NYRR Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K

The NYC Marathon, a marathon that has a week of funness leading up to it, plus a marathon Monday for post race celebrations. Part of the race week festivities involves the Abbott Dash to the Finish 5K the Saturday prior to Marathon Sunday. Since I was flying cross country, I wanted a shake out run to warm up and, let’s face it, the more races the better.

I got into NYC on Thursday night and made it to the hotel by 9 pm. One of things I hate about flying east is I lose an entire day. On Friday, I headed to the Expo to get my marathon and 5K (on top of meeting up some friends of mine from Bibrave). The 5K pick up was done throughout the week, Monday-Wednesday at the NYRR Store of 57th and then at the Expo Thursday and Friday. Anyone could pick up your 5K bib for you. At bib pick up, they assigned you a bib number when you checked in. You also got a Beanie over a shirt, which I was all for. I have way to many shirts than I know what to do with.

This year, the dash to the finish was the USATF 5K Championships, so the women and men started before the general race field. The race started at the United Nations, which is easily accessible by watching or the MTA. I found the F corral and got situated. The corrals were staggered in terms of starts (there was somewhere between 10,000-11,000 runners), which helped thin things out some. Once you started, you turned onto 42nd street and took it straight to 6th Ave. you enjoyed 6th AVe before heading into Central Park, where you have some hills, but that’s to be expected. The only portion that mirrored the finish of the Marathon was inside Central Park, so if you were using the race as a way to prep for the Marathon, keep that in mind. One water stop around mile 2.

Post race, they had bags of food and water that were handed out to runners, made life a little easier. You exited a short time later (and earlier than you do for the marathon). Keep in mind, no bag check at the start of the race or race day pick up for bibs!

Overall, had a good time at the race. I get it’s more of a fun type of race that’s timed, but too many people were stopping in the middle of the road for pictures or to walk instead of gettin over to the side. It was also a bit frustrating to have runners with guides going 5 people across and not keeping the pace. The amount of trying not to run into anyone got a little irritating. Overall though, a good race for anyone who’s in town. Register early though, as it sells out!

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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!!

Race Review: Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon

When one is traveling and also training for a marathon, there often involves searching for races within a decent distance to make sure a long run happens. At the end of September, I was in Boston for a conference. As it stands, the north eastern states are ones I haven’t been able to get to in my quest for half marathons in all 50 states. After some research and looking at feasibility of getting there, I went with the Smuttynose Rockfest Half Marathon in Hampton, NH. Our conference ended on a Friday and after some site seeing and sleep, I headed to the airport where I rented a car and drove just over an hour north to Hampton. I got there shortly after noon and ended up getting some food before picking up my packet at the start/finish area.

Packet pick up was nuts and bolts. They did have an area with shirts, etc for sale, an area for bib pick up and an area for fleece pick up. It was open from 1-5 ish PM the Saturday before the race and race morning. Don’t get your bib, don’t get your fleece, pretty simple. I kind of wish they would have started around 11 or 12 because people were standing around waiting if they got there early. There were some hotels on the beach, though most of them were booked prior to me registering for the race. I stayed about 10 min from the race, which worked out well though.

Race morning, the half marathon started at 8 AM. I got to the start at 715 ish because roads were going to be shut down for the race. I got in a few miles pre race before lining up at the start. We were let loose at 805. The first two plus miles were loops around part of the beach before going out on Ocean Blvd and back. Around mile 5-6, we continued on the beach before heading on to some local roads with trees around mile 9 for a few miles. The last 3 miles or so were along the ocean again and had you finish in town with a party waiting for you at the finish. The course itself was fairly flat. Some inclines over the bridges, though nothing terrible. Aid stations I feel like were a bit off. They were intermittent and there were some I wish that were in the middle of road so you could hit them easier on the way out and back. Water and gatorade combinations

Post race, plenty of entertainment, chocolate milk, beer and food. I couldn’t enjoy the post race festivities though because I had to catch a shower and drive back to the Boston airport.

Overall, a great race though and if you like flat, go for it!

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.

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 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!

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