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!

Geist Half Marathon 2018 Review

There are a lot of choices for Half Marathons in Indiana.  The Geist Half Marathon boasts beautiful water views, a closed and safe course, and a fun after party!  This community driven race not only benefits a local hospital, but running programs for school aged children as well!

To go along with the nautical theme of the Geist Half Marathon, we re-purposed some fun captain and mate costume pieces!

Geist Half Marathon Course

The Geist Half Marathon Course is a balloon shaped course that only overlaps for the first and last 5K portion.  This is so runners can run over the beautiful Geist Reservoir twice!  The 5K, 10K and Half Marathon races all start at the same time, but with experienced race directors – there was no confusion at all.  The 5K broke off from the group first, then the 10K runners, leaving the Half Marathoners to themselves for the bulk of the course.

In additional to the spectacular water views, runners also spend time in the surrounding communities.  With new construction and classic homes lining the course, there is not shortage of conversation points (yes, we house shop while we run!).  Many of the homeowners had parties in their front lawns to cheer on the runners as they passed by.  We always appreciate the spectators!

The water views of the Geist Reservoir during the Geist Half Marathon were beautiful!

Geist Half Marathon Medal

Medals are an important part of any race!  We firmly believe that having the medal not only signifies the accomplishment, but also serves as a wonderful souvenir.  While we always look to see if a medal is included, we leave some element of surprise for the actual race.  WOW! This medal is HUGE!  The medals varied in size for the 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon and we were thrilled to have this giant dinner plate sized medal!  The medal theme really matched with the signage in the area for Geist as well!

The medal for the Geist Half Marathon is massive! The largest race medal we’ve ever received.

Geist Half Marathon VIP Experience

The VIP Experience is an opportunity to take your entire race experience to the next level.  With a private area after the race to sit an unwind, it is a great choice!  We were able to comfortably relax, have a bite to eat, and enjoy amazing Mimosas and Bloody Mary’s.  There was also an area for massages and a chiropractor available as well.

Enjoying mimosas and bloody marys in the VIP area of the Geist Half Marathon!

There was a separate area for the Kid Zone with mini ponies that were even brought over to the VIP Experience (probably just for Spencer).  Even though we were unable to find Pawnee, Indiana on the map, we were able to find an old friend to remind us of the spirit of Indiana.

Not the real Lil’ Sebastian, but a close second!

Overall, we would absolutely recommend this race experience.  When visiting each of the states, we want to experience the local flavor and community.  This race had the hometown feel we look for and we genuinely left with a love for Indiana.  With a 3:30 pace requirement, walkers can also enjoy this race.  A huge bonus was the amount of course support and medical tents, meaning this race is also perfect for beginners as well!

MudHen Half Marathon 2018 Review

It was a no-brainer to pick a New Jersey race – we knew we wanted to be in Wildwood!  When we originally signed up for this race (a year prior), it was called The Wild Half.  DelMo Sports purchased the race series and named it the MudHen Half Marathon, after a new brewery opening near by.  While some minor changes did occur, DelMo Sports kept a solid race with safe streets and water views throughout.

Which classic Wildwood pizza joint is the best? Mack’s or Sam’s Pizza Palace?

MudHen Weekend Warrior

We entered into the Weekend Warrior division which means we completed the 5K race on Saturday and the MudHen Half Marathon on Sunday.  This was nice for us since Katie’s family wanted to participate in the 5K.  For next years race, they are offering a Friday evening 5K, Saturday morning 8K, and Sunday morning Half Marathon.  They have a variety of challenge packages to fit any runner’s needs!  Having the race distances spread out throughout the weekend is a nice perk instead of having to pick one distance on one day.

The MudHen Half Marathon offered free race photos!

MudHen Half Marathon Course

The MudHen Half Marathon Course is a there and back design.  Runners start near the Wildwoods Convention Center and race towards the boardwalk.  From there, runners will pass the Hereford Inlet Lighthouse – lighting the way since 1874!  There is a brief moment of residential running, which was nice for us to shield from the crazy wind!  Three bridges line the course near the turn around.  The first is an easy overpass, the second bridge was a little scary with open metal grate at the top, and the third bridge was the tallest.  With a there and back, keep in mind you will do each bridge twice!

The MudHen Half Marathon course ran right past both of our costumes’ pizza places!

MudHen Half Marathon Perks

Since we signed up for the race prior to the switch in ownership, we received Morey’s Pier Passes.  This was great for us to spend the day Saturday at the pier.  Only one pier was open for the off season, but with little to no lines we had a blast!  Even if the ticket is not included in the future, we would recommend saving some time to explore the boardwalk.

After both the 5K and the Half Marathon, the park across the street was used for food and fun.  Runners could help themseves to a beer from MudHen Brewing and a variety of food options.  We were especially excited about Philly Pretzels after the Half Marathon!  Our only suggestion for next year would be to add more photo opportunities and backdrops!

At both the MudHen Half Marathon and the MudHen 5K we enjoyed craft brews from MudHen Brewing!

MudHen Half Marathon and 5K Medals

Since we ran the Weekend Warrior challenge, we received a medal on Saturday and on Sunday.  The medals differ in size (we always think longer distance = bigger medal).  The really neat option was the magnetic medal add-on to show we completed the challenge!  We were nervous to wear it out to breakfast, but it looks great on our medal racks at home.

MudHen Half Marathon, 5K, and Weekend Warrior medals!

Overall, we loved this race and would absolutely recommend it.  The race was completely closed to traffic, had a generous 4 hour time limit, and boasted amazing views of the water throughout the course.  Being so close to the coast does mean weather could be challenging, so pack some long sleeves and rain options just in case!

 

Top 3 Tips for The Color Run

Top 3 Tips for The Color Run

We just completed The Color Run in Orlando, Florida!  After a successful and fun run, we wanted to share our Top 3 Tips for The Color Run! Since this is the nation’s largest running event (with over 500 races completed), it’s always best to be prepared!

1. Wear Sunglasses!

Running in colored powder absolutely sounds like the most fun ever, but you really don’t want powder in your eyes to slow you down.  Even though the powder is non-toxic (mainly just cornstarch and baking soda), anything in your eyes is bound to feel rough.  Sunglasses are a must!  Plus, once the sun comes out they’re practically a necessity.

The Color Run Tip #1: Wear Sunglasses!

2. Bring Water!

Again this tip is two fold.  First, if you run through the color zones screaming out of excitement, you are bound to end up with a mouth full of powder.  If you don’t want to look like a dog with peanut butter on the roof of their mouth, bring some water!  Bonus use, water is actually hydrating.  Even though this race is only 3.1 miles, hydration should be your number one priority!

The Color Run #2: Bring Water!

3. Keep a Bag in the Car!

Color looks great on your clothes, but not so great on your car seats.  Make sure you bring a large bag to put all of your powdered accessories in before you drive home.  We brought a kitchen sized trash bag, two grocery bags, and towels.  The kitchen bag was great for our shirts and tutu, the grocery bags were for our sneakers, and towels were for our car seats!  It also makes it much easier to dump the whole bag into the washing machine when you arrive home!

The Color Run Tip #3: Keep a Bag In The Car!

GO! St. Louis Half Marathon 2018 Review

Missouri has a lot of races to offer, but we selected this one since it is touted as one of the largest!  With 10,000 runners in the marathon division, and 22,000 runners completing the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon, it had to be a winner!  Unfortunately, we were less than impressed with the overall production of the race.  There was a lack of communication, strict rules that were not fully enforced, and general confusion about many elements of the race.

Our costumes for the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon pay homage to the 1904 Summer Olympics, which were held in St. Louis!

GO! St. Louis Expo

We arrived a day before the race as packet pickup was mandatory the day prior.  This is not unheard of for a race of this size.  Our disappointment stemmed from the email stating that parking would be limited and $5 so we walked from our downtown hotel.  Once we arrived, we realized there was free parking right next to the expo.

Once inside, we were shuffled around to stations for our bibs and shirts.  We were unable to find any information on how the corrals would work or how many there were total. (We also checked the website and were unsuccessful).  Moving on from that area, we entered a larger venue with vendors and some food samples – thanks Noodles & Co!

We enjoyed being able to visit the expo early enough to see what St. Louis had to offer!

GO! St. Louis Half Marathon Course

We signed up for this race knowing very well there was a strict 3:15 time requirement.  As you all know, we can of course keep this pace, but the strict requirements put some unnecessary stress on Katie.  Upon registering, we were really unaware that there were so many corrals (we were in J out of K) and didn’t account for starting about 30 minutes after the actual start.

If you saw our social media posts prior to the run, you know we considered not even going and had already accepted our fate of the SAG wagon.  Three bridges in the first 5K of the course also didn’t help the overall anxiety surrounding the race.  Two bridges took you over the Mississippi River into Illinois and one bridge returned you to Missouri.  We decided at least to conquer the bridges!

After Mile 4, and back in Missouri, the course was significantly more manageable.  We quickly realized the sweepers were no where to be seen.  In the end, we enjoyed the rolling hills, city views, and cold temperatures.  The Half Marathon Course joined the Marathon Course around Mile 10.  Watching these amazingly fast marathoners run by is always motivation to continue as strong as possible through the finish line!

The GO! St. Louis half marathon course runs past the Budweiser factory, where they offer free tours!

GO! St. Louis Half Marathon Concerns

Overall, we would not return to this race or this series.  In addition to the above concerns, we saw a runner at our hotel almost miss the race because she was misinformed about the shuttle to the race.  Also, check out our video review of the race to see our amazing Start Line!  With no volunteers to separate corrals, a chunk of our corral (with the pacers) crossed the start line while they attempted to hold the rest of us.  We convinced the Race Director to let us start so instead of an enthusiastic start we got “Okay fine just go!”  For a race that boasts such high numbers, they should really get their act together.

The medal for the GO! St. Louis Half Marathon was a little small, but the overall design is nice. It features the city skyline!

Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon 2018 Review

It might be a little known fact that we are actually history buffs.  The idea of running a Half Marathon and visiting major landmarks from Abraham Lincolns hometown combined is the perfect weekend “runcation”!  Aside from the below freezing temperatures, we would absolutely recommend the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon (plus, the race isn’t always that cold)!

Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln ready to tackle the 2018 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon!

Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon Course

The course for the Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon was a well thought out design.  There were no there and backs or overlapping portions of the race.  We were able to run by the only home Abe Lincoln ever owned, the old and new Illinois Capital Buildings, and Abraham Lincoln’s tomb.  The landmarks were also well spaced out so there was always something to look forward too around the corner.

While this course did boast a 3:30 pace requirement, we did notice that near the end the roads were not closed.  The last water stop had largely packed up and two major roads near the end were open to traffic.  Luckily, we had other runners with us so we were able to group together and cross the road safely.

Running through George Washington park was one of the beautiful highlights of the 2018 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon course

Visiting Springfield, Illinois

We arrived in Springfield, Illinois the day before the race and had plenty of time to visit in the city!  We flew in and out of St. Louis International Airport, which is about an hour and a half drive away.  There are museums that have a small entrance charge, plus a few free places to visit.  Our favorite was walking through the old Capital Building (actually the 5th in Illinois history).  We also ate dinner at Obed and Isaac’s in the city.  This was one of the most spectacular dinners we have ever eaten!

Us with the “real” Abe and Mary outside the Old State Capitol before the 2018 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon

Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon Perks

While we don’t always run for the bling – it certainly doesn’t hurt.  The medal was an adorable copper top hat!  While some people may find the medal bland, we find it charming and well themed!  There is even a space on the back for you to affix your own 2018 penny!

After the race, there were plenty of goodies for runners too!  We were offered Gatorade, water, and cold chocolate milk!  Plus, Obed and Issac’s was even there with some locally brewed beer.  We left with Granola Bars and donuts too!  The best part was the nice tent set up to block some of the wind and cold while we were enjoying our post race treats.

The medal for the 2018 Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon features Abe’s Stovepipe Hat! The back has a space to put a penny!

Overall, we would absolutely recommend this race to anyone looking to knock Illinois off of their 50 State Challenge or anyone in the local area within driving distance of the race.  If you are concerned about the weather, the weather is historically much better – so don’t let that stop you!

Zydeco Half Marathon 2018 Review

Our choice for Louisiana was a no-brainer since Spencer is actually from Lafayette, Louisiana!  The Zydeco Half Marathon boasted a wonderful course and Spencer was thrilled to run through his hometown.  If you’ve ever been to a Fais Do Do – that was the entire vibe of this fun and community-involved race!

Our Tony Chachere’s and Slap Ya Mama costumes spiced up the Zydeco Half Marathon!

Zydeco Half Marathon Course

This was another race that boasted both a Full and Half Marathon distance.  The two courses actually stay together for the first almost 13 miles and then half runners turn towards the finish line.  The course winds through the entire Lafayette area, starting downtown and running past local icons like the Cajundome and the University of Louisiana campus!

About two-thirds of the way through the course, we entered a residential area.  At first we were skeptical because those areas can typically be a little dull, but we were quickly proved wrong.  Many of the homeowners were out in their lawns and on the side streets having a full cheering party!  We were even offered some boudin and cracklins!

Spencer’s family went to several spots on the course to cheer us on!

 

Zydeco Half Marathon Festival

This race wasn’t kidding when we were told there would be a party after the race!  Runners had 5 Food and Beverage tickets attached to their bibs to be used at a variety of vendors serving some real Louisiana cooking.  There was also the opportunity to try some local brews.  Tony Chachere’s was there and they loved Spencer’s costume!

The real highlight was the music.  Zydeco is actually a genre of music that was created in Southeast Louisiana.  It was a really great way to incorporate the race name and local flair into this race.  Katie had never been to Louisiana before and she left this race with a comprehensive tour!

Spencer with the Tony Chachere’s food truck at the Zydeco Half Marathon after-party! They made a mean gumbo!

Zydeco Half Marathon Medal

Keeping in line with the theme, this race offered a musically themed medal.  The medal featured a large accordion – an instrument largely featured in Zydeco music.  The medallion was the same for both race distances, with the ribbon designating which race was completed!

The Zydeco Half Marathon medal featured an accordion!

Overall, we had a great experience with this race.  The party atmosphere and hometown feel made it extremely enjoyable.  We would definitely recommend this race to anyone looking for a Louisiana race because you get a real hometown feel (and not in a commercialized Mardi Gras way).  We will be back to run again in the future!

The community support along the Zydeco Half Marathon route was fantastic! Training Wheels Personal Fitness loved our costumes so much they asked for a picture!