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Posts tagged ‘race medals’

Running for Food

I recently participated in the John Hancock – Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend in San Diego.  This year, the event occurred in Fairfax, VA; Austin, Tx; Tampa, FL; and here in San Diego.  It’s a full weekend filled with fitness demos, cocktails, parties, and a 10k/5k with celebrity appearances.  The Fit Foodie Race also proudly supports the American Diabetes Association.  The event ranges in price from $55-$160 depending on how involved you want to be with the weekend; however, there are usually Groupon deals with significant discounts.  I actually participated in the 10k for free!  But more on that later!  Let’s move on to the review…

Packet pick-up was at Road Runner Sports the day before the race and I got in and out pretty quick.  I received my bib and t-shirt, but they were also selling some cuter t-shirts and tanks.  Then, the best part happened!  We got to meet not one, but two race legends – Bill Rodgers and Meb Keflezighi!  Bill was super friendly and chatted about his time running through the streets of Boston.  Meb was also quite gracious and his daughters were even sprinting behind him on the treadmills!

The race was held downtown and the course ran through the Embarcadero and Seaport Village.  It started around 7am, but I got there a little late and ended up parking almost a mile away.  Oops.  I was a little confused on exactly where the start line was, but that was just the beginning of my confusion.  But it was actually a very beautiful day and even got pretty hot later in the morning.  I also ran with a fellow Stroller Warrior and friend as well as my 4-year-old – whom my friend helped push along the way.

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Now, let’s talk about the course- The 5k course just did one loop around Embarcadero and was pretty simple.  The 10k course, on the other hand, was a bit of a cluster.  First, there were a couple of splits during the course where the 5k runners went in one direction and the 10k runners went in another.  Then, at one point, the course took you down a not so glamorous part of San Diego – filled with graffiti-covered industrial buildings and glass in the streets.  I also had the pleasure of running by a homeless gentlemen who was yelling out obscenities and threats to us.  I am not normally bothered by the homeless, however, for a moment it slightly took away from my fun race experience…especially since I had my daughter with me.  Anywho, I digress.  My biggest complaint about the course was that after a while it just became a bunch of confusing and never-ending loops.  I even encountered a woman who had run an extra 3 miles because she got misdirected on the course.  However, I will say that the course was filled with a good amount of friendly volunteers who were directing the runners as well as passing out water and keeping the energy flowing.  I just didn’t like having to ask, “Is this the right way?” at every turn.

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Then came the post-race fun and food!  We were greeted at the finish line with a tote bag of goodies and medals! There were a lot of live demos, raffles, contests, samples, and the chance to test drive a Lexus.  Now, since we started the race a little later than everyone and got confused along the course, this meant that we ended later than most people and ended way later than the 5k runners. Many of the sample areas had pretty long lines by the time I arrived and I didn’t have the patience to wait at all of them.  Also, some tables had run out of things which was a little disappointing.  Then there was the big “food area” that was really hyped up leading into the event.  But I was a little let down to discover that this was nothing more than a tiny plate with two tiny food samples on them. 😦

The DJ was good at holding everyone’s attention and kept the party atmosphere flowing.  I was also thankful that I got my pics and autographs from Bill and Meb the day before since the lines to meet them after the race were pretty long.

So what was the SWAG?!

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I will say, there was actually quite a bit of swag and I like the phrase on the back of the shirt.  If I had more patience, I would have waited for more swag but I felt that I received a good amount! My two favorites from this haul are the Country Archer Beef Jerky and the Jambu full-size notebook with pen.  There was also a beer garden, but I didn’t check it out because I had a little one in tow.  I also loved the medal, especially the pink ribbon! (The 5kers received a medal with a blue ribbon).

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Overall, I enjoyed the event – although I don’t think I would pay the full price for this one, at least not for the 10k.  Next time I would do the 5k to avoid the confusing course and so I could get to the post-race party quicker to score more samples and swag.  I’m not sure what the Friday and Sunday festivities were like, but I guess I was expecting a little more food on race day since “Food” is what the event is supposed to be all about.  I also recommend running it with a friend so they can join in on the party fun.

There were also free race photos!  Bonus SWAG!

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So how did I run this race for FREE??  Well the Fit Food Race Series offers ambassador  positions for each of their locations.  The ambassadors offer giveaways on their blogs for free race entries.  I found one of the ambassadors on Instagram and ended up winning a free race entry!  You can find her blog at Runs and Roses.

Have you run the Fit Foodie 5k/10k?  What did you think?

See you at the next event!

~SM

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Aloha, beaches!

Last month I ran The Aloha Run in San Diego on a beautiful day near Mission Bay!  This event has a 5k or 10k option and I ran the 5k with my mini-runner in the Bob Stroller.  The pricing for this run ranged from $30-$55 depending on your registration date with an option to add a timing chip for $2. I actually was able to run this for FREE and I’ll tell you how a little later on.  So onto the race breakdown!

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Expo/ Packet pick-up: There was a packet pick-up option the day before the race at Road Runner Sports.  I was unable to make it in time so I snagged my stuff the morning of the race. This is one of the perks of pushing a stroller during a race – you always have a place to stash all of your race goodies.

Parking: Free parking was available close to the race start line if you arrived early enough.  I, of course, arrived last minute so I had to park about a half mile away in a big dirt lot.

Race location: The event was held at Tecolote Shores Park in Mission Bay near Sea World.  Many races are held in this area due to its flat, paved course (although some spots can be a bit narrow when trying to push a stroller). It’s also a very scenic area along the water and the weather was great in the morning, but it got pretty warm later on.  Luckily, the race began at 7:30am so I was able to enjoy some of the cool breeze before the heat set in.

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Race Course/Organization: Again, the course was flat and paved…however it was quite a crowded race.  And since it is considered a fun run, many people were walking and hogging up the whole sidewalk.  The 10k started 15 minutes prior to the 5k and we were separated into waves about five minutes apart.  I started a little towards the back since I had my stroller and wasn’t planning on trying to PR.  This was a big mistake because I got stuck behind tons of walkers…so if you plan to run this race in the future, and I mean actually RUN, then I suggest starting at the front.  But the course was unique in that there were various areas of Hawaiian entertainment along the way.  How fun!

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Finish Line/Post-Race party: We were greeted at the finish line with a beautiful medal (my mini even got one!) and some water that tasted not so great.  There were lots of vendors and there was finally a good DJ!  He stayed near the band and gave out prizes to the dancing audience.  He also was the one getting us hype during the wait time in our waves at the start of the race.  People were also walking around handing out leis to everyone, but I think it would have been more dope if they had given them out along with the medals at the finish line.

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And two of my fave vendors were at the race: Hubert’s Lemonade and Arctic Zero!

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My mini also approved of these flavors!  Check them out!

Overall impressions of the event: I loved the location, especially since it was right next to a playground so my daughter could let out some energy after being in the stroller for a while.  The scenery was also beautiful and fit perfectly with the Hawaiian theme.  The only downfall was that it was crowded, so I would start towards the front next time.  Overall, I had fun and really felt positive vibes throughout the event! I liked the different elements of Hawaii that were incorporated throughout the race and the volunteers were all very friendly and helpful.  I also ran this with a couple of other Stroller Warriors which made the post-race experience even more fun!

How did run for FREE?!  The Aloha Run held a contest on their Facebook page about a month before the race.  The challenge was to write a short poem about running and the post with the most likes would win a 5k entry (not including the $2 price of the timing chip).  Only about four of us entered and I shared on my personal FB page asking people to help out by liking my entry.  And my friends totally rock cause I won! So a big Mahalo to all of you that helped me score a free race entry! Many races run these types of contests on their Facebook pages so keep a lookout and you could win, too!

So what was the SWAG?!

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-A beautiful medal with leis

-A unisex cotton shirt, which ended up being too big

Kashi granola bar

Jenny Craig granola bar

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar – this was delicious!

Kashi Go Lean Clusters bowl

Bio Freeze gel sample

Gaslamp Popcorn Co. All Natural Kettle Corn

Wanu Vitamin Water

Coola Sport Sunscreen – this has really great reviews!

-Bunch of coupons and flyers

-Free race photos

-Beautiful scenery

And the hula skirt moves! 🙂

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What do you think?  Did you participate in The Aloha Run and score some great swag?!  Or maybe you ran the Long Beach Aloha Run and had a different experience?  I’d love to hear!

See you at the next event! Aloha!

~SM

 

 

 

 

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