Getting pumped for the AC Marathon’s April Fools Half!

ac5year1

If you’re anything like me you start your race planning way, way in advance. It stands to reason that when you L-O-V-E a race, you register ASAP for the next year.

As it goes with the AC Marathon’s April Fools Half. Registration for their races opens as soon as the current race is over. 2016 will be my 5th consecutive year running the race and I’ve been running since the inaugural year in 2012. Can’t stop, won’t stop!

One of the things that I love most about this race is that I’m never alone! It’s a small race of usually around 2,000 runners and I’m always surrounded by friends and making them along the way.

2012 - Cam's first ever half marathon (I was a seasoned pro as it was my second) and Bec ran the 7k.

2012 – Cam’s first ever half marathon (I was a seasoned pro as it was my second) and Bec ran the 7k.

In 2013 college buddies joined me on the 13.1 trek up and down the boards!

I rocked that Jersey Strong shirt at quite a few races that year!

I rocked that Jersey Strong shirt at quite a few races that year!

In 2014 nearly all of the then current Scoot a Doot chicks were present (we carried a picture of west coast Jess so she was represented) and awesome friends too!

Stunners!

Stunners!

This year brought the Rockford Peaches to the AC boardwalk! We not only rocked the 13.1 miles but the costume contest as well. It was Jenn’s first half and we had an awesome time crossing the finish line together.

Dirt in the skirt!

2015 – Dirt in the skirt!

The past four years have been absolutely incredible! #blessed

acmedals

And TODAY, the AC Marathon Race Series shared the medal for the 2016 race. If you’ve been considering this race, this might just be what you need as incentive. You know, besides me being there! ūüėČ

source - Atlantic City Marathon

source – Atlantic City Marathon

source - Atlantic City Marathon

The 7k/11k medal! source – Atlantic City Marathon

Are you a legacy runner of any races? What keeps you coming back for more? Personally, this series is tried and true. It’s my birthday race (yes, I’m an April Fools baby) and it’s one that I really look forward to each year.

Show ‘Em Your Rack, A Tutorial

A while back, I posted about my plan to make a medal rack and share it with you, and this weekend, the planets finally aligned to allow me the time to get my craft on. Of course, there are a few things that always make DIY projects better.

Things like a snowy morning.

snow

And Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Colin Firth IS Mr. Darcy.

So, now that we’re all in agreement on that, let’s proceed, shall we? Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

supplies

Supplies:                                                                                                                                                                                   

Wood plaque of your choice                                            Chalkboard Paint                                                        Magnetic Clips

Primer                                                                                       2 Coat Hooks                                                                 Aluminum or Tin Strip

Paint Tinted color of your Choice                                Picture Frame Hook and Nails

Tools:________________________________________________________________________

Hammer                                                                                  Ruler                                                                              Level

Pencil                                                                                       Marker                                                                           Sandpaper or Sanding Block

Drill¬† or Screwdrivers¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Painter’s Tape¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Bristle Paintbrush

Foam Tip Paint Brush                                                      Fine Tipped Paint Brush for Touching Up

______________________________________________________________________________________

Step 1: Using a fine grit sandpaper or sanding block, lightly sand any rough areas on your wood piece. Pay attention to edges and corner in particular.

Step 2: Using a piece of paper, make a template for your chalkboard area to help you decide where you want it on your plaque. Once you have decided on placement, mark the corners with a pencil.

Step 2

Step 3: Using a ruler and pencil, outline the desired area. Make sure your lines are straight and centered. Tape off the inside of your area with painters tape. Later you will paint the inside of your rectangle with chalkboard paint.

step3

Step 4: Paint your plaque with primer. Be careful not to get any in the taped off area. Let dry.

step4

Step 5: Paint over the primer with your tinted paint. Let dry.

step5

Step 6: Paint a second coat of your colored paint. Once it’s dry, remove the painter’s tape.

step6

Step 7: Tape off the painted area around your chalkboard area. Paint the bare wood with two coats of primer. Allow each coat to dry thoroughly, and sand lightly between coats. This will help ensure a smoother writing surface once the chalkboard paint is applied.

step7b

Step 8: Apply two coats or chalkboard paint, allowing each coat to dry completely between coats.

chalk1

Step 9: After the chalkboard paint is dry, remove the tape. Touch up any areas with a small tipped paint brush if needed.

chalktouchup3

Step 10: Affix the tin strip (or pieces, as the case may be). Decide where you want your bibs to hang, and using a pencil, outline the strip. Nail in place. I had some tin tiles laying around my house, and used tin snips to cut them to the desired shape and size.

tin Collage

Step 11: Affix the picture frame hanger on the back. First, find the center of your plaque and mark it with a pencil. Then, find the center of the hanger and mark it with a marker. Next, align the two marks and nail your hanger to your plaque.

hanger collage

Hanger Collage 2

Step 12: Affix your medal hooks. Decide where you want them to go, and mark the screw holes with a pencil. It’s easier to start the holes using a drill and a bit. Using the hardware that came with your hooks, attach them to your plaque.

hooks

hook Collage

Step 13: Celebrate because YOU ARE DONE. And you rock! All that is left to do is hang your new medal rack. Then, attach your bibs to the clips and hang your bling from the hooks. Look how awesome you are!

I had my magnetic clips a little crooked in this shot, but you get the idea.

I had my magnetic clips a little crooked in this shot, but you get the idea.

finished Collage

 

I am loving how this project turned out. Now, I just need more medals to hang from it!

How do you display your medals? Have you made your own rack, or anything else, for that matter? Tell me all about it in the comments!

One Sock, Two Sock, Red Sock, Blue Sock

I have a problem. ¬†A big one. ¬† One that takes up lots and lots of drawer space. ¬†It’s obvious I’m a fan of running in costume but after all these races, I have acquired quite the collection of knee socks. ¬†An entire drawer full to be specific.

Oh look, I've displayed them for your viewing pleasure.

Oh look, I’ve displayed my favorites for your viewing pleasure.

I love my socks. ¬†I love every single pair of them. ¬†I currently own EIGHT Ragnar race shirts. ¬†And oh, the medals. ¬†I adore my medals. ¬†I couldn’t possible part with them. ¬†But how can I continue to acquire the various apparel necessary to race and also house important things, like my real clothes? ¬†Or my children. ¬†My race swag is taking over my very limited living space. ¬†

These still have tags.  I need help.

These still have tags. I need help.

My yoga teacher in college once said that the inability to free oneself from possessions is the result of the underlying fear that we won’t be able to provide for ourselves in the future. ¬†My socks aren’t valuable or expensive. ¬†Most of them are not even for running or athletic purposes. ¬†I’m pretty sure I can’t get rid of my socks because they’re so ridiculously cute. Plus, there’s that small fact that every time I see them in my drawer, I’m reminded of how many miles I’ve covered.

socks

Tomorrow marks the beginning of my race season. ¬†I also have my very first official weigh-in and fitness assessment for Body Back. ¬†It’s time to clean out my running drawer. ¬†My Ragnar shirts are going up into the rafters. ¬†I can’t toss them yet. ¬†My medals proudly decorate my classroom. ¬†There’s plenty of wall space there. But as I try to decide which socks to bench, I have no fear. Instead, I’m reminded of all the times I doubted myself. ¬†And all the times I proved myself wrong.

What do you do with your excess swag?  Do you have any cute socks I should buy?  Where do you get your socks?  Leave me a note!

Show Us Your Medals!

Ahhhh, medals: the tangible evidence of completing a race. They are the proverbial icing on the cake of months of hard work and training for a race.

This past week I reached out via Facebook (our own and the Run Blog Society community page) and Twitter, asking people to share pictures and stories of their favorites. And wow, did people answer the call! To quote the A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

So without further ado…

kylemedals

Kyle at An Accidental Optimist.

“The first one is a fave because it’s a horseshoe. You can’t get much cooler than that. The Amish made it. I ran the Bird-in-Hand half with Vic. Good times all around!

The second one is because it’s from MY FIRST MARATHON, Philadelphia 2013.”

Michelemedals

Michele at A Pace of Balance.

“This is from the Nation’s Triathlon which I completed September 2013. ¬†It was an Olympic distance and was my first tri since 2003 BC (before children)… so really, it was my first tri.

I loved this race for many reasons.
1) I did the race with my sister and in fact, it was her birthday/Christmas/Mother’s Day gift to me. ¬†She guided me through the whole thing.

2) The course. Washington DC. Need I say more?

3) I felt like a bit of an underdog. ¬†I didn’t decide to do the race until about 8 weeks out. ¬†I am an avid runner, but I had to really improve on the bike. ¬†If you see my bike in the pic, you’ll notice it’s a hybrid and not a fancy road bike like the majority of the people had at the race. ¬†It was my mommy bike which I converted into a race bike by getting rid of the baby seat, slapping on some cage pedals, and installing a speedometer. ¬†Boom. ¬†Someone actually said to me during the race “Girl, you are killing it on that bike of yours!”. ¬†And I was. ¬†I kept up with the seasoned crowd. ¬†I finished in 3:01, which I think is pretty good for a first timer. ¬†To me, the medal is a reminder that I should never sell myself short and we are always capable of more than we realize.”

Ruthmedals

Ruth at The Run and I couldn’t pick just one – so she sent along a handful of these awesome medals!

juliemedals

Julie at Run. Walk. FASTPASS. Repeat.

“Jost Running was looking for running bloggers to ¬†review their Virtual Race Medals as they launched their business last year. ¬†Each month an new medal came out for that month’s race. I was amazed at the detail and “pop” in their virtual race medals. I was not a fan of Virtual Races when I signed on, as I live in a big city with PLENTY of race opportunities, BUT I loved the idea of running the race my day, at my time, my route – and getting my bling in the mail. ¬†I am German and yes I love beer. The Oktoberfest Medals just made me smile…who can’t use another bottle opener. ¬†Seriously, my favorite medals in looks. Fun designs and a great reward for long training runs especially when you have a hard time getting out the door. ¬†They converted me to a fan of the Virtual Race.”

aprilmedal

April at Run the Great Wide Somewhere.

“I traveled alone to the race [Space Coast Half Marathon], but felt strong and got a PR. ¬†The course was gorgeous, all the runners were friendly and polite and it was very well organized. ¬†And the medal is so beautiful and sparkly and has a space shuttle on it!”

mermedals

Meredith at Just An Ordinary Girl in FL.

“The Dumbo Double Dare race medal hold the number one spot. Not only was this an inaugural race, but also represented a huge accomplishment for me in completing 19.3 miles in 2 days!”

cynthiamedal

Cynthia at You Signed Up for What?!

“I had a longtime goal to do a triathlon by age 40, and with 3 kids and a more-than-full-time-job, I did it. And I loved it!” [Athleta Iron Girl]

summermedal

Summer at Running with Pixies.

“My favorite medal is the 2013 Princess half marathon medal. Even though it was my third time running Princess, and my 5th half marathon, there was something about that race that clicked and made me realize that regardless of my finish time I was, in fact, a real runner.”

suemedal

Sue at This Mama Runs for Cupcakes.

“The Marine Corp marathon medal is my favorite because it is the medal from my very first marathon! A lot of hard work and time spent away from my kids for this!”

Jennifermedal

Jennifer at Rescuing and Running.

“Wine Glass Marathon, Corning, NY is a fabulous weekend getaway in the beautiful fingers lakes region of NY!¬† It was a wonderful girls weekend of awesome regional food, wineries, glass art, ¬†and a beautiful 26.2 mile run through rural NY countryside.

The medal, which is actually glass, is handmade ¬†by a local Corning glass artist. It is beautiful and very unique! In addition to the awesome finishers medal, the race swag is top notch. We got a great drawstring back sack, a good technical long sleeve tee, wine glass, and ¬†a small bottle of Champagne made and labeled specifically for the weekend.¬† The course was beautiful with many supporters along the way. The post marathon food options is the best I have ever seen with offerings of pizza hot out of an oven, several hot soups, sandwiches, cookies, fruit, bagels, chocolate milk! I cannot say enough about this wonderful regional marathon.”

saramedal

Sara at The Classy Crafter.

“Six months of training all boiling down to one race and truly figuring out what your body is capable of.” [Walt Disney World Marathon]

lisamedal

Lisa at Lulu’s Big Adventure.

“This medal is from the Canada Army Run Half Marathon, which I ran in September 2013. Not only do I love that they created a dog-tag medal in the army spirit, but this race was special to me. I knocked over twenty-five minutes off my last half marathon time, and I came in well under my goal of 2 hours. I was really nervous about how I was going to do at this race, since I am incredibly injury prone and trained in the stifling Brazilian heat all summer. So, when I had such a wonderful race experience and achieved such a big PR, it was a special moment for me.”

So there you have it, our second installation of “my favorite medal”! You can check out the first post, from Vic, here.

I love seeing the different favorites that were sent and also hearing the logic behind why each person loved their favorites the most. You’ll notice that we had no repeats – so many different races and reasons! Many thanks to all those who shared. You rock!

What’s your favorite medal? Link us to a blog post or pictures in the comments so we can check them out.

Sport Hooks: A review and giveaway

I love to organize. Just ask my husband.

I make piles and lists. Lots of lists. And as you know, I also collect some goodies in baskets.

A few weeks back, I shared some photos of a few of my favorite medals. Then, many of you were kind enough to share some photos of YOUR special medals.

Last month, I received an beautiful medal rack from Marcey at Sport Hooks. The five-hook rack is stunning, and made of a heavy medal, so I am absolutely loving how durable it is.

20130901-192419.jpgMy new medal rack, freshly-installed by yours truly!

That’s right! I found our drill and used it for the first time – all by myself – to install the rack. It literally took about a minute. Easy peasy! The lengthy process for me was deciding where it would go. Once up, I decided to display some of my fave medals — the rest remain in ye ‘ole medal basket.

20130901-192517.jpg

Part of what I love so much about this rack is the woman behind the design. Marcey is a runner like you and me — though she’s a marathon maniac, having run 86 marathons since 2000. Now that’s an incredible accomplishment! Let’s give Marcey a huge hand!

As she collected bling in the past decade, Marcey said she realized she needed a medal display that was both functional and stylish. Thus, Sport Hooks was born!

Sport Hooks by Heavy Medalz has been in business for seven years and offers 1-hook, 3-hook, 5-hook and 10-hook displays. Her designs transcend all sports — running, swimming, triathlons, gymnastics, dance, martial arts, softball, golf. The list goes on and on!

crew-5

Click here to see Individual sport medal rack options.

And click here to learn about the team sport medal rack choices.

And the company also makes some unique medal racks, specifically for IRONMAN triathletes and fans of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, as well as runDisney fans! Others have inspirational quotes or distances.

All of her displays are quality and beautiful conversation-starters.

Here are a few of my faves:

IronmanIronman 5-hook medal display

RnR-5-hook-BlackRnR 5-hook medal display

boston-bust-5hkChasing Boston? Then this rack is for you!

Sport Hooks has generously offered one of you lucky Scoot readers a five-hook medal rack of your choice! Any sport, any style. Can’t beat that! To enter, click on the Rafflecopter pic below. Giveaway runs through Sept. 11.

rafflecoptersporthooks

Click the pic to enter

Disclaimer: I received one Sport Hooks medal hanger for review. All words and opinions are my own. Giveaway prize donated by Sport Hooks.

Your medals and Olympic gold

You all have some great bling!

Last week I shared my special medals with you and learned about your favorite awards! Several of you shared some pics and stories with me as well. Thank you! Here’s our community album;

KYLE

5kblingblue reader!

My favorite (thus far) is my first. I ran the St. Jude Half Marathon in 2011. It was a goal to complete a half before turning 30 – and beat it by a few days – and a milestone after fighting to lose weight.

Kyle blogs as Running Large

JENN

jenpugs

Here’s me wearing my favorite medal. It’s from the 2013 Florida Striders Memorial Day 5K in Orange Park, FL.

It’s really nothing amazing, medal-wise, but this was my first medal for my first 5K, and so it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Jenn blogs as Runs with Pugs

LISA

lisamedal

This is a picture of my husband and I at the Marine Corps Marathon 2012. This was his first marathon and my third. I love this one because well, 1) it’s just awesome! 2) we ran for an awesome charity – Team Fisher House and 3) I got to run with my husband for 26.2 miles and we never get to run together.

HEATHER G.

row1

All my medals are from rowing. I think Vic and I have a few that we earned together. Similar theme to everyone else ‚Äď it was my first. Also, the ONLY medal I got in college. Four years of HARD work rowing Division 1 and that medal (and a watch) are all I have to show for it! (Don’t worry; I’ve won a bunch since this one, all in rowing.)

The medal is from the Atlantic 10 conference championships in collegiate women’s rowing. On the back it says:

Rowing
Quad
2nd Place
2000

I’ve only recently started running and have yet to get a medal for it, but I’m working on it.

KARIEN

???????????????????????????????

It is from the Nike We Run Jozi 10K race in 2012 – a race that took us through the township of Alexandra – one of the poorest townships in South Africa. I initially entered this race just to be a part of the experience ( it formed part of a series of races held simultaneously in 34 cities and 17 countries, with a total of 400 000 runners taking part), but I got so much more out of it. It touched my heart.

We ran past shanties and shacks, with the poorest of the poor lining the streets and cheering us on with all they had. Old ladies were dressed in their Sunday best for the occasion; little kids dressed in threads shrieked with delight as runners high-five’d them; and grey-haired old grandpa’s shook their heads at the passing spectacle. This the medal reminds me to count my blessings and celebrate life!

Karien blogs at Running the Race.

SUZAN

nuthousemedal

My first one, Suzan said of the September 2011 Jailbreak 5K race. I had no idea how good that thing would feel. I had only been running a few months and from that moment on, I was hooked.

HEATHER B.

heathermedal

It was July 11, 2010 it was at Angels Stadium, The Big A in Anaheim it was called the MLB All-Star Game 5k.

I’m a life long Angels fan so getting to run through the stadium was awesome. The atmosphere was fun, I mentioned to a fellow runner that it was my first run, she told her friends and they were all super excited for me. AND my bestie drove up from San Diego to cheer me on.

Heather blogs at Heather in the Middle

MER

mermedal

I’ll admit, one of the first things I look at when planning to do a race is whether it has a medal. No shame at all, that’s how I roll (not that a lack of medal dissuades me).

One of my favorites is from Philadelphia’s Broad Street 10-miler in 2013. I heard about this race when I was new to running and it was the first ever that I placed on my bucket list. There were many emotions as I ran that day and it easily ranked as one of my favorite races that I’ve done thus far.

Mer blogs at Scoot and you can find her on twitter too!

ME

IMG_0790

Look at my shiny new medal! Just kidding. This gold medal from the 2012 summer Olympics in London belongs to Jenn Suhr, who lives just outside Rochester, NY, and last fall came to visit the paper I work for to speak about her Olympic experience and thank us for our coverage. She graciously allowed reporters and editors to hold and pose with her medal. It’s really heavy, by the way.

IMG_0792Oh, and she congratulated me on running Chicago Marathon 2 days prior, telling me how incredible she thought that was. Did I mention Jenn Suhr is pretty darn awesome?

(Side note. I really look short in this pic. I’m not. Jenn is incredibly tall and lean!)

Have you ever run a race just for the medal? Did you ever dream of going to the Olympics, like Jenn? What sport was your dream sport? (me? Swimming!) Tell us in the comments.

Shiny happy medals

Some runners wear their medals with pride for days after the big race. Others toss them in a bag- or in the bin- never to be seen again.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I often wear my medal home from an event – a road race, regatta or (throwback) swim meet. But they all wind up in a shoebox or a basket a day or two later.

20130722-155245.jpgMeet the basket

Of course I have favorites – often because the bling is beautiful. But typically it’s because I loved the race.

Here are a few of my faves, and my reasons why.

Mardi Gras Half Marathon 2010

I ran the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras half several years ago, which has since been renamed the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans. I loved everything about this event, it was my second-ever half marathon and I was incredibly well-prepared. The course was beautiful, I ran solo and paced myself well, besting my previous PR by more than 7 minutes.

medal1Love the beads!

Philadelphia Marathon 2010

The 26.2-course through the City of Brotherly Love was my first marathon, so this race will always hold a special place in my heart. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter high-fived me as I crossed the finish line, moments before this bad boy was placed around my neck. Like the course, the medal did not disappoint either. Isn’t it pretty?

medal4First is the best!

ScotiaBank Waterfront Toronto Half Marathon 2011

This race has my standing PR, and my heart. I felt like I flew as I ran along the northern edge of Lake Ontario on that crisp, fall day. Part of the course runs through downtown Toronto (and the CN Tower), much is along the waterfront, hence the name of the race. The year I ran, a 100-year-old man completed the full marathon course, held alongside the half. He was such an inspiration.

medal3Nice medal, eh?

Random 5k 2012

The medal is tiny, but I earned it all by myself. I placed third in my age group at a small 5k race in Rochester, NY and received this medal. It was a surprise that definitely made me smile.

medal2a teeny, tiny prize

My runDisney week of medals – 2013

I affectionately call this batch my runDisney Ultra. I raced 52.4 miles through Disney parks over an eight-day stretch in January. I ran the Goofy Challenge – that’s the half marathon through Walt Disney World on Saturday followed by the full marathon on Sunday. Then I flew to California, where I ran the Tinkerbell half marathon the following weekend. It was an incredible experience, which I tackled in memory of two local firefighters killed in the line of duty several weeks prior. Ironically, my third race was by far my fastest of the trio.

Nov12 to Jan13 1385My runDisney Ultra stash

I have another medal that doubles as a bottle opener (so awesome!) and several with broken clasps. Meh. There’s even one I tried to dodge when I had a particularly cruddy race. And this fall, I hear I’ll be getting one made from a real horseshoe.

But I want to hear all about YOUR favorite medals!

Tell me all about your top bling in the comments below. What’s your favorite and why?

What races – and let’s face it,¬† which medals – are on your wish list?

Please send along photo of your fave medal (wearing it or not) to scootadoot AT gmail.com and your reason why, and I will create a follow up post next week! Please also include your name and a link to your blog or twitter handle.