runDisney Wine and Dine Weekend 2018 Review

Another wet Wine and Dine weekend is in the books!  The runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon is typically held on the first weekend in November – which means runners can arrive early to celebrate Halloween and leave late to see Christmas decorations in the parks.  Another huge perk is the extra hour of sleep that runners get before the Half Marathon due to Daylight Savings Time! While many runners still miss the nighttime version of this race, we really enjoy this weekend!

Wine and Dine 10K

The runDisney Wine and Dine 10K is held on the Saturday of race weekend!  We had amazing cooler temperatures and no hiccups for this race (Okay, well Katie did literally get the hiccups)!  For this race you can either take Disney bus transportation to the start line at the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) near Magic Kingdom or if you drive yourself you will park at the EPCOT finish line and take a bus over.  Gear check is still over at the TTC so you can bring a jacket or other pre-race necessities.

The course takes you from the Rapunzel parking lot straight down to EPCOT where you enter the park around mile 4.  While it is always a bummer to spend so much time outside of the parks, it is nice to get that out of the way in the beginning!  We saw Lightning McQueen and Mater, Jack Sparrow and Barbossa, and Chip and Dale during the first half of the race! Just before entering EPCOT, we stopped to meet Oswald the Lucky Rabbit!  Once inside the park, we ran past Remy, and Jiminy Crickett! There was also a photo op with Photo Pass with a nice view of Spaceship Earth in the background. This is a great opportunity near the end of the race so you know how much time you have remaining!

Our costumes for the 2018 Wine and Dine 10K were inspired by the Epcot Center attraction, Kitchen Kabaret!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon

For the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon you will again have to bus to the TTC or park at EPCOT and bus over as well.  It is important to leave yourself some extra time for this transportation. There are also more corrals for this race, so arrive early as they were closing higher corrals even 30 minutes before race start.  We were not so lucky with weather on Sunday morning. One minute before the Chair Athletes began their race, the skies opened up! For us we were stuck in consistent rain from the start line through mile 5 at Animal Kingdom!

This course takes you through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT!  The race is broken up nicely with plenty of park time and the only dud stretch is between Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  A good section of this stretch is on one lane of road and becomes tight for those trying to run. Knowing in advance that this section is rough is a great opportunity to select some great songs for a power playlist!

We enjoyed being able to stop for more characters during the 2018 Wine and Dine Half Marathon than usual!

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Character Stops

We stopped for more photos than usual since there were some great opportunities on this course!  Runners passed Louis, the Adventurer’s Club, Captain Hook, and Russel before entering Animal Kingdom.  In the first park, we saw Timon, Rafiki, and Chip and Dale in their newest Dinosaur costumes! For the next stretch, we passed Pluto, Elvis Stitch, and Flik.  We should note that seemed very similar to races in the passed and we wanted more variety! The Mary Poppins penguins were next and we had to stop – they are Katie’s favorite!  Hollywood Studios featured Mr. and Mrs. Incredible and Edna Mode – a new character option! Daisy was out in her sports gear near the ESPN Club on the Boardwalk too! Our highlight was Marie, located in France, as we were dressed like the Aristocats!  The last two characters were Pinnochio and Mushu! Overall, a huge amount of variety and opportunities for great photos!

The PhotoPass team for the 2018 Wine and Dine Half Marathon has definitely made some improvements since the Dark Side Half Marathon earlier this year.

Two Course Challenge

The runDisney Two Course Challenge is for runners who like the extra bling!  If you complete the Wine and Dine 10K on Saturday and the Wine and Dine Half Marathon on Sunday, you get a bonus medal to honor your 19.3 mile achievement!  To complete this challenge, ensure you have signed up specifically for the Challenge, signing up for the 10K and Half Marathon separately will not gain you entry into the Challenge!

One of our favorite photos from the 2018 Wine and Dine Half Marathon! This photo was actually featured on the official Disney PhotoPass Instagram Story!

Aside from all the weather related challenges this weekend always seems to have, it is still a favorite for us.  The theming is great and it’s a nice way to kick off all of the holidays season race opportunities! We will be returning in 2019 for the Two Course Challenge Again!

Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon 2018 Review

It was a little odd to not be the only ones running in costume for once! Hah! The Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon is part of a series of Halloween themed races that take place in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia!  While we can only really review the course for Atlanta, Georgia – the amenities seem to be consistent across all four races!

Our costumes for the Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon are inspired by Ghostbusters and were a huge hit!

Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon Course

Many of our runner friends warned us that this course would be hilly, but overall it was manageable. For interval runners like us, you might want to consider walking up the hills and running down the hills as opposed to your usual intervals.  The course began and finished in Piedmont Park, just a few miles outside of the Downtown Atlanta Area.  There was parking and packet pickup available before the race started. The course was roughly a figure-eight course running past the finisher area before the last 5K of the course.

A huge perk for this course is the amount of ATL Police Officers enforcing the road closures and generally being there for your safety.  We had no issues with cars (even though one did try to enter the course) and felt generally safe throughout the race. Part of the course is on a popular running trail so even though it is closed to vehicular traffic, there were lots of runners, walkers, and bikers out for the beautiful Sunday morning.  This wasn’t bad except for feeling severely overdressed in our costumes!

Unfortunately, due to the design of this course and lack of volunteers in the last 5 miles, there were lots of cheaters in this race.  There was a split time recorded at the 8 mile mark, but it seems that missing that would not eliminate runners from the results. The last 3 miles of the course were looped around like spaghetti and we watched at least 4 runners finish in front of us after skipping a chunk of the course. Two were in Katie’s age group and even posted an inaccurate course map to their social media pages.

The Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon course definitely had some hills, but nothing too unmanageable!

Halloween Half Marathon Runner Perks

One of the huge highlights to this race is the super awesome medal! Looking back, this race has a history of great medal designs.  We especially loved that the 5K medal was similar, but smaller and each race location had a unique ribbon to designate where you ran!  We don’t have too many medals that open like this, so the uniqueness means it will get a front spot on the medal rack.

The Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon medal opens to reveal a spooky mummy inside! Neat!

Traveling to Atlanta, GA

Typically, we like to think we are awesome travelers.  This time we made a minor error. We thought staying downtown would be super amazing and fun – it isn’t.  Please take our advice and stay just outside the city for this race. You will be happier in a hotel that doesn’t have a $35 parking fee and doesn’t make you wait 30 minutes for your car to come from valet.  There is plenty of parking near the race and free parking at Packet Pickup for two days prior to the race.

While in Atlanta, you should visit the World of Coca-Cola!  We were able to sample over 100 different kinds of Coca-Cola products from around the world, including some old favorites from Club Cool at EPCOT!  The prices are a bargain for the action inside, plus October weather could be challenging, so an indoor opportunity is a great option! This was fun for us, even without kids!

Overall, we would recommend this race for your Atlanta, GA option with some minor opportunities for the race to improve in 2019.  We think mile markers are a necessity, volunteers should be stationed at any points to cut the course, and the results should be verified for missed timing mats.  For a hilly course, we had three friends PR and we ran a really solid time as well. Also, with so many runners in fun costumes – you can’t go wrong!

We enjoyed visiting an updated version of an attraction Spencer loved as a child, the World of Coca-Cola!

Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon 2018 Review

Run Crazy Horse is one of the most well known races in South Dakota.  It takes runners around the massive in-progress rock sculpture – the Crazy Horse Memorial.  The race is only minutes away from Mount Rushmore.  It is easy to make this race into a fun long weekend vacation!  We should note that the weather can vary this time of year, so we saw some small snow flurries.  This did not impact our overall opinion of the race and we thought the Race Director and team did a great job keeping us informed of any potential changes!

Our costumes for the Crazy Horse Half Marathon were inspired by some of the most recognized animals in South Dakota, the bison!

Run Crazy Horse Half Marathon

Prior to the race start, runners could either park at the finish line area and take a bus to the start or select to take a bus at the end of the race.  We opted to get the bus portion over with early.  This was the far superior choice as we were able to use the Crazy Horse Memorial Visitor Center to stay warm and relax before the race.  There was no waiting around for hours, we sat and chatted with friends until about 15 minutes before the race start.  All of the runners orderly filed outside and we self-seated ourselves by projected pace.

Many races play a rendition of the National Anthem prior to the race start.  Since this race was rich with Native American Culture, we had the amazing opportunity to start with a traditional Native American drum performance.  It was the absolute highlight to our race experience.

The first 3 miles or so do have some hills, but even we couldn’t complain.  They were not outrageous and being so close to the start it was extremely manageable.  The hills were totally worth it for the ability to get up close to the Crazy Horse Memorial.  Since it is an active sculpture in progress, the race goes into areas typically closed off to the public during explosive work!

The remaining 10 miles were on the George S Mickelson trail, a nicely paved trail spanning 109 through the Black Hills of South Dakota.  The views were serene and time passed quickly as we ran through so much natural beauty!  This also means the course is completely closed to traffic, a major perk for us.  The point to point race ended in the downtown Hill City area which made this hometown race have a big city feel with spectators cheering along the edges!

The Crazy Horse Half Marathon ended on Main Street in Hill City!

Run Crazy Horse Runner Perks

The community really supports this race and there were a variety of vendors present at the pre-race expo.  The expo was in downtown Hill City at the local Boys and Girls Club.  The first 100 runners also received free wool socks from Darn Tough at the Granite Sports running store.  Full disclosure, we didn’t pack wool socks and totally needed these!

At the finish line, we received unique custom made medals!  These unique medals really embraced the vibe and overall feel of the race.  With so many medals, we like having something that will stand out on the racks!  Another big perk was free beer at the local bar, the Bumpin’ Buffalo.  Our costumes were a huge hit there!

The Crazy Horse Half Marathon after party at the Bumpin’ Buffalo was definitely bumpin’!

Traveling to Hill City, South Dakota

For the more rural states, runners are often skeptical on how they can be affordable or are worried about finding accommodations.  We spent four days in South Dakota, but the trip could easily be done in three for a long weekend.  We flew into RAP, a small airport in Rapid City, SD.  This was a short drive from Hill City, the host city for the race and where we stayed.

There are a variety of accommodations in Hill City, including name brand hotels you are already likely familiar with.  There are also restaurants, grocery stores, and tons of fantastic breweries and wineries.  We also spent a day over in Rapid City to enjoy their offerings as well.  Everything we have mentioned is within a short drive of Mount Rushmore.  It is totally worth the small parking fee to take pictures and enjoy this amazing work of art!

There is no question that this race should be your South Dakota race with an optional long weekend getaway.  It is definitely not as challenging to book travel and accommodations as we had originally feared and seeing Mount Rushmore was a great goal off the bucket list!  Being from Florida, seeing snow was really the icing on the cake for the whole trip!  Run Crazy Horse is a fantastic choice for your South Dakota Half Marathon and a fun vacation!

Minutes away from Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills of South Dakota offer plenty of fun activities within a 45 minute drive.


Three Easy and Cheap Halloween Running Costumes

Alright, let’s be honest. You didn’t think October would sneak up on you like that! Now you’ve got just a few short weeks until your Halloween 5K or Half Marathon and you are running out of time! Don’t worry, here are three east and cheap Halloween Running Costumes!

1. Get a Costume Shirt Online!

We have a great store on Etsy that offers athletic running costumes and shirts!  This is a great way to be comfortable during your race.  Find a store that offers 100% Polyester or Tri-Blend Wicking shirts to ensure you aren’t a sweat monster by the finish line.  For a finish touch, add a cute Sparkle Athletic skirt and a fun hat!

Here’s a snippet of some costumes in our Etsy store! We also have designs on tanks and athletic tees.

2. DIY a Quick Costume

Even though Katie works on costumes year round, many runners prefer to dress up only for Halloween.  Take a quick trip to your favorite box store and craft store to find a solid athletic shirt and some puff paint or fabric paint.  Leave at least 24 hours for your product to dry and you are good to go!

Our “Puppy Love” costumes for the Track Shack Run 4 Love.

3. Throw Together some Solid Pieces

No time to craft or buy? Take some inspiration from “Disney Bounding” and place together solid pieces from your closet to resemble your favorite character. The key here is to focus on your color selection. You can’t swap out brown for black or use maroon instead of red – no one will know which character you are!

Our Han and Greedo costumes for the RunDisney Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon didn’t take a whole lot of effort for the base costumes!

Have fun with it! Remember – we firmly believe wearing a costume will make you run faster.  Okay, well that isn’t necessarily true, but you will have more fun!

If you are looking for a running or costume shirt, click here to visit our Etsy store! If you are looking for something you can’t find, hit the contact button on our Etsy store and we’d love to help!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon 2018 Review

Using our Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour Pass for the second time, we visited the City of Brotherly Love for the Philadelphia Half Marathon! Katie has been to the city before and Spencer has not so we can confirm this race is great for locals and new visitors!  With 5 full miles inside the city and water views, this one is a must-do.

Always cheering for the Phillies, our costumes for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Philadelphia were a no brainer!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Course

We’ve done big city races before and are never fully impressed.  This race was a different story.  The course is a figure 8 shaped course, so a loop course that passes the finish line in the middle.  This means we spent the first 5 miles of the course weaving through the city.  We passed historical buildings and modern buildings in a thorough route through major areas.

After a quick pass by the finish area (which sucks a little when you are still running) we were quickly distracted by a beautiful river.  The icing on the cake was dozens of rowers training out in the waters.  Participating in an athletic event is always made better by watching other amazing athletes!

Even though the course was stunning and relatively flat, we have one MAJOR complaint.  Our roads were all closed to traffic and monitored by ample local police, with the exceptions of bicycles.  We had over 100 bicycles zoom in and around our closed course – when there was a perfectly good biking trail along our course for the entire river portion.  At one point, Spencer reached out to grab water from a volunteer and a bicycle passed between their outstretched arms.  This was extremely dangerous and we watched multiple runners almost get hurt.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon Entertainment

The big reason we chose the Rock ‘n’ Roll race series, and a reason for many runners, is the on course entertainment.  We have to say, there was not nearly the level of participation we saw in Virginia Beach.  There were no cheer groups or neighborhoods participating in the spectating and overall less bands.  The bands that were out, we really enjoyable.

We had three favorite moments on the course.  In the first few miles, one bass player actually left the stage to really interact with the crowd.  They were the most engaged on the course.  Next, we passed a Philadelphia Eagles Drumline!!!  Our last favorite was one of our last bands with 3 different bagpipe players.  They were the most unique (and maybe the most talented)!

Hanging out at the after party of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half!

Beach to Bell Challenge Medal

Since we ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon in 2018, we received a bonus medal for the Beach to Bell Challenge!  We fell into this one luckily, but Rock ‘n’ Roll does a great job promoting their challenges that rotate each year.  Medal pick up was easy at the end of the race and we enjoyed getting a bonus medal!

The Beach to Bell medal and the Half Marathon medal from Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia!

Overall, we absolutely loved this race.  Our favorite moment was being there for Katie’s cousin, Michele, to complete her very first Half Marathon! We think this a great race for new runners, elite runners, and all levels in between. (Seriously though, Des Linden was there). It honestly might even be on our list to return in 2019!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach 2018 Review

We selected the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon for our first race with our Rock ‘n’ Roll 3-pack Tour Pass. These races have a big reputation for high energy spectators, music on and off the course, and fun medals. We signed up for these races with some pretty high expectations. In the end, we had a blast!

We really wanted to channel our inner beach vibes with our costumes for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Course

Lucky for us, this course was fun and flat. There were only two small bridges that are manageable, even for flat road runners like us! The course is unique in that it starts near the tourist beach area and actually finishes on the boardwalk with stunning ocean views. It begins with a quick there and back, but utlizes two streets to the scenery changes. Then the course becomes a balloon shape, with some overlap.

The absolute highlight to this course is that it is almost entirely in the shade. Many times, a 7AM start means runners in the last corrals will suffer with the sun in their eyes and beating on their backs. Even though it was an absolute scorcher, we never complained about the sun!

Check out the beautiful views from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach half marathon course!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon Music

With more bands on the course than water stops, we had high hopes for a musical experience. The bands they selected were all different and we enjoyed listening to each one. It was nice to mark off the course as distances between bands, instead on focusing on each mile.

In addition to the bands, there were also local cheerleading groups and neighborhoods competing for cash prizes to show the best spirit. This is an extremely smart move to gain spectator participation at ultimately a low cost. Also, we were left wondering if training had been provided because everyone we encountered was so kind and motivational!

Posing for a medal photo at the beach after the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach half marathon!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Medals

This race season, Rock ‘n’ Roll is under new ownership and focusing on unique medals that embrace the highlights of each city.  For those who run for the bling, there was a chance to bring home four medals this weekend!  Saturday boasted a 5K race and a Mile on the Sand, each with unique medals.  Sunday, we participated in the Half Marathon and received a cute beach wagon themed medal.  Participants who ran Saturday and Sunday took home a bonus challenge medal as well!

The medal for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach half marathon is super cute!

Overall, this race met our high expectations.  The course was entertaining and the large crowds were evenly distributed. Our only complaints were warm water on the course and a lack of bathroom stops out on the course.  We would suggest this race as your Virginia Half Marathon or a nice option for a family fun weekend with great bling!

Twilight Half Marathon 2018 Review

For the continental US, we set out to complete our farthest state in the continental US: Washington!  We were lucky to find not only a flat race course, but also an amazing after party with tons of Half Fanatics!  The Twilight Half Marathon also boasted cute swag and a stunning medal!

Our costumes for the Twilight Half Marathon were inspired by the race mascot, an owl! Our shirts are custom made by us and available in our online store!

Twilight Half Marathon Course

First, it is important to note that this is an evening race!  The Race Director has decided to offer an early start for walkers and interval runners so we took advantage of that!  It was a nice way to not be stressed about time limits and as an added bonus it didn’t get past dusk so we didn’t need any of our lights!

The course is a there and back along farm lands, some public boat docks, and parks!  It is pancake flat, which completely makes up for the there and back style.  With only a small portion on dirt and plenty of water stops, we were thrilled with the course.  Even though there was an evening start, it is still a July race so it is important to bring extra water on the course.

Katie enjoying the wildlife on the Twilight Half Marathon course!

Twilight Half Marathon After Party

Make sure you bring your Oofos to this race because you will want to stay at the party!  With TWO beer tickets for each runner and a massive burrito – we were in heaven!  Bonus points for offering a vegetarian option for runners as well.  Double bonus points for a cider option!!  We stayed until the park closed eating and drinking, just generally enjoying time with our fellow runners.  The beer never ran out and the food was hot and fresh for every single runner.  Many races can’t say that, so we cannot express what an amazing job they did ensuring that every runner was taken care of!

We enjoyed hanging out with other runners at the Twilight Half Marathon after party!

Twilight Half Marathon Shirt and Medal

For this years race they offered a gender specific t-shirt, a women’s tank top, and a men’s sleeveless shirt.  We opted for the t-shirts since we enjoyed the neon color.  It was considerate to have options since some runners prefer tanks!  The medal we received was stunning.  While glitter and spinners are nice, we have recently become partial to the stained glass options.  When the sun hits this medal it glistens!

The medal for the Twilight Half Marathon featured stained glass!

Overall, we would absolutely recommend this race!  It is just minutes away from Portland, Oregon so you can either find back to back races like we did or just explore the city.  The race was accommodating for “back of the pack” runners with an early start and plenty of food and drink.  The last huge bonus was the entirely flat course, which is always a win in our book!

Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon 2018 Review

When it comes to running in Oregon, many runners are nervous about hills.  Luckily for us, the name of this was true and the Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon was as flat as you can get in Oregon!  Located on an island (yes, there are islands in Oregon) and starting at a Pumpkin Patch, this race could not have been cuter!

Our costumes for the Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon were inspired by Independence Day!

Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon Course

Very conveniently, this race is a complete circle around Sauvie Island.  There is one small there and back section, just to make it an even 13.1 miles.  It is important to note that the Full Marathon does coincide with the Half Marathon, starting about 30 minutes prior.  They stay the course for 4 miles and complete a 13.1 mile there and back section before rejoining the circular course.

Since you are out on an island, there are not many spectators (except for a few that came with their significant others).  We ended up with some residents peeking outside, as there was a weird power surge that knocked out power on a good chunk of the island.  The aid stations were often and well stocked, with most having water, Nuun Electrolyte Beverage, and even gels!

The Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon course gave great views of Sauvie Island!

Foot Traffic Perks and Packet Pickup

Since this race is put on by a well known chain of local running stores, we expected some perks!  Lucky for us, we were some of the first few runners to register and each got a $20 Gift Card to use in the store at packet pickup!  They also held a packet pickup at a different store location each day prior to the race.

Packet pickup was available days before, as well as at the Pumpkin Patch day of!

Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon After Party and Medal

Our bibs boasted tags for Hot Dogs or Veggie Dogs and Strawberry Shortcake.  If you didn’t already know, Katie is a plant-based runner and follows a strict diet!  She was thrilled at the prospect of a veggie dog… UNTIL THEY RAN OUT!  We finished with more than 2 hours left for the course being open and food was running short and vendors were packing up!  What a bust even for the runners after us.  We grabbed our Strawberry Shortcake and went in search of better food in the city.

The Medals were extremely cute!  Unfortunately, over 500 medals were stolen the night before the race.  This was not communicated to runners prior to starting, so many runners were confused at the finish line.  Especially, since many runners had walked through the course with medals.  The race has said they will remake some of the medals and mail them to participants who were unable to receive one.  We snagged some of the last two medals!

Overall, our pros and cons for this race are neck and neck.  The flat and beautiful scenery on the Fourth of July are amazing!  Plus, where else can you find bearable weather in July?  We did hear that water was stolen last year and then medals this year coupled with a lack of food with two hours left in the event make us wonder if the race director has let the convenience of a 16 year long and populated race take over.  Our advice is for the race director to buy some locks and for runners to pack a snack in the car!

The Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon finisher medal! The full marathon medal was the same with a different ribbon.

You Really Shouldn’t Run

Recently, I took a Pilates class with an instructor I hadn’t met before.  I was gabbing after class about my love of running and why I typically take easier classes on Mondays after my long runs.  She looked at me and said, “you really shouldn’t run.” I was taken aback. Memories from my childhood hit my like a ton of bricks in that moment.  My whole life I had been told I wouldn’t be a runner.

When I was in elementary school, every doctor always used to joke, “well you won’t be a runner” or “she won’t grow up to be an athlete.” I basically forced myself into believing that notion. I focused on academics and dug sand castles during P.E.  In fact, by middle school, I was able to override my physical education courses to be in TV Productions. I firmly believed that exercise, sports and the like just weren’t for me.

I can’t; I have asthma.

Asthma, you know it probably from what you see on TV. From Chuckie in Rugrats to Leonard on the Big Bang Theory, I was destined to be that nerdy kid reaching for my inhaler when I got overwhelmed. Maybe it is just a stereotype, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t keep an inhaler on me at all times.

Characters with asthma are generally stereotyped as nerds

After some monumental life changes post college graduation, a friend invited me to run a 5K with her. I seriously tried to get out of that obligation, but this friend needed me there so I went and did my best. We had fun, but it was a wreck. I could hardly breathe by the end and I was so sore the next day I couldn’t make it up and down my own stairs. Yes, I struggled incredibly at my first 5K.

My first 5K was one of the hardest things I had done at that point in my life

For some strange reason, I signed up for four more 5K races. With a new job, I only made it to one of these. I ran alone. I huffed and puffed. I tried to be as discreet as possible with my inhaler. I was embarrassed. The thoughts flooded back to me that I wasn’t meant to be a runner, I had my laundry list of reasons why I should quit.

I often hear this laundry list of reasons when I talk to new friends about running.  While it is important to listen to these reasons (and your doctor), do we ever stop to think about all the reasons we should start running?  We started Run The Impossible to flip the script and change the way people view running. It is about spending time with friends, exceeding your goals and most importantly, having fun.

Do what makes you happy, no matter what!

I’ll never be an elite athlete.  I’ve come to the harsh realization that I will never BQ (Boston Qualify) a race.  Should I toss my running shoes? Heck no! There is too much glitter glue in the world to let those silly facts dull my sparkle.  I am a runner and I will continue to run.

You can be a runner too!  Take a moment to list all of the reasons why you should run on a piece of paper.  Tape that list up to your mirror and remind yourself of those reasons every time you leave the house for a training run.  Add some fun to your running wardrobe, grab a friend and hit the trails!

Always have fun, no matter the distance!

Revel Rockies 2018 Review

A totally downhill race through the beautiful Rocky Mountains?  That is exactly where we ran this weekend, just outside of Denver, Colorado.  This race met all of our requirements, easy course, generous time requirement, and something unique!  The only downside for this race was that we ended up being a lot slower than normal because we stopped for so many photographs!

Our costumes for the Revel Rockies half were inspired by South Park, which is based in the Rocky Mountains area!


Revel Rockies Half Marathon Course

Seriously, this course is actually completely downhill.  Runners must arrive over an hour before the race starts (even earlier for Marathoners) and take a shuttle to the Start Line for this point to point course.  While annoying to be up so early, the shuttle process was seamless and worked well.  We were given mylar blankets and gloves at packet pickup to use while waiting for the start – it was colder up on the mountain!

In the beginning, there are three decent sized hills that runners must power through.  Many runners around us walked these hills to save their quads for the lasting downhill sections.  After the hills, you enter into the beautiful mountain scenery that doesn’t end until the finish line.  The course is open to traffic on one side of the road, leaving a whole lane for runners.  Be aware that as a slower Half Marathoner, the fast Marathon runners will be passing you for the majority of the course.

Just a taste of the beautiful scenery on the Revel Rockies half marathon course!

Revel Rockies Swag and Medal

Revel Rockies and other Revel Races boast some pretty big perks.  The gender-specific tech shirts were nice colors and quality, but lacked having the race prominently displayed.  The only indication of the race was a small logo on the sleeve that is almost unreadable in white.  Runners did get nice Headsweats hats with the Revel logo!  These are perfect for training runs in the summer!

Our Half Marathon medal was neat, as well.  Marathoners and Half Marathoners received separate medals with different colors to distinguish the distance.  They also featured a little keychain that could be removed and placed on your keys!

The race specific medal for the 2018 Revel Rockies half marathon

Revel Rockies Perks

Aside from the bling, we absolutely run for the after party.  Runners had plenty of options with pizza and decadent french toast available a short walk from the finish line.  Unfortunately, no one was taking the bib tabs, so vendors ran out before some of the later Marathoners finished.  There was also a beer area that was down stairs and extremely crowded so we opted out of that and began the long trek to the shuttle to take us back to the car. This race also offers free race photos, which all came out fantastic!

The free race photos from the Revel Rockies half marathon came out amazing!

Overall, we would recommend this race for your Colorado run!  There are perks, nice race support, and breathtaking views for the entire course.  We ultimately had no issues with the altitude change and enjoyed our time around Denver, Colorado.  So much so, we are thinking about a return visit in the future!