Do Good, Feel Good: World Refugee Day 5k

Disclaimer: I’m taking part in the World Refugee Day 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro in conjunction with our good friends at Soul Focus. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

June 20th is World Refugee Day and I’m joining with a bunch of pals for the virtual World Refugee Day 5k. The funds raised during this effort will support refugees through the American Refugees Committee.

For those who haven’t taken part in a virtual races before, the way it works is pretty simple.

Virtual Run How-To

ONE – Register! Registration for the World Refugee Day 5k has been open since May 20th and will remain open through this Thursday, June 20th. As a little something extra, code BR5 will get you $5 OFF registration.

TWO – Print out your commerative WRD5K race bib!World Refugee Day 5k race bib

THREE – Get social with it! Run the 5k distance. This can be with a group, solo, with your pup, with your cat, whomever wants to go the distance with you and raise awareness and funds for the World Refugee Day 5k.

After you run, share on your social accounts using the hashtags #WorldRefugeeDay5k #WRD5k and tagging @worldrefugeeday_5k on Instagram. I can tell you from experience that they are very interactive with their runners and love seeing what everyone’s experiences!

FOUR – Wear your swag with PRIDE! After Thursday, June 20th, World Refugee Day 5k BOCO Gears hats will be sent to all participants. BOCO Gear are my #1 hats to run in and I can’t wait to get mine!

BOCO Gear World Refugee Day 5k Hat

It’s an amazing way to take part in a global event and be a part of a movement, from home. While I would LOVE to travel to Uganda to be there in person, that’s just not in the cards for me (this year, at least).

However, I will be there in spirit and I’m very pumped to run virtually along side of everyone!

Want to join in the fun? It’s not too late, this virtual run is open for 4 more days. Hop on over to the registration page and get moving! Lots of the BibRave Pros and I will be out there and running our 5ks on June 20th but you don’t have to wait until Thursday – that’s the beauty of a virtual run!

Who else is running?

Becky
Ken
Brenda
Stephanie
Lissa
Kim
Juan

Safety in Numbers on Global Running Day and Beyond

Disclaimer: I received Sabre products 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!

Each year, the first Wednesday in June is Global Running Day. A day to celebrate running and inspire today’s youth to get out and get active. That’s a mission I can get behind, especially as a Healthy Kids Running Series coordinator.

My pup Gemma is my usual running buddy but we’ve been working our way back to running after she recently had CCL surgery. Running is always so much more fun with someone so naturally I reached out to one of my favorite buddies, Ana, and gently and not at all pushy talked her into running with me.

There’s safety in numbers when it comes to running. I never really thought much about carrying pepper gel while running because… well, who’d want to mess with me? However, there’s always the just in case factor. When I heard that BibRave was teaming up with Sabre to bring safety to Global Running Day, the just in case factor jumped to the forefront of my mind.

Sabre not only sent the products above for me but included Pepper Gel and a Personal Alarm with LED Light for a buddy as well. Score for Ana!

We had an hour and a half at dusk to map out our route through a park and nearby town before we needed to return to get our children from band practice.

Global Running Day - Ana and Mer with Sabre Safety products

We went through the empty wooded trail at the local park before hitting the town’s hills. It was mostly quiet, save for our constant talking, because that’s what we do when we’re together.

No need to employ any of the Sabre safety gear but before we hit the road, we checked out the good, noting how easy it was to unlock the Pepper Gel with a flick of the thumb.

While making our way through town, naturally we wondered… just HOW loud is the Personal Alarm? We didn’t want to push the button while on our journey and cause anyone unncessary panic/concern.

Instead we waited until the end of our run and found a spot at the end of a parking lot. Naturally I made a video on Instagram stories, which goes away after 24 hours but YouTube is forever.

Hopefully these are products that I’ll never, ever have to use. But… just in case, they’re good to have. If you’d like to get safety products for yourself or a running loved one, discount code SABRERUN saves 20% at Sabre’s website. 

Want to Know About Being a BibRave Pro? Then this VLOG post is for YOU!

 

I wear my BibRave orange proudly and have done so for the past 2.5 years. The only thing I regret about BibRave? Not getting involved sooner!

Think you might be a good BibRave Pro? Click here for the application.

Then check out a few of my fellow Pros videos as they share what they enjoy about being a BibRave Pro.

Road Tested Vlog: Win Detergent

Disclaimer: I received a bottle of Win Detergent 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!

Oh, laundry. My constant nemisis.

It’s neverending and as long as there is a day that ends with -y, I have laundry to do.

When BibRave said that we were teaming up with Win Detergent, I decided to jump in on the campaign.

My family is an active one and we generate a metric ton laundry.

My husband goes to the gym 3 times a week, my older son is a runner, and my younger son does karate. Oh yes, and I happen to contribute too.

We sweat a lot, and now that it’s warm out, the smell that comes along with that sweat is that much worse.

Regular detergents don’t work as well as Win does because of chemistry. Personally, I’m not as well versed in chemistry as I am in doing laundry so I’m going to let the folks at Win explain.

The fundamental difference between WIN and other detergents is that WIN contains ingredients that separate the oils from the synthetic fibers.  Just like pulling that static electricity balloon off the wall, WIN breaks the bond between the oil and the fibers.

Once the oils have been freed from the fibers, special detergent molecules called Surfactants go to work.  Surfactants are common – all soaps contain surfactants.  WIN has chosen its surfactants specifically to get the oils out of synthetics while leaving your gear functioning and feeling great.  Just like you wouldn’t wash your pots and pans with shampoo or wash your hair with dish soap, we’ve chosen the right surfactants to wash synthetic clothing fibers.

Surfactants are two-sided molecules.  One side is hydrophobic (repels water), so it grabs onto the oils.  The other side is hydrophilic, so it grabs onto the water in the wash.  When the water goes down the drain, so do the oils.  And with them, the bacteria.

Because WIN removes the oils from your apparel, the wicking properties of the fabric are restored to almost brand new.  Not only does your gear smell better, it works better.  And because it works better and smells better, WIN users keep their gear longer.

Join me in my laundry room! Don’t worry, I won’t put you to work.

So the obvious question is: Does it work? In this case it’s a good thing that we DON’T have smell-o-vision because you would NOT want to smell our laundry beforehand.

Thankfully, our duds are fresh-as-a-daisy after washing so the next time you see me, feel free to give a sniff.

Want to try it out yourself? Hop on over to Amazon and use code WIN4RAVE at checkout to get 20% off any WIN Products!

See what my fellow BRPs have to say:

BeckyKen (and his VLOG) – Corey Lisa Thanh – Jonathan

Road Tested: Stunt Puppy Nano Bowl™

Disclaimer: I received the Stunt Puppy Nano Bowl™ 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!

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m obsessed with my dog, Gemma. She is my ride or die; we spend most of our days together.

In mid-March she had a surgery on her back right leg for a complete ligament tear, similar to a human’s ACL. Since then we’ve been in recovery mode; much to her dismay.

It’s hard to get her to sit down and rest because we’re always on the go together. If anything it’s taught us (okay, me) to relax and take time to enjoy the spring sunshine.

We got the “all clear” about a month ago that we are allowed to add time to our walks in 5 minute increments. We go back to the vet in a few weeks for X-rays and want to ensure everything is a-okay.

While my personal stunt puppy isn’t allowed to do any high flying adventures at the moment we are big fans of the Stunt Puppy brand.

Stunt Puppy makes quality gear for pups and through quite a few BibRave opt ins, I’ve had the opportunity to try the Go Dog Glo Collar and the Stunt Runner Leash. It stands to reason that we needed to give the Nano Bowl™ a try too!

The Nano Bowl™ is a small, lightweight (1 oz.) bowl that folds down to the size of a handkerchief. It’s easy to carry during walks, runs, and hikes. When unfolded it opens to sit unassisted, 5″ wide, 5″ deep, and holds 3.5 cups of water.

Gone are the days of dripping water out of my bottle for Gemma. When she’s panting and looking for water she gets her own bowl for hydration.

I love how small this packs up, it’s easy to throw into my fuel belt or even loop it through the leash. It’s also very easy to clean, it’s machine washable but I usually hand wash it and leave it out to air dry near the sink.

Additionally, it’s good to use for food. We haven’t taken Gemma camping yet but this could work well if we do.

Interested in learning more about Stunt Puppy and connecting with other runners? Join us for the Stunt Puppy Twitter #bibchat on Tuesday, May 7th at 9pm est. It’s always a good time.

Plus, I have a strong feeling we’ll be seeing lots of dog pictures (my favorite!).

Check out more reviews from my fellow BRPs (and their pups):

CoreyKenVirjinia Deanne AmyMattJessicaConnie

Race Recap: The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon 5k

Disclaimer: I received free entry to The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon 5k 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!

The Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon weekend has been on my list of ones to do for awhile. I’m a Jersey girl, born and raised, and I’ve heard great buzz about this race.

While I would have rather run the half marathon, the scheduling worked out better for the 5k so that’s the race I opted for.

Registration through Athlinks was super simple.

The 5k and kids races were on Saturday; the half and full marathon on Sunday. Because I was doing the 5k, I was able to do day-of bib and shirt pickup. Therefore I didn’t see the expo but it helped save travel time all around which was a plus.

My childhood friend, Chrissy, also signed up for the 5k, so we traveled to the race site together and ran the race together as well!

The race management suggested getting there early for parking purposes and we arrived a couple of hours before the 9am start time. We were actually the first ones in the parking lot. It gave us plenty of time to relax, eat our breakfast, and then pick up the bibs and Diadora shirts.

The shirt is cute in the front but has a mesh back that threw me off a bit. I don’t know if I’ll wear it anywhere but at home.

You can see the mesh on the sleeve.

Like I mentioned, we had plenty of time prior to the start of the race so we wandered back to our car (about a half mile away) to put our shirts away and stay shielded from the wind. It was a beautiful, sunny day but the wind was intense which was a bummer because we knew that running was going to be a challenge. This seems to be the case for a lot of races that Chrissy and I run together. We battled the wind a few years back in Atlantic City too.

As the start time drew closer, the parking lot filled and we walked back to the start.

After a young lady sang the Star Spangled Banner, we were off on our 3.1 mile journey. The course was flat and wound along the ocean boardwalk, onto the streets, near a park, through a neighborhood, and back to the boardwalk once again.

There were two water stops along the way. Police presence and volunteers were throughout the course.

Our goal for this race was to get under 40 minutes. We did 1:1 intervals the entire race.

The wind was pretty brutal and by the third mile, we were fighting against it. Thankfully, the finish line was in sight; we finished strong at 39:53. Mission accomplished!

The medals are BEAUTIFUL – record shaped and they even spin, which is so much fun!

I didn’t see photographers along the course and didn’t notice any at the finish line for the 5k. Not sure we’ll get pictures but we took a good amount of our own (yay for blogging!).

In the finish line chute there were water bottles and snacks, which were great. There was also a small race village set up with a few vendors. We spent a few minutes visit booths and then watched the kids run their mile and a half race before heading back to the car.

Great race, maybe next time I’ll do the half!

Next race for me isn’t until late June but who knows… maybe something will come along in May. Anyone have any suggestions in the NJ area?

Race Recap: Atlantic City April Fools 7k

First things first, if you’ve read our blog for any amount of time, you already know that I love the Atlantic City races. (Swing by our Race Recaps, and you’ll find a whole slew of reports about AC.)

I usually opt for the half marathon at the April Fools race but this year I’ve been embracing shorter distances and Saturday races during Healthy Kids Running Series season.

Additionally, my 14 year old son requested to join me this year so I figured the 7k distance would be the best bet. There’s also a 11k option on Saturday. The half marathon runs on Sunday.

Chrissy and me

For an additional $10 per packet, there was race morning packet pickup. To save myself time and travel expenses (it basically evens out), we did morning packet pickup.

Parking was only $5 with a Resorts Casino card, I picked one up a few weeks back when I spent the day in AC. Lucas and I met up with Chrissy and were quickly able to get our bibs and race shirts. Ladies got pink, men got blue.

A huge draw for the Atlantic City races is that without fail, I always see a ton of friends there. It’s a quick hour drive on the expressway from my house, which means that I can spend the night at home and just wake a bit early and hop in the car.

Run856 Turtles – I love this group of local runners!

The weather was rainy but not too cold, so it was actually comfortable to run in. This was the longest distance for my son so we chose to do 1:1 intervals to keep a consistent pace. After the Star Spangled Banner and a countdown, the race started at 9am.

The entire 7k course is on the boardwalk, which is somewhere I always enjoy running. There was a water station on the way out and back around the 2 mile mark (and the same on the return, not exactly sure of the distance). It’s always a really nice run – despite the weather.

Lucas and I rocked our AfterShokz headphones so we were able to jam out to our music and still chat with each other. He’s been running track at school, where the longest distance is a mile, but we also ran a 4 mile training run recently. The 1:1 intervals helped him feel good and confident the entire time and he stuck with me at my pace for 3.35 miles – the last mile I told him to GO and away he went.

Lucas’ main goal was to finish under an hour, which I assured him wouldn’t be an issue. He finished in 51 minutes while I rolled in at the 53 minute mark.

The finish line has lots of snacks and goodies, which Lucas loved every moment of. He went to get snacks and I stayed at the finish to cheer in friends.

What I love about this particular race, more than anything else, is that I got to run with Lucas. I was having a bit of calf pain in the days leading up to the race and there was a brief moment when I thought I might have to sit it out. Thankfully, he took it easy with me and as much as I was asking him how he was feeling and doing, he was doing the same for me.

Yeah, my kid is pretty great.

And so is this race. I’ll be back to Atlantic City in June for the 2nd Bungalow Beach 5 Miler. Will I see any of you there?

Race Recap: 2019 Allstate Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 5k

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k 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!

Ken, Ryan, Joe, me

2019 marks the third consecutive year that I’ve run one of the races at the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate series. I kicked off my 40th year in 2017 with Christina, 2018 was my friend Ana’s first 5k ever, and this year I ran solo. But I was never alone, I had friends all along the way.

Ana, Dora, Rocky, me

What I think is so cool about this race is the appeal for not only local runners but newer runners, at that. Friends that don’t usually run sign up for this because it’s laid-back and has fantastic swag/treats. Not only did I see adult friends, I also saw a few of my kid runners from Healthy Kids Running Series (or they saw me – I have a few come up to me at our next race to tell me how they did).

While I love visiting Philly, I opted to have my race packet mailed to me because I had a lot going on the week before the race. Along with the super soft jacket, there was also my bib, and a card saying that as a 3 year legacy runner, I was going to get even MORE swag! What? It’s true – I just had to bring the card along with me and I was able to pick up a 3 year legacy medal, pin, and hat.

The course itself is standard Philly running. We chose to take the train in from New Jersey rather than deal with parking and walking from 15th/16th and Locust to Eakins Oval which is where the race began (for those not from around here, right in front of the “Rocky steps” aka Philadelphia Museum of Art).

We got there just before 7am and had time to get a picture with fellow BibRave Pros. It’s always great to see my orange clad team. I’d met Joe and Ryan before but this was my first time meeting Ken!

I was placed in D but started in E because I saw some friends from my turtle running group. Love these ladies – always so supportive!

They request that you don’t move up in corrals, only back, which is standard for races. I know at other races there are people there monitoring corrals but I didn’t see that here. The 5k race began at 7:15; I crossed the start exactly 10 minutes later at 7:25.

Running along the Schuylkill river is nice, you get a great view of Boathouse Row and the Art Museum. The other side of the road is 1-76 which is decidedly less pretty.

I don’t love how the road there banks to the sides, it’s not very visible but you feel it in your hips after awhile. This is where I ran my first road race ever so it always takes me back to my roots.

There was water and Nuun on the course, along with one chocolate station. I chose to skip the chocolate and indulge at the finish line.

After I crossed the finish I circled back and cheered for my friends finishing the 5k. We grabbed our chocolate and treats and then cheered for the 15k finishers.

One thing that was disappointing was the photographers. Hot Chocolate always has free pictures for runners (yay!) but this year I didn’t get that many and the ones that I’m in, I’m behind people. There are a few of me running but they’re blurry. This was standard:

I’d say this one is probably the best of me crossing the finish line. Hey, I’ll take it!

The morning was perfect for running and as always, the race was a lot of fun! Communication leading up to the race is always on point and they had some nice little perks so that people encourage their friends to join them in running this sweet experience.

Have you ever run a Allstate Hot Chocolate race before? What treat gets you motivated to run?

Road Tested: The Closer Bra – Handful

Disclaimer: I received Handful’s The Closer Bra 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 may be showing my age here but one of my favorite movies growing up was Beaches. If you are (old) like me, you might remember the song from it regarding brassieres. If not, you should probably take a moment to visit YouTube. It’s amazing.

Anyway, as I grew up and grew… a chest, I realized quite quickly that not just any bra will do when it comes to working out. When I first heard about Handful bras, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. I have what I consider to be more than just a handful and the first ones I saw were the Adjustable Bra. With the thin straps and product description, I was leery. Could Handful handle me?

However, at The Running Event, I received a Y-back Bra to try. Let’s just say I was kicking myself for not giving Handful a try sooner. I quickly requested more from my husband for the holidays and have since built up quite the collection.

Then word came out that there was a new bra on the block, Handful’s The Closer Bra.

Touted as Handful’s most supportive bra with a front closure, I was 100% in to try this one. And it does NOT disappoint. Things that I love about this bra:

  • Softer than soft material – Seriously, one of my favorite things about Handful is how amazing the material feels. They must be using some sort of magic with it because it’s so comfy.
  • Lights Out™ Pads – These are removable pads that tuck into a pocket in the bra. Honestly, when I first tried Handful I was like – what do I need MORE padding for? But these are great and they do their job.
  • The front closure. – With an S-hook to pull it together and zipper, I am easily able to get in and out of this bra. Because dancing around your bathroom, trying to remove a sweaty bra is NOT a pretty sight.
  • Mesh top with adjustable straps. – Everything about this bra makes sense. It’s perfectly designed.

I’ve worn it for running. I’ve worn it for weight lifting. And honestly, I’ve worn it for just hanging out because it’s that comfortable.

I’m running the Allstate Philly Hot Chocolate 5k tomorrow morning and you can bet that I’ll be wearing this bra underneath my BibRave shirt.

The cut of The Closer Bra gives slightly more coverage than the other bras from Handful, which makes sense with the support it provides. Overall, I like everything that Handful has to offer and I’ve already ordered more that’s on the way.

Have you tried Handful apparel? If you’d like to give it a try, use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off. 

Check out what my fellow BRPs have to say:

Becky
Mai
Christine
Thanh
Jessica
Angie
Lissa
Renee
Stacia
Kim
Stephanie

 

Race Recap: Miami’s 305 Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 305 Half Marathon 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!

Pair the beginning of the year with the craziness of New Jersey winters and it can move someone (aka – me) agree to anything.

I’ve been saying for the past few months that I want to focus on shorter distance races. However… when fellow BibRave Pro/ScootaDoot chick Ashley, mentioned that she was interested in signing up for the 305 Half Marathon in Miami I immediately started looking at flights.

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t suggesting that I join her but hey, this is how I operate.

My parents live about an hour outside of Miami and I knew that a break from the cold New Jersey winter would be just what I needed at the beginning of March. Sure enough, they’re always ready for me to visit.

So let’s review.

  1. Get out of the cold.
  2. Visit my parents.
  3. Get taken care of for a few days. AND NOT TAKE CARE OF ANYONE.
  4. Hang out with Ashley (whom I haven’t seen nearly 3 years – unacceptable).
  5. Run Miami!

Where do I sign up?

Athlinks – that’s where! Registration was quick and easy. Just as easy was claiming my race results after the race. I think it’s funny looking at all my of results on there because you can tell which races I ran for time and which ones I was running for fun. Our plan for this race was to PR in FUN and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint!

There was no expo but there were a few opportunities for bib pickup prior to the Sunday morning race in Miami Beach and Miami. They also allowed for race morning pickup and since we were driving from a distance, that’s what we opted for. We woke up early allowing us plenty of time.

We found a parking garage a block away from where we needed to be. After turning into the lot we saw that it was a steep $50 for 5 hours. Yikes! Any additional time meant an additional $50! (We actually arrived back right at the 5 hour mark and the machine tried to charge us but thankfully the attendant fixed it.)

Shirt and bib pickup was quick and easy. The start and finish village were right next to each other and there were plenty of portapotties. There was a coffee bar in the start village and just beyond that area was the beach.

Shirt sizing is my nemesis so if you’re like me and have sizing issues too, the shirts are men and women’s cut and they were Sport-Tek brand this year. I ended up getting a shirt that’s too large but oh well, you win some, you lose some! The shirts were a bright turquoise with purple lettering – very Miami!

The course was a big loop through Miami Beach and Miami. The corrals we well marked with the paces and there were pacers placed throughout the corrals as well. They had the music pumping, a fun light up guy on stilts and after a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem (seriously, one of the best I’ve ever heard) we were off and running just after 6:15.

The sun started to rise and it got hot quickly. Thankfully there was a breeze and well spaced aid stations throughout the course. While we were running we realized that some of the 5k runners somehow started running early with the half marathon runners – whoops! They stopped at the aid station near mile 3… not sure how they got back to the start.

For those thinking that this course is entirely at sea-level (like me, I don’t always read the race guides like I should), think again! The causeways over the water are pretty steep on both incline and decline and there were about four of these throughout the race. However the sights were gorgeous and there was actually a rainbow that draped over the entire course for the first 5 miles!

No crowds to speak of but the volunteers and police were supportive. There were also about 4 DJs along the route. Ash and I didn’t bring music but we were jamming to the beats as we went by them. We also ran right near where the cruise ships were docked, it really was a scenic event!

The last few miles my hands were swollen and I was feeling a few blisters on my feet. I’m pretty sure I told Ash that I was ready to be done no less than 10 times. Finally, it was finish line time!

We finished the race with a BibRave shout out from the announcer. There were free pictures from the course and even a video from the finish!

There was a shipping snafu with the medals, which we learned about 2 nights prior to race morning. I appreciate that they kept runners informed of how things transpired. We were given a temporary medal and a Starbucks gift card from UPS. The actual medals are going to be shipped to each runner within the next few weeks. Mistakes happen and I appreciate that they made every effort to make it as close to right as possible.

The finish area had a great assortment of snacks, choice of Bloody Mary or beer, and other fun stuff! Everyone was in good spirits and it was exactly how a Florida race should end! Ashley and I took a few minutes to walk over to the beach, take a few pictures, and then headed out.

My Florida trip was a whirlwind and while I’m sad to be back in New Jersey and ESPECIALLY sad that we are supposed to get snow today, I’m so glad that I had a few days in Florida!

Check back – soon Ashley will be sharing her thoughts about the 305 as well.