Bibrave Race Review: Rock n Roll Liverpool Half Marathon

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

After a hectic week of battling jet lag, I’ve lived to tell about RnR Liverpool! I can’t remember the last time I did a Rock n Roll event (it’s been at least 4-5 years), partially due to them being a bit on the pricey side. I used RnR Liverpool as a destination race and an excuse to go overseas.

I flew into Manchester and got in the Wednesday before the race. It also happened to be 36 years hrs after the attacks on Manchester Arena, so things were still blocked off around the arena, including some of the businesses and attractions close by. There was a police presence with machine guns to boot. Thursday, the UK had a moment of silence at 11 AM, and I hung out for it at St. Anne’s Square in Manchester. I spent about a day and a half in Manchester, had a chance to run while I was there, including getting lost trying to find my hotel after my first run, seeing some of the sites and just getting adjusted.

Friday, I headed off to Liverpool by the National Rail, as it was only 4 stops and 12 British Pounds. I got off at the Lime Street Station and took a cab to my hotel, though if I knew where it was, I would have walked. I was close to the start of the race, as well as the Expo. I walked over to the Convention Center, where there was a line out the door (in all fairness, it was right at the start of the expo too). The police presence in general for Liverpool was more than Manchester, but I’m guessing it was because Liverpool is a port city. In any case, bags got searched. I ran the 5K and Half Marathon (more on the 5K in a different post), so I had 2 bibs and 2 shirts to get, in addition to a wrist band to get extra bling for doing 2 races afterwards. It was fairly easy to get shirts and bibs. They did offer a shirt exchange, which I took advantage of. I also took advantage of moving up 2 corrals for the half because training was going well. The expo itself was fairly small for RnR. I’m used to larger expos for them, but there were some local stores and business and not much else (or so that’s what it seemed like).

Race Day was Sunday and the race was a late start for a race. The Half Marathon started at 9 AM and the Full Marathon started at 10 AM, which made no sense to me. I would have started things the other way around since the full takes longer, or even started at 8 and 9 AM. At any rate, I grabbed breakfast at the hotel and walked over to the race start, not even half a mile from my hotel. By chance, I ran into Laura T., a fellow Bibrave Pro who lives in Dublin. We chatted and got caught up while going to the start and then went to our corrals. It was a bit windy and chilly out, so I slipped my long sleeved shirt under my Bibrave Shirt.

We started about 15 late, but I was able to move up another corral. I crossed the start about 930 and was off. There were some pacers, but I didn’t see any of them until late in the race (and I didn’t feel like they were that frequent). The first 3 miles or so were fairly flat. The only real hill came around mile 4. The first few miles took us through downtown, Liverpool ONE, the Liverpool Cathedral, the major Beatles Highlights and more. We took turns through Sefton Park, before heading on a little trip down Penny Lane and past Liverpool Collage. We headed back towards town and spent the last few miles running along the waterfront. I spent the first 10 miles underestimating how fast I was really going, and I didn’t realize that I was right around a PR. After I realized I was going to be just over or just under a PR, I somehow picked up the pace enough to run a 2:01:52, which was under my previous PR (at RnR NOLA in 2012) of 2:03:01.

Waterstops seemed like they were every 2-2.5 miles apart, which seemed on the further end of things. Something that was different was they had 8 ounce water bottles at the water stops. Though it made it easier to drink out of, since they were sport water bottles, I also nearly stepped on a few, which would have been more on the dangerous side. This is also probably the first half I’ve done with no electrolytes, because there was some sport drink that I’d never heard of (which after I caught up with Laura after the race, found out it was really sweet).

Post race: bling and food were right at the finish. We were directed into the Echo Arena for more food. Bag check was there as well. You went out through the escalators and back to the front of the arena. There was music, merchandise and an area to pick up extra medals (rock star or remix medals). I hung out a little bit, but with a tight hotel check out and being a bit skittish with the events from Manchester, I didn’t hang out all that long.

After the race and showering, fellow Bibrave Pro Laura and I went and got some lunch. It was fun to get to know each other and to see how some of the international races are done (since she lives in the Dublin, Ireland area). Afterwards, I took the train back to Manchester and stayed close to the airport for a ridiculously early flight to the US on Monday.

Overall, It was a good destination race for someone going overseas. I’d take a look at the water situation though. I feel like they needed to be closer together and I’d rather have cups over water bottles ( I saw 2 people trip on them). Do yourself a favor and look into this race!

Rock N Roll Liverpool: The Need to Know

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

It’s race week for Rock n Roll Liverpool! I arrived Wednesday morning in Manchester, England. To say I was a bit nervous is fair given the events of Monday night in Manchester. I’m here through Friday before I take the train an hour and change to Liverpool for race weekend. I’ve done my fair share of homework of the whats, whens and wheres, just because of this being the furthest I’ve traveled for a race (read, 4,000 miles!). RnR Liverpool is smart enough to have a race app and race center weekend website for essential information, but here’s some good to know information, especially if you’re coming from further away

Events: 5K on May 27 (9:30 am and 10 am start times depending on bib color); on May 28th, Half Marathon (9 AM start time), Marathon (10 AM start time), Fun Mile (1 pm start time). limited full marathon registration will be at the expo as all other events are sold out

Time Limits: 6 Hours for the Full, 3.5 hrs for the Half Marathon [from GUN TIME!]

Confirmation Sheets: Follow this link to look them up. MUST be printed and brought to the expo (not pulled up on your phone!)

Expo: May 26 from 1-7 pm; May 27 from 8-10 AM for the 5K and 10 AM to 5 PM for all other distances at the ACC Convention Center, King’s Doc. NO RACE DAY PICK UP for the Half, Full or Mile races.

Race Security: Full details here and on RnR Liverpool’s Facebook site. In short, bag check only available between 730 AM and 430 PM, bag sizes no larger than 50 cm x 30 cm by 20 cm and expect heightened security given the events in Manchester

Runner Tracking: Download the SportHive App!

Travel/Parking information: Take a look at the recommendations and come early!

Hopefully this helps put everything in a quick, easy to find spot. Stay safe, have fun and enjoy Liverpool!

Bibrave Race Review: Alamo 13.1

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Alamo 13.1 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!

Weekend getaways to warm places are always too short. This weekend, I was in San Antonio, TX for the Alamo 13.1 Half Marathon. I was last in San Antonio 4-5 years ago for a race (that ended up being short for whatever reason).

After getting stuff done throughout the week, I headed out to Texas Friday morning after waking up ridiculously early for a spin class. Needless to say, going from 40 degrees to 80 degrees was much needed! I took an Uber to the Menger Hotel downtown and checked in without any issues. I walked around downtown and the River Walk to find dinner. The amount of St. Patrick’s Day shinnanegans going on was insane!

Saturday was expo day. In the past, it had been held in downtown San Antonio, but this year it was moved to the Granberry Events Center about 15 min from downtown. I had the chance to talk to the RD, David, and in the past the expo had been downtown. With Spring Break and the Texas Rangers taking over downtown, the past year or two, people had been driving around for 40 minutes and paying $50 to park and walked in ready to beat someone. I ended up taking an Uber to the expo (about $15-$17 one way), which wasn’t all that bad. Packet pick up was easy. There were areas for the Half Marathon, 10K and 5K. I wish before hand, you had the ability to look up your number instead of having to just give your name at the pick up. The Expo was small with some local places et up there and some photo op chances. If you were from out of town, you had the option of picking your bib up at The Menger Hotel that evening, but no expo vendors were there.

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Saturday afternoon, I found some lunch, went to church and found a wine bar with college basketball on for March Madness. There was the added amusement of sitting next to someone at the bar who asked for Coors Light and chips and salsa. What the what?

Race Options: Half Marathon (individual or 2 person relay), 10K and 5K.

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Sunday morning, I was up early and got changed and ready to go. The race was right in front of the hotel, so getting there was the easiest it’s been for me in a while. No parking, no shuttles, no issues what so ever. The half marathon was set to start at 7:15, but we headed off about 10 minutes late. The 5K and 10K were scheduled to start at 7:45 to give us a good amount of leg time. The first part of the race took you around downtown and back to the front of the Alamo. We then took some roads through some neighborhoods of San Antonio. Some parts weren’t the best and there were some parts that had someone not been there, I might have been a touch confused. We also went through Breckenridge Park and around some athletic complexes before turning back and ultimately ending up on the River Walk. Though I appreciate the amount of stuff we saw, here were my issues. We ran on no fewer than 5 surfaces: gravel, pavement, sidewalk, brick and brick with holes in it and pothole filled roads. I hardly ever get sore after halves anymore, but I was feeling this one. The mile markers seemed a little off to me as well. I wish the course had less of the iffy areas and less of the river walk with amount of narrowness that there was (it was only 2-3 people across along the river!).

Aid Stations: every 1-2 miles it felt like with some impromptu ones set up along the way.

The Finish: literally, right in front of the Alamo with announcers calling out people as they came across. Post race there was plenty of food, but the line to get it was long. It would have been helpful to have people be able to go either side of the food tent in order to move things along a little bit quicker. They also had music, massages, medical tents and the ability to check your time. The Krispy Kreme Donut truck was an added perk if you could stomach it!

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Overall I think this was a good race. Definitely one to look into if you need Texas! A few things to work on though: getting the course a little bit fine tuned (not so many surfaces, less of the iffy areas), faster food lines, etc.  I also think social media could be improved. I don’t think their twitter account has been used in a few years!!! The Race Director, David, was a good guy and I think is one who takes all suggestions to heart in order to improve the race! Keep this race on your radar, because it’s one to do every March!

Race this weekend? Don’t forget to go to Bibrave and review!

Bibrave Race Review: Ft. Lauderdale A1A 5K

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the Ft. Lauderdale A1A 5K 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!

Warm weather with plenty of sun in Florida this weekend, and I was so ready to get out of the rain that is the Inland Northwest this weekend! I came out for the Ft. Lauderdale A1A 5K and Half Marathon (because hey, 2 races are better than 1!).

I flew out Thursday afternoon and got into Fort Lauderdale late. I caught an uber to the hotel (which really shouldn’t have been as hard to find as it was) and checked in before hitting the sack. Needless to say, I enjoyed sleeping in until 9 AM. I found some breakfast and took a jaunt down Las Olas Ave. Never hurts to window shop, right? I killed time until the expo opened up at 3 pm at the Broward County Convention Center. I was hoping it would do 2 days of like 9-5/9-7 sort of thing, but not so much for day #1. The other downside was that there was no clear signage as to where to go and there were other events going on in the convention center, so it got tricky to find. After heading to the Grand Ballroom, a mass of us were waiting for things to kick off at 3 pm. We got let in and off to get our bibs we went. The 5K table was not in the vicinity of the half/full marathon packet pick up. It was off on it’s own next to the Susan Koman 6K booth. No line and took a whole 30 seconds to get my stuff. While the half/full bibs are beach themed, the 5K bibs are RoadID standard bibs. For a race that is close to a sell out for the half/full, I was expecting something fun in terms of bibs across all races. I searched the expo before heading back to the hotel and looking at all my stuff

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One of the things that’s obnoxious is that my 5K shirt is a small and my half marathon shirt is a medium. My 5K shirt is larger than my 1/2 marathon shirt. Really? I’d rather there be better quality and size consistency across the board.

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I found some dinner and went and relaxed in the hotel the rest of the night. This morning, I was up and at it bright and early, despite my best efforts of wanting to throw my alarm across the room. I had a little bite to eat before heading out to Las Olas Ave, where the race was held. If you couldn’t get to the expo to pick up your bib, you could pick up your packet race day, as well as register for the race. There were some vendors there as well as pre race announcing.

The Race: started at 730 AM. Flat course, out and back. There were mile markers at 1 and 2 with clocks going, and the finish line in sight at mile 3. There was water available around mile 1 and just after mile 2. The course gave you a good view of the shopping district in a sense. Even though it was an early and quick race, I was soaked by the time I was finished. Post race, water, medals and fruit were available, as were awards for those who qualified. I’m just glad there was sun, it was warm out and I didn’t have to do multiple layers!

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Overall, a good race if you want a 5K to do if you’re starting out or if you’re using it as a warm up to the main events on Sunday. A smaller 500 people race (and hey, running a sub 29 min 5K race, I can’t complain about). Take a look at this one if you’re ever in town!

Some stuff to work on though. I wish the bibs would have had some sort of design like the half and full marathons. Also, I don’t think anyone’s touched the race’s twitter account in at least a year- more social interaction would be good. You could do race tracking on the RaceJoy app, but it’s completely dependent on the runner to enter their info and carry their phone throughout the race (really?!). This should really have been all triggered by bibs and timing mats. The shirts are sort of on the cheap side and inconsistent. My 5K small shirt is larger than my half marathon medium shirt.

Bibrave Product Review: Earth’s Care Pain Relieving Ointment

Disclaimer: I received Earth’s Care Triple Action Pain Relieving Ointment 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!”

This couldn’t come at a better time! I’m fresh off of running the Honolulu Marathon last week, so something to help with muscle soreness after some serious miles. Unfortunately, mine didn’t come prior to me leaving for Hawaii. However, fellow Bibrave Pro Chris had his already and happened to bring it to the Honolulu Marathon.

Anyone else smell mint with their @earths_care? #bibchat

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

 

Earth’s Care Triple Action Pain Relieving Ointment is perfect for aches and pains of everyday life, grueling training or for post race soreness. It’s 3 active ingredients are:

  • Camphor (4%)
  • Menthol (10%)
  • Methyl Salicylate (Wintergreen Oil) 15%

It’s main ingredients are geared to penetrating the sore/painful spots and to provide natural pain relief without preservatives.

The Pain Relieving Ointment works quickly and is great for local use. Apply it where you need it and that’s that. It lasts and has a decent smell to it, so you don’t feel like you’re putting on something that means you’re running the bathroom. The smell of mint is on the stronger side, so a little will go a long way.

Should have opened this before work today! #bibchat @earths_care

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

What’s the Pain Relieving Ointment good for?

  • simple aches/pains
  • arthritis
  • strains/sprains
  • bruising
  • post marathon soreness

Some behind the scenes good stuff:

  • Allergy tested
  • No artificial colors/fragments
  • No animal testing involved
  • Non Irritating.

It definitely helped the calf soreness the day before the Honolulu Marathon. I can thank loads of walking and the Merrie Mile for that! It was something I wish I had prior to my redeye flight from Honolulu to Spokane.

Overall, definitely get your self some of this! It comes in a in a 2.5 oz container, is $12.99 and will last a long amount of time. Any runner/non runner with everyday or sport related aches and pains need to look at this!

Join us for #bibchat on 12/20/16 at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST with Earthcare!

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Honolulu Marathon: Pre Marathon

Aloha from Hawaii! Such a much needed vacation and time away from the snow of Washington State. The Honolulu Marathon has been on my radar for awhile and making a trip out to Hawaii seemed like a fitting way to end 2016 (end of residency, taking/passing written boards, starting a new job, moving, all that fun jazz).

I flew out to Honolulu on Wednesday. I finished work on Monday and took Tuesday to get my stuff together. Bright and early on Wednesday, I was up working with my trainer at the gym and I got a quick beat down and work out in before getting to the airport. I flew from Spokane to Seattle (easy 45 minute flight if that), before flying 6(?) hrs to Oahu. We got delayed because the flight to Vancouver at the gate in front our flight was 2 hrs delayed. I spent the flight getting caught up on movies and reading.  I got in around 515 to Honolulu and got my bags and headed to my first hotel of the trip. I checked in and met up with Erin, a fellow pro. We watched the 75th anniversary parade for Pearl Harbor and found a place for dinner

Thursday morning, I picked up a rental a rental car for the day and we headed out to Pearl Harbor. We were able to get tickets to tour the USS Arizona and managed the last 2 tickets of the day (at 3 pm). We decided to go to the expo, get our bibs for the Marathon and Merrie mile, search the vendors (I ended up with a HNL Marathon T Shirt, long sleeved t shirt and towel) and chat with people along the way. We then picked up our stuff from our hotels and checked into the Hilton, where we’re at for the rest of the trip, splitting a room. Afterwards, we hightailed it back to Pearl Harbor and made it in time for the boat shuttle over to the USS Arizona (after a short video on the events of Pearl Harbor). After we left, we found a grocery store and found a few things before sitting in traffic for over an hour in an attempt to return the rental car before 6 pm (we failed at that). We found dinner and chilled in the hotel the rest of the night after searching through the small city that is the resort.

Friday morning, we woke up to more rain. We finally returned the renal car and went out to meet up for our shake out run. Only one other runner showed up (which we half expected due to the rain). We decided to bail on the run, just because the sidewalk was so slick, we were worried about slipping and/or injury. Instead, we found a coffee shop and had breakfast (if you’re ever in HNL, try an Acai bowl, to die for!). We did some shopping and I ended up with 3 pairs of sandals! Later in the afternoon, Erin and I ended up going to a photo shoot for the elite athletes, something we got invited to last minute. Note to selves, Outrigger has a few hotels and it’s always beneficial to ask which location things are at before walking a mile more than you need to. We then took advantage of some sun and beach time before finding some cookies at one of the stores in the resort and doing round 2 of the expo. Needless to say, round 2 of the expo found me signing up for a 1/2 Marathon in Santa Rosa and getting more stingers. For dinner, we met up with Chris and Eric, another group of pros who came in today for the race. We chatted over dinner for quite some time and made plans for the Merrie Mile and meeting up. We all went our separate ways and ended up getting ready for race #1.

Next up, the Inaugural Merrie Mile and my inaugural mile race!

Destination Races Santa Barbara

Still Contemplating Destination Races Santa Barbara?? There’s wine! Why still question??

If all else, take a look at what’s happening race weekend

May 12, 2016

  • 12-6 PM: Race Expo at Solvang Park. Get your bib, check out some local vendors, shop, Wine Pairings!
    • Word of warning: bring a photo ID for bib/shirt pick up to get your packet. Can’t make it (which would be sad)? Someone else can pick up for you, give them a copy of your ID
  • 6:30-8:30 PM: Welcome Reception. Culinary offerings and signature varietals of the surrounding wine region while mixing and mingling with the race director, Elites and VIPs!

May 13, 2016- Race Day!

  • 7 AM: Race start
  • 930 AM-12 Noon: Wine and Music Festival at Solvang Park
    • Wine Tasting for $25 (runners) or $35 (guests)
    • A good time to relax and enjoy wine country!

Hurry up and register for a fun weekend!

 

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