Tag Archives: race recap

My Favorite Spring Race: Blooms to Brews [Race Recap]

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Blooms to Brews 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 Blooms to Brews marathon, half marathon and 10K is my favorite spring race. I ran the half marathon last year, and this year I was back for the 10K. This is a race that you must add to your bucket list. Blooms, brews, beautiful course, flat… what more could you ask for!?

Continue reading My Favorite Spring Race: Blooms to Brews [Race Recap]

First Race of 2017: Running for Chocolate!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Hot Chocolate 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 kicked off my 2017 racing season with the Hot Chocolate 15K! This was my third year running this race and it did not disappoint. It was not my fastest race ever, but I had SO much fun. This race reminded me why I love running.

Continue reading First Race of 2017: Running for Chocolate!

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. πŸ˜‰  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!!

North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon [Race Recap]

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the North Olympic Discovery 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!
NorthOlympicDiscovery Half thatmakesmyday
As I have mentioned before, June is a super busy race month for me. The North Olympic Discovery half marathon kicked everything off with a bang. The race takes place in Port Angeles, WA which is about a 2.5-3 hour drive from Seattle. I had a busy weekend with a baby shower and tickets to a soccer game on Saturday, so originally I thought I would drive over on Saturday night. I procrastinated on getting a hotel, and then looked into the drive times and found out that in the early morning it only takes about 2 hours to get there. So I decided to wake up (5:30am) and drive over on race morning. I was really looking forward to this race, and it did not disappoint!! 

the start line

north olympic discovery marathon
start area

This course is a point to point, so you do not start at the finish line. They had options to park at start or park and finish and get shuttled to the start line. I choose the latter. Since we arrived race morning, I did not get to attend the race expo. Bibs would be available for pick up at the corresponding start line. I arrived at the half marathon start and got my bib with zero problems. If you picked up your bib on race day, they gave you your shirt at the finish line. I loved that because then you didn’t have to find a place to stow your shirt while running! 

they even brought in a flag!
they even brought in a flag!
I ran into Emily, a fellow BibRave Pro, and we chatted it up before the half started. It was so great to meet her! Check out her recap here.
There were no corrals or waves with this race, however there were pacers so you could line up with them if you wished. 

me and the beautiful azsungoddess, aka - Emily!
me and the beautiful azsungoddess, aka – Emily!

the race 

I was very excited about this course, and it did not disappoint. You run along the North Olympic Discovery Trail (hence the name of the race) which is beautiful! Despite it being a trail and the race not having corrals, there was no congestion on the course. Because it is point to point, the organizers have worked it out perfectly so that everyone has enough room from the marathoners to the 5K runners.
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this was the most crowded it got
The trail is very scenic and beautiful to run on. It is paved, so you get the feel of a trail run with the surroundings, but not the terrain. You run past fields, over bridges and thru forests.
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You get views of the mountains and then of the water. It is so beautiful, it really lives up to it’s reputation!  
this award was well deserved
this award is well deserved
I looked at the elevation chart and knew there would be some hills, but I have to say I was not expecting them to be so intense. They are fairly steep which is good news and bad news. Good news because they are over quickly, bad news because they are so steep! 
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Sunday was also an uncharacteristically hot day in Washington. When we started the race at 8:30am, it was already in the 60s. While I was on the course it said it was 70, but it felt hotter. The temps just kept going up. Thankfully there was a lot of shade on the course and breezes along the way, but the heat made the hills more difficult and slowed my pace down.

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such a sweaty running selfie!
Thankfully they were prepared and had plenty of COLD water along the course. They even had some damp towels and people with spray bottles so you could cool off.  The aid stations were the best of any race I have run. Each had a theme and very enthusiastic volunteers. My favorites were the Star Wars stations. It made  for a lot of fun along the course and a few great photo opps. I had never seen this done at a race before & I loved it! 

guys, I found Chewy & the droids!
guys, I found Chewy & the droids!

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Despite the heat and the hills, I really enjoyed the course. There was tons of community support & spectators. The scenery was beautiful and the race organizers paid a ton of attention to details. Great aid stations, each mile was clearly marked, sidewalk chalk enragement on the pavement & plenty of port-a-potties!IMG_4834

about the cross the finish, enjoying the view!
about the cross the finish, enjoying the view! 

finish line

 Crossing the finish line was so glorious. The ocean was to my right and the smell of salt water was in the air.IMG_4862 I got my medal and had my own personal volunteer that escorted me to get water, asked if I needed medical attention and then direct me to the post race snacks. At first I thought I was in way which is why they were escorting me around, like “let’s get this girl moving” (haha) but it turns out they do it for everyone that crosses the finish line. How cool is that!? Anything you need, they will get for you. Took me a minute to figure that out while I was catching my breath haha. It was very nice, like finish line valet! 

more races need a foam rolling zone
more races need a foam rolling zone
Now onto the post race snacks…. OMG YOU GUYS – they had a full on buffet. I didn’t have enough hands for what was about to come at me!!! There was tons of cut fruit, muffins, croissants, chips and salsa, yogurt parfaits, yogurt, warm soup, NUTELLA, popsicles and tons of beverages. They had lemonade, coffee, iced tea, water bottles, vitamin water & chocolate milk. I was so thankful as I was hungry and it helped replenish after the 13 miles. IMG_4844 IMG_4845 IMG_4846
 
One last thing… 
The age group awards for this race are BEAUTIFUL. How do I know? There were awards for the top 3 in each age group for each distance. While I didn’t do horrible in my age group, I didn’t place in the top 3. However, Andy did!!! (go figure) He ran the 5K and finished 6th overall and first in his age group. I honestly don’t know how the guy does it. I super super proud of him, but can’t help but be a lil jealous. 

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most beautiful race award I’ve ever seen

Run it OR Skip it?

RUN IT! Well organized. BEAUTIFUL course. Finish line buffet. πŸ˜‰ Great swag. PNW gorgeous-ness. Just a short trip from Seattle. What else could you ask for? Definitely a must run race. IMG_4857

My First Color Run! Tropicolor 2016 [Recap]

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Color Run as part of being a BibRave Pro. I value authenticity and honesty, all opinions are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to review and write race reviews!
 

As I mentioned last week, this was my very first time running The Color Run. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was really excited about the tropical theme! The race did not disappoint, and I  can see why so many people enjoy it. It is a perfect race for the whole family to participate in. The Color Run is all about fun, and they certainly deliver!  

color run
cutest photo-bombers EVER!

Start Line

When I arrived at the race on Sunday, the start line was very easy to find. The race started from at 8am and had waves of people starting until 8:45am. There were lots of costumes, tutus and fun outfits.
color run
check out the flamingos!
Most people wear The Color Run shirt which is white with a design, and the headband that comes in our race pack. I wore my BibRave orange, so I stuck out of the crowd!
color run
it’s like where’s waldo LOL
Wearing white is a lot of fun because it is much easier to see the color pop. IMG_4337

The Race 

We started the race,  and just a few hundred meters in there was a color stop! 
IMG_4345 color run
It was my first experience with the color and it went much better than I expected. I pulled my Buff up over my mouth and nose, jogged thru and got a few beautiful splashes of pink! 
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The course was pretty flat with one small hill at the end of the race. Despite the race being sold out, the course was not overly crowded. It did slow down a bit around color stops but other than that is was great. 

color run
photo bombed again!
There were a total of 4 color stops along the race route.  It was powder color at the beginning and end of race, and the two in-between were foam color machines. The foam color really didn’t get you that colorful, but it smelled amazing! Seattle is the only city with the foam machines, so any other Color Run will have four stops of powder plus the finish line color frenzy! IMG_4353

Finish Line

The finish line was awesome; it was my favorite part of the race! I loved the last splashes of color you got as you ran thru all the rainbow arches to the finish. The ground was covered in a beautiful of colors!IMG_4355 IMG_4357IMG_4360 IMG_4363IMG_4368
They handed you a medal and a packet of color. Then it was off to party in the finishers area! Resized_Snapchat-2861690847673894662 IMG_0035 IMG_4366They had tons of photo opportunities and the DJ on stage was playing awesome music. It was a total dance party! The color throws they did with the crowd looked amazing. Some people didn’t wait for them, so there was always some color flying around. color run

Carleeh and I even managed to get up on stage and were able to throw color packets and t-shirts out into the crowd. It was a blast! 

color run
view from the stage!
 

If you’re nervous about the color (like I was)  

I recommend running with a hat and a bandana or Buff to cover your mouth and nose when you run thru the color areas. The bandana keeps you from inhaling a mouthful, and the hat makes it easier to clean up your hair when you get home. I also wore sunglasses to keep the color out of my eyes which helped as well. 
I had no problem cleaning up after the race. I washed my Buff and my clothes as soon as I got home and all the color came out just fine. FullSizeRender-1

Run it OR Skip it?

Run it! Bring a friend or run with your family, this race is much more fun with with friends! It is also kid friendly. I don’t recommend running this race for time. Enjoy it, get colorful and have fun!  Resized95CameraZOOM-20160508095058977

Flat and Beautiful: Blooms to Brews Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Blooms to Brews as part of being a BibRave Pro. I value authenticity & honesty; all options are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This year seems to be the year of half marathons for me, and I am NOT complaining. I am getting more comfortable with the 13.1 mile distance and my training right now is maintaining conditioning and fitness to run 13.1 miles. Because of this I have been able to run so many races this year so far and I am loving it! In previous years, Spring races were never an option for me because I wasn’t trained enough yet by this time of year. There are so many great Spring races worth running, and Blooms to Brews is one of them. IMG_3676

Continue reading Flat and Beautiful: Blooms to Brews Half Marathon Recap