XX2i Hawaii1 Product ReviewΒ 

Disclaimer: I received the XX2i Hawaii 1 sunglasses 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!

First off, I have been a BibRave Pro since the beginning of the year. Since then, I have had the privilege of meeting many other runners through social media and through the BibRave Pro program.  I have a couple of races coming up that I will be representing BibRave at and have had the opportunity to try out a lot of new products (and pass some discounts on to you as well).  If you are a runner, enjoy connecting with other runners through social media and at races, apply to be a BibRave Pro

Over the past month, I have been testing out the XX2i Hawaii1 sunglasses.  If you have followed my blog since I became a Pro, you know that these are the 3rd pair of XX2i sunglasses that I have tested.  The first was USA1 followed by Bermuda1 (casual pair).   I have been very pleased with the XX2i brand and they have become my go to sunglasses and I have bought some very expensive sunglasses in the past.  I was very excited when given the opportunity to try out the yet to be released (at the time of delivery), Hawaii1 sunglasses.  

The Hawaii1 sunglasses came with a hard zip case and microfiber bag/cleaning cloth. The first thing I noticed was how light weight these glasses are.  The frame is carbon fiber, the lenses are polarized, and the nose piece is bendable fir a better fit. 

Let’s start with the pro’s

  • Very light weight as already mentioned
  • I appreciate the frame design 
  • Clarity 
  • Great looking design

Now for the one Con

  • I could never get the fit to feel like they were not going to fall off.  They just constantly felt lose on me and I keep pushing them back up my nose.  When running, my sunglasses are one of those things I just shouldn’t have to keep on adjusting.  I was really surprised by this because I have been very happy with the fit on all the other XX2i glasses that I have tried. I do, however, seem to be in the very small minority on this issue amongst other BibRave Pro’s, so please feel free to read their review to see what they have to say. 

AngieAllenGinaErin

    Want to try out the XX2i Hawaii1 sunglasses for yourself (or any of their other great models)?  Use promo code XX2iRocks to get 50% off your order on any of their great products.  

    Want to win a free pair of Hawaii1 sunglasses? Join us on Tuesday (May 31st) for #BibChat on Tuesday for your chance to win. 

    Preview: Earn Your Mittens

    A couple years back, I had heard of this thing called “Earn Your Mittens.”  It is a challenge where you run the Wisconsin Marathon in Kenosha on Saturday, then the Kalamazoo marathon the next day. I though at the time that I would like to try it sometime.  Then last September, I guess I decided that 2016 would be a great time to try it.  At the time it seemed like a great idea, now it just seems a little insane.  But, sometimes running is insane.  Well, the Earn Your Mittens weekend is here.

    To make this weekend experience if more insane, after a less than desirable performance at the Carmel Marathon, I will be running the Wisconsin Marathon aiming to run under 3 hours.  The Carmel Marathon was 3 weeks ago, not much time for recovery. This will probably make the Kalamazoo Marathon a little unpleasant.

    I will be honest, since my coach and I talked about going all out at the Wisconsin Marathon (conversation probably began about 10 minutes after I crossed the finish line in Carmel), I have not thought much about the Kalamazoo Marathon at all.  All preperation has been focused on the Wisconsin Marathon and whatever happens in Kalamzoo, happens.  

    Here is what I know about the two races.  Looking at the map for Wisconsin, it is mostly a North/South course along Lake Michigan.  Depending on the wind direction, this could be a benefit.  At the time of me writing this blog however, winds will be out of the North between 15-18 mph. Not ideal.  Really hoping for the wind to be coming out of the east or west.  There is also a chance of rain/thunderstorm.

    Also after talking with fellow BibRave Pro, Lisa (who is from the Kenosha area and earned her mittens last year), it is a mostly flat course with a hill at mile 9. So with all this in mind, here is how my coach and I have planned this race out. The first 7 miles, I will aim for low 6:50 pace.  This is a few seconds slower than Carmels opening miles.  Miles 8-19, I will be aiming for around 6:40. This is when the wind we be at my back the most, if the weather doesn’t change. Miles 20 to the finish is basically what I have left in the tank.  It will be interesting with the wind as these miles all head north.  Lisa also shared that there really isn’t much of a crowd on the second half of the race so I am not expecting much support.  
    Truthfully, with only 3 weeks between marathons, I will be happy with a sub 3 hour marathon.  Anything faster is an added bonus.

    As for Kalamazoo, there really isn’t much of a plan other than to finish without an injury.  I can guarantee one thing, there will be walking involved. If I had to come up with a time goal, I would say keep it under 4 hours.   All that I really know about this course is that it is really hilly.  Walking up some hills are probably in my future. 

    I won’t be alone on this adventure.  My wife Tina (you can read her post on the upcoming weekend here), is running the Half Marathon Challenge.  I feel bad for how long she will be waiting for me on Sunday. 

    When I originally planned on running this weekend challenge, the plan was to run both marathons relaxed.  Things don’t alway go as planned however.  So it will be business on Saturday and just enjoy the run (or walk) on Sunday.

    New Blog!

    I have decided to start a new blog page, along with a new Facebook page. Why you may ask? Basically it comes down to the fact that the 2015 Boston Marathon is over and completed, so the title of the Blog doesn’t make sense any more. When I started Mark to Boston 2015, I planned on it being just a blog about getting ready for the 2015 BostonMarathon. But it became more than that with race reviews, product reviews, and other things related to running. 
    Also, along with a new blog page, I have started a new Facebook page. You can find that page Here. I hope to offer encouragement, advice, product reviews and more. I would appreciate if you would like my new page and follow along as well as contribute. It’s a lot more fun when others are involved. 
    So why the name “Daddy, Did You Win?” After every race I run, no matter how large the race or the distance, my two daughters, Emma (8) and Chloe (7), ask me, “Daddy, did you win?” They even asked me after running the Boston Marathon.  
    So please keep following along both on the New Blogand on Facebook  

    Sunburst Half Marathon

    For those of you who know me well, you know this is not my favorite race. I do complain about this race every year, but I do actually have some positive things to say this year as there were some improvements.  I run it for a couple of reasons: 1. Just about every runner in the area runs this race.  It gives you an idea of where you stack up in the local running community. And number 2: it’s a points race in our local running club. 

    Sunburst offers a wide variety of distances to run/compete in. They offer a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon. If running is not your thing, they have a 5k walk as well. I have said in the past that I would never do the full marathon again at Sunburst (I first said it in 2004, and also after going against my better judgement and running it again in 2013).  This year I held true to that statement and ran the half marathon.  

    The major benefactor of this race is Memorial Children’s Hodpital in South Bend. 

    The typical course for Sunburst races starts in down town South Bend and finishes somewhere on Notre Dames Campus. The typical thing that drawls people to the Sunburst races from out of down is that in past years, all the races finish at the 50 yard line inside of Notre Dame Stadium.  For the second year in a row, the races were unable to finish inside of the stadium due to construction to the stadium itself. Not a big deal to me, but apparently it is to others as registration has dropped by about 25% over the last two years.

    Also this year, all the courses were drastically changed.  In my opinion, they were changed for the better.  No more running by the waste water treatment plant north of down town South Bend for the half marathon and marathon.  The half marathon course went east out of South Bend and into Mishawaka along the river and back into South Bend before heading to Notre Dame. 

      
    My Race:

    I came into Sunburst not knowing what to expect.  With focusing on the marathon distance over the last couple of years, I really had not run a great half marathon race in a long time.  I decided on what I considered an obtainable goal, running a 1:24:00.  Not real fast for me, but considering my past times, not bad, especially considering my time last year at Sunburst (1:27:17). 

    The race started at 7:30 for the half marathon, an hour later than originally announced.  The start time was changed from 6:30-7:30 due to fears that the 5k and marathon runners would clash on the course.  So the two races were switched.  Runners in the half, such as myself would prefer the 6:30 start to avoid as much heat as possible.  While those in the 5k were upset as well because a lot of younger kids were running the 5k.  I couldn’t imagine waking my kids up for a 6:30 5k race. 

    Luckily, the heat stayed maniagable all morning, with temps reaching of 60s.  I would have preferred 50s, but with temps getting up into the 70s and 80s in the past, I won’t complain about this years weather.  

      (Start of the full marathon at 6:00)

    Race started on time at 7:30. The goal for the first mile was to go 6:35-6:40 for the first mile and take it easy. This didn’t happen for either of us as we ran 6:19. (Average for a 1:24:00 half marathon is 6:24). It didn’t feel like I was working too hard, but still wanted to go slower.  

    The next several miles were consistent with running a 6:21, 6:19, 6:19, 6:21. The only bad thing about the day’s weather was the wind.  Gusts were out of the east, which appropriately enough, with the new course, was the way we were running the first 5.5 miles. Wind wasn’t too strong but noticeable.  There are only so many things a race can control, and weather is never one of those.  

    Splits started to drop off at mile 6 with a time of 6:29, followed by 6:23, 6:23, 6:32, 6:39, 6:53,  and 6:36.  Right after crossing mile 12, was “Hallelujah Hill.” Marty Stern once said “if the hill has its own name, then it’s probably a pretty tough hill.” In years past, I have made fun of Sunburst for naming a the hill because it wasn’t all that difficult of a hill.   This year, they moved it a couple blocks east, and it was a lot steeper of a hill. 

      

       Don’t get me wrong, it’s no Heartbreak Hill, but with how steep it was, it was tough. 

       
     

    The hill was only a .1 mile but with an elevation gain of about 40-50 feet quickly, made for a tough section in the race. The last mile was run in 6:57, a bad way to end the race.  Overall I finished in a time of 1:25:03, beating my time from last year by a little over 2:00.  I will take it. I finished 12th overall and 3rd in my division. 

      Myself and my friend Todd Hoffer, whose race I will be running in this Saturday. 
    Tina ran the 10k.  It was not a PR race for her, but according to her Garmin, the course was .2 of a mile long. If it was closer to 6.2, she would have set a new PR. It also sounds like Hallelujah Hill got the best of her as well.

    Here are my ratings for the race itself, and how it was run. Highest score is:

    πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ».

    Registration: πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

    Registration opened up on Black Friday.  Sunburst had a promotion for up to 33% off your registration when you registered on Black Friday. I think you had to register for either the family walk (held on Friday night), or the 5k walk to get 33% off.   

     Basically it came to be that you got $5 off your race entry.  Not a fantastic deal, but I guess $5 is better than nothing. Plus throw in that in the picture, the 33% could be mistaken for 55%. Other than those mix ups, registration was easy. 

    Start time: πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

    Originally the half marathon was to start at 6:30, but in mid May, Sunburst announced a change in the srart times. To read more about this reasoning, click Here. For a lot of people, this was a late notice for child care arrangements that were already made or for other travel arrangements.  Also through in the younger runners and parents trying. To get them out of bed early for a 6:30 5k race. 

    Sunburst got a little lucky this year on the weather. If it were a warmer day, the half marathon would have been miserable.  

    I would like to see the half marathon and marathon start together as they do at other races. 

    Packet pickup/expo: πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

    For me, this packet pick-up is the most convenient one for me, 2 blocks from where I work, so I was able to walk to it during my lunch hour. For those who don’t not have that luxury, there is plenty of parking around the former College Football Hall of Fame, where the expo was held.

     I wouldn’t come to Sunburst looking for a large expo.  If that’s your thing, then prepare to be disappointed.  However, Fleet Feet was there selling shoes and running gear, as well as gels.  Basically, if you needed a last minute item before the next days race, they had it there.  There were also a couplets other races on hand that you could register for.  I took advantage of a $10 off discount and registered to run in the 2016 Carmel Marathon and signed Tina up for the half marathon. 

    Packet pickup is smooth.  You go to one tent to pick up your bib, and another to get your shirt. And your done. This year, however, they didn’t give you bags to carry your stuff in.  So people like me had to go ask Fleet Feet for a bag or risk losing their bib number on the way back to their car or office.  

    Course: πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

    This was the biggest improvement I believe for this years race compared to years past. I have said a few times that the only thing consistent about the Sunburst course is that it consistently changes.  I have never ran on the same course twice.  But this course I hope they change.  The course runs towards Mishawaka, through Buetter Park which allows a large portion of the course to run along the St. Joseph River. The course is not all on the roads (wide sidewalks as well), but what is on the roads, you get to run in a course that is completely closed to vehicles.  

    The only part of the course I would change (other than Hallelujah Hill) is this: 

     It looks like I went the wrong way or had to duck into the port a potty or something, but it’s actually a small out and back section right before the 10 mile marker. 

    I guess if there was one more thing I would change, it would be to have the start/finish at the same place.  Either at Notre Dame or in downtown South Bend.  The locations are over a mile apart, just make it easier. The race does provide shuttles for after the race (not before), but in years past, it has been faster to walk back to downtown. 

    While the half marathon seemed to measure accurately for me, Tina had the 10k measured as long and a few marathon runners said the course was 26.6 miles long.  Usually on the Garmin, a course will measure a little long (26.4 is common) depending on how well you cut the tangents. 

    Shirts: πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

     

    Not a fan this year.  They πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ» just for it being a tech shirt.  Blue was for the half and full marathon, yellow was for the 5k/10k. Name of the race isn’t even on the front and the wording makes it look like its a kids fun run.  Our 7 year old daughter even asked that, since it’s a fun run, does she get to run? (True story). 

    Finishers medalsπŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

    A lot of people have one complaint when it comes to this years medals, the date on the ribbon: 

     the race was run on June 6, 2015. Oops. 

    This is not the first time I have received a medal with an issue of the date being wrong on the ribbon.  I know some are asking for a new ribbon with the right date on it.  It’s just not that big of a deal to me. 

    Over the years, Sunburst has improved their medals:  

     2004 marathon finishers medals (this was at the time where all marathons seemed to have started giving out finishers medals, so at the time it was nice, now we would consider it small and cheap. 

      2010 half marathon finishers medal.  That’s right folks, it’s a cheap medal with a sticker. 
      2013 marathon finishers medal 
      2014 half marathon finishers medal.
    Finishers medals are not that big of a deal to me.  I do keep them, and hang them on my medal hanger, but never put them on again.  Basically they are a reminder of where I have ran and sometimes help remind me of certain events in running or in life in general. So a lot of times, it doesn’t matter what they look like or how cheap they are (or if the dates wrong on the ribbon). 

    Post race food πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

    I think I have mentioned this before, but after a long run, last thing I personally want to do is eat.  I don’t think I ate anything for 2 hours after I finished. They had basically chocolate milk and fruit.  That’s all I recall seeing.  I just grabbed a chocolate milk (chugged it down right away) and 2 bananas (I think my 2 year old son, Derek, ended up eating them), and that was enough for me.

    However, I do know that others like to eat right away and a lot of the marathon runners were upset because the chocolate milk and fruit were all gone when they finished.

    Bang for your buck πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

    Typically you get a nice shirt and medal, but for the price, especially if your coming from out of town, I don’t think it’s worth it. Here are the registration fees: 

     

    Make Running Fun For Kids

      

    With childhood obesity at all time high in the United States, one of the best things you can do, along with saying no to all the junk food and the sugary drinks that many parents allow their kids to drink, is encourage your kids to run.  No, running will not kill them and it’s not child abuse.  The more you instill a healthy active lifestyle in your children at a young age, the more likely they are to continue it as they become teens and young adults. So how do you get your kids to enjoy running and keep doing it?

    FOCUS ON PARTICIPATION AND IMPROVEMENT 

    Encourage your child to participate, not winning. Keep track of what runs your kid has done and keep track of their times.  Remember what their PR is.  There is nothing wrong with pushing your child to do their best, but remember, just like you, they are not always PR on a given day.  Remember, these are children and their mood and desire can change by the second. 

    Last year at the Blueberry Stomp in Plymouth, Indiana, I pushed Emma to run a kids mile even though she was saying she didn’t feel well.  She finished the mile but whined and cried the whole way.  As we found out later, turns out she had a double ear infection.  Oops.  Listen to your kids. 

    REMEMBER, ALL KIDS ARE DIFFERENT

    Not every kid can run a 10:00 mile. There is a huge difference between our daughters, Emma and Chloe.  Emma has longer legs, Chloe’s legs are quiet short.  I think Tina and I agree that Emma has more running talent, where with Chloe, we want to see her improve and stay active.  Let’s face it, Chloe will be our soccer player, Emma will be the runner.  No two kids are the same so don’t compare their progress to another kid. 

    LAY OFF THE HARD TRAINING

    Really, for a child who is just starting, running 2-3 times a week is probably enough, and 1 mile each day is plenty.  Pushing your kids too much, who have not developed proper muscles, could lead to your child getting hurt and loss of desire to run. And if they have to walk, let them walk, but encourage them to keep moving. 

    INCREASE DISTANCE GRADUALLY

    Start with a quarter mile.  Once the child is able to run that far, go up to a half a mile and so on. Also, as much as I hate it for adults, use the run walk method with your child.  Run a couple minutes, walk a couple minutes. 

    PARTICPATE IN AGE APPROPREATE EVENTS

    Keep to the kids races until you believe they can make it through a full 5k. The last thing you should do is discourage your child by pushing them to go further than they are ready for.  Keep them in races with kids their own age.    
    BUY YOUR KID RUNNING SHOES/CLOTHES

    You don’t have to go buy all expensive clothes, but allow them to feel like they are a runner. Old Navy has some cheaper clothes as well as JC Penny.  Obviously, they aren’t Nike brand, but let’s face it, in a year or two, they are going to grow out of them anyways. 

      

    Also make sure they have good shoes.  Once again, you dont have to spend a lot of money.  Basketball shoes do not make good running shoes.   

      

    DISPLAY THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

    Some races give out medals, or robins.  Hang them where your kid will see them and will be proud of their accomplishments. We have hung up a dry erase board for each girl to hang up their bibs, write their PR times and hang their medals.  

     

    Getting the Motivation Back

      The biggest struggle for me since finishing the Boston Marathon, now 4 weeks ago, has been staying motivated.  After finishing a race that you have been trying to get to for years, training for months for, and then, all of the sudden, it’s over.  Everything I have been training for, is now over. A long with the race being over, the motivation has been slipping away.  Is it because the big race is over? Or is it because I am training for a race right now that just doesn’t excite me all that much? Probably a combination of both. 

    So what is my motivation right now? For one, I believe I have a sub 2:55 marathon in me.  I just need to put it all together again like I did at the Monumental Marathon last November. Second, I do want to get back to Boston again.  No, I will not be running it in 2016.  The goal is to do it again in 2020. So for the next 3-4 years (registration will likely open in September of 2019 and I would probably have to have run a qualifying time sometime after September of 2018), I hope to continue to run BQ times 5:00 below my standard. The good news with getting older, effective this September (because once registration opens for 2016, you can start qualifying for 2017, and on the day of the 2017 Boston Marathon I will be 35, I will have an additional 5:00 minutes to qualify.  Did you follow all that? Basically, I will need to run a 3:10 marathon instead of a 3:05 that I need now.  But in order to get back to Boston in 2020, I need to keep in marathon shape and keep qualifying over the next 4 years. If I start letting my training slip away again, I am not sure I will get back to where I will need to be. 

    In order to keep motivated, I feel that I need to mix it up some.  For each spring and fall I plan to have at least one goal marathon where I plan on aiming for a BQ time. Then after that, try another marathon shorty there after just to run and see what I can do on short rest. 

    So what’s next for my running? Since Boston, I have switched over to half marathon training temporarily.  I will be running the half marathon at Sunburst in South Bend, IN.  I don’t really like Sunburst all that much, but basically, every local runner runs it spits almost like you have to do it as well. 

    After Sunburst, marathon training starts back up again (16 week training program begins on June 8). I will be running the Grand Lake Marathon in St. Mary’s, OH. I have heard this course is flat and fast. The goal for this race is to break 2:55.  With it being late September, there are still chances of the heat playing a factor.  

     6 weeks later, I will be running the Monumental Marathon for the third year in a row.  Last year, the weather played a factor.  The temperatures am were in the upper 20s and winds were out of the north (head wind for the first half) at 20-30 mph, and I still managed a PR.  

     The following weekend I will be running the Veterans Marathon in Columbia City, IN. This marathon will be the marathon where I will just run by feel. 

      
    It’s looking like I have my spring of 2016 marathons planned out already.  In April, I will be running in the Carmel Marathon.  This was the marathon that I first qualified for Boston in. 

     Following that, I will be running in marathons in back to back days the first weekend in May. The first marathon is the Wisconsin Marathon in Kanosha, WI and the second is the Kalamazoo Marathon. 

       
     So for those of you who struggle with motivation from time to time, my advice to you is, mix it up a little.  If your focus has been on half marathons for some time now and you are bored with it , try a full marathon.  See what you can do. If you are tired of the full marathons, maybe try a 50k, or drop down to a half.  Also to keep things interesting in my marathon training, I like to throw in some shorter races (5k, 10k, 15k). This gets me in the competition mood and also adds some more speed work.  I don’t know if I could go through marathon training without any other races. It would drive me crazy doing all those miles alone. 

    Speaking of running alone, if you struggle because you are running solo, find a running partner with a similar goal.  Don’t have any close friends who are runners, join a local running club. A lot of running clubs have group runs with runners of all abilities who you can meet up with once a week or multiple times a week.  A lot of them also have race series events you can get involved with. Also another resource to use to find group runs is your local running store. 

    If you just need that kick in the butt to get started, check out your local running store as well and see what they have to offer for new runners.

    Fleet Feet Sports all over the country have a running program called “No Boundaries” which is geared towards providing runners a training program for runners, especially beginners, to meet their goals.  Start off with a goal of finishing a 5k, then after doing that, maybe running the whole 5k (if you had to stop and walk the first couple, which is fine). Fleet Feet also offers “No Boundaries” programs for when you are ready to move up to the longer distances (10k, half, and full marathon). If you struggle doing it alone, then don’t do it alone.  

     Lastly, if your struggling with motivation, set a goa, but make it realistic and not too far out. If the longest you have ran is a 10k, don’t make your goal right away to do a marathon.  Run a 15k or half marathon first. Also when setting up a goal, don’t say “in 2 years, I want to run a marathon.” I am not saying you can’t do it, but have another goal to go with that.  For instance, say in the next 6 months, I want to run a half marathon. Then over time, keep making the goal more difficult that way in 2 years, your ready to run that full marathon.  Don’t set your goals so far in advance that you can’t see them. 
    Tell me, what are ways that you keep motivated?

    Spring Fitness Run Half Marathon

    This was the first time that I have ran in the Spring Fitness Run event, held in Warsaw, IN.  I went into this race with the understanding that my legs are still not back to full strength as I continue to recover from Boston and training also for the half marathon at Sunburst, which will be held on June 6. So I came into this race with no real expectations. It was a small race, but I also noticed there were a few college athletes trying to qualify for the NAIA Nationals in the marathon (you can qualify with a fast enough half marathon time). So the chances of winning this race were non-existent, and I was fine with that. 

    The cost of this race was $23.00 when I registered, $25.50 after online registration fees.  It was $30.00 for day of registration.  So for a half marathon race, this was cheap.  Please consider that as you continue reading. 

    The race started at 8:30AM. At this time, the temperatures were in the mid 60s with 95% humidity. I wish it started at 7:00.  

    As the race started, what I thought would happen, happened.  Three college runners took off and that was the end of that.  At that point, I found myself in 4th place and to make a long story short, that’s where I would stay. 

    During the first 3 miles, you could really feel the warmth and humidity and was looking for an aid station.  Finally, at mile 3, you could see the table ahead.  Only one problem, there was no one handing out water.  There weren’t any cups with water sitting out at all. Just a table with two water jugs and cups stacked up.  

    At about mile 4 was one of the nicest sections of the course which was along Winona Lake.  You continued to run along the lake for about 1.5 miles.  Finally, at mile 5, another aid station.  And this time, there were volunteers, and the cups had water in them.  One problem, none of the volunteers were handing them out (and they were half filled Dixie cups).  I did my best to grab a couple cups as I ran by, while telling the volunteers that they needed to be handing the water to the runners.  

    At this point, with very little water in me, feeling very warm, and knowing that I wasn’t going to catch the leaders and didn’t feel that 5th place was going to catch me, I made the decision to just relax and use this run as a workout. 

    Mile 8 was the first time that I actually got a good about of water in me, but at that point, it was too late. At about mile 11 I came acrossed the water station that I passed at mile 5. They must have heard me as I was handed small cups of water. The last two miles I coasted in, starting to feel my arms and hands tingling, which for me, usually means dehydration is setting in. I finished with a very unimpressive time of 1:26:50, good enough for first in my age division and 4th overall (out of 86)
    Race ratings:

    Going to start something new.  I am going to give rating for each race, not on how I ran but on the race itself.  Like I said earlier, this race was $23.00, so take that into account as well. Top score is πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»

    T-shirt/SWAG

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    I half expected a cotton tshirt for this race, given the registration fee.  Very surprised by the tech shirt, and even more so by the fact that it is a New Balance shirt at that. Has a small race logo on it, keeping it simple.  
    Aid Stations/volunteers

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    As stated above, the aid stations were lacking and sadly, the volunteers on the course we’re not too helpful. I hate saying that about volunteers.  Not sure if there was poor training/communication from the organizers or what it was. 

    Course scenery 

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    Probably the only great part of the course was running by the late.  If you are looking for crowd support, this race is not for you.

      
    Elevation Difficulty 

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    Easy course with some small rolling hills. 

    Parking/Access

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    Parking was right by the start/finish line at the county fair grounds.

    Awards

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    First off, for the price, I didn’t expect a finishers medal, and after receiving one, they probably should have just saved the money.  

     

    The age group awards were nothing flashy.  Not even the event name or distance on them. 

     

    Overall

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    Would I run this race again? Maybe if I have a hole in my race schedule I need to fill, but it’s not one that I will be in a hurry to sign up for. Get more aid stations and volunteers handing out water and the rating would be higher.