Disclaimer: I received free entry to review and race the Run for the Zoo Virutal Race 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!
Run for the Zoo Virtual Edition!
I think this goes without saying, but like most races in 2020, the “Run for the Zoo” Race has gone virtual. That means being able run when ever my schedule permits, and having the luxury to run on my time makes things a lot easier to plan and execute. Virtual runs also give me an opportunity to get my miles in and get on with the day, without having to travel to and from the race.
Obviously, there are some drawbacks – if you are a people person, running in isolation is no fun, and not having a support team along the way can make things slightly more challenging. However, since we’re all professionals of running over the quarantine, this virtual race was business as usual for me.
Race day highlights!
Since I ran the streets in my backyard, I got to take in the beautiful scenery and wonder of an Amish Countryside- complete with farm animals! The cows were very encouraging… the horse and buggies didn’t want to race though.
I also timed my run to fall in the late afternoon, when the temperatures were most likely to dip- and the forecast was calling for rain, so the motivation to finish with haste was present!
I’m glad I was able to Run for the Zoo and bring awareness to my social circle about this race. The Lincoln Park Zoo relies on various fundraising events (like this race) to support their operations.
If you’d like to support the Zoo, they have numerous exciting programs (virtual and in-person) shared on their website: HERE
Disclaimer: I received a RoadiD Wrist ID 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!
Never Run Alone!
If you’re like me you love running morning, noon, and night! Whenever the time is right, and up for adventure, it’s always fun running in new places and new routes and trails. After all the world is meant to be explored, so why not?
But if you’re also like me, you’ve got loved ones that care about your safety on the run. Especially when your travels may take you into an area your family is just as unfamiliar with as you. You might have concerns about the “what if” while you are out and about. So, what’s a runner to do? That’s where RoadiD comes into play!
RoadiD Wrist ID
RoadiD offers flexible options and styles to suit your needs. I chose the Wrist ID to rock on my runs because of the sleek look and customize options for use. In fact, I’ve been wearing my Wrist ID 24/7, the design is light and comfortable that I forget it’s there.
RoadiD offers you and your loved ones some peace of mind, and is so affordable I can’t think of a reason not to wear one!
Side note: the Wrist ID can be easily removed and placed on a new band, giving you a customized style. The ID badge is rugged enough that it won’t fall out and so far has been resilient to daily wear.
Assurance on the Run!
I tried thinking of just how to describe RoadiD, but fellow runner and Insta friend said it best:
Okay, so I know this a short and sweet post, but if are curious about RoadiD, I would check it out for yourself as I can not recommend them enough!
And, to make the deal sweeter, you can save 25% when you use discount code: SAVE25BRP at checkout!
But don’t take my word for it! Check out fellow BRP’s for their opinions about RoadiD. Don’t forget to check out RoadiD’s website as well HERE
Disclaimer: I received entry into the Cinco de Miler Virtual race 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!
Do you have a favorite race that you “have” to run every year? What is it about the race that draws you in year after year? Drop it in the comments below!
Is Virtual the New Normal?
Since the pandemic all races (in person) have been cancelled, leaving many race organizations scrambling to stay ahead of the game. After all, whether we realize it or not, the race industry is, in fact, a business. So it goes without saying that without customers, race “companies” won’t be able to maintain operations.
Many of the big players in the race industry are taking notes and responding to the pandemic accordingly. One way to stay ahead of the “stay at home orders” is offering a virtual option for participants to still manage to run their favorite race.
Question: does virtual racing appeal to you? would you still run your favorite race even if it moved to a strictly virtual platform?
Enter: Cinco De Miler
RAM Racing has done a great job of shifting nearly all of their signature races to the virtual platform, making it possible for anyone to run a variety of location-specific races anywhere they want!
For me the Cinco De Miler has always been on my list of races to run. Typically held in Illinois, the race moved virtual opening up the chance for me to participate here in Pennsylvania!
While it’s not the same as running in Chicago, I was still able to treat this as a regular race. With a defined date and distance on the calendar, I was running the Cinco de Miler on May 2nd along with all my BibRave Pros (virtually)!
The morning of the 2nd I woke up with a little pep in my step, after all, it was race day!
After getting dress I check in on my social media feeds to see when my friends had planned on running the race. I adjusted my schedule so that I could share my results around the same time, making it feel like I ran with friends in real life.
I opted to run the 5 miles near my hometown, passing by a man made waterfall at a local fishing spot. Needless to say, I forgot to pause my Garmin while taking in the scenery and posing for a quick selfies near the falls.
While not the fastest 5 miles on record, it was still nice to get out and enjoy nature and still feel connected to the running community by participating in a virtual race event!
Of course it wouldn’t be a race without awesome swag! RAM racing put together an awesome virtual swag bag including a signature tech shirt, medal, race bib, and lots of goodies!
P.S. If you ran this race did you try the mango lollipop?!
By the way, my first name is Lawrence- I’ve been meaning to update my RAM racing profile for the past few years. It still makes me chuckle when I see my bib with “Lawrence” on it. Haha.
With all of our favorite races being cancelled, deferred, postponed, and moved around it’s no surprise that we’re going to see a surge of virtual race options.
After the stay at home orders are lifted how soon will you feel comfortable engaging in: A run with a close friend? What about your willingness to participate in group runs with your local running club or group of friends? Finally how about retuning to races after the stay at home orders are lifted, with the large mass of crowds they draw, will you be comfortable?
Virtual race options provide an opportunity for us to run our favorite race in the comfort of our own environment. Most virtual runs are DIY from the day, time, and setting. This DIY approach provides you with the ability to pick what day you want to run, what time suits you best, and where you are going to run that’s more convenient for you.
But don’t just take my word for it.
What are the BibRave Pros saying?
Fellow BibRave Pro, Run Eat Ralph, shares his insight on how he’s grown to like virtual races, read more on his blog for inspiration on how you might enjoy them too!
Virtual options starting popping up and at first I wasn’t all that excited about the thought. Running a run on my regular routes and calling it a race seems funny to me. There are plenty of good reasons though…
It’s been a fun quarantine, and being ordered to stay at home with my besties is even better. This lockdown has brought our family closer and has provided us all an opportunity to “stop and smell the roses” if you will.
In our downtime, me and the lovely Mrs have joined creative forces and have produced this short video. No talking, just sounds of my beautiful wife in our country kitchen making a delicious meal for our family.
Disclaimer: I received a financial incentive (gift card) to review and promote the FitnessBank Step Challenge with Des Linden as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learning more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!
Lockdown doesn’t mean sacrificing fitness!
The Covid-19 virus has shutdown a lot of races, and running events, and most platforms are turning to virtual runs for a solution! Just because we’ve been given orders to stay home, doesn’t mean we have to give up on our running fitness.
I’ll admit, when my spring races started cancelling and dropping off one-by-one, I immediately started to lose hope. All of the training, all of the time (and not to mention money) invested was being thrown out the window… or was it?
Most Spring race events are being cancelled, with no virtual run being offered in return, but what if I told you that you could enroll in a virtual challenge in a race for awesome prizes? How about the added bonus of getting to compete to Des Linden?
Enter the FitnessBank Spring Step Challenge!
So, you are probably wondering how you can complete? It’s super easy: Download the App – It’s FREE! – FitnessBank Step Tracker App. Sync the App directly with Garmin and FitBit apps, or to Apple Health and Google Fit connected other activity trackers.
Then get out and MOVE! The best part of this challenge is being able to compete right where you are, and the app is easy to use and you can follow along to see how you are stacking up!
Well, this should come as no surprise, in more recent news the COVID-19 virus (known as Coronavirus) has created a stir in the running community as many race organizers announce the cancellation of races throughout the nation.
The Allstate Hot Chocolate series announced yesterday its closure of another HC15K race, this time, Philadelphia was included in the list.
Participants: Please check your emails for important event updates and to find out “what’s next” for the race.
Frustrating? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely.
As I mentioned previously (Shamrock Marathon Update), this is a first (at least to my limited knowledge) for most race organizers, as pandemics aren’t common place in our nation. As such proper precautions are being taken to help prevent the spread of the virus for the overall well-being of the community at large.
What can we do?
First thing is first, don’t be a jerk. Seriously.
I understand the frustration of losing money on a race registration, and I understand the frustration of having trained for months (if not an entire year) in hopes of crushing a running goal. I, myself, have been looking forward to the upcoming race season with much anticipation, especially since most of these races involve more than just running but offer a real chance to connect with friends (new and old).
As much as I’m disappointed, it’s important to step back and look at the big picture.
What goes into a race?
I think often times people forget that a race is much more than a one day, or weekend event. A race takes planning and a community to support it. In all the photos of the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate race, what you don’t see is the amount of volunteers needed, along with first-responders standing by. As a semi-former first-responder, I can’t tell you how under appreciated our emergency services are.
The Philadelphia Police department, along with Fire and EMS are at every corner, twist, turn, and intersection of the race. These resources provide a crucial role in the security and safety of all participants.
What you don’t see in the photos is the large Sanitation crew on the day of the event. Since the Boston bombing, the city has increased security in the area tenfold. Large Sanitation Trucks (trash trucks) and barriers are placed at critical intersections surrounding the race to prevent anyone from driving into the race festival area or course.
What you don’t see is the volume of Emergency Medical staff on standby during the event when someone is injured along anywhere in the course. Last year I recall a runner being transported to the hospital after sustaining running related injuries- the Ambulance drove among runners!
Demanding full refunds seems a bit selfish. Most of the participant fees cover not only the swag and general overhead, but there’s a ton of logistics involved and time spent organizing that can’t be refunded. Time is money, and when an event is planned and people invest a lot of time to make it happen, I think it’s only fair we honor those individuals but not requesting a full refund. Also, not to mention the charities involved in conjunction with the race. Demanding a full refund robs those charities of precious dollars.
Point being: take it in stride and accept the outcome.
I know and understand the frustration, after all I’m a participant as well! But I also think we all need to step back and look at the big picture and appreciate how difficult this decision is, and to respect the outcome, after all it’s respect for the community that is most important.
Another thing to remember, during this pandemic, local community hospitals are going to be inundated with patients. Since this is flu season, anyone that so much as senses a whiff of flu symptoms is most likely going to think “what if” and head to the local hospital or urgent care facility for Coronavirus testing.
Now add the needs of the 1,000’s of people registered and participating in the event all at once… seems like a recipe for disaster. So out of respect for the Philadelphia community, I applaud the event organizers for decided to cancel the event.
Put it this way, had the race not been cancelled, and there was an outbreak of the Coronavirus, what’s the likelihood the city of Philadelphia would be willing to allow future running events? Like I said, don’t be a jerk, let’s preserve our trust and relationship with the communities we run and hope for a better future.
Well, it happened, for the first time in my short history of running an event has been cancelled due to a virus! I’ve had previous events shutdown due to weather related issues, but never the threat on this level.
While I’m completely saddened by this news, I understand and respect the decision of the race directors. It had to have been so hard to cancel this amazing event.
A Race Cancelation Done Right
Major shoutout goes to the Shamrock Team for making things right! After announcing the cancelation of the race, participants were notified that all swag and medals would be shipped (on the house!) to all participants as a virtual race option. Deferments can be made for an additional cost.
Participant Options following the Cancellation
Per the participant email:
1. NO COST | Run Virtually. We will be mailing all 8K, Half Marathon, Marathon, and Leprechaun Dash participants their race packets plus all their finisher items in approximately 4-6 weeks. Final Mile participants will receive a special message from us once we finalize the next steps. NO ACTION REQUIRED.
2. FOR AN ADDITIONAL FEE | Defer your entry to 2021. We will still be mailing your race packet and finisher items, but there is also an option to defer your entry into next year’s race for a fee based on your distance. You have until March 16, 2020 at 11:59PM to do so.
It is a shame, but the decisions are understood. Thank you Shamrock Marathon for honoring participants and hopefully I’ll see you next year!
Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 465 Challenge race 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 465 Challenge is a 53 mile virtual race that runs from January 1 to February 29 (2020). Participants have from the beginning of January to the end of February to complete 53 miles either walking, running, jogging, swimming, or biking. This challenge is a great way to make that New Year resolution stick!
Another bonus is that any participant that completes multiple intervals of 53 miles are considered “loopers” and join the Looper Club. And, if you complete the 53 miles within 24 hours, you join the 24 hr Club!
From the beginning, my goal was to compete at least 3 loops over the course of the challenge, through running only. 156 miles over the course of the challenge seemed pretty obtainable as long as the weather held out.
I’ll admit, Jan – Feb in Pennsylvania can be a bit of a gamble, especially since those are typically my lowest monthly totals when it comes to running. Throw in the added bonus of our local YMCA shutting down, and I knew this was going to be a challenge that was going to force me to get creative if the weather went foul.
And getting creative I did! I was determined to only track running miles only. I incorporated my long runs and even a half marathon into my schedule to make sure I hit my goal! The 465 Challenge was the perfect way to plan out my otherwise boring start to the year.
Mild Winter = Better Mileage
As luck would have it, January through February was actually quiet mild for our region. Instead of snow and ice, the Northeast saw a lot of rain! I felt like the entire last two months have been nothing but a wet soupy mess.
Despite the rain, I managed to complete my 3 loop goal over the course of the 465 Challenge. It helped that I had a handful of long runs on nice clear Sundays and not to mention the Squirrely Tail Half Marathon to boot.
This challenge couldn’t have gone off any better, and it was so rewarding to be able to maintain my fitness levels over the dark winter months. I’m glad I signed up for the challenge and I’m even happier I met my goal!
The 465 Challenge was a great way to stay focused on training through the darkest winter months. The online community and encouragement from other participants really helped me stay focused and kept my on-track on days I was lacking motivation. This challenge was a great way to start 2020 and to really hammer out those early New Years resolutions.
The swag was pretty cool as well! Participants received a pretty unique medal, and if you added it to your registration a nice quality shirt!
Did you miss out?! That’s okay, make sure you track down the 465 Challenge and check out all the upcoming races they are offering and be sure to sign up for next year!
Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Yuengling Shamrock Half Marathon race 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!
Where to begin? This March is the upcoming BibRave Summit, which so happens to coincide with the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon weekend of events! I’m super excited to be participating in the Dolphin Challenge (completing the 8K on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday)!
In preparation for the event, nothing new or crazy is taking place training-wise, just the same old trying to get 20+ miles in each week before race day.
One thing that is semi-new is that I’ve been practicing Intermittent Fasting (for about 6 months) and I’ve notice when I run in a fasted state I feel like I have more control over my energy. Crazy I know, but I can run fasted up to around 5 miles without feeling the need to take in fluids (mind you I’m keeping hydrated while fasting).
After 5 miles I notice a dip in my energy and can quickly boost my levels with a gel, or taking in fluids with electrolytes and such (Tailwind is my go-to choice).
Anyway, we’ll see how things play out for the Dolphin Challenge! Im excited for the BibRave Summit, I’m excited for the race weekend, and I can’t wait to catch up with all my fellow BibRave Pros!