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Posts tagged ‘so cal’

5 Ways the Rock-n-Roll Marathon Series Rocks!!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Rock-n-Roll Half 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!”
Alright, Alright, Alright…the San Diego Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon is only one month and I. am. STOKED! 🙂  In case you aren’t familiar with this event, it’s basically a weekend party with some running thrown in.  It travels to cities all over the world to ensure that everyone can participate in this epic event. You can also choose from running three different distances: the 5k, Half Marathon, and/or Full Marathon.  I love that they offer all three distances because it brings runners of all levels together.  So WHY am I so excited to run the San Diego Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon?  Well, here are 5 reasons why this event is sure to ROCK!
      5. Run for Charity! – If you like running and fundraising, then the Rock-n-Roll series is for you!  Help raise funds, increase awareness, and maybe score a free race entry by running for a charity.  This year’s featured charity is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, but you can check out all of the guaranteed charity listings here.  And while we’re talking about raising awareness, Rock-n-Roll San Diego will also feature a “Wear Blue Mile” on its course. Wear Blue: Run to Remember is an organization that honors fallen service members.  They accomplish this by displaying tribute photos and American flags throughout a particular section of a race course.  It’s an inspirational gesture that I respectfully look forward to experiencing.
     4. The Unique Course Experience! – The Rock-n-Roll running series is unlike any other running event because there is live entertainment all throughout the course!  Then it will end with a big party with MORE live music from some pretty dope bands.  And what makes this experience even more exciting, is that the course will run through the heart of San Diego!  You get to start off in beautiful Balboa Park, run past some sweet landmarks, and end in historic downtown.  Check out this adorable map to get a better idea!
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image courtesy of runrocknroll.com

And just in case you don’t believe me when I say that Balboa Park is beautiful. 😉

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     3.  An Epic Expo! – The expo is a 2-day event happening at the San Diego Convention Center.  There will be TONS of vendors, TONS of photo opps, great scenery, SWAG, and maybe even some running celeb sightings.   So grab your friends, head down to pick up your race gear, snap some pics, then hang out in downtown for some dinner and drinks! – But not too many drinks because you still have to run the next day. 😉  And you may even run into this guy –
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Me w/Meb Keflezighi

2.  Run for the Bling! – I seriously have never seen any other race series offer so many medals!  Basically, if you run more than two races you will get an extra medal.  For instance, I am planning to run the 5k on Saturday and the Half on Sunday – which means that I will also receive a Remix medal!

 

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Let’s say you wanted to run the half in San Diego and then roll on over to Virginia Beach – you would receive a Beach to Beach medal!

 

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I think you get the picture, but to see all of the possible combos check out the extra bling here.

And here are the individual San Diego Medals! 🙂  AND except for the 5k medal, they SPIN!

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  1. SWAG! – Okay, I’m sure you knew this was coming.  But besides all of the rad medals, there is some swag to be scored at this event.  In addition to the above mentioned, you will also receive a t-shirt, gear bag, refreshments, free admission to the finish line concert, free beer, and more!  There are also some sweet VIP options!  And there’s an app!  Pretty fancy, huh?  Stay connected and get the latest info by downloading the Rock-n-Roll app!

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And just to add a little icing to the cake, this year the Rock-n-Roll Series will be celebrating 20 years in San Diego!!! This is where it all began, y’all! So grab your running friends and make Rock-n-Roll San Diego your next Racecation!  I know it won’t disappoint!

Check out this fun article to make the most of your weekend stay! —-> http://www.runrocknroll.com/tempo/destination/rock-run-san-diego-48-hours/

 

Ready to join the fun???  Register here!  Use code “BIBRAVE15” to save $15 on the full or half marathon!  Hurry, this code expires on 5/28!

I’ll see you June 3rd and 4th!!

And stay tuned, I’ll be posting a blog soon on how my training is going!  😉

~SM

 

 

 

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Feeling Good in Carlsbad

One week ago,  I ran the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon & Half Marathon!  I was really excited to run this half marathon since it takes place in beautiful Carlsbad, CA…plus it was my first official race running as a Bibrave Pro!

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So, let’s break it down!

Expo: The Expo was held in the same location as the actual race, which was new to me.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen this done before, but it was nice to get a feel as to where the event would be taking place.  The Expo was in the parking lot of a shopping mall- about 2,000 sq ft. all underneath huge tents.  Parking was a bit crammed since everyone was at the mall shopping on a Saturday, but there were plenty of parking attendants directing everyone.  The Expo was busy, but easy to maneuver…and I was able to pick up my bib number, bag, shirt, and jacket pretty quickly.  There was also a DJ playing some pretty energetic music.  My two-year-old loved the music and kept saying, “Dance, dance”. 😉

Race Day Parking: This race had the easiest parking ever!  We were able to park at the shopping mall for free – so tons of spaces!.  The mall is also right off the freeway so it was pretty simple to get in and out. Also, the parking attendants were on point.  They were organized and communicated well so we were able to park super close to the start/finish line!  This race definitely gets bonus points for parking alone!

Pre-race: Gear check was in the same place where I had picked up my bib the day before so that was a cinch.  Of course me and the other million runners had to use the restroom all at once and their bathroom system was a little off.  They put all the Porta Potties (or Porta Johns for some of you) 😉 in a big square and then everyone stood in the middle and just picked one.  So the lines really had no order and it got super congested and even more confusing.

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(After it finally cleared…)

The runners were released in waves and I was in Wave 6.  I was pleased to discover at how quickly the waves went!  I only waited about 20 minutes or so before I crossed the start line!

I had plenty of time to get adjusted (physically and mentally) and of course take selfies with @thehungryrunner_!

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Race Course: The marathon began at 6:15 a.m. and the half started at 7:45 a.m. This meant that we all shared the same race course for about 8 of those miles.  Another thing that I love about this race is that it’s walker and stroller friendly!  I saw a few families out there pushing little people and they were total rock stars!  The weather was cool with an overcast so I switched between being hot and sweaty to getting chills throughout the race.  The course was an out-and-back and went through the quaint town of Carlsbad and along Hwy 101.  It was all pretty flat, with a few small, rolling hills.  There were also some slanted areas of the road so you kind of had to watch your footing in those sections.

The views were really unbeatable and running along the water was so peaceful!  And just like a true California morning, you could see all the surfers out catching waves in the cold ocean.

Race/Crowd Support: So after analyzing the race course before race day, I decided not to bring any water along with me. (Although I did bring my trusty SpiBelt!)   That’s because there were hydration stations at either every other mile or in some areas, every mile!  I’ve really never seen a course with so many water/electrolyte stops!  Also, the crowd was amazing!  There were volunteers and spectators cheering us on for the entire 13.1 miles!  I’ve never felt love like that in any other race!  The people of Carlsbad really displayed kindness and generosity this day!  So many people holding signs, giving high-fives, shouting out words of encouragement, and giving out their own food/water for us!

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I have to give a special shout-out to my Stroller Warrior sole-sisters who came out on the course just to cheer and encourage us!  Really so much love at this race!  I also have to give a shout-out to the lovely gentleman passing out tequila shots around mile 2.  It was just what I needed to warm up and get going!

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And then there was a special little guy around the 10th mile…he was just who I needed to see to push to the end! 😉

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And since I didn’t bring any of my own hydration, I appreciated all of the Ultima stops along the way!  It really revived me a few times and I couldn’t have completed the run without it!  It tasted amazing without a weird aftertaste and didn’t cause any stomach issues. They also had Vaseline at most of the stations which I found very thoughtful! And the bathroom situation was pretty fantastic…Porta Potties (Johns) all along the way! No awkward moments here!

Finish Line: The DJ announced our names as we crossed the finish line so we felt extra special. 🙂 and we were given our medals, some water, and chocolate milk.  They didn’t  like us hanging out around the finish line since it was chaotic in the area and directed us off to the post-race area.  We were then given mylar blankets and “Nom-Nom” bags.  The nom-nom bags (that’s what they were officially called) had a banana, chips, and a couple of energy/granola bars in a paper sack.  Also, select nom-nom bags contained Golden Tickets which meant you won a bunch of extra prizes.  I, nor anyone in my party, had the Golden Ticket. 😦  And, to be honest, I feel if something is going to be called a “nom-nom bag”, there should be a lot more “nom-noms” in there.  I was grateful for the food and all…I just thought the fancy name gave me different expectations.

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Post-Race: Compared to other races, there really wasn’t a whole lot going on at the post-race party. There were only a few vendors giving out samples and there wasn’t a DJ or any raffle events going on.  I retrieved my gear pretty quickly and headed to the beer garden!  The beer garden was even pretty quiet.  No long lines and no crowds!

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And I was able to score a pretty delicious shrimp taco for about $4.  The beer and taco were just what I needed after this run!  Thank you, Ballast Point and Taco Picasso for the amazing nourishment! 🙂

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There was also a Go Cryo San Diego mobile truck offering cryo treatments, but I wasn’t in the mood to get undressed in the middle of a parking lot.  I also wasn’t in the mood to drop $30 for 3 minutes of recovery.  If you’re not familiar with cryo therapy, basically you dip yourself in a bowl of dry ice to minimize muscle soreness.  Maybe I’ll get there one day…maybe…

There was also a spot for photo ops since this race is part of the Triple Crown Race Series!  What is the Triple Crown?  Well, if you run the Carlsbad Half in January, the La Jolla Half in April, and America’s Finest City in August…you get an extra dope medal!  I think having races as part of a series is a great way to get people motivated because who doesn’t love extra bling?!

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So..the moment you’ve all been waiting for…What was the SWAG?!

Here was the pre-race swag

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-The shirt and jacket are a good quality, although they run small so that was kind of disappointing.  However, I didn’t think to ask for an exchange.

-The cinch bag is more of a lower quality compared to other races, like the San Diego Half Marathon…but it had a special area to write your bib number for gear check and that was pretty convenient.

-The Tri-City Medical Center swag included  chapstick, bandages, and sunscreen packets. All perfect things to throw in your purse, bag, or car…especially if you have little ones!  I really appreciate swag that I can actually use so thank you, Tri-City Medical Center! 😉

Sambazon reps were walking around passing out samples like candy!  But this was much better than candy, it was a delicious Acai Bowl!

-Virtual Swag bag – included discount codes and whatnot.  I appreciate these in virtual form because I normally just throw away the paper versions.

Post-race swag

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The obligatory banana along with goodies from the “nom-nom” bag as well as full-bottle samples of C2O Coconut Water and Suja Juice.

Race Photos – Not free, but they started posting them that evening!  I couldn’t believe how fast they were available!

Scenery swag!  I always count beautiful scenery as swag!

And, what about the Bling?!

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She’s a beaut! And I really appreciated the detail of the race date etched in so I can remember this day forever!

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There’s me recovering in my Legend Compression Wear! 😉

Pricing: Pricing for the half/full ranges from about $80-$150 depending on how early you register. As of now, the 2018 half is only $79!  That’s a great deal!  You can sign up here!

Overall Opinion: Overall, I really enjoyed this race!  I thought it was well-organized with AMAZING support from both the organization and the community.  Parking was great and the views were fantastic!  The only cons were that the post-race party was a little disappointing and some people aren’t fans of out-and-back courses as they can get a little boring. I would definitely do this one again!  I enjoyed running this with friends especially since I knew that I wasn’t going to PR at this race.  If I were to give anyone advice for prepping for this event, I would say to stick with your training even through the holidays!  When you sign up for a January half marathon, that means you are training through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years..so factor in your travel, family visits, food, and alcohol!

After all, it’s not everyday you get to run ON the 101 with no traffic! 😉

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I’m off to prep for the next event!

***Disclaimer: I received a free race entry to the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Half Marathon in exchange for an honest review 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!

~SM

 

 

 

 

The Color Run (All-Star 5k)

I recently ran The Color Run a.k.a the happiest 5k on the planet and it was a blast!  I will start off by saying that I ran this race for free (more on that later) and it was held in a much more scenic location than last year – at the Waterfront Downtown!  It was also held a little bit earlier this year so that it could be in conjunction with the MLB All Star Weekend events.  The only downfall to all of this was parking.  Parking downtown is usually a drag and this day was no different.  It took me almost 20 minutes to find a spot, but I found a free one fairly close. And I even parallel-parked…like.a.boss. Holla!

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So on to the race.  Since I spent a little extra time looking for parking, I ended up running in the 8:00 am wave, which wasn’t so bad cause everyone seemed fun and I also ran with a fellow Stroller Warrior as well as my mini.  There was a DJ close to the start line getting everyone pumped and throwing out t-shirts and whatnot.  He couldn’t throw very well so I suggest he obtains one of those tshirt canister gun things for next year.  It would also make him look a whole lot cooler.  The race pretty much started on time and we were off!

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The course was a big loop through the Embarcadero and downtown.  It started off a little crowded as we were navigating through narrow pathways along Seaport Village, but it eventually widened up and I was able to pass others pretty easily.  The first stop was blue, then green with a water station and very enthusiastic volunteers.  The water stations also played heart-pumping music which really made the race feel like a party.

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I didn’t get too blasted at these stations although one of the blue volunteers did pelt me in the face and ear pretty good.  They also were very cautious not to throw any in my daughter’s face and she loved going through all of the color stations.  The next stop was orange and then we finished with pink before crossing the finish line.

We were greeted at the finish line with medals and extra color packets to throw around and directed towards a water/Gatorade station.  Then it was party time!  There was a large stage with a DJ (one that I actually liked) keeping the energy flowing with dance music and extra swag opportunities. There were also lots of photo ops with various props and signs as well as food trucks and even a cell phone charging station!  It was definitely a nice touch!  The Runicorn made an appearance along with the Anthony Sullivan – The OxiClean guy!

The event wrapped up around 11am and then it was time for the party to end. 😦 Overall, I really enjoyed this race much better than last year’s.  The location was much more scenic compared to last year’s race in the Qualcomm stadium parking lot.  There also seemed to be a lot more photo props and food choices.   I snagged a gourmet chocolate popsicle for $3 from Steel City Pops and it was delightful!

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Also, the race course was actually 3.1 miles which is great because last year it was less than 2.5.  The only bummers were the parking issues and there were more color stations at least year’s event.  I’m not much for gimmick runs, but I have fallen in love with the Color Run and will definitely do it again in the future!  It’s a great event for the whole family and a good excuse to get messy and go to a party at 8am!

*So, how did I run the race for free?  I volunteered at packet pick-up the day before the race!  It actually was a lot of fun as it felt more like a pre-party since everyone picking up their packets was super excited about the event and I really just felt positive vibes all around.  Packet pick-up was at The Headquarters in Seaport Village and I took a 4 hour afternoon shift.  Things got pretty hectic as it seemed like everyone came at once, but it was a well organized event and the craziness made the time go by super fast.  We were rewarded with water, snack bars, and a free race entry!  You can even volunteer with your kids so I recommend it if you are trying to save some money on race fees!  It’s also a great way to help out with an awesome event or obtain some volunteer hours even if you don’t plan to run in the race.

Now, what was the SWAG?!

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I will say, last year’s swag was a bit more exciting…but I still prefer this year’s event.

~A clear bag to protect your valuables from the color during the race

~A sweet headband

~A soft, stretchy tshirt (they are one of the few shirts I actually like to wear)

~Color Packets

~Tattoos

~Water cups – okay this isn’t really swag, but I thought these were the most adorable water cups!

~Sunglasses – Note: I paid $5 for these but I decided to splurge a little since I wasn’t paying for the race.

~A beautiful medal

~Amazing weather and awesome scenery!

And running with friends makes the Color Run that much sweeter!  Especially running with another Stroller Warrior!

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“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof…” (Pharrell Williams)  Now that song can be stuck in your head, too. 😉  You’re welcome.

See you at the next event!

~SM

 

The Super (Hero) Run

Last month, I ran the Super Run in downtown San Diego.  I learned about the run through Living Social so I only paid about $15 for this run.  It was advertised as a family friendly fun run with a scenic course along the Marina district and Seaport Village in downtown San Diego. Costumes were encouraged and the event benefitted the Down Syndrome Association of San Diego.

Packet pick-up was the day before at Road Runner Sports.  I was unable to attend, but I heard it was pretty chaotic with long lines and disorganization.  Parking the day of the race was a bit tricky because downtown parking is always a pain; however, I know of a secret parking lot so that made things a lot easier. 😉  I ran this race with my 3-year-old daughter and my friends from my Stroller Warriors group.  Fun runs are always way better when you do them with friends.  It was a pretty crowded event on a narrow pathway, so passing people was not easy!

This was not a timed event, which was a good thing because there were times that you were forced to walk due to the large crowds in the small areas.  I even saw a couple holding hands while walking during the race, so I would not consider this a competitive event by any means.

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It definitely was an excuse to dress up like a super hero and walk/jog with some family and friends.  Since I had to walk during many parts of the run, I was able to take lots of pics!  It was a gorgeous day and there was lots of beautiful scenery so get ready for photo overload!!!

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There were lots of signs throughout the course directing us to the right path and also some friendly and enthusiastic volunteers cheering us on along the way.  After the run, we snagged our medals and met up with the other ladies and kiddos from our group.  We headed over to the vendor area where there was a big bounce house for the kids to jump around and let out some more energy.  There was also a DJ that played fun music and tried to keep with energy going, but I never really saw anyone on the dance floor.  These poor 5k DJ’s just don’t seem to get any love. 😦

I almost forgot to mention my favorite part of the race…and that was getting to wear these dope socks!!

 

Overall, this was definitely a FUN run and I would do it again with my kids and friends!  I do wish that it had been a bit more organized and maybe on a wider course, but it wasn’t bad for the price.  So what was the SWAG?!

~ A cute medal

~A rad cape

~A couple of coupons

~Sweet scenery

See you at the next run! 🙂

~SM

 

 

 

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