Added: The Tar Heel 10 Miler & Fleet Feet Sports 4 Mile Run (2019)

Disclaimer: I received free entry to The Tar Heel 10 Miler & Fleet Feet Sports 4 Mile Run 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!

Last year I volunteered at this race. This year I’m running it for the first time. I’ve heard so much about the Tar Heel 10 Miler and I know people who have ran it, and all they talk about Laurel Hill. More about that later. 👇

There is two races on the same day — a 10 mile run and a 4 mile run, but there’s three options when registering. You can sign up for either race OR you can sign up for both, which is known as the “Double Down 14 Mile Challenge”.

Those selecting the Double Down challenge will need to complete the 4 mile race before the 10 mile race starts, to stay in the challenge. 😲

I have signed up for the 10 mile race and I’m looking forward to running around and exploring Chapel Hill, a thriving student city in North Carolina.

I’ve been to Chapel Hill many times as my oldest son goes to University there, but I’m still not familiar with the layout of downtown. There’s nothing like a run to fix that.

The course looks amazing and there’s a good mix of downtown streets, parks and neighborhoods. I’m looking forward to this one. Hopefully I actually still enjoy running, after my marathon in March. 🤣

Laurel Hill Challenge

At mile 8.5 of the Tar Heel 10 miler is Laurel Hill. You’ll ascend 175 feet in just under one mile. Runners are encouraged to race UP the hill, as separate awards are given for the fastest times to the top!

I really hope to get out to Chapel Hill and make peace with this hill before race day. I think I can get a couple of my running buddies to sign up and train with me.

Represent Your School

If you’re local you can even represent your school and help get it to the top of the scoreboard! The top 3 schools registered (you select a school when registering if applicable) will get a t-shirt in their school colors. That is pretty neat!

Register and Save

So, don’t delay! Sign up now before the next fee increase and get 10% Off with code TARHEELBR10

Zwift Run is the greatest thing to happen to Treadmills

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift runpod 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!

Even though I get to travel to London every 2-3 years, I’ve never actually ran in the city itself, around all the great sights. I’ve wanted to, even planned some routes along the Thames, but it has never worked out.

That is, until last week, when I virtually ran there with Zwift!

Zwift started out as a cycling platform, allowing cyclists to meet in virtual environments to train and compete.

This same concept has recently been extended to runners. All you need to get started is a free Zwift account, a treadmill and a compatible foot pod (unless you have a fancy-smancy Bluetooth enabled treadmill).

Get 15% off a Zwift runpod with code BIBCHAT15 (first 1000 orders).

I’m not a treadmill fan at all, and rarely log any miles on one, except for a warm-up mile before working out at the gym. I find treadmill running very mundane, and struggle to run long distances on them.

After trying Zwift, my treadmill warm-up runs increased from one mile, to 3-4 miles. The Zwift environments, even though I’m using it on my small iPhone screen, are quite immersive and take your mind off the treadmill.

Unfortunately I was not able to test using a larger screen (computer or large-screen TV, etc.). If I had a home treadmill I would put together a set-up with a larger screen because I think that would be amazing.

BibRave Virtual Run

It was really fun to meet up with all my BibRave people across the globe and run together in Watopia — a fantasy island created by the people at Zwift. I was able to see everyone who had joined and send messages via a chat screen.

Again, this is where a computer or larger computer would really come into play. You need good eyesight to read the messages on a tiny iPhone screen — especially when running!

We ran 5K together in a number of different pace groups. I signed up for my chosen pace group in advance using the Zwift companion app. When I got to the gym early, I started a normal run, and when it was time it automatically switched me over to the BibRave run.

Running Through London

One of my favorite Zwift runs was when I was able to run around some of the streets in London. While I’m not from London, and didn’t recognize where I was at times, the feel is still very London, with red phone boxes and double-decker buses, etc.

Another thing I noticed on this run is that some routes have options to turn one direction or another, or if you like, turn a complete 180 and run back the way you came.

Syncing With Running Apps

When you’re finished, your run will upload to Zwift by default. You can check your past run history using the Zwift Companion app. It is also possible to upload your run to other running apps like Garmin and Strava.

This is a really great feature as it will send the GPS coordinates and map details to your favorite running app. I chose not to use this as my pace differs quite a lot on a treadmill, and I’m so used to using my watch to track my runs anyway.

Conclusion

Now, every time I visit the gym, I don’t leave the house without my runpod attached to my shoe. If I owned a treadmill at home I would be using Zwift way more frequently, and on a bigger screen.

Zwift also have several training programs built-in to the app as well which guide you through your runs.

The running platform is still relatively new, and I recommend you try it out while it’s free to run (the cycling accounts require a subscription).

If you bump into me — say hello!

Chase Away The Dark with the NEW NATHAN Luna Fire 250 RX!

Disclaimer: I received a NATHAN Luna Fire 250 RX 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!

I’m excited for any new products that will help me train safer outdoors. I was happy to try out a new product from NATHAN called the Luna Fire 250 RX. It’s a lightweight LED flashlight designed to be worn on the chest or waist.

It comes with an adjustable strap that the light clips on to. This gives you total freedom — use the strap, or clip the light on to existing belts, or items of clothing. It’s entirely up to you!

I’ve tested the light quite a few times now and it’s so bright. There are different brightness levels, up to 250 lumens, plus a strobe option which I did not use while running.

From the two positions the light is designed for, wearing it at chest level worked best for me. At waist level it bounced around a lot more and a couple of times fell off the strap.

While wearing on the chest still generates a bit of bounce, it is so bright that it doesn’t really matter. The light can be tilted down allowing you to choose how far ahead it shines on your path.

One of the things I love about this product, aside from how bright it is, is that I can recharge it via USB. It takes 3 hours to charge from empty and will last for hours (actual burn time will depend on the mode selected).

I’ll definitely keep on using this light as I train for my first Marathon next year. I’ll be training throughout the winter and this provides so much visibility when running the American Tobacco Trail.

Pros

  • lightweight
  • waterproof
  • rechargeable
  • multi-use

Cons

  • Light can bounce around

Check out nathansports.com to purchase the Luna Fire and other NATHAN products.

No Pin Revolution – A Bibboards Song

Recently we were asked to come up with a 90 second (max) video for a Bibboards campaign that I was involved in for BibRave. As a BibRave Pro, I get to test out various running products and run races in exchange for reviews on my blog and social media channels.

Bibboards are plastic fasteners that secure your race bib to your shirt without damaging the shirt. They are also much less fiddly than safety pins and don’t need a lot of readjusting that come with that.

My favorite feature however, is the fact you can get your own logo or text printed to them using their online designer.

Here’s the song I wrote for the campaign. I got the idea from the actual bibboards packaging, which had the hash-tag #nopinrev printed on it.

The first cut of the song was just over 2 minutes, so I had to remove a verse and some of the outro to make it fit to the required 90 seconds.

It’s been a while since I’ve had my guitar out and actually wrote anything, so this was a fun (but scary) project for me.

Luvo — An Instant Bowl of Goodness!

Disclaimer: I received a Luvo Bundle 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!

Anyone that knows me, knows I enjoy a bit of spicy food. Indian cuisine is by far my favorite food, followed closely by Thai. So I was very pleased to get a chance to test one of Luvo’s frozen meal bundles — the “hint of spice” bundle in particular.

The “Hint of Spice” bundle included 8 meals, 2 of each of the following:

  • Mighty Masala & Greens
  • Great Karma Coconut Curry
  • Chana Masala
  • Thai-Style Green Curry Chicken

All the meals in my bundle were gluten and diary free, and all meals except for the Thai-Style Green Curry Chicken were vegan. These dishes are just packed full of goodness.

  • Quality protein, whole grains and vegetables
  • Very low sodium and sugar
  • No artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners

And this shows! The vegetables taste so fresh and delicious!

When I received my bundle I was sure my favorite would be the Thai-Style Green Curry Chicken, simply because it had meat in it.

But, no! The one I thought I’d like least jumped right to the top — Mighty Masala & Greens, with a close second being Chana Masala.

Aside from the delicious blend of vegetables and spices, I found the Luvo bundle really convenient. It took the thought out of what I would do for lunch everyday — quite the dilemma, I can assure you.

All I had to do was grab one of these from the freezer and head off to work. I kept the box in a cool-bag along with an ice-pack and it remained frozen until I needed it. Perfect!

All the dishes took around 4-5 minutes in the microwave, and when I opened the door they smelt so good — every time! A few people at work were asking about them because of that.

Check out luvofoods.com for more information.

Don’t be a Doofus, get yourself some Oofos…

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos OOMG Fibre Low shoes 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!

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You may have seen Oofos sandals in your local running store before. The company focuses on making recovery footwear for runners (and other active people). Their footwear is made from Oofoam which is scientifically proven to help you recover faster and better.

How does it work? The revolutionary Oofoam absorbs 37% more shock in every step. It reduces stress on sore feet, knees and back. On top of that, the shoes have amazing arch support, allowing the feet to move in a natural motion.

Continue reading “Don’t be a Doofus, get yourself some Oofos…”

Review: Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh 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!

This was my second ever Half Marathon race. I have to say I really enjoy racing this distance. I’d never ran a Rock ‘n’ Roll race before, so I was glad to have an opportunity to do so on their last visit to Raleigh, NC.

I went to the EXPO on the Saturday, the day before the race, and picked up my bib and shirt. The shirts are nice — Brooks technical shirts with minimal sponsor logos. The EXPO had some great vendors. My wife managed to get a great deal on some compression socks. There was lots of official Rock ‘n’ Roll merchandise as well. I loved the shirts with every participant name on it. Very cool.

Parking for both the EXPO and race day was very convenient. I managed to park quite easily within a block of the starting line.

I have heard over the years of how hilly a course it is, so I was expecting the worse. To be honest, it wasn’t all THAT bad. Yes, it had hills, but there was plenty of relief on downhill sections of the course.

The funny thing is — Because of the “hilly” reputation, Rock ‘n’ Roll made modifications to the route this year to make it less it less hilly. Well, according to past runner’s Strava records, this years route had a 100ft increase in elevation gain!! 🙂

The Live music along the route was awesome. I can’t recall the number of times it brought a smile to my face. I also loved the energy of the spectators throughout the various Raleigh neighborhoods. They really helped keep me going.

It was so cold at the start of the race that I did something I never do. I went and grabbed a coffee and drank it around 30mins before we started. I’ve never had to use the bathroom so bad during a race before that I needed to stop — until THIS race. At mile 9 something very bad was going to happen if I didn’t find a porta-john. Rock ‘n’ Roll are fantastic for providing so many along the route. Not sure what I’d have done otherwise…!

Aside from messing up my time a little, I was still happy to finish within 2 hours on this course. I’m sad I won’t get a chance to do better next year.

The medals were great, and you could get your medal engraved with your name and finishing time if desired. And there was plenty of snacks handed out as you walked through the end section of the course after finishing.

The band, SUSTO, sounded really good at the post race event. My only gripe is that I finished the race around 9am and the post race party didn’t start until 10am. I was so cold at that point I couldn’t even imagine holding a cold (free) beer. And yes, I made use of gear check and had a coat to wear post-race!

While a specific review of the Raleigh race may not be super helpful to the reader, now that the race is gone, I will say that in general that the race was really well organised and executed. I would not hesitate to run many of the other Rock ‘n’ Roll races across the nation.

Check out a poem I wrote after the race.