Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon to 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!”


I have a new installment in my bourbon cooking and an update on the race

After my failed attempt at bourbon caramels, I was thinking… caramel…what else could I make in this direction? I then remembered how simple caramel corn is to make, I thought, “What if I added bourbon at the end of the cooking process?”

As luck would have it, there is a recipe for that. Thank you food network 

I got the ol Stir Crazy popper out of the cupboard… and magically the dogs appeared…they love popcorn, and they hope I overfill the popper so it overflows and pops out of the machine onto the floor.

Anyway… I made a full batch, even though I only needed 10 cups. Who doesn’t like popcorn?


I followed the recipe… making the caramel first. I was so happy I didn’t have to bring it to a certain temperature… basically just melt and keep stirring, no one wants burnt caramel.


I then added the 3 tablespoons of bourbon, BAM! the whole kitchen smelled of the spirits and the sauce was bubbling!


I stirred it into the popcorn, then spread it out on cookie sheets to bake. I had to stir it in between the baking cycle…WHOA, opening that oven I was hit with a strong bourbon smell.


It was done cooking and time for it too cool… however, Josh and I couldn’t wait… and we began sampling it, and we couldn’t stop….. YUM!! This is soooo good!!!  We had to stop ourselves as I was bringing this as one of my tailgating treats.


When it was cool enough, I put it all in a bag. Game day couldn’t come soon enough!

I pulled the popcorn out at the tailgate, and I knew it was sooo good, so I immediately opened to share with my friends. They had mixed reviews, some thought they couldn’t taste the bourbon and others could taste it. I know when the day was over, I brought home crumbs, so I would say it was a hit!

I am loving the creative challenge this is bringing out it me, what should I make next?

Oh about that race update….. the packet pick up location has changed!! Please read the below note and make the proper changes to ensure you will get your packet on time

Due to Lou City FC’s success, they’ll be hosting a playoff match race weekend at Slugger Field. To ensure that the two events don’t overlap in the same facility, #UBHM packet pick-up will now take place at Mellwood Arts &Entertainment Center (1860 Mellwood Ave, 40206). It will still occur on Friday, Oct. 20 from 11a-8p, and yes–we’ll still have Jim Beambourbon tastings. Fleet Feet Louisville will also be on site with your last-minute racing needs, and we’ll have #UBHM swag for sale.
Packet pick-up will be in the Pigment Gallery. Parking is free and ample, and it’s a cheap Uber/Lyft ride from downtown for those without a car and staying downtown.

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Race Review #ECSWI 13.1 -2017

Race Recap – The North Face Endurance Challenge 13.1 – 2017

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon to 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!”


When I last left you, I had just run the Pleasant Creek Trail 30k, sat through a football game, and was making the 4 hour drive to Wisconsin. To say I was exhausted going into this race was an understatement, however I always try to finish what I said I would do.

I would also be meeting up with Laura, you might remember her from an earlier post. Well, she did it! She completed her first 50k, and she would be back out to run the 5k the next day.

The North Face is host to many events. Saturday, Sept 16 there is a 50 miler, 50k, marathon, and marathon relay in addition to the kids races. On Sunday there is the half marathon, 10k, 5k and even more kids races.

As this race is during Hawkeye football season, I am limited to the Sunday events. I would love to run the 50k here again one day, but the Hawks are first in the fall. (OK, once I missed a game for a race and they won in EPIC, last minute field goal fashion, never again!)


Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, BibRave Tank, Hawkeye hat, Adidas boy shorts, Garmin Fenix 3, Road ID, UA Horizon Trail shoes, Zensah Socks, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Orange Mud pack, Spi Belt, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, BUFF(R)

I was on my way to the start, but had to make a stop at a gas station for some coffee and Aleve… I was feeling rough, and I don’t remember the last time I had a beer. I did have a Nugo bar with me too.


I arrived early to Kettle Moraine, and was given my parking pass for the day, FREE of charge. I followed the parking attendants to the furthest away lot. I was annoyed! I was running the longest distance of the day, which started the earliest, and I have to park the furthest from the start. It wasn’t shuttle worthy, but should be a perk to arriving early.


I do like that I can grab my bib and shirt on race day. There are also 3 locations for pre race day pick up too. They are really accommodating with this. They are able to do this as race numbers are not pre-assigned. I made the trek to over, it was easy, told them my name and they scanned the bib and handed me a shirt. This year the shirt was blue with black lettering, a short sleeve tech material, with a strange neck opening.


I walked back to my car… as I didn’t have all my race stuff … I had plenty of time before the 8 am start. I then decided I should use the bathroom, so I walked to the closest bath house to find it was locked…. so back to the start area to use a port-o-potty. Then back to my car again to just drink some more coffee and get all my race things together.

Then I was finally ready to stand around for the race to start, so back to the race start…and I made another stop at the bathroom as I didn’t remember any on course (there is actually one at the main aid station.)

While waiting, I saw Brian from my local running club. I chatted with him while they lined everyone up for the start. I had my Orange Mud bottle pack with me, and a half bottle of water, so I took advantage of the water monster and filled my bottle while waiting.

Then it was time for my wave to start. There aren’t too many people who run this race, but because of a congested area to start, the do send runners off about every 5 minutes or less in waves.


It was already a warm start, near 70 degrees and while sunny, there was a haze in the air. The first part of the course is just leaving the main entrance of the park, so you start on the shoulder of a road, before turning off into the woods.

I just kept moving, I wasn’t sure what goal I had in mind, just finish I guess. The route turned into the woods and it was time to navigate the trails. There were all surfaces and I feel a lot more sand to navigate this year, in addition to the rocks, grass and dirt. The race course also has it’s share of hills, nothing super steep but always felt as I was going up or down.

The first aid station is around mile 1.8 ish, there was Skratch and water in plastic cups. I powered through, and had to make the first loop… or what it felt like I was running. Sometimes with trails, I just follow the course, where ever it takes me, I go. Heck, I can’t even remember if it’s the same course as last year.

The course is marked with colored ribbons attached to tree branches. The color of ribbon matches the color of your bib, I was watching for the yellow ribbons. I always caught my self second guessing if I was on the right route as it would be a while before I saw a ribbon, let alone another runner. There were also mile markers, but every other mile.

I came back through the aid station that’s 1.8 miles in, it’s also the next passing point around mile 5-6 ish? I picked up some Skratch and moved along, I noticed the porto-o-potty.

It was beginning to be a struggle for me, there was A LOT of walking… I was moving forward though, and a lot of Eminem songs kept coming up on my music, it’s impossible to walk during those.

I was now on the what I call the second loop in a figure 8 kinda course. I was remembering the past year when I ran the course with Laura. The miles really flew by then and I was missing her as I was moving sooo slowly. I also remember stopping at some aid station, but it felt like it never came up. Finally, there was a stop about mile 9? I had them refill my OM bottle and they had ICE!!!!! I drank some more Skratch and grabbed some Skratch chews to try later.

I left this stop and just kept moving forward, following the yellow ribbons. UGH, it was now really warm, or it felt that way out in the woods where the air was not moving and the humidity made it swampy.

I made it back to the 1.8 mile aid station, which told me I was that close to the finish. There were some photographers in this stretch, and they were in this area on the way out too. The race takes some great pictures and they were available that day, however they are not free. I am done purchasing photos of myself… they aren’t worth it.

There are a few spectators around this aid station too, there is an access road nearby, otherwise it’s just a lot of time alone in the woods.

Another note when I came back through this last stop, they had already started to take down some of their stuff. I am not sure if they have a permit that only allows them a certain time, but I feel all runners should get the same experience.

Ahh, the home stretch… I was done…. but I still had the section along the road shoulder to go. Some how, I ran this entire section. I am not sure if it was because more people were watching, or the terrain was easier to run.

I came to the finish line, and stopped my Garmin at 12.8 miles and a time of 2:57. I know trail running GPS gets off, and when I pushed start on my watch the satellites had not yet synced (which is possible with my watch.) So, I am still calling it a half marathon, and my 45th overall.


NOW – when I came into the finish, my time was a lot slower, in fact my worst ever – but the race had started the kids races. I am all for the kids being able to run…. but it was interfering with the longer distance finishes.

I was given my finishers medal and that was it, kids were running around every where. I knew from the past year there was a reusable water bottle somewhere, as we were not handed water at the finish…. and last year we were handed that water bottle. So… I had to watch out for kids and go find a bottle in a nearby tub.

The post race food was also in the same area, there was orange slices, bananas and bagel pieces. I had to squeeze in between kids to get some oranges. I have griped about this before too. There is real food at this race, but you have to buy it. The longer distances the day before get it for free. I just want a solution to this, maybe add a granola bar.

Once through this mess of kids, I made my way to the Sierra Nevada beer tent. This was the highlight, they had about 3-4 choices of beer. I love when a race has a more tasty option. Although, this is WI, would be nice to see a local craft.


I chose my beer and found Laura, she was still upright… what a champ!!!! We sat down at a picnic table in the post race area… it’s nice to have a place to sit, many races overlook this. Shade would have been nice too, but can’t be too greedy.


We sat and talked, meeting people and making new friends. I also ran into someone I sat next to at the 2016 Rose Bowl…small world. I found Brian again too.


It was now time to make the trek home, so I said “see ya later to everyone.” I made the long walk back to my car.

I “showered” in my car with one of the HUGE epic wipes I got in a recent 5k Crate, and was on my way to leaving, when I heard “Hey Angie!”


I turned and found another friend, Lisa… she was just taking her canoe out of the nearby lake. She had also run the day before, the 50 miler. I am always so surprised at these people, they are upright and walking around like no big deal. She was supporting a pretty serious scab from a fall though. It was nice to catch up.


I wrapped up the conversation, and plugged in the coordinates of my house into the GPS on my phone. Whoa, I had no clue where I was for the beginning of my drive. Kettle Moraine is in the middle of no where.

I did find my way back onto the interstate system. I was glad for that, as there would be places to stop for some real food. I found a Kwik Trip and found some cheese curds, refilled the car…. and was on my way home.

What a weekend… I need a weekend to rest up.

My overall thoughts on this year’s event. I feel something was missing, or they just went through the motions to put on the race. Even Dean K. didn’t make the pre-race speaker event. It still is a great race and the trail I will always recommend to a beginner, but I am not sure with so many newer options if this is a must run event for me. You can check out more reviews at BibRave.com

What’s next?

PCTR 30k – 2017

Race Review – Pleasant Creek Trail Run 30k – 2017

This was the 3rd year of the event. It was held on Saturday, September 16th. There were 3 race distances – 15k (one loop), 30k (2 loops) or 45k (3 loops.) The 45k started at 8:30 and the other 2 started together at 9.  It was a cool, cloudy morning, but would eventually reach to about 90 degrees and sun.


I ran the inaugural event, and at the time the longest distance offered was the 30k, so I ran that as a training run for a 50k. The race is always during Hawkeye football season, that first year the game was later in the day, last year the game was at 11 am…. and this year the game started at 2:30….

I thought this was perfect, I would be able to run a loop and get to the game…. well, I went through the registration process, and thought I started by clicking on 15k… after going through the registration process, and never seeing the distance confirmation until I had paid…. I was now in for the 30k.

See, more people would panic…. not me, while I know the race directors of the event and knew I could drop down to the 15k, I welcomed the challenge…. and now my biggest problem was making it to my seat in Kinnick Stadium by kickoff.

Thankfully, they let me start my race with the longer 45k distance, this gave me an additional half hour. I needed that time, I have almost an hour drive home and had to walk the dogs. I could have also started even earlier – as I showed up very early, but I wouldn’t have been timed.

I’ll write my famous to the point, fact based bibrave review too.

Alright, so after some chatter with the locals, I was lined up with the 45k runners, ready to get the show on the road.


Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, 2Xu tank, Orange Mud Endurance Pack, BibRave Boco Gear Visor, AfterShokz Trekz Air, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, Zensah compression socks, Road Runner Sports shorts, Brooks Ghost 9, Garmin Fenix, Road ID

Oh…. trail running, I love it and hate it…this course is a mixture of everything – rock, sand, grass, ruts, dirt, road crossings, very few spots with even footing.


I took off very slowly… I think I overheard a spectator say “this is the slowest race start ever!” Not long, we were off in the woods, and I was in the back of the pack… all I could think was, dang I am slow… and I am with the people that are running an extra loop. So, the mental part of the race was off to a rough start.

There were also some hills, and I started off walking up all of those too. The sun was coming out too and it was heating up.

I did have my music, so I just kept moving forward. I passed through the first aid station around mile 2, and since I was running with my pack, I didn’t stop.

When I came to the second aid station, I was looking for some gummi bears, as I was too lazy to dig out the fruit snacks I had with me. The stop did not have any…but there was a lot of other choices – cookies, pretzels, M & M’s, Gatorade, water, Cola and Mt. Dew. I took some pretzels and chatted with the volunteers, and took off back into the woods.

Really nothing exciting or out of the norm happened at the race.

I looked at my watch when someone speedy passed me, mile 5.6… this must have been a 15k runner… and shortly after there were others that started passing me. Oh well, I just kept moving forward.

I came up on the third aid station to a cheerful group of volunteers, I knew them, so it was nice to say hi! I didn’t spend too much time and moved along. It was now really starting to feel warm. There were parts of the course in the woods and parts with no shade.


I finally came in to finish my first loop, and I looked at my watch 1:51. I still thought I could PR this course. My time from 2 years ago was a 4:04, so I was well ahead of that, it was also the reason why I didn’t stop any longer than to grab a banana at the start/finish aid station.

I was now out on my second loop, it was definitely hot! Even though I was moving forward, it was a lot slower … and it just kept getting worse…. I was also in my head, was I going to make kick off? Keep moving, it’s hot, get to the football game, it’s hot, keep moving…. yeah running is fun!

Welp, I made it to the first aid station on the loop and made sure to drink more liquids…. all the drinking…..OH – what I didn’t tell you… I was running a half marathon the next day… so when does hydrating for that take place?

Back on course. At this time, there really weren’t too many other people out there, once in a while someone would pass me, which just made me feel slow…but I just kept moving.

I stopped at the 2nd aid station of the loop, drank some more and dug out my fruit snacks to eat them.

It really wasn’t that bad… but I had given up on getting to Kinnick before the game… I could still make kickoff.

I rolled into the third aid station, and there was a volunteer shift change. However, I knew the new volunteers, she even took my picture. I was hot, but nothing out of the ordinary, I didn’t have the chills, nothing…however a radio/medic guy that was at this aid station kept insisting I sit down in the shade of the tent. I was like, do I look that bad? Luckily, Nikki, who took my photo, knew I was fine, and said so…. and I grabbed a cup of ice to finish the last 2 miles.

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Those last 2 miles, were the longest 2 miles ever! I think I felt every uneven footfall, I just wanted a straight, flat section to run…but such is trail running.

I saw the last turn out of the woods, and I trotted into the finish. There were people cheering for me, so I was making sure not to fall. It was nice to have the area set up so that finishers were enjoying their post run fair along the route.

I finished in a time near 4:09…dang that second loop ate me up… I am sure it was a combination of the heat and maybe being under trained? Oh well, 18 miles banked – which keeps me inline for Detroit Marathon training.  At the finish I was handed a cool, hand made medal and a bottle of water.


The plan was to grab some food to go, and get on the road. Instead, I milled around, talked to the race director, took a photo…. I finally grabbed a plate – threw in a burger, chips and slice of cake…and took my food to go.  I was still close to making the game by kick off, but I would have to hustle.


I rolled into my house just before 2 pm… I needed to walk the dogs, shower and then find a parking spot and get to the game. Kick off was at 2:30….and then….

UGH – the new neighbor wanted to talk…. talk about removing a tree… there is nothing wrong with this tree… I was like I need to get moving, and just said “it’s your tree, if you want to take it down, I can’t stop you.” Why is it when you need to be somewhere, you just can’t get there?

I got the dogs walked, and through the shower…. but the time was close to kick off…. now it was time to find parking. Which I did, over a mile away…which was just awesome after running 18 miles in 90 degree heat.

I made it to the game with 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. It was a rough start for the Hawks, so I guess that’s ok. Then of course, it clouded up, even sprinkled a little, and finally I was sitting in the shade…. I enjoyed the rest of the game, and cheered the Hawks on to a victory.


I didn’t stay much longer, as I had to trek back to my car, to drive to Wisconsin for the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon the next day – more on this race in my next post.

Overall thoughts: While I did not have a great race…. it is a well organized race, a great price, awesome medals, and it’s actual trail with some hills. Also, I have mentioned this before… where I live – Iowa City – there are 2 half marathons… I am 25 minutes from a 50k… and this is 45 minutes for a 45k… I love having longer distance race options closer to home.

5kCrate – Product Review

A review of the 5kCrate

“Disclaimer: I received a 5kCrate to 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!”


Sure, you have seen many of my reviews on running subscription boxes… you know the kind you sign up for a monthly subscription to receive a box full of running related product samples? Well the 5kCrate is a runner’s subscription box, but different – it’s a quarterly subscription and it contains no food, rather premium running gear.

Also to note, since this box sends gear, when you sign up you submit your shirt size as well as your shoe size.

Check out my unboxing video -​

​Alright, you saw what was inside, let me give you more information about these products, and my thoughts after using them.

I know the review is about the box itself, but I feel describing the types of products you would receive is beneficial to knowing if this is the subscription box for you.

Zensah Peek Running Socks – These are ankle height running socks. Made with moisture wicking and anti-odor fabric. Lightweight with a seamless toe and targeted arch support. The are sized S, M, L based on shoe size. *To be fair, I own a lot of Zensah socks, as they are a great durable product, I was excited to see these in the box. While they fit great, they feel great. These are about $14.


Epic Wipe – The Original Massive Wet Wipe: There were 2 of these in the box. They individually packaged. They are HUGE!!! They have a pine scent, due to the eucalyptus oils, but that scent goes away. I used them after a runch and after a race, they do their job quite well. The claim the GIANT size is so you don’t have to use multiple wipes, but I think half the size would be plenty. I need to add these to my travel bag, they came in handy. A 10 pack is about $25

LA Fresh travel-lite Sunscreen Wipe – Included in the 5k crate were 2 wipes. The package is small, and the wipe opens up to about 5″x 6″ in size. It contains SPF 30. *I will admit, I suck at applying sunscreen… plus it’s just an added pain. However this little wipe is very convenient, it easily fits in a pocket. I brought it to a football game, so it’s easier than bringing in a bottle, gets past security, and your hands don’t feel all gooey when you are done. I wish the box included more of these. 50 wipes are $25

SpiGen R12E bluetooth wireless headphones: These come with a USB charging cord, and a bag of adjusters for your ear. I don’t know where to start with these… I do not have a good history with ear bud type headphones, they do not stay in my ear, I’ve tried the rubbery pieces that go on these that are supposed to keep them in your ear, they just do not work in my ear. I did try wearing these around my house, as I do love bluetooth, wireless headphones…and these almost sell for the cost of this box, around $49. However, these would not stay in my ears and I was just walking around my kitchen. All that said, this is a great addition to the box, the fit thing is just something that is MY problem. They did sound good, and you can control the music and songs from a touch of your finger on the outside of the ear bud. They are also easy to pair with a phone and simple to charge.

 

Mission Cooling Towel: When I received this box to test, it wasn’t super hot outside, so I still need to give this a few tries as the weather has heated back up. However, it’s a nice soft towel, with a simple concept… wet it, snap it, put on you to keep cool. The water doesn’t drip from the towel either. Looks like these cost about $20


Mission Vapor Active Alpha Tee: This is not your ordinary tech tee. First it’s sized for a woman, so it fits me nice. Next it dries up to 5 times faster, keeping you cool and dry. I wore this a couple times, I guess maybe I didn’t notice the 5 times faster thing, but I also didn’t feel like I was wearing a super soaked shirt. I will be honest, I do not need another shirt in my life, but this is a nice one. This sells for $25
My Overall thoughts: At first I was skeptical, I was wanting another gadget or something, or a few more wipes. However, I do think this box is a great idea – and you are definitely getting your money’s worth. It contains no food samples, just quality running gear. I agree with my friend, Mark – it’s a great box for a newer runner, someone who might not already have all the gear. At this time in my life, I do not have the extra income to continue with a subscription.


That being said….this would be a perfect gift for that hard to buy runner in your life.

The 5k crate is $59 per quarter and they are currently taking pre-orders for their fall box, which will start shipping in early October – https://5kcrate.com/

Check out 5k Crate online – websiteFacebookTwitterInstagram

Please read what the other BibRave Pros had to say: Tedrick Vanessa – JennaMai

Running 4 the kids

What factors play a role when you choose a race?

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Running 4 the Kids 10k to 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!”

Well, did it take you long to answer? Honestly for me, I always consider the price, followed by location, but then next I check to see what I am supporting, where is the money going?

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I will be participating in the 3rd annual, Running 4 the Kids 10k in New Lenox, IL on Sunday, October 1. Not only is the current price only $50 for the 10k, this race serves as one of the four main fundraisers for the year.

The race is organized by CASA of Will County. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. They have been around since late 1994 and have a goal to serve 100% of the abused and neglected children in need of a CASA volunteer advocate.

CASA of Will County is a member of the National and Illinois CASA Association and a proud partner of The Community Foundation of Will County . Hundreds of children per year enter into the Will County Juvenile Justice System due to abuse and neglect. CASA offers these children a sense of comfort and a listening ear. But most importantly, we offer them a voice

If helping a great cause isn’t enough, there are medals for all participants, a free kids run, and they will be raffling prizes. The race starts at 9 am too, so you wont have to wake up early. Make sure to check out their website for all the information.

A 10k is still a tough distance for me…. sure I can run that far, but I want to do my best, and it’s a tough one to race. I will be using this race, like so many of the races I do as part of my continued training for my upcoming longer races – the Detroit Marathon, the Urban Bourbon half marathon, and the Madison Marathon (considering dropping to the half.)

If you would like to join me, you can save by using code “R4TK5KBR” for 5% off the 5K & “R4TK10KBR“for 10% off the 10K  http://casaofwillcounty.org/running4thekids-2/

See you there!

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A Labor day tradition

RUN WITH CARL – 2017 – RACE RECAP

The 2017 event was on Monday, September 4th in Bettendorf, IA. It was sunny with temps in the mid 60s, a little breezy.


I have run this race many times, for the bare bone to the fact pointers, check out my bibrave.com review.

Josh and I woke up early – for the 3rd straight day in a row – had the usual race day fare, hopped in the car and headed east for Bettendorf.


Gear: Sparkle Athletic ice cream skirt, Spi belt, Bibrave BOCO visor, 2xu tank, xx2i France 2 sunglasses, Aftershokz Trek Titanium, Garmin Fenix 3, Road ID, New Balance Shoes, Zensah flamingo socks

We parked, where we always do, in the nearby middle school parking lot, for free. There was also a little bathroom house here.

Next, we had to grab our race bibs and shirt. The packet pickup area is in a parking lot near the start/finish area. Easy to find, just wait in line at the tent. Race day registration was also available. I think the long sleeve, unisex, tech shirt was new this year, so we both made sure to get one.


The kids races went on before the longer distance races. Then there were some announcements, mostly about Carl, who the race is named for. The National Anthem was performed and then it was time to line up for the 5 miler at 8:15. The 5k would follow 15 minutes later.

I had just run the New Bo Half Marathon the day before, I was just gonna run the race to finish. I even lined up as the second to last person to start.


The gun went off…er it did not… the lady operating the starting gun had some mishap, so the announcer stepped in and told us to go. OOPS!

The course winds through the town, on paved streets and the asphalt bike path. There are hills, nothing steep, but training hills are a good idea.

There are at least 3 water only stops on the course, all in paper cups. The miles are marked and there are a lot of volunteers and law enforcement directing participants. There are a few spectators out in their driveways too.

Ok, so I may have started in the back… but of course… I started to pass people as I ran, it was fun. Then I was pushing my pace… yep I couldn’t just run, I had to see what I had. The last half mile or so I caught up with this younger girl, she was not going to let me pass, so I pushed her and we raced down the hill to the finish, whoa that was tough!

I had a finishing time of like 47:30 which was about the same as last year, when I set out to actually race it. So who knows…. I did feel good when I was done.

The finish area was happening! Once the announcer welcomed runners in, there was a live cover band, rocking some tunes. There was bottled water, sparkling water, bagels and bananas. If you were fast you could have got an apple too. There was a photo booth and a tent to get your results printed.


The awards were announced, and if winners were around they were encouraged to take a picture.

This race is a great event, good price, well run. The non traditional 5 mile distance is also something I appreciate. I will always try to make this race and continue to have it as my Labor Day Tradition.


The other component of why this event is so great…meeting with my friends. This year in addition to Josh, there was Kevin and Kelly. I am pretty sure we all try to make this race a must do.


When we were finished we went over to the nearby Dunkin Donuts for coffee, donuts and shenanigans. I have mentioned this many times before, but one of my favorite things about doing all the races is the people I meet.


As Kevin says… Labor Day? It’s Run With Carl Day

Cheers to a Friend

Cheering on a Friend

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon to 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!”

You might have read that I will be headed back to Kettle Moraine in the middle of September to run the half marathon as part of the North Face Endurance Challenge.

There are many events to this race, and while I would love to run one of the longer distances, but they are all on a Saturday, Sept 16th. Saturdays in the fall I spend at Kinnick Stadium. Fortunately for me, because there are so many races, I can run one on Sunday, Sept 17th.

Last year I ran the half alongside Laura… and this year she has decided to tackle her first 50k.

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I decided to asked her a few questions as she get prepared for this endeavor:

What is your running background?

“I was never a runner. I was in dance (ballet/en pointe, jazz, and tap) for 14 years, dabbled in volleyball in middle school but let’s be real, I was NOT GOOD. Between the ages of 21 and 22, I started casually running through the park that was near the apartment my husband and I lived in. Then in 2012 I signed up for the inaugural Brewers Mini, not doing any research into what the “mini” distance actually entailed. It was a half, and I had to bust my butt to train for it. It stormed the whole morning and as soon as the lightning stopped, the race organizers were like “Okay, go!” The race was very challenging, both mentally and physically, but the second I crossed the finish line I signed up for another race and well, the rest is history!”

Why did you choose this 50k?

“I’ve done the ECSWI half marathon for the last two years. Last year, I went out on Saturday to cheer on some of my friends and a very dear friend was running the 50K – her first one! After she crossed the finish line she told me “Next year you’re doing this with me!” I made 2017 the year of doing things outside my comfort zone, so I put a marathon and 50K on my race list. TNF puts on such an awesome event, from the pre-and post-race vibe to the course support to the pre-race communication, the whole event weekend is so well run. TNF really engages their participants on social media and makes you feel like you’re participating in the whole event, not just showing up to run a race.”

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What are you most excited about?

“I absolutely love running in the Kettle Moraine State Forest so being able to pound that dirt with other people who love trails as much as I do is such a thrill. The camaraderie between trail runners is special – you’re all out there, suffering but loving it, surrounded by such beautiful scenery – it all makes for a special experience.”

What are you most nervous about?

“I’ve never run this far. The marathon I did in July was my longest run to date and man, did I BONK at mile 18. So I’m kind of nervous to be doing a distance 6 miles farther than I’ve ever done but I know that I’ll have friends out there pushing me through!”

What is the first thing you will treat yourself to when you finish the race?

“There is nothing more refreshing after a long race than an ice cold beer. It doesn’t have to be a heavy, high ABV brew either. So I’m going to walk (or hobble!) my tired butt to the beer tent and enjoy!”

I am excited for her to cross that finish line. Also, she will be running the 5k the day after her 50k – BADASS!!

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If you want to join Laura or myself at this event, head on over to https://www.thenorthface.com/get-outdoors/endurance-challenge/wisconsin.html and Use code “BIB15” to save 15% on your race entry.  

You can also cheer Laura on via Twitter or Instagram, and look forward to her race thoughts on her blog thecaffeinatedrunner.com