Race Review: Surf City Half Marathon and the Cowabunga Challenge

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Surf City Half Marathon and the Cowabunga Challenge 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!

Welcome back from Surf City! 4th time’s a charm for Surf City, right? I first ran Surf City in 2013 and then came back for the past few years starting 2017. I flew out to Orange County on February 1. If you ever go out for Surf City, John Wayne Airport is an awesome alternative and about 25 min from downtown Huntington Beach and you miss flying through LAX. I took a Lyft to the hotel and checked in before finding dinner at one of the neighboring hotels with a wine bar (score!).

Saturday morning, after having breakfast, I ran into one of the physical therapists from work (mind you, Spokane), who was with family and doing a trip to Disney Land. We had a group Bibrave Pro text message going on and poor Fallon will probably have the best story of all of us. Rain decided to show up to Southern California that led to flooding in some areas, which meant that Fallon got rerouted. I went to the expo and picked up my Cowabunga bib and picked up Fallon’s Bib (quick and easy with the QR code) and dropped the extra stuff in my room.

The Cowabunga challenge took place on the beach itself. To make things interested, winds were hitting close to 30 mph. This was the first year for the Cowabunga Challenge Mile, so why not do it on the beach with ridiculous winds. The first half mile was a breeze, but the second half was right Into the wind and slowed most of us down. I’m pretty sure I was dealing with sand in my ears and my legs look like I had chronic venous issues just because of the sand!

Afterward the 1 mile run, I went back to the expo and within 20 minutes it was pouring down rain. I’m just glad it didn’t happen earlier! I picked up my half marathon bib and shirt at the legacy longboard table. My bib got stamped and I was able to get my half marathon and legacy status shirt. I may have gotten the wrong size. Whoops. The expo is huge and has a ton of vendors, races and things to look at and do (really one of the better expos I’ve been to). Take time to enjoy it when you’re out there! After searching the expo, I went and found lunch in the hotel in order to stay out of the rain. I napped in the hotel for a bit before Fallon made it into town and picked up her bib. After going to church and catching some dinner, I headed back to the hotel for the night.

Race morning showed up and somehow it wasn’t raining! We were all excited about that and the wind wasn’t horrible. After grabbing some breakfast and getting changed, I spent a few minutes getting my stuff together and letting fellow Bibrave Pro Mai avoid the port a potties and use my hotel bathroom. We made it down to the start of race and met up with all the Bibrave Pros. The skies still had us wondering about the rain status though!

The race itself is spread out. The full marathon starts at 630 AM, the 5K at 7 AM, and the half marathon at 7:45 AM. I get wanting to spread the half and full marathon out, but I’ve always thought switching the 5K and half marathon made more sense in terms of time. The course itself though is mainly on the Pacific Coast Highway. The first three miles out is on the highway before turning into one of the neighborhoods. It was flat briefly before we hit some hills after mile 4 or so. You get a view of the city before heading downhill and back out to the Pacific Coast Highway. After hitting mile 8, we came back into town and ran against 5 miles of wind (or so it felt like it). We were dealing with some sprinkling rain on and off for a little bit and another hill around mile 10 that I seem to always forget about. The last mile the crowd support picked back up heading back into the finish line. Aid stations every 1-1.5 miles with water and Nuun. I don’t get a long with Nuun in terms of flavor/texture so no electrolytes for me :-(.

Post race, there was plenty of food, water and you got your medals. Food trucks, beer gardens, massage tables galore and plenty to do. I hung around some before heading back for the million dollar shower. After packing up and checking out, I headed back to the airport for lunch and to fly back to Washington.

Overall, always a fun race and always well run. Love the addition of the Cowabunga Challenge (hey, we got a cape!), always a great course. Medals are always awesome and surf board themed. If you’re looking for a great race and a good winter get away, look into Surf City!

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Surf City Race Week!

Disclaimer: I’m 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!

Race week!! Granted, I spent some time in The Bahamas with a friend of mine from residency a few weeks ago, the Washington cold is kind of sad and depressing. On the flip side, I’m also not in the Polar Vortex that is the Midwest (stay safe guys!). This is my 4th year doing Surf City and third in a row, so I’m excited to hit Legacy Status. Legacy status gets you extra swag (long sleeved shirts) and some extra race day perks.

Things to keep in mind for this weekend:

Runner Tracking: take a look here

Expo: At the Huntington Beach Parking Lot (21291 Pacific Coast Highway Huntington Beach, CA 92648

  • Friday Feb 1 from 1-7
  • Saturday, Feb 2 from 10-4
  • Can’t make the expo? someone can pick up for you, HOWEVER, people picking up for others can only pick up for 2 additional people and must have copies of Driver’s Licenses

Cowabunga Mile: Saturday, February 2 at 11 AM by the expo (and enough time to get your bib before hand!). **no gear check and does NOT count towards Legacy Status

Race Day Sunday, February 3:  Marathon Start 6:30 AM, 5K start at 7:00 AM and Half Marathon start at 7:45 AM

Things to Do in Huntington Beach

  • Plenty of shopping and restaurants downtown
  • Short car ride/Uber/Lyft to Newport Beach for more beach time and restaurants
  • Enjoying the beach (if the sun cooperates with us, fingers crossed)
  • Old World Village

Keep an eye out for all the Bibrave Orange and enjoy race weekend!

 

 

 

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

Disclaimer: I’m 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!

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!

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!

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