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!

 

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Bibrave Race Review: Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock n Roll New Orleans Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Most of my races seem to be double race weekends. Such is life when you work every other weekend! This past weekend, I was in New Orleans for Rock n Roll New Orleans and did the 5K and the half marathon. Miss my 5K recap? Take a read!

After finishing my Saturday race, I found some breakfast before heading back for a shower. I met up later with some family friends and we looked around Jackson Square and the Cathedral. We ended up in the Garden District, mainly looking around and taking a peak at Lafayette Cemetery. We took an Uber back to their hotel and I walked from there to my hotel that was only 1/2 mile away. I ended up going to church (that ended up being 34 minutes start to finish). After chilling in the hotel, I found some dinner and ended up calling it a night. Thankfully, there was no drunk 3 AM knockers.

Sunday morning, I was up bright and early and got ready enough before heading up to the start. I was close to Lafayette Square again. I was in corral 3 and made it there with plenty of time. I met again with my friends from Saturday. I attempted to meet up with fellow Pro Justin, but we were in separate corrals. We ended up doing a ‘selfie meet up’:

The half marathon course is very flat. I was actually looking forward to it and maybe even PR’ing since I had done the race before. The first 6-7 miles were an out and back. It went through Lafayette, Livaudais, Milan and uptown Carlton by Loyola New Orleans. We had a turn around point about 4.5 miles in. It was fun being able to see the leaders on the way out at least! We came back and there was at least shade, as it was warm out and I felt like it was getting hot the second half of the race. The last part of the course hit the business district, Jackson Square, the French Quarter, the French Market and the Seventh Ward. We ultimately finished at the Botanical Garden and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Over the course of the race, the roads were uneven and at a slant, which I could feel in my hips and back. I ended up slowing down because of it and finished in just under 2:07 (I ran it in 2:03 IN 2012).

Aid stations were every 1.5-2 miles. They were easier to see with the changes the RnR series made. They had better signage up. There was a combination of gels, water and gatorade depending on the stop and they were set up on both sides of the roads.

Post race: you were met with medals, food, water, gatorade and chocolate milk. Plenty of volunteers handing stuff out. I felt like there were too many photographers though. After the 3rd one wanting to snap a picture of me post race I was kind of over it. After you made it out of the finish chutes, there were signs directing you to various parts of the finish area. The post race party had plenty of merchandise and medal engraving, Remix/Heavy medal pick up and some entertainment. There were areas for charity runners if you ran for St Jude’s or the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation. Normatec also had an area for recovery compression, however, it was only for the marathoners. I thought it was crazy that the half marathoners couldn’t enjoy that perk as well. There was no one there for a good 2-3 hours. I think that’s something that needs rethought. There could have been more to do, as I didn’t have much to do afterwards per say. A friend of mine from residency ran for St Jude’s and I ended up meeting up with her for a little bit before I caught the shuttles back to downtown.

 

Overall, it’s a good flat race and a good race if you’re looking for a good finish time. Weather tends to be 70s and sunny, another plus. I wish there was more at the post race bash, especially since it’s New Orleans. Additionally, I wish the Normatec was open to both half and full marathoners post race.

Did you run this weekend? Don’t forget to go to Bibrave to review your races! Also, go over to Athlinks to claim your race results. Not a member? Set up your account and start claiming your results!

The Hoopla over the Hapalua

Disclaimer: I received free entry to 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!

Right now the Eastern Washington can’t make up it’s mind about weather. We’re in some cycle of 40 degrees, some rain thrown in and then hey let’s get cold enough for some snow. Couple that with being in Chicago over the weekend for the F^3 Half Marathon (another post for another day) and running in 30* weather, means I’m ready for some sun, Vitamin D and warmth. Come first weekend in April, I’ll be in Hawaii for the second time in less than 18 months for a racecation and I can’t wait!Boards. I met up with some fellow Bibrave Pros that race and had a blast!

The Hapalua takes place April 8, 2018. I’m guessing some warmer weather will be happening this time around. I’m even more excited that it starts on Waikiki Beach (boom!). I’m also looking forward to Malasadas at the end. We had them at the end of the Honolulu Marathon and they’re to die for!

The course itself starts in front of the Duke statue and goes out Ala Moana Beach towards Honolulu Harbor and Aloha tower before coming back along the beach. Afterwards, you get a chance to go up and around Diamond Head and back down to the start/finish area.  Word of warning. It’ll be flat and fast a majority of the race until you get to Diamond Head. Then you get some hills, so you’ve been warned!

This trip is going to be a shorter trip for me as I’ll leave late that night (I found really cheap tickets to Holland from Seattle, what can I say). However, I would like to hike Diamond Head this time around. In 2016, I was trying to not beat myself up to badly before the marathon (the marathon beat me bad regardless). If you have a chance, go visit Pearl Harbor. I had a chance to visit and go out to the Arizona during the 75th Anniversary events back in 2016, and it’s something to see.

Local to Hawaii? Register for the King’s 10K as a training run. This happens on March 4th, so chop chop to get signed up! Looking for a Hawaiian get away in April? Sign up for the Hapalua and save 10% with BIBRAVEHAPALUA. Price goes up at the end of February for the Hapaula, so there’s still time!

Dallas 10K

It’s been just over a month since the Dallas 10K and Marathon. I had a blast of a weekend, but never wrote about my 10K experiences. I arrived in Dallas the Friday before race weekend and was able to beat weekend traffic. I took an Uber to the hotel, got checked in and robbed off my bags. I ended up walking over to the expo to pick up my bibs, shirts and all that fun stuff. The Convention Center was about 1/2 mile from where I was staying, so it was a quick trip. I found the expo on the second floor of the Convention Center. I got my marathon bib and 10K as well as my shirts, poster and socks for doing the challenge. I as I was wrapping up, the fire alarm started going off. Not going to lie, we kind of ignored it at first. Convention Center personnel started coming through the expo and having everyone evacuate. We headed outside where we waited. And waited. And waited some more. I headed over to a restaurant that was attached to a near by hotel. I could see people being pushed back some more and then police showed up. Turns out, there was bomb threat in the convention center, leading to the evacuation. I hung out until about 530, when it was ultimately closed down for the night.

There were people who were on their way in for the expo, especially since if you were running the 5K or 10K on Saturday, you had to get your bib on Friday at the expo. What ended up happening was the Dallas Marathon organizers had bib pick up race morning and post race shirt pick up at the Expo. Then again, some people weren’t thrilled with this, but it was something.

I worked my way into the corrals, which wasn’t that well marked at the back in on where to go. Once you were in, the 10K could go to either side. The race itself started at 8 with the 5K following at 820 AM. Shalane Flanagen was at the start and gave us all a pep talk before joining the 10K. We were off and running and at some point during the first mile, I was side by side with Shalane for a whole 1/10th of a mile. Before I was next to her, I had seen someone pass me bringing out their phone, which should have been my first clue to pull out mine. Though I didn’t get a picture, I can say I ran with Shalane. I’ll take it. We went out about a mile and a half before doubling back into town and going down Main Street. We turned on Walton before coming back on Canton and Commerce Street.  The course was flat overall, and I ended up finishing under 56 minutes and PRing by 20 seconds without trying.

After you finished, you were sent to medals and water. If you were doing the weekend series (a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday), you stopped by a tent in the chutes to pick up a wrist band to present on Sunday for your extra medal and your jacket. You then were directed to food boxes and then towards the exit.

Overall, a good race I think. Pretty well run for a first time event and weekend series. I wish they’d let other people pick up bibs for other runners at the expo, as I think that’d help with some of the pick up frustrations some people had. If you’re ever in Dallas, look this race up for sure!

Hot Chocolate 15K San Francisco

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate 15K 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 and I’m ready for my first race of 2018 (and first race since the Dallas Marathon a month ago)! I did the Hot Chocolate 15K in SF last year, only to have it cut short by sideways rain, wind gusts and crummy weather.

This year, the expo is Friday and Saturday again at the South San Francisco Conference Center.

  • Hours: Friday, Jan 5 from 12-7, Saturday, Jan. 6 from 10-6

Still haven’t gotten your shuttle tickets? Save yourself the pain of driving and parking race day and have someone else drop you off at the race. Get tickets and print them off before hand!

The race takes place at Golden Gate Park, so take a peak at the course while you have the chance. Don’t forget, sweetness and chocolate are on course!

Traveling from out of town? Here’s some things to do this weekend in San Francisco

  • France is a Feast: the Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child at the Napa Valley Museum
  • The Holiday Ice Rink at the Embarcadero Through January 7, 2018
  • The Safeway Holiday Rink in Union Square
  • $5 First Sunday at the Oakland Museum of California
  • Visit Pier 39 or Fisherman’s Warf
  • Take a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge

Curious about places to eat? Check out Eater SF

Here’s to hoping weather reports stay consistent with partly cloudy and 50s for this weekend and see you there!

 

Race Review: Colville Country Road Half Marathon

I’ve only lived in Washington State for 13-14 months and it took me that long to finally run a half marathon out here. Races in Eastern Washington were either weekends I worked or I when I had other plans. Labor Day weekend, I was able to hang around until Saturday. I worked out with my trainer Saturday morning, got some breakfast and went home to shower and watch some football. Since the race was only 90 min away, I drove up Saturday afternoon and stayed at a hotel in Colville. Colville is one of those towns where you blink and you miss it. I checked in and found a place to pick up dinner so I could take it back to the hotel and watch some football. Thankfully, I had a fridge in my room, so I ran to the store as well and picked up some small things for race day. Kind of hard to pay when you leave your wallet at the hotel and have to run back to get it and head back to the store. Whoops.

Race day, I was up around somewhere between 545 and 6 AM. The start was 2 miles from where I was staying. I got to the start at 640 and realized this was going to probably be the smallest half marathon I’ve ever run. It had an associated 10K with it and I nearly dropped down to that, but figured I didn’t stay overnight to run a 10K. I got my bib and shirt and put the rest of the freebies in my car. At 7 AM sharp, we were off (all less than 50 of us). There were a few turns early on, but then the race turned into a straight shot, literally, down one of their country roads. Registration read flat and fast. There were definitely hills. Sigh. Since the race was so small (and an inaugural race), there were no clocks on course and the miles were spray painted on the road. We also had to keep an eye on traffic, as the roads weren’t shut down. Traffic wasn’t much of a concern, but there were some parts where the roads got windy and you couldn’t see if anything was coming around a corner or over a hill. Once we got 6.55 miles out, we hit the turn around  and made our way back to the finish area. Considering it was my first race in 7 weeks, I hit 2:02:18 (on a course that was 13.25 miles long). Final half marathon finisher total: 28 people and I finished number 12. Had I done the 10K, probably would have hit 3 out of 8.

Aid Stations: every 2 miles with water and gatorade (and the occasional gels)

Packet pick up: Thursday/Friday before race day and race morning rom 6-7 AM

Medical: none that I could see, but a race truck drove back and forth on the course the entire course

Post Race: bananas, oranges, water and gatorade. They had a pizza party scheduled for 1130 AM after the race finished that I couldn’t stick around for

Overall: Small race. I feel like if they could have done some more PR in the Spokane area or in Idaho, they could have gotten some more runners up (and hey, bring a little more $$ to the area). People were very nice and things I think ran well. Definitely a good small town race if you’re ever looking for one

Race Review: Utah Valley Half Marathon

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a race that wasn’t for Bibrave. I found the Utah Valley Half while searching the internet and figured since I needed Utah for my quest of 50 states, it was worth the flight to Salt Lake City and the drive to Provo. The fact the course was all downhill didn’t hurt things at all.

After waking up ridiculously early on Friday, I had a direct flight from Spokane to SLC and was in by 9 AM. I picked up my rental car and had a straight shot to Provo. Packet pick up was 10 AM to 9 PM on Friday since the race was on Saturday. I was able to go straight to the Utah Valley Convention Center to the Expo. Packet pick up was pretty easy, though you couldn’t look up your bib numbers before you got there, you had to leaf through books to find them; too bad I didn’t see the bulletin boards with them posted until afterwards. You got a string bag, your bib and a jacket. There were local vendors set up, as well as Brooks and some National Running Store shops. Afterwards, I went and found an early lunch and checked into my hotel. A little cat nap didn’t hurt things either and I followed that up with a 4 mile run in 80* weather. I was able to find dinner and walk around town a little bit, though the town is on the small side. There may or may not have been outlet malls 20 minutes away that I went to for some shopping…

Saturday, I was up bright and early at 315 AM. Since the race was point to point, we had to be shuttled to the start. Luckily, the shuttle pick up was at the Provo Town Center across from my hotel. The last shuttle left at 430 AM, so the goal was to get to the pick up before the last shuttle left. It took 20 minutes and change to get to the half marathon start (which was the half way point for the full) and also happened to be half way up the mountains. My shuttle got there at 430 AM, which meant 90 minutes of waiting. I wish they would have had the half shuttles until 5 AM because we sat around waiting for a long time and it was chilly. I was glad I brought a throw away long sleeved shirt. Luckily, they had fire pits going to keep us warm. Plenty of porta potties, some water and some music were going. They also had a bag drop truck if you were checking a bag.

The race started promptly at 6 AM (as did the full from 13.1 miles up the mountain). By then, the sun was out and it was starting to warm up some. I had to make a bathroom pit stop half way through the first mile, but it covered me for the rest of the race. It also meant I had time to make up. The course itself was very scenic. Our side of the road was shut off for the entire time we were on the highway. Mile markers were every mile and there were water stops the every 2 miles for the first 10 miles and then every mile for the last 3 miles.  After a 10:50 min first mile, I was pulling sub 9 minute miles the rest of the race. Around mile 8, the 10K runners joined in with us. They had started on an off shoot of the course for the first mile and the last 5 and change were on the main course for them. The downside is that by the time they joined us, the 1:55-2:00 half marathoners were hitting the back of the packers of the 10K, which got really frustrating when I knew I was getting close to running sub 2 hours. After some weaving in and out, I was able to get out of the walkers for the most part. I don’t even think I stopped for water at last water stop or 2 in order to be sure I got under 2 hrs. Officially came in at 1:55:42 and got to ring the PR bell as I came through the finisher chute.

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Plenty of food, chocolate milk and things to do. There was a station to print off your preliminary results as well as some vendors. If you checked your bag, the bag check was off to the side. It was pick up based off the honor system in a sense, as you had to find your own bag. I took the shuttle back to the drop off point and walked back to the hotel. After I showered, I found lunch, did some driving around and relaxed the rest of the afternoon.

Overall a great race, definitely one to go and run. I have the full on my bucket list to do, especially knowing how the last half of the course is. Please go out and run this race!

 

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