Race Logistics

RACE LOGISTICS

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Madison Mini 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!”

If you have been reading since the beginning, you know I run A LOT of races. I’ve been asked why I choose an event, or about my favorite race… well first I consider the price… but next I always consider the logistics – can I make this race possible.

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I will be headed back to Madison, WI for my 4th Madison mini, one of the most important race logistic when I am participating in a race sooo close to home, yet soo far away… Can someone else get my packet?

Madison is about a 3 hour drive for me… sooooo I can leave first thing in the am and arrive on race day. The Madison mini makes this easy for me by allowing someone else to pick it up for me at packet pick up. All they need is a copy of my photo ID. If I were really planning ahead, I could have paid a little extra (when I registered) and picked up my packet at will call, which is open before the race on race day.

I could go on and on about inconvenient packet pickups, ok maybe I will. The year Josh and I ran the Chicago Marathon, we had to drive into Chicago twice…once was to pick up our packet as there was no packet mailing, no race day pickup, and no one else could get it for us. ( I don’t recall packet mailing)

Other race logistics that make a race a great event:

  • Parking – is it close? do I have to pay?
  • Bathrooms at the start
  • Online maps of the course, start/finish – what is available at the start finish, do I have to walk far to get water?

When a race considers what it’s like to be a participant, that is an added perk, so the special perks of allowing someone else to grab your packet or multiple banks of port-o-potties makes my decision easier… well after I check the price.

Madison Mini Packet pickup information:

 PACKET PICK-UP INFORMATION

Location:  Alliant Energy Center, Hall C, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison

Friday, August 18: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m

Please bring your Photo ID as packet pickup is by last name. You will not need your bib number. REMEMBER! THERE WILL BE NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION OR PACKET PICKUP AND NO THERE ARE NO TRANSFERS OR REFUNDS.

FAMILY OR FRIEND PACKET PICK-UP

If you would like to have a family member or friend pick up your packet for you, they must have a copy of your photo ID (either digital or paper).  Please have it ready when you go to their line to get their packet so you can show it to the volunteers.

WILL CALL PACKET PICK-UP

The Will Call Packet Pick-Up Booth will be located at Library Mall near the fountain and will be open on Saturday, August 19 from 5:30 – 6:45 am

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Is a PR possible?

Can I PR the BTN B1G 10k?

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the BTN B1G 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!”

The 10k…. the dreaded 10k…. almost as tough as the 5k anymore. I say this as I spent the last year running long distances, so this meant lots of sloooooow running. However the shorter distances can be tougher as I feel the need to race them…

I will be headed into Chicago to run the Big Ten Network B1G 10k. This will be my third time at the event. As a HUGE Hawkeye fan this race is fun to cheer on your team while making jabs at your friends who are supporting your rivals. The post race tailgating atmosphere is also fun.

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I was thinking this could be a good attempt to PR the 10k distance. My current PR is 53:51 (dang I was speedier at one time.) I have made a list of my thoughts, if this is even possible:

Yes:

  • I have been training in extreme conditions
  • The course is flat
  • not my first time on the course, no surprises
  • it’s “only” a 10k
  • race start at 7 am – beat the heat
  • I am rested – ahem – haven’t been training like a crazy person

No:

  • I haven’t been doing speed work
  • my training runs have been slow
  • it’s hot, humid, miserable
  • there could be a water slide feature on the course, I MUST stop

Looking to still register for the race? Online registration is open through July 22. If you use code BibRaveBTN17 you will score a bonus drink bottle!! www.btnbig10k.com

BTN

Please note that if you have registered, there is no race day packet pickup. You can grab your stuff at the Fleet Feet Old Town location (1620 N. Wells St.) Friday (July 21): 10 am until 8pm and Saturday (July 22) 10 am – 6pm. You can have a friend or family member pick up your packet for you. To do so, please forward your bib number confirmation email to your designated friend or family member. In the text of your forwarded email be sure to state that you are providing your authorization for this person to pick up your packet. Your designated person will need present the forwarded e-mail at packet pick-up to obtain your race materials. Friday: 10 am until 8pm and Saturday (July 22) 10 am – 6pm.


GO HAWKS!!

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Who will I see there? Or if you want to see me, you can find me at the Hawkeye tent after the race, probably around 9 am.

OM – PFV

Orange Mud – P.F.V. Gear Review

“Disclaimer: I received the Orange Mud PFV 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!”

“Innovation from frustration” I think this tagline is what I appreciate about Orange Mud the most. Orange Mud makes a lot of products and each appears to be it’s own invention. The Phone. Flask. Vest. is one of their newest and I was ready to give it the test!

First, I want to describe this vest to you, so take a minute and examine the photos.

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Are you thinking, how does this work for someone with a chest? Well, let me tell you the vest comes in 2 sizes, I have the small / medium. I am being honest, I have a larger chest and I ordered the smallest size. I have no issue with the size on a large chest.

Then you may notice the pockets. There are so many! There is the pocket the 15 oz / 450 ml (included with purchase) flask goes in, then there is a pocket for your phone.  Those pockets have elastic cinch closures. There is a small pocket on the left side that has a clip ring to house your key. Then there is a pocket on the right shoulder, good for lip balm or a snack. Then there is a pocket on the back, maybe for a credit card or trail pass. Note there is no closure for that pocket.

Ok, next do you notice the straps? There are 2 adjustable straps that go under the arms. Then there is a bungee strapping system that goes across the back for grasping a light jacket.

How do you put this on, well the easiest way to describe it is, put it on like a shirt, over your head. There is a clip on the left side that allows for more room to maneuver in and out of it. Once you have it in place, it’s easy to reach under the arms to tighten the straps. *I am used to the OM vests, so this is easy for me.

 


Phew… this small pack has a ton of features.  I say small because it only allows you to carry 15 oz of water.


Now how does it work while running?

The inaugural run was “interesting.” While the size of this pack fit me, I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to fit while running… ahem bouncing…. or if it did fit while running.


I had the hardest time trying to get it in the right position, was I supposed to wear it more like a bra? Was I supposed to wear it lower in the back? I wanted to try it out, so that first run, I didn’t fill the flask with liquid. The pack seemed to move without the weight of liquid.

I was still uncertain about the proper fit of the pack, so on my second run I went on a run with a friend to get a donut…and wouldn’t you know, a long john fits perfectly in the flask pocket! All kidding aside, it still felt a little strange to wear.


I wasn’t ready to give up on this, I really like OM products. I finally filled the flask with water. I wanted to get the general feel of the pack before I tried the flask, and yes I don’t usually carry water on short runs… just me. However, when I carried the water and my phone, and made sure the cinch closures were tight, the pack fit me well.  I also thought it was a little weird to drink from the flask in its position, it seems like the straw is high up on my shoulder.


Now, that I know the fit is better with the flask with liquid, I ran with it just for the fit, however it’s also when I noticed some random chaffing on my chest. *Me and chaffing is a whole other story…..


I also let my husband give the pack a try, here are his thoughts:

Hi everyone, Josh here. At first, I was skeptical about the water causing the pack to slosh around as I ran. As it turned out, I didn’t have it cinched properly, so once I did that, everything really fit well. I’ve worn the pack on about 4-5 runs of up to 10 miles, and it’s really been beneficial to have hydration on short-medium runs, especially with this brutal stretch of Iowa summer. It’s also nice keeping my phone away from my body as I run, and I haven’t had any issues with liquid hitting the phone. All in all, success!

Thanks Josh!

I keep running with this pack, trying to figure out what the best way to wear is, and how it fits me the best. The one thing I can conclude for sure, the more I wear it, the better it fits me. I think the fabric relaxes and I get a better feel for it each time.


I also will run with this and carry my phone only. Why? Well it is sooo easy to access my phone. Yes, it’s less cumbersome to maybe wear a running belt, but the ability to grab my phone and do an IG story or take a photo is soooo easy! If you don’t take a picture and post it on social media, did your run happen?


Will I continue to run with this product? YES! While I initially struggled with the perfect fit, I didn’t give up. The only other downside is, you can’t squirt sweat out of your eyes from a flask, lol. If you haven’t caught on, I love OM products and how innovative they are. I am not just giving you a load of crap. The Phone. Flask. Vest. is perfect for shorter runs and allows you to go hands free. ( I dislike hand helds.)

Now you might be asking, how do you care for this? Orange Mud has some general guidelines available – “How to wash a pack.” Really it’s easy, hand wash in luke warm water with unscented detergent and air dry.  The OM way is the BEST way to insure a long life to your pack. * Even though it may take a few uses before I get around to removing the salt crust off my pack, I find it easy to hand wash the pack, but sometimes I might toss it in the dryer to get some of the excess water out of it…shhhh, it’s our secret. Also the flasks can be hard to clean, I will stick them in the dishwasher, or if I am just drinking water – a quick hand rinse and I will store in the freezer between uses.


Sure it might seem a little pricey, but you can save 10% with code BRPPFV www.orangemud.com (This code actually works on any Orange Mud purchase)

PFV

As always if you didn’t find the information you were looking for in my review, check out what my fellow BibRave Pros had to say – Casey –JamesHaleyBradley – Heather – MaiFallon

Or catch Orange Mud on all their social channels – twitterFacebookInstagramYouTube – website

VIP Status

MADISON MINI MARATHON – VIP 

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Madison Mini 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!”

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I am going back to Madison, WI!! This time I am going in style – VIP status!!

I really enjoy Madison, WI – well unless the Hawkeyes are playing a sporting event in the city… that’s a whole other story.

I am going to be running the Madison Mini Marathon on August 19th. I have run this race before – 3 times in fact.

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There have been changes over the years, but for the most part you run through Madison, seeing the sights (Camp Randall, Kohl Center, farmers market, Arboretum, plus many more areas) and end up at the Union Terrace. This is a great setting for the post race festivities. In the past I have enjoyed a craft beer and music along the lake front.

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Throwback to the 2014 race medal

THIS YEAR -I am taking advantage of  the Ultimate VIP Experience! Ok, you all want to know what that means… well I will tell you:

  • Pre-race coffee, juice, fruit and carbs – starting at 5:30 am
  • Private restrooms
  • Massage – the only massages offered at the race
  • Personal Gear check
  • Chill-out on the deck as you overlook Lake Mendota and The 14th Mile Post-Race Party
  • Craft Beer! Unlimited FREE Wisconsin Brewing Company beer
  • FOOD! Traditional tailgate-style buffet with your choice of brats, chicken, burgers and all the fixings. Oh, and don’t forget the great sides and delicious desserts!
  • Unlimited soda, water and Gatorade for those looking for non-alcoholic drinks

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Ok so, yes – all these fantastic perks come with a price… this package costs $55. However if you use code BRMAD you will save 10% on race registration. www.madisonminimarathon.com (Price increase July 20)

Who will I see in Madison on Aug 19th?

 

 

 

 

 

Smell Well Giveaway!!!

SMELL WELL

“Disclaimer: I received Smell Well pouches 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!”


What is a Smell Well pouch? “A solution to all your gear refreshment needs!” Each package comes with 2 fabric pouches that freshen, remove odor, prevent bacteria and absorb moisture. These are perfect for stinky, sweaty running shoes as well as running gear. They are also a convenient size & weight.


As you know, being a BibRave Pro allows me the opportunity to test things like this, and while I don’t necessarily have super stinky shoes, I may take a little longer to get to cleaning my gear, so I had to give these a go.

When I first opened my package, I noticed the fresh scent. It is not “perfumey,” but just a pleasant fresh smelling aroma. I have a pile of shoes, so I just stuck them in one of the pairs of shoes to check back the next morning.


I checked back in, and as much as I didn’t want to stick my nose in my shoes, I did and they were super fresh, I really was skeptical at first, but my shoes smelled pleasant.


They also ended up in my husband’s shoes after Grandma’s marathon… and they did their trick.


Next up, I wanted to test the absorption powers. My running belt gets gross, and this is one of those items that takes me a little too much time to get around to clean. Heck, it can go into the washing machine… Anyway, I stuck both pouches into my belt, as it was super sweaty. VIOLA!!! Seriously, the belt was dry and smelled wonderful. These little pouches can work their magic. The pouches aren’t wet or “water logged” when you remove them either.


Another item I run with, which again takes me a while to clean, as I hand wash them, are my running skirts. The waist band gets sweaty…enter Smell Well… I can just throw this all in a bag, and the entire skirt comes out smelling wonderful.


I also stuck these in the pocket of a hydration vest. The surprising thing about doing this, in addition to making the vest smell great, is that while on the run, I would get a whiff of the fresh scent.


Ok, how about traveling…. these are perfect! Since they are such a convenient size & weight, they don’t take up any room in a bag or suitcase, but they come in handy for your dirty laundry… Especially if you take runcations.


Honestly, I really wasn’t too sure about these pouches. I am glad I tried them, I really like how they work, and how easy they are to use and bring along. If you would like to get some pouches for yourself head on over to Amazon and use code “BIBPRO10”  for a Buy 2 get 3 http://amzn.to/2rKVRq7


GIVEAWAY CLOSED Congrats Darren!! 

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!! You could win a package of Smell Well Pouches from me!! I have the multi-colored flowers pattern (as pictured above) to give to one lucky person. Just use the rafflecopter link below to enter multiple ways.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Contest Rules:

  1. Open to residents in the USA only
  2. Smell well and BibRave paid employees are ineligible.
  3. No purchase necessary
  4. Contest runs 7/7/17 12 am CT through 7/11/17 12 am CT
  5. Winner will be chosen at random.
  6. Winner will be announced Tuesday July 11th at noon CT, and contacted via email.

Check out what the other pros have to say about Smell Well: HeatherJeannineVanessa  – MaiLindsey  – Mary Jo

Keep up with Smell Well socially – InstagramFacebookTwitterWeb

XX2i Bahamas1

XX2i Bahamas1 Review

“Disclaimer: I received the XX2i Optics, Bahamas1 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!”

pictured with the zippered case they came in

Sunglasses!!! I can’t get enough of XX2i and their products, I was happy to try out another pair from their casual line, this time the Bahamas.

I had a choice in frame color, out of the 4 choices, I decided on the matte white/black with polar gray lenses. (Since I had another casual pair, the Bermuda in brown – hey a girl needs options!)


Features of this model include:

  • light weight, durable frame – they weigh 1.1 oz (thanks postal scale)
  • Polarized lenses with 8K optical technology
  • 100% UVA and UVB Protection
  • Glare cutting polarized lens technology
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • 365 day return policy – seriously, they give you a year!

Well besides wearing them everyday since I got them, I put them through the test by wearing them at an auction


Wearing them to mow the lawn and do yard work


Wearing them to drive


Wearing them so my husband wouldn’t wear them, until he bought his own pair

 

 

 

 


I wore them to sell goods at the farmers market


Eating Fro-yo or ice cream


Drinking beer/ coffee


I always have them with me, forgetting they were on my head, and then I reached for another of my xx2i sunglasses.


You get the jest of it… these sunglasses are good for any activity. They protect your eyes in a way you don’t understand, until you forget your sunglasses and end up squinting all day. Seriously, I don’t leave home without a pair of XX2i.

The only “con” which really isn’t a bad thing, these fit tighter than the other casual shades I own, so they are great for smaller framed heads/faces. I also love my running specific xx2i shades, so I have not run in these, they do not have an adjustable nose pad to keep them in place on a sweaty nose. However, I do know many others have ran in these – as I have run in my other casual shades too, it’s hard not to run in sunglasses even on a cloudy day…. ok I am rambling here…

Bottom line, get yourself a pair of XX2i sunglasses, your eyes will thank you – BONUS – use code “xx2irocks” for 50% off your purchase. https://www.xx2i.com/


Need more reviews? Check out what these Bibrave Pros had to say: Tedrick – Heather – Nicole – VanessaMeridith

As always you can find XX2i on TwitterFacebookInstagram or the Web

Running at night

How do you train for a night race?

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the RunMadtown 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!”

Ok, I have run A LOT of races, however I still don’t have the evening or night race thing down. I am going to be running the Run Madtown Twilight 10k in Madison, WI on May 27th. It starts at 8:10pm. As someone who usually runs in the morning or goes on a #runch, I am still trying to prepare the best I can, I have come up with a list of things, I have done or should be doing.

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I ran the even in 2016 with Lisa, and will be meeting with her again in 2017

1.) Familiarize yourself with the course. Will there be hills, pacers, aid, trail? At this time of night it’s just starting to get dark, and the lighting can throw things off. Knowing at what mile I can grab a water, or at what point I might have to climb a hill will help keep me on pace to finish in a decent time. This way I can deal with my eyes adjusting to the light and looking out for unknown course hazards.

2.) Run at night. This may be the most obvious thing to do. Run at the same time the race starts, then your body is ready. However, this is just so hard for me. I want to get my run done, I am not a fan of waiting all day. Also by 8:10 pm I am tired and don’t want to do much. Hey – I am an old lady.

3.) Eating. Perhaps, this is tougher than the night running. In my everyday life, I do not eat an early supper. Some days, I might not eat until 9 pm. The solution is to eat an early light dinner so the food has time to digest. I wouldn’t eat a plate of nachos, covered in jalepenos, well unless that is your thing. Then when you are done, enjoy the post race food line up as a snack. This year there will be Rocky Rococo’s Pizza at the finish.

4.) Find something to do during the day. I get anxious, and waiting around all day to race drives me nuts, I need things to do to keep my mind occupied. This isn’t a long distance race for me, but if it were I would recommend finding something to do to stay off your feet, or try to relax – and you can never go wrong with taking a nap!

I will also need to get my bib, so I will have time to check out the expo at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center Lakeside Commons. There is no race day packet pick up, so I will have until 5 pm on race day to check out all the goods.

There are also a ton of things to do in Madison. I really like the farmers market on Capital Square – which is where the race starts/finishes. You can also check out many breweries, the lakes, tour the Capitol or the UW Campus. Many things to keep an anxious mind busy until 8:10 pm.

5.) Prepare your gear. By the time this race is over, you will be finishing in the dark. The course is well lit, but you want to make sure your outfit is ready for the FREE race pictures. I like to wear all the colors, but you can wear what is comfortable for you to run in, remember pictures last forever on the internet.

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I just need to work on the evening and night running thing, and I think I will be ready. As a Hawkeye fan it may be tough to travel to Madison for a sporting event, but for a race, I am ready to get back to Madison.