Tag Archives: race review

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!  

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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.
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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!
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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! 
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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. 

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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! 

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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

All Day 20K, All Day Fun: Carlsbad 5000 Recap Part 2

I had a fun weekend of running planned at the Carlsbad 5000 in Southern California. On Saturday, I ran the 1-mile race, and then I was back on Sunday to run the All Day 20K which is about 12.5 miles. 

What is an all day 20K? It is an event unique to the Carlsbad 5000. Basically, you run the 5K (Carlsbad 5000), 4 times. The 5K is split into age groups, Males 40 & Up, Females 40 & Up, 30-39, and 29 & Under. If you are participating in the All Day 20K, you run with every age group. 

I picked up my bib and shirt on Saturday, so Sunday I just had to get there, check my gear bag and run. Parking on Sunday was not as easy as Saturday. There were many more people participating in the 5K, so parking was scarce. Had to park much farther away & barely made it to the Rock N Blog meet up before the first 5K.IMG_3519

It was so great to meet some of my fellow Rock N Bloggers in real life! DianeSmitha, Debbie (who I had met briefly at Blogfest), & Kristin. 

It was off to the first start line! I was trying to run the first 5K slow. I wanted to run negative splits, meaning I wanted to run each 5K progressively faster. I figured that having a break every 3.11 miles would make me less tired. 

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at the first start line of the day!

Wrong. The break every 3.11 miles actually made me feel more fatigued as the day went on. It was nice though because you could get fluids, use the bathroom and grab a snack every 3 miles, so I was well hydrated and fueled! 

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course view – as you can see the sun was just coming up

Crossing the first finish line, I grabbed a water and a snack and headed back to the all day 20K tent. Thankfully we had our own area that had port-a-potties just for us, snacks & water (incase you didn’t grab any at the finish line), tables, chairs and our own gear check. 

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all day 20K lounge

I loved that we had our own gear check because you could access your items in between each race. I kept taking off layers in between races. The port-a-potties were also nice because it kept you from having to be in huge lines. 

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ready for race #2!

Between races, I had anywhere from 5-30 minutes. It all depended on how quickly you ran the 5K. For me, the quickest turn around between 5K #2 and #3. I only had about 5 minutes between those two races. I literally went from finish line back to the start with no time in-between.  

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finish line #2

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About a mile into the 3rd race, I saw a gal ahead of me in a really cute outfit. I thought, “she has a pink hat like Jenny!” Then I realized, it was Jenny!! I was so excited. I sped up to say hello and take a runfie! 

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I spotted Jenny and her cute outfit!

Jenny (aka @runnylegs) is a fellow BibRave Pro and an Insta-friend. I love her outfits, she has the sweetest husband (more on that later) and her runs and posts really inspire me. It was so great to finally meet her!IMG_352212439184_10209587502994213_1278341234095093026_n

As I was going thru race pictures, I realized I ran right by fellow Rock N Blogger, Carlee! She was in front of my on the course and I didn’t even realize it.

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how did I miss that sparkle skirt?! 

I felt great all day. It was warm but not unbearably hot. The last 5K was the hardest of them all; the finish line felt so close yet so far. The last 2 miles were mentally hard. My legs were tired, I was getting hot, and I wanted to finish that last 5K fast. I wasn’t running as fast as I had hoped, but I stayed strong thru the finish. When I crossed the  finish line for the last time, it felt so good! IMG_3549

I checked my stats, and I achieved my goal of running each 5K faster than the previous one. While I didn’t finish in the top 250 of my age group like I had hoped, I still had a great race + lots of fun. The fun factor is what really matters. Carlsbad was beautiful, I got to meet a lot of running & blogging friends, and the swag was awesome. IMG_3536

I loved the course. We ran through downtown Carlsbad, right by the iconic ‘Carlsbad’ sign, along the beach for at least half the course, and had a downhill finish. The views were great. I was concerned about getting bored running the same course 4 times, but it was so beautiful I was glad I got to see it 4 times because you could really take it in.

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views from the course

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Crossing 4 finish lines in one day was such a crazy and cool experience. You got the race day adrenaline four different times instead of just once. There is no other way that I know of to be able to run that many races in one day! We got a 5K medal, and we also got a HUGE All Day 20K medal. Not only is it huge, but the detail is amazing. It has real sand!
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At certain races, Rock N Roll will bring out elite runners. This race is one of them, and the elite runners get their own heats which take place after all the ‘regular’ runners are done racing. The women race first followed by the men. I grabbed a coffee and met up with Jenny and Sean to watch the elites run. Getting to spend time with this adorable running couple was so great. You know those ‘best friends’ you have on social media, but they don’t know they are your best friend… that is how I felt. Only thing that would have made it better was if Andy was there. Jenny & Sean (@ultrarunnerSD) are both awesome and inspiring people! So glad I got to connect with them in person. Made me wish I lived in San Diego so I could run with them more. 12963852_10209587503034214_40629760095393671_n

Watching the elites race was so cool. They are so fast!! The Carlsbad 5000 course is referred to as ‘The World’s Fastest 5K’ because it is where the world record for a 5K road race has been set multiple times. 

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elite women lined up at start

Jess O’Connell, a fellow Ultima ambassador, was racing in the elite race. It was SO cool to watch her do her thing and cheer her on!IMG_3567

I even got to meet up with her after the race. I was totally fan-girling when I met her. I can’t wait to watch her at the Canadian Olympic trials this summer. IMG_3571

I had an awesome weekend out at the Carlsbad 5000. It’s a great race, in a great location and totally worth running. I highly recommend the 5K or the All Day 20K if you are looking for a unique experience or more miles. 

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pint glass is what you got if you ran both Saturday and Sunday

I can’t wait till my next Rock N Roll tour stop: SEATTLE! Join me! There is an 8K, half marathon and full marathon. Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT for $15 registration (any Rock N Roll race).rock n blog red

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! 
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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. 

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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!!