Tag Archives: orca running

Fall Race Season is HERE! [Runs + Where to Find Me]

I’m seriously having a really hard time believing that fall race season is here! October is when #ALLtheRaces happen and there are some pretty awesome ones coming up. If you wanted to, you could run a race every weekend in October. I have to admit there were a few I had to turn down that I would love to run. There is always next year right?! Today I am sharing with you some of the Fall races I am really looking forward to and which ones you should be sure to have on your radar! 

Rock N Roll Queretaro

I shared why I am so excited about this a few days ago. Basically you get to explore colonial Mexico, eat all the tacos and run a super fun race. Doesn’t get much better than that does it?! This race weekend features four distances and has something for everyone – 5K, 10K, half and full marathon. screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-8-59-21-pm

Portland Marathon

This race will always have a very special place in my heart as I ran my very first half marathon here. I like to say this is what started it all. I had the option to run the full in Portland this year and had to turn it down. I was not going to be trained enough and didn’t want to push it too much. This full marathon is a GREAT one and definitely one I want to run. Put this one on your bucket list!DSC01318I will still be down in Portland that weekend working at the Portland Marathon expo, so if you running, be sure to find me at the expo and say hello!! 

Rock N Roll Vancouver

If you are up in the PNW, this is a must run! If you run the 10K, you get to run around the beautiful seawall in Vancouver. I have never run this race, but I am really looking forward to it this year. They offer a 10K and a half marathon. Vancouver is a beautiful city and a short drive up from Seattle. Join me there this year! Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT to save $15 on registration! 

Rock N Roll Merida

This was my very first international race last year. It coincided perfectly with a family vacation to Cancun, so I made the drive over to Merida and ran the half marathon. It was SO humid, even for a night race, but when I crossed that finish line, it was ALL worth it. Such a fun race, super amazing medal and a fun way to experience Dia de los Muertos in Mexico. Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT to save $15 on registration! Get race info HEREIMG_8748

Rock N Roll Los Angeles

This is known on ‘the streets’ as the Halloween half. Get your costumes ready!!! This race is huge, lots of fun and while costumes are not required they are highly encouraged. I am not sure if I will be at this race this year or not, but it is definitely one worth running! Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT to save $15 on registration! Get race info HERE16_rnr_la_halloween_logo_spotcolor

Lake Washington Half Marathon

This will be my first year running this Orca race, and I am looking forward to it. Their races are well organized & always have amazing swag! Lake Washington is one of my favorite places to run in the PNW, so this race should be beautiful. There is a 5K option available as well. Get 10% off any distance with code: SWEETFIT & join me at this race on November 5th! lwhand5klogo_small


For now this is all the races I have on my radar for the fall. It’s enough don’t you think?! LOL. The fall is such a fun time to run, you get the sunny weather with cooler temps which is why it is such a popular time to race. I love it, but it is also hard to pick and choose sometimes!

What races are your going to be running this year? Which ones of these will I see you at?! 

Half Marathon #10! The Inaugural Iron Horse Half

The inaugural Iron Horse Half Marathon was a beautiful run; I am so glad this was the way I got to celebrate half marathon #10! My two year run-iversary for running my first half marathon is coming up, and I cannot believe how far I have come in just two years. I ran my first half marathon in October of 2014 and just ran my tenth half marathon this last weekend. Another crazy fact: eight of those ten were run within the last year! 
 
The Iron Horse Half  was a point to point course on the Iron Horse Trail & the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. What makes this half marathon unique is that the course is nearly all downhill at a steady, gentle grade. I was very excited about this course and will share more about that experience later in the recap. IMG_7103

start line

Because it was a point to point course, the start line was 13-ish miles away from the finish. You were encouraged to park at the finish and take a shuttle to the start line. You could have someone drop you off at the start line, but there was no parking there. IMG_7086
 
Race morning, I parked at the finish line, picked up my packet and bib number and hopped on a shuttle with zero issues! It was very smooth. Once I got dropped off at the start, I checked a small bag in gear check & headed up a small hill to the start line. I wanted to use the port-a-potty really quick, but the line was UNREAL. I knew there would be a few along the course, so I decided to wait. IMG_7087
 
They did the race start in waves that were spaced 15 minutes apart to avoid crowding on the trail. I thought this worked extremely well. Before I knew it, I was off and running! 

the race 

The course was promised to be a slow and steady downhill course, and it was! There were a few sections that were flat and a few that were slightly steeper and allowed you to build up speed. It was not a ton of downhill that causes you to get shin splints or feel uncomfortable, it was very pleasant and made for ‘easy racing’.

The course was also unbelievably beautiful. It was all trails, which was a nice change of pace from a normal road race. It was full of green trees and bushes, rivers, beautiful landscapes and some sweeping views.  


The weather on race day was the perfect blessing, especially for August. Slightly overcast and not too hot. The trail had lots of shade, but did have some sections that would have been full sun if it wasn’t for the light cloud cover. I was glad I brought my handheld water bottle, although they did have plenty of aid stations along the course. 


Remember how I skipped the port-a-potty line earlier? Well somehow I missed the first port-a-potties on the course, so by mile 5 I was peeing my pants and had to become one with mother nature. Thankfully this was the perfect course to have this happen as there were lots of chances to dip into the woods and take care of business. Of course I didn’t want to have to do that, but you gotta do what you gotta do! 

Considering I had been slacking on long runs, it was no surprise to me that the last 3 miles were pretty difficult. I survived, but they felt long. I was so happy to see the finish line in the distance! I was about half a mile away from the finish line & all of a sudden a heard a buzz and a sharp pain in the middle of my back! I thought to myself, ‘did I just get stung by a bee?!’ I didn’t see a bee, but what else could it be?! It hurt so bad!! As soon as I crossed the finish, I headed to the medical tent & sure enough I did get a bee sting. Thankfully I was fine. There is a first time for everything right?! It was quite the memorable finish. 😉  My time: 2 hours 8 minutes.

Run it OR Skip it?

RUN IT! The course is beautiful and the slight downgrade the whole way is so refreshing compared to the other Seattle race courses with hills. Like every Orca Running race, it was well organized and had everything you could want. Amazing post race BBQ, great medals and fun swag. I definitely recommend this race! 

Check out future Orca Running Races and use code SWEETFIT to save 10% on any race/distance!!

The Kirkland Shamrock Run [Race Recap]

What better way to celebrate St. Patty’s day then with a Shamrock run? I was extra excited for this race because my last experience with Orca Running was so great. The Shamrock Run did not disappoint! 
shamrock run

I hadn’t run a 5K race in a long time. I debated whether or not to run it all out or just take it easy. I have never ‘raced’ a 5K to try to see how fast I can run it. I really just wanted this to be a fun 5K that wasn’t for time. My mom signed up to run with me, so I stayed with her. We ran/walked the 5K and had a great time. Not every race is competitive and go all out, some are for pure fun & that is what the Shamrock Run was for me. 

shamrock run
can you tell it was cold???!

Start Line

There were tons of people in costumes and lots o’ green! There was even a bag pipe band! I’m telling you, Orca Running pulls out all the stops. IMG_2996

If you wanted, you could register your dog; they got a bib number, a bandana and a collapsible water bowl. They even got their own medal at the finish line! How cute is that? IMG_3008

The race started in 3 waves because the course narrowed and they wanted to make sure people had enough room. I never felt that the course was narrow, but that’s probably because they sent people out in waves! IMG_3007

The Race 

The course was mostly flat with 2 steady hills. One after the first .25 miles and another about half way thru the course. The hills pay off because the views are stunning. You get to see beautiful Lake Washington & Seattle. Somehow I didn’t manage get a picture because I was having too much fun running!IMG_3009

The last mile of the course is beautiful and flat. Once you reach the end of the course, you run past a park with a gorgeous view of Lake Washington. We even saw an eagle flying over us and it landed in one of the trees. 

mid-race selfie!
mid-race selfie!

There is a nice downhill approach the finish line and you finish waterfront. It was cold and windy, but the sun eventually came out towards the end of the race.race_1923_photo_32221063

Finish Line

Every participant got a long sleeve tech shirt, a finishers medal and a 5K magnet at the finish line. The magnet was a total surprise and a really unique item. IMG_3012IMG_3047

Every participant also got FREE race photos. There were so many photographers you guys! There were as many if not more as there are at races where you have to buy the pictures! Orca Running does this at every single race. It’s another reason their races are 100% worth running! 

crossing the finish line!
crossing the finish line!

The finishers area had snacks and lots of vendors. I even found a MORE KALE bell!!! You guys have no idea how excited I was about that.FullSizeRender-2

Orca Running also provided a photo booth again which I loved. It makes for a great place to take race pictures. This is something you can expect to see at every Orca Race. FullSizeRender-1

This race confirmed that Orca Running races are fun & have the best swag! There are no lame cotton shirts or lack luster race environments here. They are so awesome they even gave me a discount to share with you so you run one with me – see below! IMG_3014

Post Race

Another awesome reason to run a race in Kirkland is because one of my favorite smoothie bowl places in Seattle happens to be in Kirkland – Healthy Bonez! They make amazing smoothie bowls & juices, I highly recommend you check them out if you are in the area. Of course I had to pick one up post race! IMG_3029

Run it OR Skip it?

RUN IT! I highly recommend the Shamrock Run. It was a lot of fun, much  better organized and more picturesque than the other St. Patty’s day runs in the Seattle area. 

Sign up to run another Orca Running race with me!

Amazing swag, well organized races & FREE race photos! You won’t be disappointed. Check out all their races HERE & use code SWEETFIT to get 10% off your registration!!

My Better Half Race Recap

I had a “you know you’re a runner when…” moment when I signed up for My Better Half. It was super last minute and, I’m not gonna lie, I did it mostly for the bling and the experience. The good news is, it majorly paid off!

Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. I really like hearts, the color pink, and sharing the love! To me, Valentine’s Day is not only about romantic love. It’s a day you can take to make your friends, family and people around you feel loved and appreciated as well. Since I love Valentine’s Day AND running, I decided running a race is how I wanted to spend the day. There are a few Valentine’s Day races in Seattle, and when I checked all of them out, My Better Half seemed like a really special race. It was more than just your average Valentine’s Day dash. 

IMG_1877

Not only was the bling and swag amazing, there were also many Valentine elements to the race. There were creative options for everyone. You could choose a 5K, 10K, half marathon or a half marathon relay. There were hilarious categories to pick from when you registered. You could register as ‘Lovers’, ‘Besties’, “Bromance”, or ‘Lonley Heart’. If you were in the lonely heart category, you could designate what you were seeking, ‘love’ ‘fun’ or ‘chaos’ on your race bib. In any of the other categories there was a place to write your partners name.

IMG_1875

No matter what distance you ran, you got a really nice pull over, and a medal.IMG_1871

There was also mention of a ‘tunnel of love’ on the course. I was so excited to see that! When registering, you also had the option to pay extra to write a love note that would be put on the course. How cute! The best part: if you received a love note, you could take it home with you after the race! We opted not to do this, but I loved the idea anyway. It was a ton of fun to read them on the course. 

IMG_1886 my better half

I didn’t really want to run the half marathon since it was only a week before the Glass Slipper Challenge at Disney World, but everything else was sold out. I knew I could do it, so half marathon it was! I was able to convince Andy to run it with me. (that’s true love!)  We had our active Valentine’s Day date all planned: a 13.1 mile run followed by brunch!

my better half
of course I had to wear all my pink valentine stuff! there were some great costumes too!

Race day it was cold, windy and kinda rainy. Typical for February in the PNW. Thankfully the rain let up by race start. The race route was around a park on Lake Washington. Beautiful scenery, calm and flat. The half marathon was 5 laps around. I was concerned it might be mentally boring, but I actually really enjoyed it because you knew exactly where the bathrooms and the aid station was. 

IMG_1879

I didn’t know what to expect with the tunnel of love, and was so much fun! It was right before the aid station and it was adorable. There were balloons, a fog machine and Valentine’s day candy. 

 

They had candy hearts in the tunnel of love, but these were not your average candy heart! They were personalized with runner sayings for valentines day like ‘worth the chase’, ‘sole mate’, ‘UR my PR’ etc. How cute is that?!?!?

IMG_1939

Another awesome swag bag item from this race: FREE race photos! 

race_1922_photo_31069603
OH YEAH!

We crossed the finish line and got our magnetic medals. One of THE coolest race medals I have to date. I LOVE IT! Super unique and fun because it shows we completed this race together. 

IMG_1940

Then we headed to the post race food. A catering company that brought hot soup and they had a bunch of valentines day treats along with other snacks. This was all tent that was covered and had ‘walls’ to shield from the rain and wind. 

IMG_1899

There was a also a backdrop with the race logo where you could take pics. I loved that because everyone needs a race day pic! 

IMG_1895

As you can tell, I loved this race, It was a total blast! The swag was amazing and everyone was very, very friendly. All the thoughtfulness put into the race details was amazing. Orca Running,  put this race on and they have quite a few races the Seattle area. Because of this awesome experience I am really looking forward to running another race with them this summer.1446159549

I highly recommend My Better Half Marathon. Even if you are not a die hard Valentine’s Day fan like me, it is a really enjoyable race. Orca Running knows how to make it fun. I would definitely run it again! Maybe it will be our Valentine’s Day tradition 😀

race_1922_photo_31071842

 

You can also check out my review of the race on BibRave.com!

XOXO
Stay Sweaty!!
Sarah

My BetterHalf