"Disclaimer: I am promoting the Hapalua 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!"
An ideal spring racecation destination - - -
Exotic, Unique, Paradise, and Full of the aloha spirit. If you close your eyes, you can imagine the sound of the ocean, feel the warm breezes, and hear that iconic ukulele playing. There’s nothing else like it. If you are looking for a Hawaiian “racecation”, but aren’t ready for a full marathon, look no further than the Hapalua.
Hapalua literally means “half” in Hawaiian. The race starts at sunrise and runs through Honolulu, going up and around Diamondhead. It finished in Kapiolani park with fresh malasadas (Portuguese donuts) and shaved ice! Yes, please!
One other cool thing is that your finish is shown on a giant screen, and every finisher gets a copy of their finish line video. Cool, right?
Start booking that plane ticket, you’re not going to want to miss this! Plus, if you register now, you can Save 10% on registration with code BR-HAPALUA!!!
"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the Santa Barbara Wine Country 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!"
I just finished my first half marathon of the year, now what? In keeping with last year's theme of doing ALL THE THINGS, I've got some fun things planned for 2019! I’m slowly building my race calendar, and I just added a fun new race to the list! It’s the Santa Barbara Wine Half Marathon! Sounds fun right?
The race takes place on Mother’s Day weekend in the Santa Barbara wine region. It starts in Santa Ynez and ends in the adorable Dutch village of Solvang. Once I read that, I was sold! I have been wanting to visit Solvang, so now is my chanceI
You can do the half marathon, or create a team and do it relay-style! Either way, it’s the perfect excuse for a race-cation.
Your race entry includes a commemorative wine glass and entry to the finisher wine festival! Sounds like a great party to me, cheers!
Join me and save 10% with SBBR10!!
"Disclaimer: I received a Zwift run pod 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!"
Everyone dreads treadmill runs right? That’s why it is sometimes affectionately known as the dreadmill? Well the Zwift run pod just might change the way you look at treadmill running.
Zwift uses a pod that you attach to your shoe, combined with an app on your phone, to give you a virtual running experience like no other. It got it’s start in the cycling world, when people would be working out on their indoor trainers, and needed a way to pass the time. Zwift let’s you run in different running environments, even let’s you connect with friends and run virtually, and you can watch it all on your device while running on the treadmill.
The zwift pod comes in a box with the battery stored separately in the lid. You need to twist off the top of the pod and insert the battery. You also need to download 2 apps – yes two. The Zwift companion app, and the Zwift run app. Basically the companion app is what you use to store stats, schedule runs, join events, and track friends. The actual zwift run app is just to literally start and stop your run.
I took a quick test run at the gym one morning before body pump class and initially was able to sync the app and start running. I could see my avatar running on the screen, which was totally cool. About 4 minutes in, I noticed my avatar had stopped to stretch, even though I was still running. I just assumed it must be some sort of glitch, finished my run, and went to class. About half way through my class I looked down at my shoe, and the pod was missing! OMG! The pod must have come off during the run and that’s why it stopped tracking me. Duh! I went back and looked everywhere, even the staff was literally lifting up treadmills near where I was running and we couldn’t find it anywhere. So lesson learned – make sure that pod is locked in place and clicks!
You can easily add friends to the zwift app and follow their runs or schedule runs with them, which is fun.
There are many group runs you can join with people from around the world. I set up a run with my friend Renee, who lives in Wisconsin. When it came time to start the run, I couldn’t actually see her. It does take some trial and error and patience to learn the ins and outs of this app and platform. I am still learning. Even though I never saw her on the course, I was running in a virtual London setting, which was cool. There were cyclists on the course, and they practically run us runners over. But I did get to see the iconic red London phonebooths which was fun.
I also joined in on a virtual run with fellow BibRave pros, it was a tempo run. You could choose from 4 different pace groups. I chose the slowest one, which ended up being a bit of a mistake. But, this time I was able to see fellow BibRave friends on the screen, running through the virtual world that zwift calls "Watopia". There are jungles, volcanoes, and other cool scenery that really helps break up the monotony of treadmill running. I really enjoyed the tempo run. It gave me lots of cues on the screen on what speed to set, push the pace, some motivational words and more. I would love to try the tempo run again, but this time I would bump up to a faster pace group.
You can also “unlock” new items for your avatar the more you use the app.
A few notes:
- You should calibrate your pod when you run (I wasn’t always taking the time to do this, and my speed did not exactly match my actual speed on the treadmill.)
- Once and awhile the app freezes even when you are still running
- You can watch on any device or laptop, the bigger the better if you want to read the names easily
- You can join a friend on their run if you see them zwifting, it can drop you in on the course next to them
- It takes some patience to learn how to navigate these apps, be patient!
A zwift pod sells for 29.99, but right now you can save 15% on a Zwift foot pod with code BibRave15. This code is only good for the first 1,000 pods sold, so get yours today!!! And, if you end up joining Zwift, add me as a friend so we can run "together" sometime!
"Disclaimer: I received a Nathan Luna Fire chest/waist light 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 do not like running in the dark. I have mentioned this several times, but ever since I fell at Ragnar Trail AZ a few years back and subsequently fractured my fibula, I am extremely paranoid about where I’m stepping and making sure I’m on even ground. I need to be able to see clearly.
I have a headlamp for running Ragnar Relays, but I don’t like the fit of it, or how it bounces when I run. I like to have options for lighting so I was eager to try this out.
Right away, I was excited about the fact that this light is rechargeable. Who needs batteries!!! I also liked the versatility of being able to clip it on to anything. I tried it out first with the strap that it came with. The strap is very flimsy and would not stay put for me. So, it was time to get creative on where to put it.
I took it on a short run in the neighborhood and was pleasantly surprised at how bright it was. I wish it was a little more obvious as to which setting it is on. There are 5 settings – low, medium, high, boost and strobe. The low setting is just 33 lumens. I am not sure when you would ever want that tiny bit of light. I am not sure exactly which setting it was on, most likely high, as it was very bright.
I also wore it on a holiday light run, clipped onto the waistband of my noxgear safety vest. There wasn’t room to center it, so it sat off to the side a bit. It was very bright – I ended up holding the light in my hand at times so that it was centered properly. I’m really glad I had it because the streets were not well lit.
The product sells for $39.99, but I have a discount code for you! Save 20% on NathanSports.com by using code “NATHANBIB20”. This is sitewide and is good for up to $250.
Final thoughts - I would totally use this instead of a headlamp, but not on the strap it came with. There are so many versatile options for where to put it, that it really makes this a wonderful piece of running gear!
"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the Route 66 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!"
I chose the Rt. 66 Marathon because over the last few years, I had so much FOMO, seeing everyone’s pictures from the race. It looked like SUCH a big, fun event. It would be the perfect race for me to check off Oklahoma for my 50 state quest.
In the months leading up to the race, the Route 66 race management kept us well updated on the event itself. I joined the facebook group for the race for even more updates and conversation.
This would be a “racecation” for me, I planned a girls weekend with one of my running besties who flew in from the east coast for this event. She was coming off of an injury, so she was planning on doing the 5k on Saturday, and I signed up for the double – the 5k on Saturday and the half on Sunday.
I arrived on Friday afternoon after seeing my fellow BibRave Pro Amy in Denver during our layovers.
I met up with my girlfriend and after a quick checkin at the hotel, we headed over to the expo, just a few blocks away. To be honest, the streets of downtown Tulsa seemed a bit deserted for having a major marathon event in town. The expo wasn't that busy. We picked up our packets and some essentials and headed out in search of lunch.
Wandering around on Friday we also found the Center of the Universe, a unique tourist spot where you hear an echo inside this small circle, but step outside of it and you don’t hear it.
Saturday morning we headed over to the 5k. Around 2,500 people participated in the 5k, and it was pretty crowded! Everyone was very lively, the weather was a little brisk (40’s) but totally not bad at all.
Julie and I had a great 5k chatting away, and were surprised by several hills throughout the race! At the finish, there were cute medals, water, bananas, etc…and beer! I assumed it would be just regular beer, but was delighted, as a craft beer afficianado, that it was local beer from Nine Band Brewing! And we had our choice of 4 kinds! Also a local band, Tulsa House Party was playing a wide variety of hits from 80s/90s and beyond. It was fun! Found Amy again at the finish, which was great. It was a super festive environment.
After the 5k we grabbed lunch and got ready for my next task – serving on the social media team! I volunteered to help out and be a part of their run influencer panel. I was a bit nervous since I don’t normally do this, but it ended up being a great experience. I was paired up with Jim Davis, an amazing 50-stater who was running his 50th marathon in his 50th state and also singing the national anthem at his 50th state! Plus I got to meet Bart Yasso too finally! I also earned a volunteer coin for this, kinda cool.
We did some more exploring around town before grabbing dinner and a good night’s sleep. Race weather was going to be CHILLY, but luckily the start line was literally next door to my hotel! I didn’t have to brave the cold until 30 minutes before start time. Everything was very well organized with the corrals.
It was not too crowded, thankfully. We had Jim sing the national anthem, then they sent us off with confetti cannons, which was really unique.
The entire first half was nonstop hills. We were up and down constantly through many beautiful neighborhoods and parks. It definitely wasn’t boring! Within 2 miles we were seeing stations with beer and jello shots! There was no shortage of temptation. I warmed up a bit during this stretch since there was so much going on. The second half started out along the Arkansas river, and that’s when the windchill really became an issue for me. I dropped a glove at some point, and now I really needed it. My face was numb and at times my legs felt like they weren’t connected. The “feels like” temp was 26. As I reminder, I live in the desert where today it will be 75 degrees. I passed a station with Fireball and seriously considered taking one in hopes that it would warm me up.
Finally, we approached Rt 66. For the half, we really aren’t running on it for more than a half mile, so it is a bit of a misnomer. As I turned onto rt 66 I grabbed a mimosa which was refreshing. Then of course stopped to take a pic of rt 66.
The second half was much flatter and I just couldn’t wait to get to the finish. My friend made the frigid trek from the hotel ¾ mile to the finish and was able to snap a pic as I approached the finish.
I was able to get a Half Fanatic specific finishers medal, which is so cool! Then there was water, muscle milk, fruit and PIZZA! That hot pizza hit the spot!
A few quick frozen finish pics were taken, I picked up my doubler coin and results and headed out. I couldn’t feel my fingers. It’s a shame that it was so cold, no one was sticking around to enjoy the post-race goodies.
I have been a Half Fanatic member for several years now, but have never attended a race with an official meetup. Holy cow, between the HF , the Marathon Maniacs and the 50 States Club, so much work goes into this event. There were club specific medals for Half Fanatics, Marathon Maniacs, 50 States Club, and Black Girls Run. There was a big VIP pre-race area with heaters and bathrooms, which you needed a wristband to get into. I stopped to get the wristband but didn’t need the VIP start area because my hotel was so close to the start. Then there was a huge afterparty hosted by all 3 clubs that sounded awesome. Unfortunately I had an early flight back and had to miss it. I also missed a special bonus medal by the 3 clubs. I didn’t realize I needed to stop by the tent to get it.
All in all, I’m blown away by the amount of support this race offers! From first timers to seasoned veterans, they really try to give an amazing experience to everyone. I’m grateful for this incredible experience for my 55th half marathon and 14th state. Just look at this haul from the race!
I finished in 2:13, and I’m ok with that, considering these are almost the worst race conditions possible for me. I finished in the top 12% of my age group, which is also pretty cool!
"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the Route 66 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!"
Swag, Meetups and Party!
I can’t believe the big Route 66 weekend is just days away! I’m keeping a close eye on the weather (brrr!) but loving all the conversations with running friends about meeting up this weekend.
Kicking things off with the Expo, held at the Cox Business center, on Friday from 11am to 6pm and Saturday from 9:30am to 6pm. Other than picking up the great swag, there are also opportunities to connect with running influencers from all over the country. There will be a Run Influencer Panel on Friday at 5pm and Saturday at 1:30 at the expo. You just might see someone you know on the panel! (hint, hint!).
I’m taking on the half marathon double – so I’m running the 5k on Saturday morning and the Half Marathon on Sunday morning. I’m for sure just treating the 5k as a shakeout run and saving myself for the half!
As I mentioned in my last post, there are great meetup opportunities to be had. The Half Fanatics, Marathon Maniacs and the 50 State Club are all planning meetups for members. I was poking around on the half fanatics site and it said that as of today there were 324 Half Fanatics registered to do this race! Whoa! The Rt 66 marathon is unique in that they are offering custom medals to members of these groups!
Other swag items are the cool hoodies and jackets that participants will earn. Just look at these cool items:
And apparently coins are a big deal here. You earn coins for doing the race, I get a double coin for doing the double race. I also am earning a volunteer coin for helping out at the expo. Not sure how you display these proudly afterwards.
There’s an app for that! So Route 66 marathon has its own app – with up to the minute race info, course map, tracking, results, local restaurant info and more! Dowload the app at the App Store at https://route66marathon.com/mobile-app/.
See you in a few days! Hit me up on social and be sure to say hi!
Join the massive party and Save $10 with 2018RT66BIBRAVE at http://rt66.run/2018RT66Run !
I recently completed Ragnar Napa Valley, which wrapped up an incredible year of Ragnar for me. It started here in AZ last February, and it was a really fun ride!
Feb – Ragnar Del Sol (AZ)
Mar- Ragnar Tennessee
Apr – Ragnar So Cal (CA)
May – Ragnar Chicago (IL/WI)
Aug – Ragnar Great River (WI/MN)
Sept – Ragnar Michigan
Nov – Ragnar Napa (CA)
As per usual, I jumped on this team with strangers and hoped for the best. As it turned out, almost our whole van 2 were new to the team and strangers. And guess what…it worked!
I flew in Thursday night and waited for the rest of my teammates to arrive. It was really seamless. We got picked up at the airport, whisked across the Golden Gate Bridge, and stayed overnight in San Rafael. We had an eclectic bunch in van 2. Two experienced Ragnarians that flew in together from DC, one was from Russia and the other from Chile, a girl from Park City who was also running her 15th Ragnar, and 2 local newbies. We had a 7am start time, so our van one got this amazing view:
Meanwhile, we grabbed breakfast and a few supplies. No sleeping in or lounging around, we were on task and at the exchange by 10am for an 11am handoff.
I got to see my Ragnar del Sol buddy Alex, which was a nice treat!
We got some beautiful views while we waited at exchange 7.
It was heating up fast, and I had my longest run ahead of me, with a 3pm start time. Ragnar made a TON of last minute course adjustments the day before, so my 10.9 run became an 8.9 run. I wasn’t sad. Luckily it was a lot of downhill. So much so that my quads paid the price. I was runner 11, so just one more runner to go and then we got to have dinner!
I am a craft beer lover, but I had no idea that Lagunitas was brewed nearby. We ended up at the Lagunitas taproom in Petaluma. What a cute place!
I don’t recall a ton of downtime after that before it was time to run our night legs. I do know that my stomach started giving me a few troubles before the run and I should have paid more attention to it. I got a major headache, possibly from dehydration. My night leg was only 2.9 miles, part of it on a pitch dark trail in a neighborhood. I felt pretty crummy because I needed to use the bathroom in a bad way. The second I finished I went straight there. I felt better, but still “off”. It would continue for hours.
My team was killing it. We were ahead of projections! We got some sleep – some of us in the van, some inside the school and some out in a field. We took over around 7am for our last legs – I was shocked that van 1 was done at 7am! I’ve been van 1 for the majority of my ragnars, and I have never been done that early. Maybe 11am, but that is probably the earliest. So they got to get a little rest, eat, clean up, and then went WINE TASTING while we were still running! Wish I had been in on that fun, as it turns out I would not get another opportunity :(
It was another hot one on Saturday – high of 88! We waited at the finish (again once I finished my 3.5 miler, I was runner 11 so we only had 1 runner left to go!). Megs took a wrong turn and went out of her way by about a mile. We finished and had some local wine at the finish area – I have never seen wine at a Ragnar, but it makes total sense here! Local winemaker Omen wine was selling some fun packages with cool tank tops, a bottle of wine and glasses. I had to partake in that! Megs and I pretty much cleaned out the place LOL.
Our team had some pretty stellar results, probably the best of any Ragnar team I've been on! Top 25% overall, 75 out of 250 in our open category! wow. We finished in 31 hours and some change.
10 of us were up for staying in the area that night, which was great. However, the rental place that they found to accommodate everyone was over an hour away in Geyserville. It’s a cute tiny town, but once we rolled into town the few wineries they had were already closed. The rental place was…interesting. It was a very strange combination of animal sanctuary and spiritual center to worship the Egyptian goddess Isis. I kid you not. There were more than a dozen beds in one room, like a hospital ward of sorts. The only upside was we could walk to dinner/breakfast, etc. We sat around sharing stories and wine. Sunday morning we left fairly early (the roosters woke us up), and grabbed coffee before we all rolled out in different directions. One of my teammates Stephanie was nice enough to take me back to the airport on Sunday, so that was a bonus!
Overall, I enjoyed the experience. I met several people who I really enjoyed and fully intend to keep in touch with. I also want to do this race again, it was pretty convenient for me to get to from AZ. However, I absolutely 100% will switch to van 1 AND will spend the night in Napa like so many other teams did. It sure looked like fun!
"Disclaimer: I received a SPIBeam hat 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 do not like running in the dark. Ever since I fell at Ragnar Trail AZ a few years back and subsequently fractured my fibula, I am extremely paranoid about where I’m stepping and making sure I’m on even ground. I need to be able to see clearly.
I have a headlamp for running Ragnars, but I don’t like the fit of it, or how it bounces when I run. Then I saw the SPIBeams LED hat and thought that could really be a better option!
It was a bit tricky to initially turn this on for the first time (or maybe I hadn’t had enough coffee yet!), but once I did, it was smooth sailing. I was initially impressed with how bright it was, and it even has a red blinky light in the back, perfect for Ragnar!
I took it out for a spin and the hat felt good, but most importantly the light was steady and not bobbing around. I have trouble with my headlamp slipping once I get sweaty (unless I wear it over a cap). Either way, I find them rather uncomfortable. It light my path up just fine in the neighborhood.
Now for the real test – Ragnar! It was perfect timing that Ragnar Napa fell in my product testing timeframe. I always wear knuckle lights for Ragnar in addition to a headlamp. So this time I wore the SPIBeams hat and knuckle lights. As I was running through the neighborhood, It was more than enough light. However, part of my run was on a pitch black trail. I removed the knuckle lights just to see what I could see with just the hat. It honestly was not quite enough for that setting on it’s own.
It sells for $29.99 and also has a visor option if you prefer that instead of a hat.
You can save 20% with code *"BIBRAVE"* - good for 20% off any SPIBelt item! The code is valid through 11/12.
Final thoughts – I will happily use this product in place of a headlamp when I’m doing any night running. It solved all the issues I had with headlamps. It’s perfect for running in more populated areas. If you are running in a more remote or trail setting, I would add something handheld as well.
"Disclaimer: I received a supply of Now Foods BCAA Big 6 formula and a shaker 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 used BCAA’s before – Branch Chain Amino Acids – as part of muscle recovery after a tough strength training workout. I was working with a trainer who knew I would be sore the next day, and she suggested I get some BCAAs. I bought a powdered lemonade formula from another brand and I honestly couldn’t stomach the taste. Fast forward to this spring when I was working with a sports nutrition coach and she was helping me with post-race recovery. She suggested adding Glutamine to my post race protein shakes for recovery. This had no taste and seemed to work well. I was anxious to try the BCAA Big 6 from Now Foods because it had a variety of ingredients, including glutamine.
I received 2 jars of Grape Flavor and 2 jars of Watermelon, along with a shaker.
Each 1 scoop serving of BCAA Big 6 has:
- 7 g carbohydrates
- 240 mg sodium
- 5000 mg BCAA formula
-1000 mg L-Citruline, L-Glutamine and Taurine
Available flavors: watermelon and Grape
So what exactly is a BCAA and why do I need it?
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. There are nine essential amino acids in total, but there's a key trio that helps you maintain muscle: leucine, isoleucine, and valine
In general I knew they were helpful for muscle soreness, but here’s what this product is designed to do specifically: (from nowfoods.com)
Ok, so now time to put it to the test a bit.
Since I was already familiar with it’s use as muscle recovery, I used it for body pump, my main strength training workout. I drank it immediately following my body pump workout, and before my 3 mile run. I tried watermelon first. I found the taste a bit strong, I would definitely dilute it next time. But, I did end up with negative splits!
I was intrigued by the idea that it could help my endurance during a run. However, I have so many forms of liquid competing for my attention already – coffee beforehand, water and Gatorade endurance during. How in the world could I fit in BCAAs too? I am testing this out. I may try combining it in with Gatorade together for a long run.
But for now, I’m focused on using it for recovery. I used it right after the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon last weekend, and felt really good after.
And I am convinced that it helps me after a strength workout. I have tried the grape flavor, and I like it. I think it is a helpful tool when I have multiple workouts – like a body pump workout followed by a run. I was able to drink it during class and after the run.
The formula sells for $49.99 for a canister – but you can save 20% with code 20NOWFOODS on amazon.com or use link https://www.amazon.com/promocode/A1G65M39SCQHX5
Give it a try and see what you think! If you do try it, let me know your thoughts!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the Urban Bourbon 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!"
I have been looking forward to this race for a long time! The excitement of getting a new state under my belt, plus all the fun activities surrounding this race really made it fun to prepare for.
My sister decided to do this road trip with me, which made it all the more to look forward to. We rolled into town on Friday afternoon, and made a plan to go to the expo. I had VIP packet pickup thanks to the awesome race director, but I also wanted to go to the main expo to pick up some last minute supplies. While only located 4 miles from the downtown area, the packet pickup location – Cardinals Stadium – is kind of hard to get to if you don’t have a car. Luckily, we did!
At the expo you could pick up your bib and shirt of course, plus the bourbon bash wristband, and then just the other side of that were the bourbon samples. And boy were they big pours! We had 4 kinds to choose from including an apple flavor and vanilla which were kind of unique. I also stopped and picked up some gels and browsed the souvenirs.
We stopped for a bite to eat at 4th street live, where the finish festival was going to be. So many restaurants to choose from!
VIP packet pickup was something else entirely. Relaxing, laid back, pampered. It was on the 2nd floor of the Jim Beam Stillhouse, and we got personal check in with our bourbon bash wristband, and then there was an open bar with more bourbon (naturally) and some good looking appetizers. There was a bluegrass band playing too. I got to meet up with a few BibRave Pros – Frank and Jonathan. I highly recommend the VIP packet pickup (available for an extra charge) for the convenience and special pampering!
Then we got a private tasting down in the Jim Beam Stillhouse. 4 more kinds of bourbon, and a cool commemorative glass.
After our VIP experience, we walked back to the hotel and prepared for an early bedtime. We were both exhausted – she from driving 8 hours from Michigan, and me from taking a red eye plus part of the drive with her. We were glad that we went very light on the bourbon tastings so that we could feel good the next day!
Start time is 8am, which is such a treat! I didn’t even have to leave the hotel until 715am! Just a short walk and then met up with the BibRave Pros again for a pre-race photo opp - joined by Corey this time too. Race day weather was thankfully warmer than originally anticipated. Temps were in low 50s with a light mist. It ended up being pretty perfect for running.
They have the traditional bugler – presumably the same one that does the Kentucky Derby. It was a very unique start, for sure! I couldn’t get a good view of him, but I could hear it!
Waiting around for the photo opp cost us a little time so we ended up at the back of the pack of the start line. It’s not a huge race though – only about 3,500 – so it wasn’t a major problem. There are no corrals, just one mass start.
I decided to carry a water bottle with Gatorade Endurance, and boy did that work out well for me. The course had more downhill than what I expected, which was delightful. It wasn’t until mile 7 in Cherokee Park that we got our first real hills. They were short, but steep. I was absolutely thrilled in the energy level I had. I’ve been in a major rut for my half marathons for a few years now, and this was better than anticipated.
Overall, the course was a pretty fast course through the downtown area, along the waterfront and back. At mile 12, an ambulance came through the intersection as I was about to cross it – and naturally the officials had to stop traffic. That has never happened to me before! It was very quick, I probably only lost 10-15 seconds there.
I knew my sister would be cheering me at the finish, so that was something else to look forward to. She snapped this as I crossed. I finished in 2:08:58! Best one in a while.
As soon as I finished, the wind suddenly felt frosty. The wind had really kicked up. As soon as you cross the finish line and head into the Bourbon Bash finish festival, you were greeted with bourbon samples, and the live music from the Louisville Crashers. They were really, really good!
There were stations for bourbon, pizza, Kentucky burgoo (stew) and local Falls City beer. You just tore off the ticket from your wristband. There were 4 (FOUR!) bourbon sample tickets - you got to choose from several stations on 2 levels!
I was so cold that I couldn’t think about anything (ok I did grab pizza!) - instead we went into one of the restaurants and got hot coffee to warm up.
Finally time to celebrate with a local beer and bourbon sample. The band rocked until noon, we really enjoyed it. Also got to meet the Race Director, Michael Clemmons. What a nice guy!
Something else fun the race offers for folks to do afterwards is the Bourbon Walk. They partnered with 5 local bar/restaurants and if you went and had a drink or food , you were able to receive a custom pin from each place, as long as you showed your bib or medal. We got kind of a late start, so I only received 2, one place said they were out of pins by 2pm.
This unique spinner medal is a new favorite in my collection.
Overall, the race really knows how to throw a party, and I couldn’t recommend it more. The staff and volunteers were great, and it was a rockin’ good time! If you are a bourbon fan, you will be in HEAVEN! If you aren't, you will still have an incredible time at this world-class event!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!