In case you don't believe how much fun this race is, check out my recap from 2017 here.
One of my absolute favorite races each year is the AJC Peachtree Road Race 10K hosted by Atlanta Track Club. Every July 4th, approximately 60,000 runners pound the pavement down the streets of Atlanta for the nation's largest 10K.
This race holds a special place in my heart as I have made many memories at this race over the past 9 years. The Peachtree Road Race is much more than a 10K, it is giant celebration of our great nation. Most of the 6.2 mile long course is lined with spectators cheering on runners, passing out food and drinks, and just having a great time. Running the Peachtree Road Race is a great way to kick off your 4th of July! After conquering 6.2 miles of Atlanta hills, runners finish at Piedmont Park where the highly coveted race shirt is presented to finishers along with a huge after party!
In case you don't believe how much fun this race is, check out my recap from 2017 here.
While Atlanta Track Club members were able to register for guaranteed entry earlier this month, the lottery to get one of the coveted bibs is now open to the public. Peachtree hopefuls can register for the lottery from Thursday, March 15, 2018 until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Go to www.ajc.com/s/peachtree for additional information on the race as well as to register.
I hope you see you on the 4th of July!
Question of the Day: Have you ever ran the Peachtree Road Race 10K? Will you be entering the lottery for 2018 (or already registered as a Atlanta Track Club member)?
Momma K and I started adding Race Retreat to our Princess Half Marathon weekend in 2015 and haven't looked back since. Race Retreat is essentially a VIP experience offered to runners at runDisney races. While Race Retreat used to just include race day amenities, last year runDisney surprised us in early February with the fact that we would have early expo access and continued this perk again this year. This was an AWESOME perk and I cannot thank runDisney enough to adding that to our Race Retreat package - I think we all enjoyed that experience.
With today being our 3rd morning of 2:00-2:30am wake ups, it was is a treat to get to the race on an early bus and not have to wait in a parking lot for the corrals to open. Plus you get other great amenities both before and after the race.
On race morning, Race Retreat participants head to a special climate-controlled tent before and after the race. You are treated to amenities including pre-race breakfast (bagels, fruit, water, coffee, water, and soft drinks), character greetings, private restrooms and changing areas, private gear check, padded stretching areas, and post-race breakfast. The Race Retreat area is for runners only until 5:30 then platinum chEAR squad members are invited for breakfast.
We arrived at Race Retreat early and got a table for our group and met some of the most famous villains including Maleficent, Evil Queen and Cruella. These ladies were a total hoot to interact with and watch them with everyone else.
Afterwards our photo ops, we ate breakfast with friends and just relaxed until we dropped our bags at private gear check and made our way to the corrals.
After a final trip to our private restroom area (it is soooo nice to not have to wait in those crazy lines and there were hand washing stations) we made our way out of Race Retreat. We headed to our corral a little bit before 5:00am and made our way through 13.1 magical miles (more on that during my race recap coming up).
The absolute best part was utilizing the the Race Retreat afterwards. We had breakfast waiting for us which made Momma K especially happy. After 13.1 miles, most of us get a little "rungry" and let's be real, the post-race food doesn't always hit the spot. With a post-race breakfast buffet including muffins, oatmeal, fruit, eggs, sausage, potatoes, and other typical breakfast foods, it was nice to have some good food going into our bellies shortly after finishing the race.
There are other post-race perks for runners and Platnium chEAR squad members including a private medical area for self treatment and minor medical attention - which we didn't need this year, thankfully! There was also a race results area were you could look at your official results and even print up a copy for yourself. Another great touch was that there were TVs inside the tent that you can watch the finish line live. We got to watch the final finisher come across the finish line which was absolutely awesome.
The cost of Race Retreat was about $125 which is a little high if you have multiple runners, but if you are looking to be treated like a royal I certainly recommend it. There are a lot of great perks that we find to be valuable to our race weekend experience, but everyone is different. We have officially been spoiled the past four years, and Race Retreat will be added to our future WDW runDisney events for sure.
Question of the Day: Have you ever taken part in Race Retreat? What was your favorite perk?
One race down, two races and 19.3 miles left to go! It was time for part one of the 2018 Fairy Tale Challenge, the Enchanted 10K. Since the parks were fairly crowded, we ended up heading back to our hotel fairly early on Friday and spent some time at the pool and ate dinner at the resort. Even though we had "just a 10K" (which sounds silly saying because a 10K is a big deal), we didn't want to be too exhausted or standing on our feet too much before the race. After a few hours of shut eye, Moana and Pua were ready to take on 6.2 magical miles of fun!
As you might know, I tend to be an early bird on race days (especially with large races). Rather than dealing with stress of bus chaos for the later buses and backups at security, Momma K and I always prefer to get on the early buses and just hang out and relax a bit before the race. The runDinsey bus transportation started at 3:30am, so we arrived to the bus stop at our hotel at 3:10 to make sure we are on the fist bus. Yesterday for the 5K, there was an empty bus at the stop boarding and we left at 3:30 when the buses officially started.
Well, no buses were even seen until after 3:45 when two FULL buses passed our stop! Several more buses passed by full a few minutes later. After three calls to the resort about the situation which we were told that no more buses could be sent due to road closures, Momma K and I ordered a Lyft. The driver arrived for us about 3 minutes later and dropped us off at runner drop-off 7 1/2 minutes after that - best $7 spent (plus a very generous tip). We did talk to fellow runners that were waiting at our stop and finally around 4:30 an empty bus was sent to our stop! WHAT!?!?!
We finally made it to the race site around 4:20. Thankfully the runner drop off is located next to indoor bathrooms with no lines. By the time we got through security and made our way to the corrals it was almost time for my corral to close. To say my stress levels were elevated is an understatement.
The first part of the course was definitely crowded. Between a narrow road, thousands of runners starting at once, and it still being dark I must admit that it was a little unnerving at times, but things opened up pretty quickly.
As you exit the Imagination Lot and head Epcot Center Drive for the first 3 miles or so, we were greeted by Merida. Since today was her race, it was great to have her on course cheering runners on and sharing words of encouragement to every runner as they went by.
The first character stop was around mile 1 where Mulan and Mushu there to greet runners. While waiting in line, I met up with a few friends, Kathleen and Montana.
Ok runDisney, we need to have a serious chat. Characters are GREAT! I love character photo ops as much as every other runDisney runner, however putting a character right at a sharp and narrow U-turn of a crowded race course is completely ridiculous and unsafe! Runners are already struggling to make that U-turn without tripping over each other, then you add a character right there that causes even more congestion is just insane! From people just simply trying to follow the course, to those stopping to see who is there, the line forming for a picture, and of course the runners passing the photo op and then turning back and running against the flow made this IMPOSSIBLE to get through! It is runDisney and it is a fun race for me, so I don't care about my time, but I do care about my safety and that is just poor placement of a character. It is like this every single year at mile one. If you could please consider moving the first character to just before or just after this U-turn that would be awesome!
The other two miles along the roads were not crowded much as you get several lanes to run. There were also a number of character photo ops in the first few miles including Lilo & Stitch as well as Pocahontas and Meeko.
As we entered into the backstage area of Epcot, there were some pretty interesting "characters" on hand to greet us. We entered World Showcase around mile 3 near Japan and was greeted by magnificent lighting and some pretty awesome volunteers at the water station. We made our way around World Showcase counterclockwise heading towards France.
Inside of World Showcase we had a number of great and special friends waiting for us including Genie, Pinocchio and Marie! The line were not bad at all when Jill and I got to them, except for Genie which was pretty long so we just waved to him as we went by.
We finally made it through International Gateway and headed towards the boardwalk. At this point we were about 4.5 miles into the race. While you aren't in the parks for this part, it is still an awesome part of the course! I love the part where you are entering/existing the boardwalk because runners are high-fiving and cheering each other on. Now THAT is the way that a princess should act!
There is so much course support during this mile (or so) stretch from people purposely coming out to chEAR, to unsuspecting resort guests just heading to grab a cup of coffee. Regardless on their initial intentions, I am always down for free high fives and cheers along the way.
My sweet friend, Danielle, and her WDW Radio running team were out and cheering in full force. A HUGE thank you for the donuts! With the debacle of transportation this morning, I didn't get to eat breakfast and I was starting to feel the "hangries" starting.
With a quick little backstage stretch (and encounter with the "construction crew") before re-entering Epcot for a bit in World Showcase before the grand finale in Future World, we made our way through the last mile. We were almost there! With a beautiful sun-rise reflecting off of Spaceship Earth, we were about .5 mile away from the 2nd finish line of the weekend!
...but first, a Bubble Gum Wall photo.
Done and done! 2 races and 9.3 miles down, 1 race and 13.1 magical miles to go! It was such a wonderful morning of running with a number of friends along the way. Thank you to everyone who made this morning so special and magical - especially Jill for hanging out with me this morning!
As I waited for Momma K and some friends to finish up their 6.2 magical mile journey, I went and hung out with some of my favorite Disney royals including Jasmine and Princess Minnie <3
Yes, the morning started out a tad bit stressful not knowing if I was going to make it to the start line, but all that stress quickly went away and became pure joy. The Enchanted 10K is so much fun and offers a variety of views of Disney along the way.
After the race we freshened up and grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading Disney Springs for the We Run Social Meet-Up and Hollywood Studios for some dinner. Tomorrow has an early wake up of 2:00am with 13.1 miles ahead of us, so definitely wanted to stay off those feet and turn in early.
Question of the Day: What is your favorite part of the Enchanted 10K course?
There are a number of reasons why I always enjoy runDisney 5Ks. Perhaps the biggest reason why our family takes part in the 5K is because they are casual - they are untimed and provide a great opportunity for some great character pictures along with a shakeout run to get ready for the 10K and 1/2 Marathon in the next two days.
Oh yea, and it provides another day of costume fun! If you followed my blog and social media over race weekend, you already knew what our theme was. I traded my voice to Ursla for legs so I could run today's Princess 5K and boy was that the best trade EVER!
Momma K and I were on the first bus from Coronado Springs to the race at a delightful 3:30am. After a little caffeine and meeting up with friends, I was quickly awake and ready to get this party started. We left the pre-race area just about the time that the corrals opened up and loaded into our corral. Honestly though, no matter where you choose to hang out, the party vibes are everywhere.
Before we knew it, it was 5:30am and Fairy Godmother was sending us off on our way for a 3.1 mile magical journey through Epcot to start the 2018 Princess Half Marathon weekend.
Beyond the first 100 yards there was not much crowding at all. The new mini-waves that runDisney started using this year that sends off a small group of runners every two minutes or so really helped thin out the crowds which was really nice.
The first mile is through the Imagination Lot of Epcot before you enter into Epcot via a back-stage area. As you can probably imagination, there aren't any pictures from here because it was a parking lot at 6am. Don't worry though, you are still entertained with chEARleaders, cast members, and runners in some pretty awesome costumes. You enter Epcot's World Showcase and you can feel the magic instantly (if you haven't already).
Since the runDisney 5Ks are strictly about fun for our crew we obviously had to stop for some pretty great character pictures! There were some really great characters out today. We ran into Mike and Sully just before mile 1 and obviously had to stop for a scare session!
While sometimes runDisney races have some common characters out. they always tend to have some unique characters out on the course....and some cast members that we turn into our own personal character stops.
We quickly made our way into Germany were the lovely glow and everyone's favorite dwarf, Dopey, greeted us with open arms. For real, how can you not just love Dopey?!? Well, maybe not if you ran his race challenge of 48.6 in January...or maybe that makes you love him more.
One of my absolute favorite places in Epcot's World Showcase is standing in World Showcase and admiring Spaceship Earth glowing across the lagoon.
While in Moroco, we stopped to monkey around with our pal Abu for a bit. You don't see him out and about very often, so that was a treat for sure!
As we rounded France we spotted the Beast waiting for us! This photo stop turned into the one of the most amazing (and largest) group character photo stops ever and I absolutely LOVE it! This picture here represents runners from about 10 different states who all randomly met because of our love of running and Disney over the years. THIS right here is what runDisney race weekends are about for me - the friendships, the memories, the pure joy.
After heading through most of World Showcase, you take a brief exit just past France at International Gateway at around the mile 2 point. With all the construction happening backstage, it was only appropriate that we had "construction workers" out chEARing.
With a brief portion backstage we hit our 2nd water station (runDisney is fabulous about making sure there are enough aid stations on course). We re-entered World Showcase by England and made our way continuing to visit the nations of the world.
After looping around the lagoon, we were greeted by Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. The line was a little longer here since it was HER race after all. This gave us time to freshen up this ridiculous lipstick (thanks Julia for getting it right for me) and to get a large squad together for an amazing friends photo!
We finally arrived at Spaceship Earth! Whooop! Don't get too excited yet, you have to take a slight detour over towards Future World by The Land and The Seas with Nemo and Friends before heading back towards Spaceship Earth and ultimately the finish line.
We were greeted with a beautiful sun-rise reflecting off of Spaceship Earth and Future World in the final stretch of the Princess 5K.
Oh, and you totally cannot pass the Instagram-famous "Bubblegum Wall" without having a mini photoshoot. Yes, we seriously stopped at mile 2.8 and took photos here. Aren't we cute, though?
Straight on to the finish line and we were done! Race 1 of 3 is done - 3.1 miles down, 19.3 to go! That was the slowest 5K I have ever done, but it was AMAZING and so much fun! I wouldn't trade these ladies or these memories for anything...not even a fastpass for Flight of Passage.
We collected our bling, snapped a few pictures and headed back to the resort for a little R&R before heading to breakfast and to the parks for some fun.
It was a great morning full of great memories (and pictures). I am glad that our family decides to run these races together because they create a lot of awesome memories for us.
After freshening up, we headed over to Grand Floridian for breakfast at 1900 Park Fare. This has become a family tradition for us to go to after the Princess 5K each year. What better way to carb-load for the 10K and 1/2 Marathon than with a buffet and Mickey waffles - duh! Of course I had to stop by and visit with my main Disney squeeze, Richard. Seriously, Richard is my absolute favorite and I have to visit him each year and he told me that he would be looking for me on Sunday morning at the half marathon (spoiler, he makes an appearance in my half marathon recap).
After breakfast we headed over to Magic Kingdom for a little bit and enjoyed a few rides. We made sure to stay off of our feet too much though as we did have a 10K the next day. Also, early bedtimes were critical since we had to wake up at 2:30 the next morning...oh the joys of Disney races (but they are so worth it)!
Question of the Day: Who was your favorite character on the Princess 5K course?
It is time to kick off the 2018 runDisney Princess Half Marathon weekend! First stop of the weekend (other than the hotel for a few hours of shut-eye) - the expo! Y'all know that I love race expos - between checking out vendors, shopping for merchandise and meeting up with friends it is just time that I always enjoy about race weekends. runDisney races have some pretty awesome expos, but you definitely have to have a plan in order to make the most of your time there.
As in 2017, runDInsey extended early access to Race Retreat participants which allowed us entry at 10:00am while the expo opened to the public at noon. We arrived to ESPN Wide World of Sports just before 9:00. When the taxi pulled up, there were a few others arriving as well, but not too many yet. We met up with Jennifer, got in line to receive our Race Retreat wristbands which were distributed at 9am.
About a week before, some the official race merchandise was released via Disney Parks Blog (well, a good portion of it). Everyone has now had a week to analyze what they were wanting to get their hands on so it made it easier for me to know what I was looking for. From tank tops, to hats, to jackets, wine glasses and more, there was a lot of gear fit for a princess. Last year, the official merchandise was released about a day before. I personally like the delayed release because there is a lot less time for personal shoppers/eBayers to hop in an buy the merchandise just to mark it up so runners arriving later in the weekend have to pay a high premium for items.
Once we received our wristbands, we were taken inside of the arena to wait for the merchandise area to open for us. Everyone's spirits were great and people were excited and eager for the weekend to begin. Promptly at 10am we were let in to the expo! Wahoooo!
We were probably about 50 people back in the line (of about 100 princesses lined up). When we headed in, just like everyone else we went straight to the official merchandise area. Man, Race Retreat totally paid for itself this morning! There were no crowds - we were able to just calmly shop. If you were at the first morning of the 2016 Princess Half Marathon expo, you know what I am talking about.
As I entered the official race merchandise area, I knew that the three main things that I was wanting were the Fairy Tale Challenge quarter-zip jacket, car magnet, and ornament.
Another great addition to the runDisney expo merchandise was their collection of Disney themed athleisure apparel and accessories. These pieces are great for rocking your Disney side on your run any time. Remember, I never suggest running in something new on race day, so I would say to save these goodies for your next run at home rather than a last second costume.
The new arena at Wide World of Sports really provide ample space for the official merchandise. There was plenty of room for an abundance of merchandise to be out and very spacious aisles to allow shoppers to browse without pushing.
I swiftly gathered my items and moved off to the side to try on the shirt for sizing. Can I just say how annoying women's cut shirts can be sometimes to try to judge what size you need. Anyways, I digress.
Jennifer, Julia, Momma K and I got our final selections and headed to check out. It was soooo nice having early entry because there was basically no line to check out! While we waited about 3 minutes to check out, lines became an hour or longer to check out (on top of an hour to get into merchandise) later on in the afternoon.
No doubt that expo'ing can be rough and is also a prime time to celebrate the start of race weekend. Several adult beverage options were on hand including beer, wine and of course champagne!
We headed over to the Field House next to pick up our bibs. I was crazy shocked at how empty the packet pickup area was, but I had to remind myself that it was still very early in the morning and most of the crowd was at the merchandise area and the expo had not yet opened to the public.
Bibs were divided into sections for Kids Races, 5K, 10K, 1/2 Marathon, and Fairy Tale Challenge. Even with each of us having to pick up twice (5K and Fairy Tale Challenge, we were in and out within minutes).
Next up we headed to the Visa Athletic Center to collect our race shirts and check out the other vendors on hand.
As we entered the Visa Athletic Center, runDisney had opened the expo a little early for the public, so the crowds started to pick up slightly. Most everyone was in the official merchandise area at the arena, so this building was still pretty empty which made shopping and browsing much more enjoyable.
We made our way through the expo floor checking out vendors including our favorites Sparkly Soul and Sparkle Athletic to see what new products they had for the weekend. I think hands down most popular expo items were the Team Sparkle Spirit Jersey and Sparkly Soul Tiara.
As we made our way around the expo, it wasn't too crowded on the expo floor. We were able to approach all of the booths easily and check everything out pretty easily. Granted, there were some booths that were a little crazy busy, but it wasn't bad. There were special edition items and new releases galore including a new release of princess Otterboxes, special edition Pandora charm and super cute chocolate medals.
Remember how I said the official race merchandise line wasn't bad during early access? Well, it GREW....A LOT! The line was reported to be over a hour long to get into official merchandise shortly after opening (plus long lines at checkout).
I am happy to report though that princesses remained very well behaved this year. There were no reports of shoving, throwing items, etc, as there was in 2016. Well done ladies! Thank you for being civil princesses.
Princess Half Marathon weekend expo 2018 was a success - now let's head to Epcot and get ready for tomorrow's 5K!
Question of the Day: What is your favorite part about race expos?
Did you know that your Atlanta Track Club membership offers a TON of year-round member perks? On top of guaranteed entry to the Peachtree Road Race 10K, you also receive benefits such as running store discounts, race discounts, and even FREE RACES!!! Yes, FREE races! Each year Atlanta Track Club hosts several "no-frills" races (i.e. no shirts or finisher medals) that are free to their members or for a minimal fee for non-members. This is a great opportunity to lace up and compete for free. Running isn't always cheap, so I will take free whenever possible.
As a result of member feedback, Atlanta Track Club introduced a new race to their Grand Prix Series this year, the Southside 12K, at Wolf Creek Amphitheatre in College Park. This was obviously about to be a very popular event due to it being free plus it serves as a training run for the In-Training groups.
Atlanta Track Club advised participants to arrive early (by 6:00am) due to limited parking. Since I had never ran this race before and wasn't familiar with what the parking would be like, I followed instructions and got there just before 7:00. I hung out in the car a bit, ate our breakfast, then headed over to the race area to get my bib, meet up with friends and go to the restroom.
About 7:50 we headed towards the start line for the 8:00am start. There were six corrals that were self-seeded and the corrals would go off with approximately 2 minutes between each.
The 12K course was mainly a two loop course with an extra 1-ish mile loop at the front of the first loop. There were some long gradual hills, but nothing too crazy. The course did feel a little tight in parts for me as we ran in a single lane most of the race, so if you got behind a group of two or three runners that were running side-by-side, you got stuck. I just politely announced myself saying "on your left" as I made my way past them - no big deal.
12Ks are a fairly unique distance - especially in Atlanta. It has been about two years since I last ran a 12K so I had my heart set on beating that time. To be honest, that 12K time was on a very fast course so I was curious to see how I could compare. Well, about 7.5 miles later, I got a new 12K PR of just over 8 minutes! WHAAA!?! I honestly just felt good today. Yes, there were long uphills, but I focused on running a nice even pace (within about 20 second variance) the entire time and it worked for me. I didn't burn out and I was push through the hills on both laps.
After crossing the finish line, I met back up with Danielle and we grabbed a snack and water and waited for Chris and others to finish. Yes, there were still refreshments afterwards even though it was a free race. How nice is that?!?!
The Southside 12K was an absolute blast and a great addition to the Atlanta Track Club Grand Prix! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE bring it back in 2019! The location was great, the distance was unique and the time of year is perfect for those training for spring marathons and half marathons.
Atlanta Track Club hosts some of the absolute best races in the Atlanta area each year. Be sure to check out these races coming up this Spring and get registered!
March 18 - Publix Georgia Marathon & Half Marathon
April 14 - Northside Hospital Atlanta Women’s 5K
April 28 - Singleton 4 Miler (FREE for Members)
There are so many benefits to being a member of Atlanta Track Club including race discounts, discounted training programs, and more. Perhaps one of the most sought after perks is guaranteed entry to the Peachtree Road Race 10K on July 4th. Remember, you must me a member as of February 1, 2018 to be eligible for member registration in March. To become a member (or renew your membership), go to the Atlanta Track Club website for more information.
Disclaimer: As an ambassador for the Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon & 5K, I received product samples from Nourish for review. As a part of the Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon ambassador program, I receive race entry and amenities for race weekend. However, no other compensation was received for my review of these products and thoughts are strictly my own.
One of my favorite parts about traveling for races is having the opportunity to check out local restaurants and businesses. There are so many hidden gems in cities and even after doing a lot of searching on the interwebs, some of the best spots to check out can often be overlooked or missed.
Vendor for the Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon and 5K, Nourish Handmade Natural Bath Products, wants to help the ladies in Savannah enjoy a little well deserved pampering. Nourish is one of my absolute favorite spots to visit when in Downtown Savannah. All of their products are top notch and their customer services is simply amazing!
The story behind Nourish and how it started as a family passion that turned into a home business and eventually into what Nourish is today. To read more about the founders and how Nourish came about, check out their website here. When you read about how much work goes into their products, it really gives you a bigger appreciation for what this company is about.
"At Nourish, we are proud to be doing our part to keep the planet clean while reducing our carbon footprint. We have operated as a green company since the 1990's, providing environmentally-friendly, non-toxic, and biodegradable products that are good for our bodies and the earth. We make recycling a priority and invest in every effort to minimize the environmental impact of our daily routine. We only package in recyclable, reusable and/or biodegradable containers." (Source: Nourish)
As our training miles are hitting peak weeks currently, the awesome team at Nourish hooked up the Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon Ambassadors care packages to give us a little well needed pampering. I absolutely love "smelly good" stuff and various body products to give myself a little pampering post-run, so I couldn't wait to dig into my goodies.
I don't know about you, but there is nothing that is more rewarding post run than a nice warm bath or shower. What makes it better than adding some products to make you smell good and feel good? When my box of goodies arrived I dug right in! I received various products including bath salts, bath fizzies, shower steamer, soap and travel candle - all of which will be greatly enjoyed as I relax and recover after all these training runs in the upcoming weeks.
Lavender & Peppermint Bath Salts (Retail Price: $11.95)
Shower Steamer (Retail Price: $2.95)
Rosemary Mint Olive Oil & Shea Butter Soap (Retail Price: $6.00)
The Nourish product line is quite impressive and includes other products such as bar soaps, shower steamers, scrubs, lotions, facial products, and more! If you get migraines or headaches, I HIGHLY recommend checking out their headache sticks...I keep them everywhere (purse, desk, bathroom, etc)
When Momma K and I head to Savannah this April, we will definitely be adding a trip to Nourish to our Savannah Women's Half Marathon Fashion Fitness Expo as well as a trip to their Savannah store location. I will likely buy #AllTheThings when I stop by, but when a local shop has some great products, you have to stock up when you are there. Am I right?
In addition to their location in Savannah, you can also check out Nourish in Pigeon Forge, TN, Hilton Head Island, SC, and Melbourne, FL, so if you are traveling to any of these beautiful destinations, be sure to check them out. While I wait for my trip to Savannah next month, I will be shopping online in the meantime, and you can too at their website www.nourishsavannah.com.
Who would I be if I didn't share some of these awesome goodies with you?!? Sharing is caring! How about I hook up one lucky reader with a bundle of Nourish Natural Bath Products. The winner will receive a Bath Fizzie, Lavender & Peppermint Shower Steamer and a Driftwood Soy Travel Candle. To enter, head over to my Instagram post here.
Winners will be selected on the morning of Friday, March 9, 2018 via random draw and will be contacted via Instagram . The winner will have 24 hours to claim the prize or prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected. Prize pack will be mailed the week of March 11, 2018 pending confirmation of winning. Sorry, this giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.
A HUGE thank you again to Nourish for helping me feel pampered this training cycle. I cannot wait to stock up on some of my favorite products in a few weeks! To shop the Nourish line or connect with them on social media check them out here:
Nourish on Facebook
Nourish on Twitter
Nourish on Instagram
Be sure to register for the Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon and 5K on April 7, 2018. Use code FUNRUN18 to save 15% off either the half marathon or the 5K. Who is ready for an amazing girls weekend in April? I know I am!
It was time to go earn some Mercedes-Benz bling! Yes, the medal from the Superhero 5K was cute, but it wasn't what I came here for. I was ready to pound the pavement for 13.1 miles to earn my Mercedes-Benz bling!
For days probably every single runner and race official had been stalking the weather and crossing their laces that the weather would clear up before race day. As of the time I had gone to bed Saturday night, things were looking a bit better with about a 50% chance of rain/storms during the race. All I could do is get my gear ready, get a good night sleep and hope for the best come morning.
When my alarm went off, the first thing I did was look at the weather app on my phone. Things looked AMAZINGLY better! The half marathoners would have a slight chance of light rain throughout the morning and the back half of the marathoners would likely have a very wet last few miles - but no storms! I honestly could not believe it!
Since the hotel was just a block or so away from the start, so I met up with Jennifer and Danielle in the lobby and were able to leave the hotel around 6:30 and still be over to the start area well before the race. A huge shout out to the Sheraton for providing runners with a complimentary light-breakfast (bananas, granola bars, etc) before the race to get fueled up and ready to go.
Jennifer, Danielle, and I met up with a few friends by gear check and headed to the start about 10 minutes before the 7:03am start time. Just like the 5K, it was a self-seeded corral by pace. You could just feel the sigh of relief by everyone that Mother Nature might actually be playing nice with us today. I mean, it was unseasonably warm and slightly humid, but NO STORMS!
We were on our way. With the marathon, half marathon, and relay runners all taking off together, there was a little bit of congestion in the first 1/3 of a mile or so but it wasn't too bad. We went off in one start, but I don't think the race deems needing "waves" to go off. We made our way through downtown Birmingham passing different parts of town including Alabama Theatre, Railroad Park, Regions Field, University of Alabama Birmingham campus, and several other parks and residential areas. There were a number of mild rain spurts here and there, but nothing too bad...actually it was rather refreshing.
The course support was absolutely AMAZING! There were so many cheer stations along the way offering high-fives, cheers, music, candy, gummy bears, Gu, water, and even beer. Seriously, between the official aid stations and these awesome groups coming out, there was so much support and love along the way. There are very few races that I would rave about the course support, and this is totally one of them. Awesome support, great course, AMAZING race!
I don't like to play favorites, but Kate and I have to give a special shout out to the Gummie Communion Station. How lovely!
Oh, and these fine folks really added a extra load of spirit to our miles. Anyone out in a hotdog costume and partying it up at 9am on a Sunday morning with their friends is a rockstar to me. Bonus fun by the team at RunButs....hulahoops at mile 10! Much love to y'all!
The back half of this course is my favorite as it has the most course support. The front half are more downtown/historic and the back half are more residential. The number of people that give up their Sunday morning to cheer always gives me the feels, but when the weather was suppose to be so horrific, they still stood out there with signs, snacks, and cheers for all.
Side note: the marathon is a two loop course and my friends that ran the marathon said the spectators were still out there rockin' as they did their second loop. I mean, seriously, THANK YOU!
After finishing Kate and I collected our lovely bling (the closest I will come to a Mercedes Benz), made our way through the finisher chute for some water and fruit, and collected our finisher items of a changing towel (perfect to dry off the rain).
Your bib had a ticket attached for a Jim 'n Nick's BBQ lunch at the post race party which was pretty great...and it was indoors! At most races you get a banana and a bagel (if that), so having a fully catered post-race lunch was awesome!
We headed back to the hotel to freshen up and gather our belongings before heading home. It was seriously an awesome race and one that I would definitely recommend. The registration price was about average for a half marathon (maybe slightly higher if that), but between the quality of the race, the course support, and the amazing swag, you really can't beat it.
Thank you again to the amazing staff, volunteers, spectators, emergency personnel, and everyone else involved in making this race weekend possible even in less than ideal weather. I give this race two thumbs up without a doubt and look forward to hopefully getting to return in 2019 for another awesome weekend!
I had such an awesome experience the past two years at the Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon, that I knew that I needed to add it to my 2018 calendar for a third year. As in the past, I added the Regions Superhero 5K to my race weekend. This was a great 5K last year and made for a great shakeout run the day before the half marathon. The weather forecast for the weekend looks pretty nasty with rain all day Saturday and Sunday (with severe storms likely on Sunday morning for the half marathon and full marathon) - laces crossed things change.
The race started at 8:00 Central Time and since we are in Eastern Time in Atlanta, we had an extra hour to venture to Birmingham on Saturday morning. We left Atlanta around 5:00am EST and arrived at the race at 7:00 CST.
Some road closures in the area added a little extra excitement to getting to the parking deck, but we made it. Actually, we ended up pulling it at the same time as our friends Chris & Danielle. We picked up our bibs inside of the auditorium pretty easy peasy and got ready to run.
The start line area was self-seeded by pace and Danielle, Chris and I lined up with a fairly conservative pace. Just as the final countdown to the start was going, the sky opened up. Thankfully it was not a cold rain as it was in the 60s! At 8:00 we were on our way!
With about 1000 runners, I was surprised that the course never felt congested (not even at the start). I headed out at a comfortable pace and didn't worry about pace.
About a mile in you entered Railroad Park in the Regions Field area of Birmingham. It was such a cute little area for sure that was a nice paved "trail" in a green-space downtown. As we rounded Regions Field at about the halfway point, there was a water with plenty of energetic volunteers on hand to cheer you on as they kept you hydrated - even in the rain.
Seriously, y'all! This course is AMAZING! The course was so pancake flat with a difference of only about 17 feet between the lowest point and the highest point along the way. Coming from Atlanta, we don't get courses like this very often, so I always love getting to run this course.
After crossing the finish line, you received your medal and went through a secure 'runners only' area where there were post-race beverages. I love races that do this because there have been times where I have ran a race and spectators have taken a lot of the snacks before all the runners have finished.
While waiting for Momma K to finish, I ran into a few of my sweet friends from Alabama. It was great catching up with everyone for a bit.
While you could pick-up your 5K packet on race morning, the marathon, half marathon, and relay runners had to pick up their packets at the race expo. Conveniently, the race expo was held at Legacy Arena which was less than a 5 minute walk from the 5K (and actually connected to my hotel for the night, the Sheraton).
The first 800 5Kers received Chick-fil-a biscuits at the expo, so obviously we had to go claim our breakfast.
Packet pick-up was an absolute breeze. Packets were organized by bib numbers (sent to you via email or you could look them up at the expo). There was no wait when we got ours so it was a super easy in and out process.
Side note: thank goodness for t-shirt exchange because the shirts ran TINY (especially the women's shirts). Many ladies were having to size up by two or more sizes. T-shirt swap was so easy and very well organized though, so it wasn't a big deal at all.
After getting our packets, we made our way around the expo floor a bit. Most of the vendors were local companies and races which were not too interesting to us since we aren't local. We found a few things to try out and purchase though, of course.
The Superhero 5K was awesome for sure. It was a very well ran race, great course, awesome volunteers, and a lot of fun. It was a perfect shake out run for the half marathon the next morning. Oh, and we got capes as well in our runner packet! Yes, please.
The day concluded with a yummy pizza dinner with friends and a little relaxing before heading to bed nice and early for tomorrow's half marathon. The weather is still showing a 60%+ chance of thunderstorms in the morning, so hoping we get to run! Laces crossed....
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
Feedspot's Top 100 Running Blogs