Running in Style with Knockaround

Disclaimer: I received pairs of Knockaround sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

Believe it or not, I’m a somewhat new adopter of running with sunglasses. For the first few years of my running journey, I scoffed at the idea of wearing sunglasses as I figured they would bounce around or fall down while I was in motion. Between carrying my phone and iPod, I didn’t need another item to adjust mid-run.

Fast forward to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Vegas expo in 2019. I was wandering around, checking out the booths per usual when I came across one selling Knockaround sunglasses. I would usually just walk past booths like this, but the flashy design and group of runners lining up to buy them piqued my interest. I picked up a pair of their Clear Jelly Purple Premiums Sport and skeptically tried them on. The fit immediately felt different than my glam Hollywood sunglasses I rock in my day to day life, they actually had a secure and comfortable feel. I spent a few minutes chatting with the rep at the booth and figured why not give them a try since they were only $25.

Leaving the expo, I wasn’t prepared to mess with a new running accessory during my full marathon that weekend- I was just focused on surviving it! However, once I was back home I ventured out on my shakeout run, this time with my new Knockaround sunglasses on. After a mile in they were staying in place, but I was sure as the miles went on that they’d lose their grip between the sweat and bouncing of my run. To my surprise they stayed put for the entire 6 miles and shielded my eyes from the sun and bugs (ya know, those lovely days where the aphids are out en masse?). This thanks in large part to their rubber nose pads that prevent the sunglasses from moving around. After showering, I immediately went online and ordered two more pairs to have a small rotation. Since then I’ve acquired somewhat of a running sunglass addiction (thanks, Knockaround!) and have over 10 pairs in a variety of vibrant colors…and counting! I’m actually placing an order tonight (shhh!). I’m guilty of matching my running outfit as often as possible, so the countless color and pattern varieties that Knockaround has is a perfect compliment.

Although I’m a diehard Premiums Sport fan, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try Knockaround’s Pacific Palisades collection. Alike the Premiums Sport, the Pacific Palisades have UV400 protection and FDA approved impact resistant lenses, however the design is inspired by days chillin’ at the beach. As you’ve probably figured out, I’m pretty picky about my sunglasses, so I wasn’t sure how I found feel about this new design. When my Vintage Rose pair arrived, I immediately noticed the sleek design. I tried them on and to be honest, at first I didn’t think they looked good on me. In all fairness, I feel like my face shape can make it hard to wear a lot of different sunglass designs. I wasn’t ready to give up on them just yet, so I wore them a few additional times and they really have grown on me. While they may not be my typical style, they add a fun flair to my everyday outfits, breaking up my mostly black wardrobe. These glasses are also only $25 but you would never notice, they look expensive! So much so that I’ve received more compliments on these sunglasses than any of my other everyday pairs that cost over $100.

Knockaround has other styles as well, including Fort Knocks, Torrey Pines, and Deja Views to name a few. All styles cater to a different lifestyle or fashion preference, so regardless of what type of sunglass you are looking for, Knockaround likely can meet that need. Most of their sunglasses are $25, however a few of their styles and custom sunglasses range from $30-35. Oh, did I forget to mention you can customize your own sunglasses? How amazing is that?! With their custom sunglass builder, you get to be the designer by selecting your own frame color/design, lenses, and even the color of your “K” logo. This is perfect for a gift- the holidays are right around the corner (hint, hint!).

So whether you are looking for a new running accessory or a durable pair of everyday sunglasses, Knockaround has you covered!

Santa Rosa Marathon- A Runner’s Blend 🍷🍇

Disclaimer: I received a comp race entry into the Santa Rosa Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I think we can all agree that 2020 was an eerily quiet year for racing given the global pandemic. My list of races went from 13 down to 4 that were actually able to be held in person. Coming into 2021 I was eager to not only run the races I had already signed up for, but to enrich my experience by trying new races. The Santa Rosa Marathon seemed like a wonderful opportunity to not only try a new course, but also check off another state on my list.

The Santa Rosa Marathon offered not only the traditional half and full marathon options on Sunday, but also a 5k and 10k option on Saturday to make it a true running weekend! I had initially just signed up for the half marathon but I figured since this was my first time running in California wine country I may as well run the 5k too. I’m glad I decided to sign up for the 5k because it was a great warm-up for Sunday’s half marathon.

I arrived in Santa Rosa on Friday to give myself plenty of time to get settled in and explore the area. After checking into my hotel I went to packet pick-up which was quick and well organized. What swag did I receive for running the 5k and half marathon, you ask? Get ready, because it’s pretty awesome! For the 5k I received a 1/4 zip pullover in a beautiful burgundy color, an insulated tumbler (for my wine of course!), and a beautiful medal. On top of that awesome swag I also received a performance running jacket, bottle of wine, and another beautiful medal for the half marathon. I made the mistake of taking a small carry-on only, it was a tight squeeze getting all of that swag home!

Saturday morning was a little toasty with temps in the 70’s and there was a slight haze in the air from the surrounding wildfires, although thankfully I don’t think that impacted me too much. Upon arriving at the start line in downtown Santa Rosa, the excitement of the other runners was palpable. For many, this was their first in person race in nearly a year and a half! Everyone was smiling as they were stretching and warming up for the 5k. The 10k race started two hours prior and it was fun to cheer on some of the finishers as we were waiting to start our race. The 5k started promptly at 9am and curved through downtown for about a quarter mile before jumping on the Santa Rosa Creek Trail. It was a quick out and back and there was amazing support both from the volunteers and spectators cheering us on. After finishing the 5k, there was an after-party with a DJ playing some fun, upbeat music and every runner over 21 received a complimentary drink from Hen House Brewing.

Sunday morning had a nice crisp, chill in the air which is perfect running weather in my opinion. The race was held in the same location in downtown Santa Rosa and the same excitement was in the air. The course ran a bit further through downtown before merging onto the Santa Rosa Creek Trail again. The first part of the course was partially shaded, which provided a much needed reprieve from the sun. It was beautiful running along the trial and the Prince Memorial Greenway, especially around the halfway point as the scenery changed to vineyards and cows grazing in pastures (I love cows!). At the halfway point we crossed over a bridge and made our way back towards downtown. It was definitely starting to heat up at that point and the sun was breaking through a bit more. It was apparent that the race organizers are well versed in taking care of their runners as they had kiddy pools with cold water and washcloths setup at some of the aid stations to handout. That was such a lifesaver for me as I’ve been extra sensitive to heat this year, so being able to have a cold washcloth to place on my forehead, neck, and wrists for a few minutes helped immensely! Again, not only were the volunteers absolutely amazing, the spectator support along the course and at the finish line was much appreciated! While I wasn’t able to break 2 hours on this race, I finished with 2:05:46 which I was happy with. This is a Boston Marathon qualifying race and I definitely think it’s a great race for those chasing Boston as it is a relatively flat, fast course. There was another after-party held and I had an opportunity to meet a few other runners. I also received a bonus bottle of wine, which was a plus!

This race was extra special to me as it was my first time meeting some of my fellow BibRave Pros! Prior to the race I met up with Beth and Fallon who I connect with on Instagram, so it was really neat to meet them in person. The comradery amongst the BibRave Pros is one of the things that I love most about being a part of the team, everyone is so supportive!

Overall I had a great time exploring the Santa Rosa area, including Bodega Bay on the coast, and running both races. For anyone looking for a flat, fast course in California I highly recommend this race!

Hydration Nation

Disclaimer: I received Ultima Replenisher variety packs to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

I’m the first to admit that I struggle with properly hydrating. Even though I run an average of 40 miles a week, I cannot seem to train my body to crave water. I’m perpetually in search of a product that will entice me to hydrate, so when I was given the opportunity to try Ultima Replenisher I was excited.

The Ultima Replenisher line specializes in providing drink powders that deliver all of the hydration benefits but with zero calories, zero sugars, and zero carbs. Oh and they taste AMAZING! I’ve had plenty of hydration powders before that taste chalky or as salty as the ocean, but Ultima has managed to work their magic and avoid that.

Ultima didn’t just stop with the trifecta of 0 calories, sugars, and carbs. Their products deliver 6 electrolytes while being vegan, cruelty free, non-GMO, and gluten free.

I was provided with their original flavor lineup to test, including raspberry, grape, and cherry pomegranate (which was my fave!) to name a few. I also had an opportunity to test their new cocktail inspired Mocktini flavors which include Peach Bellini, Appletini, and Coconut Pina-Colada. These flavors are all very light and vibrant, perfect for summertime! You can either use the powders for your workouts or if you are on vacation, toss them in your cocktail for built in hydration to ward of a nasty hangover.

Although summer is coming to an end, the need to hydrate has no season. I’ll gladly be adding Ultima Replenisher products into my hydration regimen moving forward. Maybe one day I’ll have my hydration all dialed in!

Sign up for their newsletter at to receive 20% off of your first order!

It’s Time to Ready.Set.Move!

Disclaimer: I received two P3R Ready.Set.Move subscription boxes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

I’ve admittedly been a subscription box holdout as I tend to like what I know and know what I like. That all changed when I received my first P3R Ready.Set.Move box in mid-March. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I grabbed the package from my porch and brought it inside. However, once I opened the box I was immediately excited to see the variety of running related products. I felt like a kid at Christmas opening a present from Santa!

I was already familiar with a few of the items such as La Colombe Coffee (yum!!), Nuun Hydration tablets, and KT Tape which is actually great because I knew I would definitely be able to use those products, if nothing else. After digging through the fun blue and white confetti, I uncovered some new products that I had not previously been exposed to. Namely Floyd’s On the Go supplements and the TP Therapy foot massager.

The first new product that I tested was the TP Therapy Nano foot massager. I firmly believe it was fate that placed that foot massager in my box as I was randomly battling a mild case of plantar fasciitis at the time and the foot massager was a life saver! A few days later I rocked the Brooks ear warmer during my chilly early spring run, which matched my neon green tank perfectly- again, fate at play!

But wait, just when I thought it couldn’t get any better my Q2 box arrived with another set of amazing running goodness! This box had some familiar brands such as La Colombe Coffee, Nuun and Floyd’s on the Go (all different products though), however new to this box was Bob’s Red Mill products. I paired the Bob’s Red Mill Peanut Butter Banana bar with the La Colombe Cold Brew coffee, that is a breakfast of champs! I’m really excited to try the bag of Bob’s Red Mill almond flour in my baking as I’ve been trying to reduce my gluten intake this year.

I still have many more products to test out and hopefully incorporate into my fitness regime moving forward. Aside from the pure joy you experience when your box arrives, the beauty of the Ready.Set.Move boxes is trying all of the fun and tasty products. The boxes are delivered on a quarterly basis and contain products valued at over $100, for only $49.99 per box. Getting an extra $50 value? Yes please! You can save $20 by subscribing for a full year.

Even better, first time subscribers can save $10 off of their first box by using code BIBRAVE10 at checkout

Join me in having your very own box of happiness delivered to your door every 4 months!

Will Run for Chocolate

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Let me just start out by saying, you had me at “chocolate”. I had heard of the Allstate Hot Chocolate run series previously but I honestly didn’t really look into it until last year when I was searching for new races to try. Needless to say, I was missing out all of these years!

When I first signed up for the Hot Chocolate Seattle 15k back in November there was hope that by the time the event was to take place in March the pandemic would be under control and restrictions would be loosened. Unfortunately that was not to be the case as all of the HC series races went virtual for 2021. The race organization did a great job of communicating and even sweetened the race by offering a free HC hat to those that used code BRHC20 when they registered. Thankfully my initial excitement didn’t go away as I was still looking forward to pushing myself for a 15k to kick off the racing season and honestly, most excited for my finisher swag!

So let’s talk SWAG!!! The amazing swag more than made up for the missed in person experience, I mean how can you beat chocolate?!?! When my swag arrived in the mail I was immediately impressed by the jacket- it is high quality, looks amazing, fits perfectly, and even has a removable hood! I broke my cardinal rule of not wearing my finisher gear before I complete the race because it was just too cozy! The swag bag also contained two pieces of chocolate, two bags of hot cocoa mix, a personalized bib, a sample of Nuun hydration, and an awesome medal that had a BONUS piece of chocolate! I am super excited to hopefully have an opportunity to run the HC Seattle in person next year as I’ve heard the expo and race experience are amazing.

Even more impressive than the swag is that Allstate Hot Chocolate selected St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as their charity partner. This is a race organization that is sweet on many levels!

If you want to be sweet like me, you can still register for the national virtual 5k or 15k by visiting Remember to use code BRHC20 to receive your free hat!

Honoring Tony’s Legacy: The Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run.

Disclaimer: I received an entry for the Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I can vividly remember my first experience running the Missoula Marathon as it was such a well organized race with the friendliest volunteers and organizers. That was all the way back in 2015 and I have returned to the beautiful city of Missoula each year since to run this race. I’m ashamed to admit that I never took the time to really get to know the organization behind this race, Run Wild Missoula. Run Wild Missoula is a nonprofit organization that promotes running and walking for people of all abilities and ages, while giving back to the community and supporting local businesses. As a runner, their mission speaks directly to me.

Unfortunately the running community lost a integral member on October 14th, with the passing of Tony Banovich. Tony was the Race Director for the Missoula Marathon and Executive Director of Run Wild Missoula, encouraging all runners from beginner to elite. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting Tony personally, I’ve heard countless stories about what a kind, loving, and supportive person he was.

To honor Tony’s legacy and give back to Run Wild Missoula, BibRave, Event Southwest, and the Louisville Running Company joined forces to create The Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run. Participants of this run completed 4.35 miles virtually, which signifies the average daily distance of Tony’s 1,731 day run streak. Each participant received a commemorative pin, courtesy of Ashworth Awards, with the “Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run” logo and all proceeds were donated directly to Run Wild Missoula. AfterShokz stepped up to provide all runners with a 15% discount and a chance to win a free pair of headphones.

I was immediately onboard to support this run as the Missoula Marathon and community are very special to me. I had until December 31st to complete my run and let me tell you, winter conditions definitely made for a challenging run. I ran my 4.35 miles virtually from Spokane and the day I decided to complete my run we received a fresh snowfall of ~8 inches. I’d like to think the fresh snow falling during my run was a symbolic way to honor Tony’s legacy. I look forward to returning to Missoula, hopefully this summer, to run the Missoula Marathon again, which I will be dedicating to Tony’s memory.

TURTLE GLOVES®, My New Winter Running Essential.

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Turtle Glove Midweight Winter Soft Turtle-Flip Mittens to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

I’ll admit that prior to this year I would retreat to the climate controlled gym to log my miles on the treadmill as soon as the temps dropped below freezing. Why you may ask? Well, although I’ve grown up in the great PNW, I’ve never been a fan of the winters. Freezing temps, snow, and sheets of black ice frankly make me want to curl up with a blanket and cup of tea, definitely not head out for a run.

Since we’ve all had to make adjustments in 2020 with the gyms closing, I’ve had to warm to the idea of winter running. So when I was given the opportunity to try the TURTLe-FLIP Running Mittens (Midweight WINTER SOFT) from Turtle Gloves, I jumped in hands first.

My package arrived in a nifty bag, the vibrant orange color paired with the BibRave logo immediately caught my attention. I waited all of 15 minutes before I gloved up and headed out for my first run with the mittens. I was a bit skeptical as my hands tend to get hot and tingly after a few minutes in gloves, however I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to complete my 6 mile run without taking them off.

Aside from how awesome they look, the material is super soft and surprisingly breathable thanks to the Polartec® Power Stretch Pro® material. However, my favorite feature of the mittens is how easily convertible they are. One thing I’ve learned about winter running is the need to dress in layers, including your hands. It is not uncommon for me to start out a run with the full mitten and end up transitioning to the fingerless gloves as my hands heat up. The best part is I don’t have to interrupt my cadence as that I can do the transition mid-run, it really is that easy!

Turtle Gloves has options for all seasons, from light-weight to heavy-weight and in-between they have your hands covered! No exaggeration, I have taken the mittens on every single run since I first received them in mid-November. That vibrant orange color that first caught my eye is still just as bright, even after countless runs and washes. They have become my #1 winter running essential, I am officially a Turtle Glove convert!

Use code TURTLEBIBRAVE for 15% off your order, including sale items!!!

ROAD iD: Where Safety Meets Fashion

Disclaimer: I received a ROAD iD Sidekick to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

When you are getting ready to head out the door for a run you likely go through a mental checklist of your running essentials: Shoes, check! Running watch, check! Keys, check! Nutrition/hydration, check! However, if you are not factoring in a safety measure then you are missing a critical item from your list.

I’ve always ran with my phone as it is how I track my runs, but also to have in case of an emergency and I need to call someone. However, I never really thought about what would happen if I had a situation in which I was unconscious or seriously injured and could not use my phone. That is until I was given an opportunity to test and review the ROAD iD Sidekick. The Sidekick is a sleek metal attachment for your fitness watch that is customizable to include your name, emergency contacts, medical conditions, and your favorite motivational quote.

ROAD iD also has a Wrist iD, Pet iD, and Shoe iD to accommodate various preferences and needs. You can further personalize by selecting from three different colors (graphite, rose gold, slate) and by adding fun badges. Keep an eye out as ROAD iD also has seasonal and limited releases such as their Breast Cancer Awareness and Halloween bands.

I really enjoyed customizing a Sidekick for my Fitbit to match my personality. I selected the rose gold plate with the phrase “Just Keep Running” to help motivate me during challenging runs. My favorite part was selecting badges to highlight what is important to me, which were the “13.1” “26.2” and the heart badges. Don’t get me wrong, it was a hard choice as there are a lot of neat badges! I may have to order more…shh!

Once I placed my order it was only a couple of days before I received my package in the mail with a super sweet, handwritten note from the individual who fulfilled my order (see photo below). That was such a neat, small touch that made me feel like I was a valued customer and not just another “order”. I was honestly a bit worried that the addition of the plate and badges would feel bulky on my wrist and potentially rub while I was running. Thankfully I have had no issues and honestly do not even notice it is there, unless I look down for inspiration or to check my watch of course! The rose gold color also adds a bit of elegance to my rubbed Fitbit band, which is a nice touch when I am wearing “normal”, non-workout clothes.

I can honestly say that I’ve had an extra sense security since I started wearing my Sidekick, not only during my runs but also just in my daily life. I took some time to read through the testimonials on the ROAD iD website and it was apparent that this product has been vital in saving many lives. From car accidents to medical emergencies there are a countless stories, however I will advise you grab some tissues before reading! It was also really neat to hear from my fellow athletes on Instagram that they’ve been wearing ROAD iD’s for years and love the peace of mind it gives them and their loved ones. One individual commented that their child has a medical condition and they purchased a ROAD iD a few years ago to alert anyone in the event of an emergency.

Now that I’ve been wearing my ROAD iD for a month I can’t imagine going anywhere without it. I have already added ROAD iD to my Christmas shopping list for my loved ones this year as there isn’t a better gift than ensuring your loved ones are safe. This is definitely a product you hope to never have to truly use, but is so important to have.

So, have you tried ROAD iD yet? If not, what are you waiting for?!? Use code SHIP4FREEBRP for free shipping on everything at

Running SOS? Try SIS!

Disclaimer: I received Science in Sport (SIS) energy gels to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!”

If you are anything like me, you’ve struggled to find an energy gel that you can actually stomach. For the first 4 years of my running journey I tried various energy gels and chews, hoping I’d find one that didn’t have the viscosity of sludge and taste like salty cough syrup. That was until I was wandering through the Rock n’ Roll Vegas expo two years ago and happened upon the Science in Sport (SIS) booth. The passionate representative began telling me the benefits of their gel and immediately had my attention when she mentioned it had a more water-like consistency. While I was leery, I gladly accepted a sample and decided to give it a try on my half marathon the next day.

Fast-forward a day, I was in the start corral and cautiously opened the top, squeezing a small amount out as a test. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the consistency was indeed much thinner and the apple flavor was bright and wasn’t overpowered in a sea of salt. I didn’t hit the proverbial wall during my race, my body seemed able to effectively use the extra energy boost which was a really nice change. Let’s just say I was immediately hooked on SIS and have been using them during my long training runs and races since then.

Recently I was provided with three different SIS products to test out: Go Energy + Caffeine (75mg)- Orange, Go Isotonic Energy Gel- Pineapple, and Go Energy + Electrolyte- Raspberry. Each gel was tested out during one of my longer runs (7-13.1 miles) and I definitely felt the quick energy boost. All of the flavors were tasty, however I’d have to say I enjoyed the pineapple gel the best as it had a nice, mild flavor which for me is important as I become sensitive to taste/smell during runs (weird, I know!).

So what did I accomplish with these gels over the course of a couple weeks? 60 miles of running and 130 minutes of elliptical, I’d say I put the gels to the test and they passed!

Let’s talk flavors! While I have not had a chance to try all of the various flavors, I’ve been able to test out a few over the years. While preferences differ, my favorites so far are Apple, Pineapple, and Espresso…yum! Some of their other fun flavors include Raspberry, Orange, Cola, Tropical, and Tutti-Frutti (I HAVE to try that one soon!!). What are you favorites???

What magic makes the SIS gels so effective at providing quick, easily digestible energy? I’m glad you asked! SIS has three different formulas that are designed to provide athletes with the boost they need to improve their performance. However, the common denominator in these formulas is the isotonic solution which allows not only for quicker absorption (aka energy faster!) but also less tummy troubles by not the stomach not having to bring additional fluid in to dilute the gel.

I’ve provided a high-level overview of the formulas below.

Go Isotonic Gels– This is the go-to gel for most endurance workouts, providing 22g of carbohydrates with under 1g of sugar per tube. For maximum effect it, is recommended to take one gel every 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise.
*Flavors include: Watermelon, Pineapple, Cherry, Tutti-Frutti, Vanilla, and two variety packs.

Go Energy Gels + Caffeine (75mg)- Using the same base formula as the Go Isotonic, this gel kicks it up with 75mg of caffeine to help athletes increase focus and alertness. Endurance or sprint-based exercise most benefit from this gel and results are optimized when taken about 30 minutes into a 90 minute workout. For activities under 90 minutes, SIS recommends using this gel 15-30 minutes before you begin or halfway through the exercise. *Bonus note: if there is going to be a really tough part of your workout, SIS recommends taking this gel 15-30 minutes before you hit that point.
*Flavors include: Orange, Citrus, Cola, Berry, and a variety pack.

Go Energy Gels + Caffeine (150 mg)- This caffeine gel further amplifies the energy kick with 150 mg of caffeine. This gel should be used for exercise lasting over 90 minutes and should be consumed one hour before the end of your exercise. Given the higher concentration of caffeine, SIS recommends only using this gel when a mental boost is needed.
*Flavors include: Espresso

Go Energy Gels + Electrolyte- This formula is similar to the Go Isotonic Energy Gel, but with a hydration boost of 300mg of key electrolytes. Athletes performing exercise in higher temperatures benefit from this gel by assisting the body in absorbing and retaining fluid. It is recommended to use 1-2 gels during a heavy sweat session or when exercising in hot weather.
*Flavors include: Lemon & Mint, Raspberry, and Salted Strawberry.

Want to give your workout a boost? Use code “BIBRAVE20GEL” for 20% off (not applicable to already discounted products or special offers.)

But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out what my fellow BibRave Pro’s had to say:

Steph –
Sarah B –
Kimberly H-
Amanda C.
Scott S. –
Shannon –
Ken B. –

Fargo from Afar

Disclaimer: I received a race entry for the Sanford Fargo Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

Welcome to 2020, aka the year of the virtual race. I am sure I am not alone in feeling a wave of disappointment as each of my 12 originally scheduled races for the year were postponed to 2021. However, just as we’ve all adjusted to a “new norm”, race organizers have been working hard to figure out an alternative to keep us running and collecting that coveted bling.

When I was presented the opportunity to run the Sanford Fargo (half) Marathon virtually I immediately said “Yes, yes, yes!”. I registered on August 3rd, which meant I only had 3 1/2 weeks to get in race shape again. Although I’ve been averaging 168 miles per month this summer, I was far from being conditioned for running 13.1 miles in a race capacity. I jumped right into training mode, focusing on a combination of shorter, fast runs and longer, slow runs. I was fortune to have another half marathon the week prior to the Fargo Marathon to dust off the cobwebs, however this was going to be my first virtual half.

After a few short weeks of training, race day had arrived. It was early on a Saturday morning and while I was bummed I wasn’t stretching and doing a warm up jog alongside fellow runners at the start line, I was excited to race again. I did a quick warm up in my driveway and it was off to the races, literally! The first 7 miles were pretty smooth as it was early enough it was not too hot yet. However, the second half was a bit of a struggle. I was definitely missing water and aid stations but the most noticeable missing piece was the encouragement from perfect strangers. The boost of adrenaline from their support- clapping, ringing cowbells, shouting “You’ve got this!” or “Good job!”- is something that can’t be replaced. That being said, I think the virtual race option is an awesome motivator for runners to keep their training on point during this uncertain time.

A toasty 1:56:55 later, I crossed my virtual finish line. While there was no one at the end announcing my name or cheering me to victory, I was just as proud of myself. With every stride, breath, and sweat droplet, I earned my awesome finisher medal and swag! Check it out below!

I am hopeful that I’ll be running the Sanford Fargo Marathon in person next year, zooming past the Fargodome and alongside the beautiful Red River while listening to the live music each mile. Topped off with watching myself finish on the awesome jumbotron at the Fargodome. #2021goals!