When people find out how many Ragnars I have done, they always ask me, “which one is your favorite”? While that can be a really tough question because I honestly love doing these so much that it’s hard to find anything bad to say about any of them. But, I honestly tell folks that my favorite, for obvious reasons, is Ragnar Michigan.
I have done this race all 4 years of its existence, 2 of them as team captain. It takes place in my beautiful home state, and ends in my favorite city of all, Traverse City.
This year, I got on a team with 2 of the girls I met on the Michigan Runner Girl team last year. They captained their own team, and I happily jumped on board. I even had 2 friends from Arizona come and join in on the fun.
The timing was not ideal – I had just gotten back a few days before from a weeklong trip to London that included running Ragnar White Cliffs. My head was still in the clouds, and I just hadn’t had time to get excited for this one, since I was still thinking about the last one just days prior.
There were storms in the forecast, but we hoped for the best. This would be my first time in van 2 of Ragnar Michigan, and I was looking forward to seeing a different part of the course.
Our team was rather speedy. We didn’t start until 9:30am. We had 3 runners who ran 6:30 pace!
One of my friends from AZ, Tricia, had never been to Michigan before, and her enthusiasm was contagious. She was like a young child – “is that a lighthouse over there? Are those sand dunes? This is so pretty” and she also took note of the Midwest hospitality and friendliness of the residents, like the older gentleman to stopped when he saw us on the side of the road, just making sure our vehicle was ok.
I was runner 10, so it was a long wait before I got to run. And more time to worry about the storm coming. One of my favorite things about this race is that most legs have a water view at some point. Many exchanges are at state parks, so the opportunities for great scenery are endless.
My first run was only 3.4 miles down a country road. Somehow I was able to run a 9:27 pace, which was great for me. Being one of the last runners is such a LONG wait. But at least you are rewarded with dinner shortly thereafter! It hard started to rain a little at this point but nothing heavy yet.
Once we finished dinner and made our way to the next exchange to rest, the heavens opened up and it poured. The race officials ended up issuing a lightning hold later that night – the first one I’ve ever experienced. Basically, the runner out at that time can either finish or get picked up. Then the next runner gets skipped and you get a one hour hold before the next runner can start. Luckily we only had one hold to get through, and the rain lightened up. Our runner still got soaked and had a hellacious 8 mile hilly run in the rain – along the shoulder of a busy road. Not fun!
We also had a little drama with our recently injured runner Tricia. Her first leg went by smoothly, but half way through her night run, her ankle was giving her problems and we ended up swapping her out with another runner.
My night run would be my longest – and between the length and the rain I was a bit anxious. However, this night run was so peaceful, I really enjoyed it, despite being 7.8 miles long! The road was empty at 1am, I ran a 9:47 pace, and had 10 kills! There was zero rain, the temperature was around 58-60 degrees, so not cold! It was just a steady nice run. The only downer was that I must have gotten some bad batteries, and my Noxgear light up safety vest was dying during the run. It was very, very faint by the end of the run.
After our night runs, we did our best to get some sleep, although not that soundly due to space issues in the van. It still wasn’t “cold” out per se, but it was an excuse to bust out some of my cooler weather Ragnar gear!
I had been searching for my friend Jen, and was able to find her shortly before my last run.
Our final legs all went pretty smoothly; even Tricia was ready to tackle her short last run. Michelle got to run with wild turkeys. I got to run 3.1 through the cute little town of Lake Ann.
After some team celebrations, we met up with family and went our separate ways.
This was a fun race with friends old and new. I can’t imagine NOT doing this race!
Oh, and our speedy team came in 12th out of 96 in our division!
Until next time, Ragnar Michigan. You'll always be my hometown favorite :)
At the end of 2018, I made a decision that would make me step out of my comfort zone. I decided to run a Ragnar relay in another country – in the UK. With strangers, naturally!
So what's it like running a Ragnar Relay in another country?
I jumped on a team and started counting down the days. Unfortunately, not every adventure ends up a fairytale. The team I was on was proving itself to be a really bad fit, so I made the difficult decision to quit. I watched my bucket list race start to slip through my fingers. Then, one night scrolling on facebook I found a team looking for someone, and I had a good feeling about this one.
This incredible team captain made me feel right at home, valued, and she even made plans to hang out with me during my sightseeing time in London prior to the race.
On my first night in London, I took in a "multisensory dinner experience” with my team captain and her husband. Then the next day I met up with my teammate Michael, and we toured the city together, from Tower Bridge to afternoon tea. I learned taking that tube (subway) inside and out!
On Friday, we all made our way back to Heathrow to pick up the vans for the trip. On our team “Mad as a box of Transatlantic Frogs”, there were 7 Brits and 3 of us from the US. International Ragnars only have 10 runners instead of 12. We hit M&S for supplies and headed out to our hotel in Sittingbourne. We had dinner together and were bonding quite well.
Our lineup was:
I was in van 2, but I’m a morning person. So I went with some of my vanmates to see van 1 start the race.
After a short workout and breakfast, I was ready to roll. Praise the Lord that we had Brits with us and I didn’t have to drive. Besides the obvious steering wheel being on the other side of the car, driving on the other side of the road – there were other challenges. Our Mercedes van was a stick shift (haven’t even touched one since the 80s) and roads were super narrow. Even the Brits felt intimidated by the roads. It was harrowing at times.
Anyhoo, the exchange where we were starting was one of the prettiest I’ve seen. It was like being at a beach party. I had to literally pinch myself.
I’m at the beach.
Running a Ragnar.
Just look at these views!
After finding some goodies at the tiny gear tent, eating a pizza, watching the safety video and drinking tea (there was tea at EVERY major exchange! – those Brits know whats up!) it was finally time to get running. I was runner 9. My first run was 4.4 miles. Mostly along the water. I loved it!
I was impressed at not only the free coffee/tea at major exchanges, but the incredible amount of free snacks. There were tons of baked goods to choose from, laid out on nice trays. Sweet!
The farther we ran, we started coming into white cliffs territory. So cool! We made a quick pit stop at the White Cliffs of Dover before it got too dark. You can see the lights of France at night from Dover!
After getting some dinner, ,we were ready to take on our second set of legs. There was the threat of rain, and it would be my longest leg at almost 7 miles. My night leg was fairly uneventful but I felt relieved to get it over with – and no rain! Sometime around dawn while we were trying to sleep in the van it started pouring. Luckily it did not last long. Fueled up with more tea and porridge (oatmeal), and got ready to take on the last round.
The scenery on the last 5 legs was beyond words. Stunning cliffs and sea views. I can’t describe it, so I’ll just share pics!
I headed out on my last run of 4.5 miles. Within a half mile, it started to rain. It pelted me in the face. Right after that, two of my van 1 teammates came out to cheer me on. It was so nice of them to tag along for our last set of legs instead of going straight to the finish and relaxing.
Before I knew it, it was over and our last runner was out. We hightailed it to the finish right by the pier in Brighton. At the finish area in Brighton, there were more free snacks, a small gear tent, a food truck, a bar where we had some local beers to choose from and everyone got a free half pint. The one thing I was hoping to see but didn’t was the bonus medal tent. International Ragnars don’t qualify yet. Disappointing, as this was my 6th Ragnar this year. We finished in around 29 hours, not too shabby!
We loved taking all our finish pics. Such a great group, honestly. So friendly, everyone communicated so well, and the usual "competition" between vans was noticeably absent. Everyone cared about one another. What a pleasant surprise!
When it was all over, 2 teammates drove back home, and the other 8 of us stayed at an air bnb nearby. Our amazing team captain hired a local chef to come cook us a traditional Sunday Roast with all the trimmings. We had salad, roast beef, potatoes, carrots, Yorkshire pudding, gravy and capped it off with sticky toffee pudding. It was absolutely delicious! We enjoyed wine and very lively conversation during dinner.
Here's a few fun facts:
- I heard there were around 120 teams participating
- Although you would think everything would be in kilometers, everything was in miles.
- The terrain was a mix of road and grass. Many sections were tame, but some were straight up and across steep rugged cliffs.
- Porta Potties were called Porta Loos...and they flushed!
- Nobody used magnets for tagging
- Ragnar offered trackers to each team. Runners would pass the slapband and tracker in each transition. Teams could keep track of their runners via an app on their phone. It actually looked pretty cool. We declined since it required a hefty deposit.
The best part of this trip was spending the time with this group of people. The immersive experience gave me a million new expressions I want to start using in my everyday life from “blimey, bloody hell, gobsmacked, taking a lie in, nip in to the store", and so much more. I got to see how they really live. I feel beyond blessed to have taken this trip and to have been a part of this team. An epic trip that will never be forgotten!
"Disclaimer: I received Sawyer Stay - Put Sunscreen 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!"
In case the name “ Azsungoddess “ doesn’t already give you the impression that I like the sun, let me make it clear – I love it! I spend plenty of time every day either running, walking or both outdoors. Add in pool time, and it’s fair to say that sunscreen is a staple in my life.
I had never heard of Sawyer Products until recently. I have not been super picky with my my sunscreen – but in general I don’t like it when it’s too thick, greasy, or has an overpowering scent. I use SPF 30 pretty religiously, and I think I still get a nice tan with that.
The first time I tried it, I slathered it on myself and my son prior to hitting the pool. I was immediately impressed with the way it absorbed into my skin and didn’t sit on top. Turns out, there is an actual reason for this!
Instead of holding lotion in the top two layers of skin, Sawyer’s” Stay-Put” SPF 30 sunscreen uses a special technology to bond the sunray absorbing agents deeper into the skin, penetrating where other sunblocks simply can’t reach. This formula was engineered to spread the same volume of lotion over a larger cubic area of skin, requiring less lotion per area of skin and producing a more comfortable, breathable feel. Also, with new FDA regulations in place, this sunscreen also does not contain Avobenzone . Using this compound can make the product less effective in preventing sunburn and compromises its quality.
Sawyer comes in both SPF 30 and SPF 50. In several sizes, all the way up to a gallon pump!
The final test was going out for a longer run in the crazy hot Arizona sun. I was out there for over an hour in somewhat humid temps. Even with a ton of sweat, it didn’t come off until I took a shower. If you want something different, give this one a try!
You can order thru Amazon using this link.
I did not have plans to run Ragnar Minnesota this year, but left it open just in case the opportunity presented itself. I ran the race last year last minute with a fun group, but the course is different this year and I was curious to see the new route to Duluth. I lucked out and found a team that needed a runner. The captain sent me a link to photos of the team from previous ragnars, just so I could get a sense of what I was getting myself into LOL.
I arrived to Minnesota late Thursday night and the captain graciously picked me up, one of 3 trips to the airport to pick up teammates at all hours of the night. We had an air bnb nearby. I met some of the crew and then hit the hay. I was assigned runner 10, so I was in van 2. After a hearty breakfast, we were off to get started!
Our team name was "I can't feel my legs, can I feel yours?
Here was our lineup for van 2:
Runner 7 - Carlos (newbie) from SFO
Runner 8 - Tyler from Boston
Runner 9 - Sara from SFO
Runner 10 - Me
Runner 11 - Alec (newbie) from upstate NY
Runner 12- Jess (captain) from upstate NY
It was nice and sunny, but getting hotter as the day went on. One of the two newbies, Carlos, ended up having a horrific hard hilly long run in the heat, I felt bad for him. Poor guy did not know what he was getting himself into! My first leg would be my longest at 8.9 miles. The first half was in direct sun, but actually went surprisingly well. Then it got more shaded and wound past a lake. I slowed down and took lots of pics. Our exchange was at Big Marine forest park and there was a refreshing lake there. My team ended up enjoying the lake while I was out sweating my butt off!
After our last runner finished we headed near the next exchange for dinner. Chubbys bar and grill to the rescue. The restaurants in town had no idea the race would be in town and were completely overwhelmed with the crowds. My next run wouldn’t be until 330 am or so, but I decided I wouldn’t try to sleep until after it was over. We had a large suv but couldn’t stretch out. This run would be 6.1 miles on a forest trail. I was filled with anxiety, worrying about scary forest animals jumping out. We heard reports of bats swooping at people, but it ended up being really pretty, and my fastest run, because I was motivated to not get eaten by a bear! Loved the cool temperatures (around 56)
I took a little catnap and then perked right up when someone mentioned breakfast. Went to a tiny small town diner. It was interesting, and I’ll leave it at that. Got another nap after that. Luckily I just had my shortest run left. While we were getting ready for our last set of runs, I heard from my buddy Matt M that he was here running the race, and was able to find him and my insta beer loving friend Matt B, who I had never met in real life.
A good chunk of the race was run on the William Munger Trail. I think all of us had at least one of our legs on this trail. Pretty nice, right?
During my last leg, the Matts were already done since they were in van 1, so they were at a local watering hole on the course. They were sweet enough to interrupt their celebratory drinking to check on where I was so that they could come out and cheer me on. All of a sudden I looked up and they were all lined up with their bright pink Beer Runner t-shirts, clapping and high fiving me. A highlight, for sure!
Then our other new teammate Alec had a crazy 8 or 9 miler with ridiculous inclines in Duluth. The hills there are insane! After that we were off to the finish. I found another insta friend Belinda, 2 of my teammates from team last year, and then the Matts again. Our team enjoyed hanging out at the finish for a bit before cleaning up and heading out for dinner in Duluth.
Oh and we actually did pretty well! Check out these results!
Overally, I’m so grateful to have found this team. I had a great experience for my 20th Ragnar Relay. Our captain, Jessica, definitely has a no-runner-left -behind mentality. She was great and we had a drama-free weekend. The team has a Tumblr page (yes you read that right!). Check that out if you want to see more pics from this adventure.
I’m not sure if I have a preference of the two courses. It was nice to see Duluth – but a 2.5 hour drive back to the airport is a bit of a drag. Maybe if it started in Duluth and ran to Minneapolis it would be better? I'm excited at the prospect of doing another race with this team in the future, and hopefully on the "Beer Runner" team with the Matts for Michigan next year!
Until my next adventure,
"Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Harness 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!"
I’ve never given any thought before to using a harness vs. a traditional collar when walking my dog. I’ve always had used collars. When the opportunity came up to try a harness for my dog, I thought I’d like to see if it changes our walks at all.
When I got the package, I had to play with the fit a bit. The initial fit was a little loose, then my cocker spaniel got a haircut (shaved) and all of a sudden it was swimming on him. The harness is easy to adjust to make looser or tighter.
My dog needed a little time to adjust to it, he didn’t quite know what to think about it. Just walking around with it on before adding the leash, he seemed a little awkward. I do feel like I had better control of him. He’s only a puller when he sees other dogs or people he wants to greet. The special “martingale – style” leash attachment is what makes this harness unique. This was designed to help with dogs who pull. It sits in between their shoulders for greater control. I’ve actually had a collar slip off before, which is not what you want to happen with other people or dogs around. I had absolutely no worries with this harness. We will continue to practice with this harness, especially when the nicer weather comes around here in AZ!
The harness has reflective features, which is super helpful – especially if you walk your dog early in the morning or late at night. In the summers here in Arizona, that is pretty much the only choice we have if we want to not melt.
Stunt Puppy makes collars, leashes, harnesses and ID collars – all Made in the USA! The harness comes in 3 sizes (S, M, L) and 2 colors (blue or black) and retails for $45. You can shop for Stunt Puppy gear here.
"Disclaimer: I received a pairs of Shady Rays polarized sunglasses 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!"
Summer is in full swing and I rely pretty heavily on my sunglasses. I am pretty tough on sunglasses, I tend to break them easily, or lose them.
I tried a pair from Shady Rays earlier this spring and I enjoyed them, so I jumped at the chance for a new pair. I got the matte black sunset. Orange is my favorite color, and the lenses have an orange sunset tint to them. I have been able to wear them for everything from racing and walking to running errands and relaxing poolside.
I wore them in two local 5ks around 90 degrees. Even being sweaty, they didn’t slip or get foggy.
These glasses are truly for people like me who are on the move and want sunglasses that can keep up with them. In fact, their motto is “Live Hard. We’ve Got You”. I love that. I also love that they have a mission to help others. They are able to secure 10 meals through Feeding America WITH EVERY ORDER PLACED! Now that is what I call a win-win!
Their “Live Hard” motto is more than a motto, they have a lifetime warranty and a more than generous replacement program for those times you may lose or break your favorite pair. Speaking of living hard and playing hard…
I travel a lot, and my glasses were shoved in a carry on bag. I went to pull them out at Ragnar and noticed that one of the lenses had popped out. I was like “noooooooooo”, but I calmly popped it back in and they have stayed put ever since. Whew! But even if they had broken, they would have had my back with their incredible warranty policy they stand behind.
There are currently 54 styles and colors to choose from! Shop their styles here. Now is the perfect time to get new glasses ready for summer! You can get 50% off on TWO or more pairs with code “BIBRAVE”. What are you waiting for!
"Disclaimer: I received a CoolNet headband from BUFF USA 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!"
I have been a fan of BUFF USA for years. You know, the company that makes the original buffs for Survivor? I’ve tried out many types of their buffs as well as the UV arm sleeves and have always been impressed with their quality and functionality. I tried their cold weather gear, and now it’s time to try warm weather, because duh – I live in Arizona!
I don’t tend to wear headbands much because my hair is very thin and fine – and the bands sometimes slide right off. The CoolNet headbands has grippers built in so they stay in place – and I’m happy to report they work great!
The first time I wore it was on Global Running Day, when it was around 90 degrees. Worked great!
I also wore it in a 5k race in the heat, and it stayed perfectly in place. I was also worried that it would feel hot on my head, but honestly I don't even notice it!
I love that it offers sun protection of 50+. I hear that if you freeze it before your run, it will help keep you cool – I’m going to try it on my long run this weekend.
Made from Recycled material - 95% REPREVE® Polyester made from recycled water bottles
HeiQ cooling technology
Washable – gentle cycle, air dry
Comes in 12 patterns, check them out here!
The CoolNet headband retails for $15.00. I’m going to stock up on a few more, now that I know they work with my hair. You can save 15% on one for yourself (or other BUFF awesomeness) by visiting http://www.buffusa.com/bibrave & signing up for the newsletter. You're welcome!
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary supply of ItSpray Vitamins to review and giveaway.
Have you taken supplements in pill form and wished you could better control the dosage that is right for you? Personally, I have always hated swallowing supplements the size of horse pills. I try to keep that to a minimum. That is one big reason that the new IT Spray vitamins are such a clever idea.
There are 3 types –
Boost It for your immunity
Charge It for energy
Dream It for sleep and mental calm
All are infused with vitamins and herbal remedies known to help each area.
I have been traveling a ton, in and out of airports and airplanes, rife with germs! BOOST it is portable protection that you can customize with the dosage. You don’t have to wait until you’re sick to take it, it also helps your overall health protection for skin, nails, gut health and metabolism. It's a refreshing citrusy flavor.
Active Ingredients: Zinc, Vitamin C, & Echinacea.
Bonus – it fits the 3oz requirement for travel!
There are plenty of mornings when you are dragging and have an early morning meeting, or an early run, gym date, etc. It has natural caffeine and a range of B vitamins for energy on the go, to sharpen your mental game and keep you going.
Active ingredients: Ginseng & Ginkgo Biloba , B Vitamins
Again, here is where the ability to control your dosage is key. You can do just a few sprays if you just need a quick pick me up, or the full 7 sprays for a full reboot! Charge It comes in a berry flavor.
I admit it, this was the one I was most excited about trying. I have been taking melatonin as needed off and on for several years now. I fall asleep easily, but I have so much on my mind, that I tend to wake up in the night. I have also been wanting to give 5HTP a try, as a way to control work stress and anxiety. This supplement has it all, and you can take just a little amount, or the full dose. We all know how important sleep is and how it affects pretty much every system in our body.
Active ingredients- 5HTP, Valarian Root & Melatonin. This product is designed to not only calm your mind and eases anxiety, but also helps you fall asleep and stay asleep; Um, yes please! This one comes in berry flavor.
Ready to buy your own? Save 25% off with code GETFIT online.
Want to win a spray vitamin of your choice? Simply head on over to my twitter page, twitter.com/azsungoddess1 and click on the pinned post. All you need to do is retweet this tweet for your chance to win!
Rules: RT my pinned twitter post regarding the giveaway for your chance to enter between Thursday June 6 and Sunday June 9, 2019 at 11:59 EST. Don't have Twitter? Drop a comment on this blog post. One entry per person. Winner will be chosen by random drawing and notified on June 10, 2019.
I have thought about doing this race before, but it just seemed “complicated” to get to, so I brushed it off. The race starts in Coburg, Ontario and ends at Niagara Falls, Ontario. We run within Canada the entire time. On a whim I responded to a post on the Ragnar Niagara page for a team needing a runner, and the rest was history. And getting there was a piece of cake!
I was super excited to do my first INTERNATIONAL Ragnar, especially since there is a second one planned this fall. I considered it like a trial run.
I met my team at the Toronto airport and we rolled out out to Port Hope, where we would spend the night before the race. We had the first available start (5am), as speed was not our forte. Everyone was super friendly, and knew each other already. I was the odd man out, but I’m used to it.
The race is definitely one of the smaller ones that I’ve done. The start area was small, and the exchanges were pretty easy to get in and out of. I was runner 6 and I saw that my first leg was 16.59 Km, or just over 10 miles. Yikes.
One of the main differences in this Ragnar is all the distance is in Kilometers instead of miles. It definitely messes with your head!
This leg had a beautiful start. Right on lake Ontario, on a paved path, then a dirt trail. I did not see a soul for almost 3 miles! Say what! All of a sudden a woman came up behind me and I was like wow, another person! She started chatting me up, and wanted to stay together. I’m typically a solo runner who likes to take walking breaks, but she was a fascinating Canadian, and I wanted to keep talking to her!
Qani was a very positive person, waving energetically at anyone we saw – truck drivers, telephone pole repairmen, doesn’t matter. 7 miles later, we were coming up to the finish (after taking a wrong turn on the trail), and she couldn’t believe it. I said “grab my hand, girl, we’re doing this!” and so it was. I have kept in touch with Qani since the race and I’m so glad I met her.
After I finished, we headed out for a quintesentially Canadian lunch – poutine! I got something over the top, but I enjoyed it. Then we went to the exchange to rest for a bit.
Leg 2 would provide a different type of scenery – a downtown Toronto skyline view near the waterfront. It was 5.7 mles. The first few miles honestly were a bit sketchy with lots of transients, but once I was in the heart of downtown and other runners were nearby, it was more fun. The CN tower was on full display.
I loved the end of this leg. We had to run up a bridge that was all lit up in bright colors, it just looked fun in a lively setting. After the finish, we drove on to the next big exchange and slept in the van. And by van, I mean minivan. Ugh, not my first choice. Super duper uncomfortable for sleeping. I was sleep and coffee deprived by the time we rolled out for our next set of legs. The team knew how caffeine dependent I am and what a fondness I developed for Tim Horton’s, Canada’s version of Dunkin Donuts. Their coffee and cheese tea biscuits are the bomb – and cheap! Anyhoo, they graciously stopped to get me my goodies right before I ran. I just had a 3.5 miler left to go!
My last run had some nice water views, but ran along the shoulder of a highway, which is not my favorite. The finish area was really nice though, a great way to end!
Hot damn, van 1 was done and after a 25 mile drive, we got the chance to explore Niagara Falls while waiting for van 2! We took #allthepics.
All the hills and walking was exhausting, but fun. I hadn’t been to the falls since I was a kid with my parents. We had lunch and visited all the souvenir shops. Then we went to the finish to wait for Van 2 to arrive.
The finish area, like all Ragnars, was stunning. It literally backed up to the falls! Wow. Teeny tiny gear tent, so I wasn’t able to buy anything at the end. No “free” food at the finish, all for purchase. There were “good” beer choices – and everything was in both (a little overpriced) in US and CAN prices. But the best surprise was seeing the bonus medal tent. I had been told that only US Ragnar races qualify for the bonus medals, which made me extremely sad. It’s a huge motivator for me in doing these races. Our team was super happy to see the medal lady sitting there, as many of us had already done Ragnars this year. Made my day.
This team was very easygoing. They do several Ragnar Relays a year, so there is a good chance I will get to do another one with them in the future!
So, the main differences were -
Running in Canada was unique and I would definitely do it again! Canada kind of puts their own spin on everything. I fell in love with the scenery and the local favorites like Tim Hortons. This experience made me even more excited for my next International Ragnar Relay race, coming this fall!
"Disclaimer: I received an Gear Vest Pro from OrangeMud 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!"
It’s only May, but summer has arrived in Arizona already. Even short runs/workouts are going to need water. Enter the OrangeMud Gear Vest Pro.
I have owned several hydration packs, including the OrangeMud Endurance Pack. They each fulfill a specific purpose. The Gear Vest Pro has a much smaller footprint than anything else I own – Yet it has literally everything I need. Bottom line – it has all the storage, the awesome “chip clip” bladder closure (my own description) and room for 35 oz water.
Bladder Size: 1L (35oz) included.
Sport Focus: Ride, Run, Explore.
Pocket 1 - 1L Bladder,
Pocket 2 - Bulk Cargo,
Pocket 3 - Zipper secured cargo and secure key clip.
Ok now it was time to put it to the test! I tried it on and it felt a little odd with the straps fitting just above and below my breasts. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it looked a little funny to me. A fellow BibRavePro suggested criss crossing the straps to make it more comfortable if necessary. Either way works! You’re supposed to cinch the sides first to get the right fit before doing the front straps.
The storage is impressive. In addition to the large zip up compartment across the back which can hold way more than it looks – you can easily stash extra clothes, hat, gloves, whatever in there – there are two lower compartments in the front that can hold up to a plus sized phone, keys, or a soft flask. There are also two pockets at the shoulder design to hold gels. The pack was designed for a variety of sports – running, biking and hiking. There are even loops to hold hiking poles! Now that’s cool.The bladder comes out for easy washing and the whole pack can be washed easily.
I took it out for a hike and it was perfect. I wanted to stay hands –free because I am a total klutz and need to keep my hands free to break my fall if I trip on rocks or roots. I carried my phone, keys, headphones, sunglasses, my tripod for pics and of course a liter of water!
This product retails for $129.95. I received orange (my favorite!!!) but it comes in 3 colors – also lime green and coyote brown. I totally recommend this! It’s great for shorter distances (with the ability to stretch for longer distances with extra flasks) and I can bring everything I need to be out for a long time.
Want one of your own? Code “BIBRAVEGVPRO” saves 15%!
OrangeMud is such a well respected outdoor lifestyle brand. I’ve never been disappointed with any of their products!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!