Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Posts tagged ‘10k’

3 Reasons Why You Should Run the Honolulu Marathon!

I’ve read before that something like less than one percent of the population has actually completed a marathon. You can Google it if you’re a stats person.  Less than one percent though.  Let that sink in for a second.  So either those people are pretty admirable or pretty crazy, it really depends on how you look at it.  I am not part of that group…yet.  I think one day I’d like to run a marathon, but then I flashback to pulling myself over the finish line of a few half marathons and second guess myself.  But, after learning about the Honolulu Marathon I’ve decided that I may need to add this to my bucket list of races!  And here are a few reasons why:

Scenery!  I think this is a pretty obvious one given that it’s Hawaii and all.  The course goes through downtown Honolulu, through Waikiki, and up and around Diamond Head. Also it’s in December, so the weather will be perfect!

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photo courtesy of honolulumarathon.org

Swag!  Swag for this event includes: commemorative shirt, finisher medal, post race festival, malasadas (yum!!), and breathtaking scenery!

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photo courtesy of honolulumarathon.org

And the number 1 reason you will want to run this marathon??  No qualifying times! No entry limits!  Walkers welcome!  That’s right!  This race is for EVERYONE over the age of 7!  First timers, marathon vets, everyone!  Now you might be thinking, “Wow, this race must be super crowded since they accept basically everyone.”  Well, it is.  I asked a two-time finisher of this event and she confirmed that yes, it is crowded.  However, she also added that it’s VERY organized and well worth the experience.  She also added that the malasadas were pretty amazing. 🙂

Have you booked your flight yet?  😉  Well here are some key event details:

Date: December 10th, 2017

Location: Ala Moana Boulevard/Queen St., Honolulu, Hawaii

Start time: 5am – that’s not a typo…but no course limits, remember?

Price: $185-$265 (Military and dependents – $85)

Bonus: Use code “BIBRAVEHNL” to save 20%

Not ready for a marathon just yet?  There is also a 10k and fun run option.

So if you are looking for a RaceCation or a Christmas present to yourself, the Honolulu Marathon is where it’s at!

Didn’t qualify for Boston this year?  Cheer up!  You will qualify for Honolulu! 😉

Hopefully, I will make it to this event one day.  But until then, I’ll just dream about it…sigh…

Have you run the Honolulu Marathon before?  I’d love to hear about your experience!

I’m off to review the next event!

Aloha!

~SM

“Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Honolulu 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!”

 

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Running for Autism Awareness

Last month, I ran the ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k for the third year in a row and it did not disappoint!  I really love this event for a few reasons: 1.  It supports military families and autism awareness.  2.  It’s family friendly and offers fun activities for all ages.  3.  The course is fast and flat which makes it much easier to push a stroller – and Bonus: There’s even a Stroller Division!  So here’s my race breakdown:

Pricing: The pricing ranges from $20-$45 depending on your distance and how early you register.  But they do offer a few promo codes throughout the year so be on the lookout!  I paid around $30 for the 10k, which is a fantastic deal!

Expo: There are two options for packet pick-up: Pick up at Woodstock Pizza in Pacific Beach the evening before OR pick up the morning of the race.  I had a friend pick-up my bib at Woodstock, but picking up the morning of the race is really quick and easy too.

Parking: Free parking is available all around the event location.  The later you arrive, the further you will have to park.  I parked about .5 mile away in the dirt “Sun Runners Lot” and it allowed me to warm up on the way to the start line.

Race Course: The course runs around Fiesta Island in Mission Bay so it’s a pretty flat and scenic route.  The weather was nice this year so it made for an enjoyable run.  The 10k starts a half hour before the 5k so that everyone is funneled into the finish line area around the same time.  I like that it’s staggered that way and the course was not crowded at all.

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Course Support: There were a few water station, energetic volunteers and police officers directing traffic and cheering us on.  If you notice in the above pictures, there was one thing missing: Spectators!  There were spectators cheering us on around the Finish Line area, but none on the course.  It wasn’t a huge deal, since the course was peaceful…but it would have been nice to have that extra energy at times.

Post-race: After you cross the finish line, you are given a medal and a volunteer will remove your timing chip from your shoe.  Then you are free to grab water and fruit.  This event has a lot of vendors and they were all generous with their products and free samples.  There were also some areas for the kids to do crafts or jump in a bounce house.  And since it is an event that benefits children with autism – there was also a quiet zone to accommodate children with sensory sensitivities.   And like I said in the beginning, there are activities for all ages…meaning: There was also a beer garden!  I didn’t get a chance to sample any adult beverages because I had my daughter with me, but it was a packed area so I’m sure it was tasty!

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There were also a few contests that included: highest fundraiser, largest team, and best costume.  Winners received gift cards and free wine from One Hope Wine.

And some free hugs!

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Since this year’s event was held during Easter weekend, there was also an Easter Egg hunt and appearance from the Easter Bunny!

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So what was the SWAG?!

I love the color of this year’s t-shirt and the beach ball is still going strong in my house.  Not pictured: lots of other drinks and snacks that got consumed before the photo. 🙂 And I always count scenery as swag!  Plus the Easter Eggs that were filled with stickers and coupons. Also, Naked Juice is pretty delicious!

And of course, the medal!

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I also ran with my running group, Stroller Warriors and because we had such a large group they provided us with a tent, table, and extra snacks!  Score! It was nice to have a meeting spot for everyone before and after the race.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this race and would totally do it again next year!  So grab your family and friends and get prepared to register for next year’s event!  Start your own team or begin a fundraiser and you could even win a prize!

See you at the next event! 😉

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~SM

ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k

Last weekend, I participated in the ACT (Autism Care & Treatment) Today! for Military Families 5k/10k in Fiesta Island (Mission Bay).  I did the 5k last year and I really like the cause that this event supports, so this race was a must-do this year!  This time was a little different, I completed the 10k (my first!) and I joined a team (Stroller Warriors) – which made me both excited and nervous. This race also puts out various promo codes leading up to the race, so I paid around $29, which is a pretty good deal for a 10k. I knew completing my first 10k would be much more enjoyable in the company of supportive women that I run with all the time…but I also didn’t train as much as I wanted – so the lingering thought of running 6.2 miles with a stroller was a bit overwhelming.

There were two options for packet pick-up – the evening before the race at  Woodstock Pizza in Pacific Beach or the morning of the race – I opted for the morning of.  The race started at 7:30am so I was up pretty early since I was bringing my 3-year old along for this ride.  We left on time (and by on time, I mean 10 minutes late – which is about normal for me) and found a parking spot a little less than half a mile from the start line.  Since I did this race before,  I remembered that the later you arrive, the further away you will have to park since it’s mostly street parking.  I really didn’t mind the warm-up though and it helped me get mentally prepared for the day.  However, what I did NOT prepare for was the rain!  This is Southern California people – it’s not supposed to rain – like, ever.  But lo and behold, here we are, on a cold (60-65 degrees) and rainy/drizzly early morning.  Luckily I brought an extra blanket for my DD (that’s darling daughter in case you aren’t down with mom lingo) and she was so sleepy that she didn’t even really notice the weather conditions.  Everything in me wanted to turn around and go home, but I knew that a group of Stroller Warriors would be waiting and ready to go, so I pushed forward and made it to the registration table to pick-up my bib number, chip-timer, and t-shirt.  Side note: I was pretty impressed with the t-shirts this year, they were a dark blue color compared to the grey color they were last year.

Then,  I headed over to meet up with the other Stroller Warriors.  Because we had around 35 members on our team, we received two tents with tables, chairs and snacks.  This was really nice because it gave us a place to all meet up before and after the race (since some of us were running the 5k and some the 10k).  The location of our tents was also close to the bounce house area, which was extra convenient so we could all watch the kiddos.  So moving on to the race!  Here we go!

I wish I had some really amazingly, beautiful pics for this race – but it was gloomy and drizzly the whole time so I didn’t have a lot to work with.  The 10k started 30 minutes before the 5k and I started near the back of the race since I knew I might be a little slower with my lack of training and stroller-pushing.  Another thing I really like about this race is that there is a separate stroller division when it comes to results, so that us stroller-pushers have a fighting chance at receiving an award.  Course support consisted of a few friendly volunteers cheering along the way and about three water stations; however, no course photographers.

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It was a pretty flat course the whole way, which is awesome for someone completing their first 10K and we were met at the finish with medals and water.  The DJ announced the runner’s name as they crossed the finish line – he got my name wrong, but whatevs…he tried.  See previous blog posts for my feelings on race DJ’s (hint: I kinda feel bad for them.).  I’ll also add that the race wasn’t overly crowded, which made passing and pulling over much easier. After the race, there was a big celebration catering to both kids and adults.  There were a ton of vendors, probably the most I’ve seen at any race – plus there were a lot of activities for the kids (I mentioned the bounce house earlier), a beer and wine garden, and a live band. And since this is an event benefitting autistic children, there was a quiet zone set up for children who may be sensitive to all of the noise and crowds which I thought was fantastic!

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I didn’t checkout the beer/wine garden cause I was freezing and would have preferred coffee, but I heard mixed reviews on the alcohol selection so I assume it was just all a personal preference.  The race directors and volunteers were all amazing and super helpful.  At one point, I lost my medal 😦 but I told one of the volunteers and they gladly gave me a new one with no questions asked.  Overall, despite the cold and rain, it was really a great morning and I would definitely do this race again!  There are so many things to love about this race: The course, the price, the time of year (it’s not too hot yet), the course support, the sponsors, the vendors, free event photos, the children’s activities, the food, the music, the beverages, the medal, the swag (we will get to that in a moment), my amazing Stroller Warriors team, and above all else- the cause.  I think Autism awareness is really important, but being a military spouse myself I also like events that support military families- so this was all around a really great event!

So what was the SWAG?!

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I already mentioned that I liked the shirt much better this year, but I also think the medal was better as well.  As for the swag, there is too much to list!  But they were giving away bubbles like crazy!  And not pictured, they gave out a lot of fruit, bagels, bottles of Gatorade and bottles of water.  All of the vendors were very generous and friendly.  They all engaged in friendly conversation and I could tell that they really loved kids.  They also were kind enough to give away tons of swag and coupons.  I cannot say enough great things about this event and I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a fun and family friendly run!  Thanks again to ACT Today for Military Families and One Hope Wine!

Also, shoutout to my awesome friend for snagging this awesome pic of me crossing my first 10k finish line!

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See you at the next event!

~SM

The Mardi Gras Run!

Last weekend I participated in the Mardi Gras run (a Wiz Event) and it was definitely a fun, but smaller event.  This race had 4 options: 15k, 10k, 5k run, and 5k walk – I chose the 5k run.  The 5k was $40 and I used a $5 off discount code which brought the total with tax back to about $40.  I don’t normally spend this amount on a race, but I love Mardi Gras (I’m from Southern Mississippi) aaannnd the medal is pretty dope.  Wait til you see 😉

The race was advertised as a “big celebration with jazz music and more great tunes”.  I would say it was more of a mediocre get together with a retired DJ.  You tried your best Mr. DJ, I give you a gold star. 🙂  The event was held at Hospitality Point in the Mission Bay area.  Parking was free and it was fairly easy to find a decent spot.  The venue was a bit smaller than expected, but the course was scenic and easy to follow.  Much to my surprise, however, there were only three Porta Potties along with one women’s bathroom and one men’s bathroom.  I really anticipated more bathrooms given this was expected to be such a huge celebration.

 

The course had nice support from the volunteers and water along with beads and leis were offered at the halfway mark.  The DJ kept up the energy as each finisher crossed and we were met with medals and water as well as bagels, peanut butter, and bananas.

There were a few vendors, but again I expected a bit more…and there was a photo booth along with a food truck offering authentic New Orleans cuisine. Some participants dressed up in festive costumes so I really enjoyed the vibe of this race, but was definitely expecting a bigger celebration.  I felt that there could have been a bit more energy (this is supposed to be Mardi Gras after all) and maybe even some activity stations for the kids.  I didn’t order anything from the food truck because I wasn’t really craving fried food at 9am after running 3 miles and food was not included in the registration price.

I did try a sample of the Arctic Zero frozen dessert.  I tried the salted caramel flavor and was surprised at how tasty it was since it was…are you ready…lactose free, gluten free, GMO free, fat free, and Kosher.  Basically it was made from swan saliva and unicorn blood, but it wasn’t bad.

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Also, let me just say…the organizers of this race clearly have never been to an actual Mardi Gras celebration as there was not one drop of alcohol in sight! Overall, I would say it was a well-organized race with a decent attempt at recreating a Mardi Gras party, but sadly it fell short in the celebration area.  I do feel that it could be improved and I hope to see a much bigger celebration in future years.

So what was the SWAG?

Your eyes are not deceiving you…That is a light up jester hat!

Shirts were offered for an extra $10 so I passed on that one.

A string of beads and a lei.

Free professional pictures.

Beautiful scenery cause I always count that as swag.

And a rad medal.  15k participants received the same medal, but with a fancier ribbon.

I would mostly likely do this race again because I’m a sucker for unique medals…but maybe they will at least have Daiquiris at the next one.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

~SM

Super (Bowl) Run 5k/10k

Over the weekend I participated in the Super Run 5k/10k.  Just a side note: there is also another Super Run that is being held next month, but that is a Super (hero) run…this one was called the Super Run (a Kathy Loper event) because it was held on Super Bowl weekend.

The race started at 7:30 am for 10ker’s and 7:35am for 5ker’s, which was nice because it wasn’t hot yet.  It was held near Mission Bay so it also included some nice views!

I signed up for this race through Groupon for $25, but used the “Buy with Friends” option and received a $9 refund…so not bad for a race!  I also ran the 5k option since I’m not quite up to running 6 miles just yet.  And I ran this race with my two lovely children in the double BOB stroller, which made this race extra fun.  (<—that was sarcasm in case you didn’t catch it.)  But I did run this with some of the awesome moms from my running group (Stroller Warriors) and that really did make the experience feel more like a party!

This was kind of a small race (around 700 participants) and apparently more people chose to run the 10k over the 5k.  There was minimal course support – no water stations and just a few people directing runners to the right path – but the volunteers were friendly and encouraging.  The race celebration at the end was also underwhelming with just a table off to the side with water, orange slices, and Larabar samples along with a few vendor tables.

Even though I had to push the munchkins through the race, I did receive some unexpected encouragement from other participants and one nice lady even gave me a high-five!  Woo-hoo!  It reminded of why I love to be around other runners, especially on race days. 🙂 Overall, it was pretty good experience.  I think it was a good race for the Groupon price…not sure I would have paid any more than that.  And running with some bad mother runners made it a really fun morning. 🙂

So, what was the SWAG?

~ A pretty legit medal (surprising for a small race) – And they gave medals to the kids in the strollers too, which was unexpected and made all of the littles happy!  Note: 5kr’s and 10kr’s did receive the same medal.

~A pretty legit long-sleeved tech shirt (also surprising for a small race) – It even had the Super Bowl teams printed on the back!

*Pictures were not free at this race.  The lowest resolution price per pic was $7.99.

Oh, and did I mention that it was a beautiful day? 🙂

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~SM

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