before waking up. I headed over to the expo and picked up my bib. It took all of 5 minutes. When you walked in, your bib was assigned to you at check in (although there was one runner race morning where there were mishaps. Whoops). Some of the sponsors had tables set up at Payette Brewing and there were plenty of shirts to go around.

After getting my bib and shirt, I hit up 2 different farmer’s markets in Boise. The weather had stayed nice though the weekend and people were still out with produce, meats, home grown stuff, etc. At the second market, there were around 40+ vendors and an opportunity for trick or treat with the kids. I even found a place that did rolled ice cream. In the words of mom, I run to eat (partially true).

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Round two of rolled ice cream!

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I hung out most of the day, watched football found dinner and mainly chilled out after going out for a shake out run.

 

Sunday Morning, I woke up just after 7 AM. The race had a 9 AM start time, which was probably a good thing since the sun was still coming up. I had my clothes set out from the night before. After multiple trips to the bathroom and stalking up on tissues (I’ve been dealing with a URI and a cough for the past week) and throwing cough drops in my Spibelt before heading out to the start (an easy 1/2 mile walk). I even met up with fellow Bibrave Pro Bridget, who came out from Oregon! Bart Yasso happened to be at the race, but a Bartie (selfie with Bart Yasso) wasn’t in the cards today.

The full and half marathon started at 9 AM (followed by the 5K at 915 and the 10K at 920). The course itself is fairly flat, though some minor bunny hills going under underpasses. The first 5 miles was a loop that took you along the Greenbelt running trail. The first mile took you past the Boise Zoo before crossing the Boise River and through Boise State. We passed by Ann Morrison park and went to Bernadine Quinn Riverside Park. We headed back and around mile 5 passed where we started. We continued on, crossed the Boise River again before taking a left and heading along the river. We past more of BSU including the football stadium (couldn’t see the blue turf however) and more of scenic Boise. Just past mile 9, the half marathon turned around, while the full marathon kept going. Just after the turn around, I passed Bart Yasso and I got a wave out of it. The last 4 miles (10-13) were essentially unmarked for the half marathon. The course itself is fairly scenic, which is kind of nice. There were people out cheering and a good amount of direction on course, especially around areas that could have been confusing. Water stops ever 1.5-2 miles with water, gatorade and gels. The finish ended up being right at the start with some good announcing going on. Fun thing about this race is it’s Wizard of Oz themed, lots of Dorothy with Toto, the tin man, witches and fun costumes to see.

Post race, there was food (hamburgers, hot dogs, cookies and beer if you’re a fan). I hung out for 10 min or so, before rushing back to the hotel to take a shower and head to the airport for my flight home. Plenty of water, though I would have loved some chocolate milk (I always wonder why chocolate milk isn’t a post race must).

Overall, a great race in Idaho. The course this year was all on the Greenbelt Running path, which takes out the issue of closing down streets. It’s on the bigger side of small, but still plenty of people involved so you don’t feel left behind or lonely. It’s a good scenic race in a decent size city that is overall flat (coming from Spokane, this is a welcome change). Don’t forget to also go claim your results on Athlinks, they’re already up to claim! Good nuts and bolts race, I just wish that we’d have some chocolate milk at the end!

 

Onward Shay Race Week!

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Onward Shay Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

It’s race week for Onward Shay! It’s my last long race before the NYC Marathon in 2 weeks so taper time is setting in at it’s finest🙌🏻. Didn’t have a chance to register? Limited registrations will be available at the expo.

Some things to keep in mind for race weekend:

The Expo: Takes place Saturday morning from 10-5 pm at Payette Brewing (733 S. Pioneer St in Boise). Gear, packet pick up, speakers, The Run Toto Run Kids Fun Run. wThere’s even a VIP Cocktail event at Powerhouse (621 17th St, Boise)

Race Day: Gear check will be available, but the race will provide clear bags to use. The half and full marathon start at 9 AM, the 5K at 915 AM and the 10K at 930 AM.

Things to Do: no home Boise State Football this weekend, but take advantage of the wine and food scene, the territorial priosn, the Basque Museum and the Cultural District. Nature fan? 16 miles from town is the Center for Birds of Prey

Any Idahoans have any additional suggestions? Let me know and see you race weekend!!

Onward Shay: Who’s coming to Boise With Me?

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Onward Shay Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Fall’s essentially here, even though the calendar doesn’t say so as of yet. The sun is coming up later in the morning and I’m throwing on sweatshirts on in the morning on my way to work. For me, fall means marathon training of some sort. This year I’m heading back to the NYC Marathon for the Animal Protective League (head over here to donate). As part of my tapering races, I’m running the Onward Shay Half marathon a week before NYC Marathon.

I’ve lived in Washington State for 2 + years and somehow haven’t done a half marathon in Idaho, which is a 40 minute drive away. I actually signed up for Onward Shay over Black Friday last year because it was only $25 or something crazy cheap! Looking for a reason to run Onward Shay?

  • It’s flat and a Boston Qualifier
  • Did I mention it’s a Boston Qualifier?
  • Wide range of races: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and the Marathon
  • Procedes benefit a whole host of charities, especially locally ones
  • Heck, in 2016 they even had their own IPA

Onward Shay was started in honor of Shay Hirsch, an avid runner in the Boise area who fought an 11 year battle with multiple myeloma and lost that battle last January, hence a lot of charity work for the race. You get a good run through Boise, plus a whole lot of fun with Boise Football, Steelheads Hockey, the old Idaho Penitentiary and more.

Head over to OnwardShay website and sign up! Save 15% with BIBRAVE15!

Bibrave Product Review: Under Armour HOVR Sonics

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Under Armour HOVR Sonics 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!

Running shoes. Something where I have what I like and tend to be loyal to them unless the next generation changes and my feet hate me because of it (yes it’s happened!). I had the opportunity to test out a pair of UA HOVR Sonics after Bibrave paired up with Under Armour. I’d been curious about Under Armour in terms of their running shoes for awhile. In all honesty, I have two other different pairs of UA Running shoes, but I use them more for day to day life rather than running. The HOVRs seemed to peak my interest a little bit more.

 

The Sonics have two flavors, as I like to call it: the connected version (that connects wireless to an app and provides a bunch of good info) and an unconnected version. Mine were a black fabric with white sole version of the unconnected Sonics.

The shoe itself is very light with mesh fabric for the shoe and foam soles to help provide some molding to your foot. If you’re looking for a neutral shoe, this is something to look into. It’s also very breathable because of the mesh, which makes running in ridiculous temps a little more bearable and your feet don’t feel like your dying.

I’ve taken my new friends out for some running and have kept it on the shorter end of things, no more than 3-4 miles. Since they’re 8 oz, I tend to forget I’m wearing them. My only concern is I’m thinking I need a little more in terms of arch support while running, so I may need switch out the soles to help me out a little bit. They’re also good for leg day at the gym and lifting (and may have made my trainer a little jealous).

Price wise, the non connected version of the HOVR Sonics run $100 (connected version is $110). They also come in a wide color range (mine are primarily black with some white). Trust me, I plan on having fun with socks with these guys since the mesh is a bit see through on them.

Overall a good pair of shoes, especially if you’re a neutral foot runner. I may need to tweak the soles a little bit, but they’ll be a good pair of shoes for short runs, cross training and to use while out and about!

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