Oct 17, 2017

Rocking the Borough: Rock ’n’ Roll Brooklyn Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Rock ’n’ Roll Brooklyn to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

You’ve seen my lead ups: I’ve always wanted to run in NYC, I love rock and roll (so put another dime in the jukebox, baby), I NY pizza... The time finally came and I rand the Rock ’n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon this past weekend. Let’s see how the show went down!

The Expo

The expo was held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center (the same location as New York Comic Con). Location wise, it was pretty convenient for me coming from my in-laws in New Jersey. I was able to park in Weehawken and take the ferry to the Midtown stop which was right at the convention center. Unfortunately, this meant $26 in total to get to the expo ($8 parking + $9 ferry each way). I was able to easily get in and get right back to pick up my bib then t-shirt, no waiting. There was an area to change corral if you needed, a place to exchange shirts, and then a booth to sign up for runner tracking. As you exit this area you enter the official merchandise area, which felt a little lacking. There were several shirt designs and some generic Rock ’n’ Roll merchandise but it seemed small. There was also no official Brooks area, which I think was a part of the difference. My main experience has been with DC, where there is a lot of official Brooks gear for the race and a wall of shoes. I was really surprised to not see them  at least there with the Rock ’n’ Roll themed shoes the released this year.

The convention itself was nice in that things were spread out instead of crammed together with no space to move. This was the result of having a fairly nice sized area, but also because of a seemingly lack of vendors. It felt small. Looking at the official vendor list, there were 25 vendors, but if you subtract the official Rock ’n’ Roll booths and information related ones, you’re left with about 20, which I honestly don’t remember that many. It was a little disappointing, maybe because I was just thinking “big city == big expo”. Overall, it was nice, but what I had heard from some other people there (Kim), it is still a smaller race as far as Rock ’n’ Roll goes. It was nice, just not what I was really expecting.

I did have one disappointment: the race shirt. While Rock ’n’ Roll does a great job theming the medals to the location of the race, they did not do that was the race shirt for Brooklyn. It was a generic guitar image in the middle, the only thing about it that was “Brooklyn” was the race city itself. They could have used the Arch from the race or even the Brooklyn Bridge, but the design to me just fell flat compared to DC’s design that had both the Lincoln Memorial and cherry blossoms on it. It just felt like a real opportunity missed and a little let down. I’m a person who actually does love to wear my race shirts, but I like when they have character to the race.

Race Morning

Race morning took some planning. I first needed to find parking in Brooklyn. The closest I could find was about 2 miles away. I did find a lot to reserve with SpotHero for only $11, but it warned of possible oversize charges for my vehicle, but I was willing to chance that for $11 NYC parking. It was also within a couple blocks of the 4 and 5 trains, which would run to Grand Army Plaza for the start line to take away my 2 mile pre-race hike. On a side note, it was really close to a 2 and 3 line but they weren’t running for construction. I’m very glad the Rock ’n’ Roll team had that noted at the expo to save me that trouble. All in all, my plan went well and I was aboard a train full of racers, and a handful of people who had to be wondering what was going on with their empty early AM train. The station let us out near the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch which was where the start was, which was very cool to see first thing in the morning.

One thing different here from DC races was security, in that there was a security check point. It looked bad walking up to it, but moved very quickly through the medal detectors. For a second, the started to tell me I couldn’t take my Orange Mud pack in with me, but the realized it was my water and said it was fine. I’m sure there was a no backpack rule for good reason, but it seemed they made an exception for hydration.

The last pre-race piece to mention was the bathroom situation. It had one good piece and one bad piece. The good was that they essentially just had a wall of porta-potty lining the entire length of the corrals. This was nice because after the initial people all lined up at the beginning, there were plenty to choose from and get in line for. Plus it was also convenient to the corrals. However, it was set up like this: area on the left for walking down, metal barriers with signs denoting the corrals, on the the right was the corral area and then the far right were the bathrooms. This cause problems being able to figure out who was waiting for the bathroom and who was just waiting for the race to start. They should have put them on the non-corral side to make things less confusing. The number of bathrooms was great, but the organization of mixing it with the actual corrals was not. One small change, which I’ll be sure to give in my survey to them, and it would be greatly improved.

As I mentioned, you could have changed your corral as the expo to move up from your assigned corral if you thought you were going to run faster, but from what I heard, it was purely based on expected finish, so whatever you tell them is what they would say. However, just like DC, the corrals were “fluid” at best. They had the rails with the number signs, but that was it. There was no division, no ropes between, nothing. The most you had was someone holding a sign with the number on as we moved forward. I was assigned corral 16, but went further up to use a bathroom (because of the crowding at the entrance I mentioned) and then only really got back to about 14 before it wasn’t worth the effort. Then, when I moved with the people around me, somehow I ended up crossing the line with corral 12?! It was really just move up together and then run when they said go. In the end, it didn’t really matter, but I didn’t intend to jump forward 4 corrals, it just happened in the “fluid” corrals.

The Race

The race itself was pretty nice. It had an initial out and back of a mile, which was nice because it meant you got the early crowds twice, and then a longer out and back which eventually lead to the park. I have to say the choice of bands, especially early was interesting. I love a good mix of music genres (seriously, you just need to see my Spotify) but going in, you’d think Rock ’n’ Roll might have a bit of guitars and some rocking sound. The first three groups were a folk band (banjo and washboard) and then two brass groups. Now, all were good, just not exactly rock and roll. Entertainment wise, you also had some local marching bands and drum lines, which I like because I was / am a band geek, but they’re only high schoolers. They need to be early on the course because by the time my plodding self gets to them, they’re not interested or able to play and more. They’re worn out. There was one in particular that was on the long out and back and neither time were they playing as I went by. There was some really good entertainment though, don’t get me wrong. There were a couple that were enough to make me take a 30 second break just to listen a little more to them. There was also a lot more than DC had, which was my critique there. I just had bad luck in that I went by several not playing (but not that I expect them to play for 3 hours straight either).

The course was nice, mostly flat, with the city to see. It was cool, but nothing exceptional. It’s not that you went by a lot of sites to see, but there was a lot of the city character to see, which I enjoyed as I’ve spent time in NYC but never Brooklyn. I was very impressed with the number of water stops on the course. I always carry my own Nuun with me because I want the electrolytes and the flavor but also because I like to have some between stops and not be dependent solely on them. I found I drank a lot less of my bottles than I usually do because of the sheer number of stops they had on course. This was also really welcomes because while the temperature was nice, it was humid and sticky. The race ends in Prospect park, which a couple mile loop around the outer edge. By this point my right foot had been hurting and was causing some issues with my stride so I was taking it easier. The park was a nice change and cool to look at with all that was going on for a Saturday morning. The only unhappy part was seeing a sign saying “Specialty Bike Route. Last Exit before steep hill”. Not what I like seeing before the last 2 miles. As much as the hill sucked, you then slowly rolled your way down into the park for a nice finish. I was able to push through and was happy to finish.

My official time was 3:25:19. It’s not a bad time considering I fought with my foot from about mile 9 on. I started really strong but that set me back, but I’m still happy with my time.

Post Race

The post race party was nice because it was held in the park so they had plenty of room. They also had the food all in a bad ready to go for you with a protein bar, gummies, chips, Gatorade (Team Nuun, did not drink πŸ˜‰), and boxed (yes boxed) water. They also had bananas and chocolate milk separate. I got to see the headliners sing a couple of songs and get my free beer. Michelob Ultra may not be my beer of choice, but I appreciated the “Run Done Beer Now” custom can. There were also number of tents set up: medical, merchandise, information, baggage collect. After my beer I decided to head out, which unfortunately was like another mile out of the park just to get to the start line for the nearest subway station. I did stop for two slices of NY style on my walk to the car, which was a fantastic post race fuel.

Final Thoughts

I always wanted to run in NYC and now I have. I enjoyed it. There definitely is room to improve and grow, but I enjoyed it overall. In and out of NYC was a bit of a pain for the expo and race, but that was because I was staying for free in NJ as opposed to having a hotel in NYC, so that really is just a push and a choice I made. The race itself had a good course, great aid, and was a fun time even with the ending hill. Overall, would run again.

Check out my review on bibrave.com for the half marathon and review your races!

Bonus pic: one of my favorite cups from a water stop:

Oct 7, 2017

Skins Compression A400 Half Tights Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received Skins Compression A400 Half Tights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

You just need to browse my blog and fees long enough to quickly see that I’m a fan of compression. I find it great for recovery, especially for my legs after tough and / or long runs. I always jump at the opportunity to test compression gear, so I was excited for the chance to test Skins Compression A400. I selected the half tights (aka shorts) option, as it was warmer here and I haven’t actually owned compression shorts, just tights. Read on to see how they worked.

What are they?

I’d like to start with a little bit about them and will start with their description:
SKINS A400 compression sportswear is designed to boost competitive athletes’ natural performance by providing more oxygen to their active muscles using dynamic gradient compression. Wear your A400s while you warm up to get your blood flowing, while you train to minimise your risk of injury before race day, and while you compete so you can push your body that little bit harder for longer when it counts.

The half tights are really nice. They’ve got all the targeted compression you’d expect. They offer “360 degree” reflectivity, which is good if you run in just these, but that is not me. I do not have that kind of body confidence to run in compression shorts alone (and ain’t no body want to see that). They stop just above the knee, covering all those upper leg muscles. The 400 series is built from 3D body scan data, so I love the use of technology to drive precise design.

How do they work?

I was very impressed with these half tights. They were a good snug compression all the way around pretty evenly, not really having any gaps. Using the sizing chart worked well for me, which is always a worry as a big guy. The waist was a little tight, but not enough to be uncomfortable. I did really like the wider waistband. It helped them to feel like the fit quite well. They say they adapt to hot and cold. I didn’t have any cold to test, but they were just fine in the head. The overall cut fit comfortably.

So they fit well, but what about recovery?

I tried these out after some short runs and they worked well. Then I got the perfect test: I ran the Clarendon Day Run Double Dash. You can read all about my experience but it consisted of a 5K and 10K with about a mile and a half in between the finish and start lines so I totaled about 13.5 miles. My muscles took a beating. They were clearly not prepared enough. Wearing these short that day and some the next really helped my recovery. It was definitely a 4 or 5 day sore without compression I would guess from my experience. But these helped get me back and going after those 2 days. Well, the top parts of my legs, I should have thought the problem through and worn compression socks as well right away, so full tights might have been handy instead.

The Takeaway

The A400 series seems to be a well engineered set of compression gears. Even on a bigger guy like myself the fit well and not over tight. I like a snug fitting compression, but on my legs too tight is no good. These are a comfortable well fitting half tights, making it easy to wear them during or after activity. I put them through their recovery paces, and they came out successful and strong.

Oct 6, 2017

Five Reasons I'm Running Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn | FridayFive | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This week's Friday Five is about scheduling. One thing with scheduling is sometimes you just want to to live on the fly and do things last minute. With that in mind, I want to share with you why I'm running the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon, which you can still sign up online until Sunday.

1. Chance to run in NYC

I love running in new locations. One location that has been on top of my list for a while is New York City. This race offers me that opportunity, to run through the borough of Brooklyn. I'm super excited by the course. They even have a video preview of the course, which is pretty sweet.

2. On course entertainment

One of the unique pieces of the Rock 'n' Roll races is the on course entertainment. They always have a variety of bands that help give an on course boost. It does vary year to year and location to location, but as someone that loves music when they run, it's perfect. They also have bands playing a finish line concert with a headliner. The headliner for Brooklyn this year is Hollis Brown.

3. Choice of distance

This year Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn is not offering just a half marathon but also a new 5 miler distance! If you're not ready for the 13.1 miles, you can opt for 5 miles and still see Brooklyn.

4. Heavy medals

Another great part of the Rock 'n' Roll series are the medals. Each race gets a medal themed to the location. In addition, as you run multiple races throughout the year, you can earn a Heavy Medal special to commemorate it. Since I ran the Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon earlier this year, I'll earn the Double Beat Medal.

5. BibRavePro Opportunity

Lastly, I've been given the opportunity to run this race as part of the BibRavePro program. I love being a BibRavePro. It provides some great opportunities, a great group of pros, and a lot of fun. If you're interested in finding out more, read on or feel free to contact me.

There's my five reasons. If you're interested in joining me, register now while you can, before Sunday.

Now that you've read my five, go check out Fairytales and Fitness "My 5 Races" and Running on Happy "Training is Tough Runfessions" since they host the linkup, and then you can see all the other great bloggers participating!

Sep 26, 2017

Clarendon Day Run Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Clarendon Day Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I love to run new races. It’s fun to travel, but also fun to find new races in your own area. Living in northern Virginia offers up a plethora of races, so there’s always somewhere new to run. My latest races were just that: something new and challenging. This past Sunday I ran the Clarendon Day Run Double Dash.

The Clarendon Day Run offers up two main races, a 5K and a 10K, and in a kids race. Often, you might see a race with both 5K and 10K distances, but often it’s a choice of one or the other. In Clarendon, that is not the case. You can run them both, get a special challenge medal, and we’ll even throw in a mile and half uphill transfer between the end of the 5K and start of the 10K. πŸ˜‰

The Expo Pre-Race

I usually like to start off my race reviews talking about the expo. Well, this is just a local race, so there was no expo to be had. There was packet pickup in the days leading up to the race, but also on race morning. Pick up closed 15 minutes before the start of each races. I arrive just after 7, with the first race starting at 8 am. I found street parking a block and a half away from the start line (nice and easy and FREE on Sundays). Pickup was a breeze. I walked right up, got my bib then went down to the next table for my shirt. The shirt was a nice soft tech shirt and orange, which is great because everyone knows #orangeisthenewfast. Though it did make it slightly more difficult than normal to find my fellow BibRavePro Katie with all the extra orange around. As the race got closer, the line got a little longer, but always seemed to be moving. One of the biggest draw backs was due to all the work on the metro lately in DC, there were no early hours, so if you rand the 5K you had to drive as trains weren’t running yet. The pre-race bathroom line was getting a little long at times, so they might have benefited from a few more port-o-pots, but the line moved fast enough to be ready come race time.

Race Time - 5K

The race course was a nice downhill course starting in the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington. It winds through Courthouse into Rosslyn before moving out onto a closed portion of the highway. Running through the city was nice and no, not just because it was downhill. You had a lot to see and the sounds of the city (yes, I mean jackhammers at one point). The highway portion would be an out and back portion, as the course ended in Rosslyn. We ran on the 110, so you could see the Netherlands Carillon (which I highly recommend you hear play) and we went by the edge of Arlington National cemetery before looping back. The 5K finished well, just over 40 minutes at an official time of 40:19. After grabbing a banana and bottle of water, we found out we got all our medals after the 10K (which made sense). All in all, we had about 17 minutes to make it back up the hill, which should be no problem to go a mile in that time (we thought it was only a mile).

Hill Transfer

As I mentioned, we had about 17 minutes to make it up the hill, so we started a brisk pace walking up the hill, but noticed a lot of other people around us with no medals, so assumed they were all making their way to the second race so we felt in good company. The problem was, on the way up the hill we saw the mile 1 marker, and quickly realized we the finish line was not “just about a mile” as we thought. As we got closer, there was suddenly a flood of a lot of racers coming towards us. Crap. So we put it into a jog because we knew we weren’t where we needed to be. When we reached the start line, thankfully it wasn’t closed off, closed down, or in any way “you’re too late”, so we crossed the line and started our second race 8 minutes behind. I wanted to give everyone else a lead to feel good.

Race Time - 10K

The 10K course followed the same exact path of the 5K, down through Courthouse and Rosslyn then onto the 110. The only difference was that the out and back portion went out further before coming back. The city portion again was the nicest and we took advantage of the downhill portions to try and gain a little time up front. Between being tired after running back to the start and starting late, we wanted to try and gain some back while the course was giving us the advantage. The temperature was starting to rise now and the sun was feeling a little hot. I didn’t look closely at the map, but knew the course allowed us to go out to the Pentagon, so I was happy when we reached it. Unfortunately, the Pentagon is quite large, so we saw it for quite a while. The added difficulty of the highway portion was that the sun got very hot very quick (upper 80s), more so than expected. That was very draining on the second race. I had been well stocked with my Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel filled with Nuun. As the race went on, I filled up boy ottles with more water and then proceeded to dump a cup (or two later on) on my head to help cool down. It worked well with my BUFF UV Multifunctional Headband (that’s a mouthful) to keep cool and the sun off my head. Unfortunately, I didn’t think through the two races as the combined distance and instead as the individual pieces, so I wasn’t prepared in the fuel department. Coupled with the heat and liquid only (minus 1 banana on the hill and 1 GU pack) my stomach was sloshing and I was energy depleted.

Now we get to a slightly unfortunate part of our journey. Towards the very end, we new we were near the back but had seen some people behind us on the out and back. Then we saw the first cart carrying people from the back of the pack. Then, a course marshall on a bike was next to us and we could hear him talking about number of people on the course and where, so we knew we were in danger. He gave us the low down, that we had to make it back to the city before that cart grabbed the people behind us and then came back for us. He also said they had to open up in 6 minutes. It seemed a stretch but doable. Then the police SUV picked up the group behind us and asked us for a ride, and we said we wanted to keep running as long as we were allowed so asked if we had to get in. We did not, but 1 minute later the cart was back to pick us up. *sigh* we were “swept”. So they drove us up to essentially the end of the highway so that we were back on county property they said which they were allowed to keep open. From looking at my tracking, my guess was right, and we only got pulled for a quarter of a mile exactly. I can’t help but have fleeting thoughts of “if you gave us the 6 minutes you said” or “if we had just been back to the start with those extra 8 minutes” but the reality is in running and in life, you need to just keep moving forward, and we did.

We finished out as strong as we could from there and crossed the finish line, to an official time of 1:32:18. The best part is there were still a couple of people in that little section of the city cheering us on.

Overall, my total time was officially 2:12:37 for the Double Dash. That also happen to be 1 second faster than my BibRavePro counterpart, sorry Katie. πŸ˜œ

Post Race

The second best part after there still being cheering was that being at the back of the pack, they had not run out of food, so I got one of everything, including 3 kinds of jerky. There were still people on hand giving out medals. If you know me, I love my bling and especially like special challenge medals. These did not disappoint as we got one race medal and then the double dash medal, which was interlocking! That’s a keeper. I mean, all medals are “keepers” to me, but you know what I mean.

That was really it for post race. They had a booth giving massages, some food tables and some samples and that was it. I had a beer ticket on my bib, but I wasn’t really sure where to use it, and frankly didn’t care to figure it out as I had yet another mile and half back up the hill. We could have taken the metro, but they were only running trains every 24 minutes and didn’t want to have to wait, though at our slow pace, it might have been work it. In the end, I actually tracked all portions (runs and walks) and put in 12.59 miles. I think I can call that worthy training ahead of Rock ’n’ Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon, right?

Final Thoughts

I had a good time doing both of these races. It was great to run with my fellow BibRavePro Katie. Frankly, having her there made it much easier to push back up that hill and start round two. I would have been very tempted to call it at one and done, if I’m being honest. I could have trained a little more for the combined distance, and learned my lesson to total everything together when I’m planning what I think I’ll need. If I had thought it through, I would have been better prepared, because I know what my body needs at those mileages. Being a slower runner can be rough at times, especially for things like this, but I’m me and I’m going to keep being me. I survived, I finished (with a tiny involuntary boost), and I enjoyed myself. I would definitely recommend running the 5K, 10K, or the Double Dash to anyone in the area. It’s a fun little course, nicely downhill (so long as you ignore the 5K to 10K reset), and was very well run with friendly nice volunteers.

Check out my reviews on bibrave.com for the 5K and the 10K. Then, be sure to write review or any race you've run, to help your fellow runners!

Aug 25, 2017

Five Reasons to Run the Clarendon Day Run | Friday Five | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Clarendon Day Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm pretty excited for an upcoming race on my schedule. It's got a bit of fun with a dash of challenge. I thought I'd take this chance to join in on the Friday Five 2.0 linkup to give you five reasons you should join me at the Clarendon Day Run.

1. Choice of distance πŸ‘Ÿ

The Clarendon Day Run consists of the choice of distances. They offer a 10K, a 5K, and even a Kids Dash for the little ones. There are medals for all finishers, but it's unclear on their site if that includes the kids or not.

2. Take on a Challenge πŸ…

You also have the option to take on the popular Double Challenge. This involves running the 5K first then making your way back to the start line for the 10K. This is the option I'm going for, but I'm hoping to be fast enough as part of the challenge is you also need to get back to the start line before the 10K starts. There is even a special double challenge medal, though looks like its limited to the first 500 registrants, so sign up now! (but see #5 before you do)

3. Part of day of festivities πŸŽ‰

The Clarendon Day Run is part of a larger Clarendon Day festival. So come enjoy the festival the day before, and then race on Sunday. Of course, even if you can make the festival on Saturday, they're still throwing their own post-race party and an (adult) beverage ticket is included with your registration.

4. Downhill courses πŸ“‰

Both of the courses are known for being fast and thats because they're downhill. I've included the elevation below from the Pacers Running site. As you can see, that's a graph we always love to see. I must warn you of one thing, if you want to do the challenge the end of the 5K is about a mile back to the start line, back up hill, so thats a part of the challenge.

5. Save Money πŸ’°

Who doesn't like to save money? Want to run the 5K, the 10K, or the double? Register now and use the code 17cdrBibRave to save $5 on your entry.

There's my five reasons. If you're in the DMV, I hope you consider coming out to run with me. I'd love the company. I plan to try and run the challenge, but I'm mostly running for my enjoyment.

Now that you've read my five, go check out Fairytales and Fitness "My 5 Races" and Running on Happy "Training is Tough Runfessions" since they host the linkup, and then you can see all the other great bloggers participating!

Aug 20, 2017

Cap it Off: BUFF® Pack Run Cap | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the BUFF® Pack Run Cap 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!

My favorite piece of gear of the summer months has always been the UV Multifunctional Headband, formerly the UV Half BUFF®, ever since I first reviewed it here for you. It keeps the sweat off my face, protects me from the sun, and is very versatile. The latest product I've been give to test is the BUFF® Pack Run Cap. It looks like they've packed all that multifunctional goodness into a runner's cap package.

What's special about the cap?

The cap is lightweight and breathable, but it is also packable. By packable, I mean you can throw it in your bag, it can smash up and come back out and straight onto your head. I'll give you all the description, straight from their site:
Ultralight and ultra smart, the BUFF® Pack Run Cap is built to go the distance. Super streamlined, exceptionally light and highly compressible, it’s comfortable for the long-haul, but can easily be folded and rolled to stash in a pocket. The four panel design and stretch materials hug the head for a secure fit that doesn’t bind, while a low profile sweatband provides moisture control without added bulk, and the polyester materials wick away perspiration. The crushable polyurethane brim snaps back to shape and combines with the UPF protective materials for sun protection on long races and extended training days.
The material of the cap is very lightweight and has a bit of stretch to it, giving it a very comfortable fit. There's also a small drawstring on the back so you can get it just to the right snugness.

How does it work?

The cap is another great pice of gear from BUFF®. I already mentioned how lightweight and comfortable it is. I took it for run in some hot and humid summer runs. Now, it's not been a hot as it usually is this time of year, but it was still August and still humid. I'm a guy who sweats. Despite the miles and the humidity, the hat kept all the sweat off my face. It never felt too hot on top of my head, which is always my worry for summer running gear. With hats in particular, they always get too warm for me. It my testing so far, I've not hit that wall with this cap. While it did work well, it did need a hang dry afterwards, but I see that as a sign of a good work out.

As far as it's packability, it works as described. Scrunch it, stuff it, throw it in your bag and it still came back out ready to go. Frankly, there's nothing overly firm about it, so nothing to get messed up. The brim seems to keep its shape well. The UV protection seems to work well. Nothing overly scientific about it, but I wore it when I ran and the top of my head did not get burnt.

The Takeaway

The cap works great. I'm a big fan of it. I like running visors, but my head not full of hair can't handle them without getting crispy. Most running hats are just too hot on my head. This cap gives me all I love about BUFF® in a hat form. I also hate throwing hats in bags for fear of them coming out with a lopsided brim, but the Pack Run Cap doesn't suffer that problem. It's super lightweight, comfortable, portable, and delivers everything I expect from a BUFF® product.


This week's #bibchat will feature BUFF and the Pack Run Cap. Stop by on Tuesday, August 22nd at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the BUFF® team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway with bibchat, as always, so there's always that added bonus.

What do you wear to run?

Jul 30, 2017

Luvo Bowls Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received Luvo meals 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!

Quick and easy often doesn't equal healthy. Luvo Frozen meals give you nutritious, delicious, and smart choices. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may remember last year I reviewed several of their Steam in Pouch™ meals. As I said then they're quick, easy, healthy, and most importantly tasty. I received the opportunity to review their product again, so I was super excited to try out their new bowls and Planted™ Power Bowls.

So what are they?

Luvo is more than just a frozen meal. Their philosophy is simple "We believe that when you eat well, you feel and perform better in all aspects of life, so we’re on a mission to make wholesome, delicious meals more accessible for all." That philosophy shows with their meals. They create well rounded meals, with less sugar and sodium, and use lean proteins and whole grains. They use a "fact-based approach to nutrition that is supported by credible 3rd party sources like the World Health Organization and the Harvard School of Public Health". They also are teaming with WhyHunger and A Sense of Home give you a company really making an effort for the environment and the community.

What did I try?

Since I already know I love their Steam in Pouch™ meals, I took this time to try out their bowls and Planted™ Power Bowls.

Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice

This is one of my favorites. This is a vegan bowl, made with Forbidden Rice, shiitake mushrooms, pineapple & cashews. This is a very tasty dish on it's own. I'm a big fan of fried rice and this is a tasty mix. While it works as a meal, I also thought it would be great to split as a side. Not only that, I may have had this more than once and added some chicken the second time around, making it very much not vegan, but quite delicious to me.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

This was a surprise dish for me. I've heard of cauliflower being used like this, but I've never been a fan of cauliflower itself.  In the name of review, I decided to try it out anyway. In addition to the roasted cauliflower, it includes brown rice noodles in a creamy sauce with panko style topping. I'll admit, at first when I took it out, it surely smelled like roasted vegetables. However, the taste was great. I think this is a fantastic healthy take on your classic mac & cheese. This will definitely be one that lives in our freezer, as my wife enjoyed it as well.

Mighty Masala & Greens

The next dish I tried was another of the Planted™ Power Bowls. The Might Masala & Greens included brown jasmine rice, green garbanzos, cabbage & kale. This bowl was not quite my personal flavor. It was a good healthy mix, but just didn't tickle my taste buds like the others. It had a little bit of spice, which was nice. This is one I may try again, with a little something to mix it up. I'm always willing to give things a try, and a second try.

Chicken & Corn Chowder

The last dish was the chicken & corn chowder. While summer time wasn't really the right time for it, I enjoyed this one as well. It is made with white chicken, kale, sweet potato & white beans in a savory dijon-herb base. I think the best part of it was that "dijon-herb base". It gave a good and unique taste to this. I even enjoyed the kale, which I've not been a fan of in the past. This is one I'm looking forward to again, I'm just going to wait for the fall for it.

The Takeaway

I love Luvo meals. They give you healthy choices that are also quick and easy. Great recipes, healthy substitutions, and made with ingredients from people-, animal- and planet-friendly practices. As a runner, we need good fuel. We also don't always have much time. Overall, you won't find a match for these any where else in the freezer section.

What do you eat when you're short on time for meal?

Jul 26, 2017

DNS: Crystal City Twilighter (Almost) Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Crystal City Twilighter to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This is usually where you'd be coming to see my review of the Crystal City Twilighter. Unfortunately, for the first time, I don't have that for you. The Crystal City Twilighter 5K was my first DNS. I won't go into the details of that, as it's not important to this. However, I still wanted to give you what feedback I could, and then provide some from others who were there.

Pre-race Communication

On thing I can speak to is the pre-race communication. That day in northern Virginia we had a rough storm rolling through. They were very proactive in ensuring safety and providing updates. I saw a tweet when they move the packet pickup inside the mall, to get out of the weather. They also noted if there was any update to race time, they would provide update their as well. As it turned out, that was unnecessary as things moved through the area soon enough that the race was able to go on as planned.

The Race

From what I saw, the race looked good. Like, literally good with all that glowing. I do want to give a shout out to the winner Chris Sloane, who won in 15:12, a blazing 4:54 min / mile pace! Oh, and 2nd place was 1 second behind him and 3rd just 5. They were not kidding about being a fast course. The female winner was Bethany Sachtleben, in just 16:49, an amazing 5:24 min / mile pace!

Be sure to come back here for some updates from my fellow running BibRavePros.


I'm happy to give you some reviews from my fellow BibRavePros. I made some quick graphics, but click through on their names for the full reviews.

More Pacers

Want to get in on a Pacers Running race? You can join me at the Clarendon Day Run and save $5 with code 17cdrBibRave

Jul 16, 2017

Training to Run the Night | #BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Crystal City Twilighter to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I recently shared some of my upcoming races, including one a little different than I'm used to: the Crystal City Twilighter. What's "different" about it is that the race time is 7:30, as races often are, however instead of AM it is PM! While the race is a 5K, I thought about my preparation, so I thought I'd share them with you.

Run at night

While this isn't a Ragnar Relay where I need to be used to running in pitch black silence at 2 in the morning, it's always good practice to run in the conditions expected for race day (when you can). Since this is an evening summer race in Virginia, that can mean it will still have lingering heat from the day and humidity. It's not the same as the morning, when things can be a little cooler until the sun start burning bright in the sky. That is of course why most races are run in the morning, of course. Moving my training runs to the evening hasn't been easy, but valuable to at least have a couple runs in.

Choose your gear

As always, you want to pick your race gear. When running at night, I prefer bright colors. When I'm at home, it's so I'm seen. At a race, it's just fun. I figure standing out against the dark is the most fun way to do it.

Get glowing

Along the lines of gear, why not get some gear that glows? Glow sticks, glow bracelets, light up snap bracelets... the night is your canvas of light, so why not have some fun with it.

Food plan

A race at 7:30 pm means it's after dinner. That means you need to make a plan for dinner: something light, healthy, and won't be heavy in your stomach when you run. This is also good to practice with our first item "Run at night".


Hydrating is also important for a race. Racing at night provides an extra element, making sure you're hydrated throughout the day to be prepped for the evening. On top of that, the Crystal City Twilighter comes with a drink ticket, so you want to be hydrated to enjoy that post race drink. ;-)

Join Me

It's not too late to register to join me in just under a week.

Register now and save $5 with the code 17cctBibRave

Jun 16, 2017

Come on Pretty Mama: XX2i Bahamas1 Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the XX2i Bahamas1 sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Just like my last review on the blog, this post is about another of my favorite brands: XX2i. XX2i started with fantastic sport glasses, many of which I've reviewed with you here on the blog. Recently, they've expanded their offerings into casual lines of sunglasses. They brought their fantastic lens and knowledge to make great glasses for on the go. The latest pair I've been given the opportunity to put to the test are the Bahamas1.
Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama

What do these frames offer?

The Bahamas1 is one of their "fashion-forward" line. The frame is a more rectangular shape. They come standard with polarized lenses with 100% UVA and UVB Protection. They also are made with their "8K optical technology" cutting glare and providing great clarity. The frames are lightweight but durable, something XX2i is good at. They come with their standard harder case which I usually keep in my bag or car as well as microfiber cleaning cloth case, which is usually in my pocket for cleaning and quick storing.

I took a little leap for me in selecting the matte white / black with polar grey lenses. I say a "little leap" because a two toned frame like this is a little different for me, the kind I always like the look of but never think I can "pull off". But, I decided to expand my options.

How are the glasses?

The frames are great. Light, durable, sleek. I was worried looking at them they might not be quite wide enough for my head, but they fit comfortably. XX2i knows how to make lenses. Great in the bright sun or even when it's just a little bright. They have great clarity and the polarized lens are fantastic. Overall, the feel good, work great, and look quite stylish.

I had the opportunity to put these glasses through their paces in the Virginia sun and with another trip to Florida. They worked great. I had bright sunny days, days where it was bright but grey, and everything in between. I took them on walks around the neighborhood, around Walt Disney World, and in the car. Every time and every way, the lenses worked great. I even wore them during my 12 hour drive from Florida to Virginia, and they stayed comfortable throughout the drive.

Special Sale

For a limited time, you can save 50% off your purchase at XX2i with limited discount code: xx2irocks. I love that they offer this code up through BibRave, because it is such a fantastic deal. That's HUGE savings at just the right time to get yourself set for the summer. Don't forget, that comes with the tank protector case (perfect for a less gentle person or parent with a destructo kid), a soft carrying bag (that is microfiber and therefore doubles as a lens cleaner), free U.S. shipping, the 365 money back guarantee, as well as the no questions asked lifetime warranty. Protect your eyes in the summer sun! πŸŒž

The Takeaway

The last pair of casual glasses from XX2i I reviewed, the Brazil1, became my go to every day pair. Now that I have these, it's not such a clear cut decision. While those are my more classic style of glasses I like, these are a little more modern, but have the same great lenses. It really comes down to what mood I'm in now. They're comfortable, they stand out, and most importantly, they protect my eyes. Having worn glasses since I was a kid, I'm always looking to do whatever I can to protect my eyes. Protect your eyes... but there's no reason you can't look good while you're doing it. As a Goofy Movie teaches you: Stand Out!


This week's #bibchat will of course feature XX2i. Stop by on Tuesday, June 20th at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the XX2i team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway of these great glasses, as always, so there's always that added bonus.

What's your go to sunglasses on the go?

Jun 2, 2017

BUFF your Arms: UV Arm Sleeves Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the BUFF UV Arm Sleeves 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!

It's no secret I love BUFF products. I'm a huge fan of their headwear for both hot and cold. Especially now, all summer long you'll find me in my UV Half BUFF UV Multifunctional Headband. When the chance to test a brand new type of product came up, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm super excited to share my experience with the BUFF UV Arm Sleeves.

What are the arm sleeves?

Arm sleeves are what they say: sleeves for your arms. These particular sleeves have a lot of great component to them, in true BUFF multi-use style. First, they have strategically placed reflective elements to help you be seen in low-light conditions. Second, they have UPF 40+ sun protection. Third, the slightly smaller elastic upper keeps the sleeves in place no matter the movements. Lastly, are the materials. It's a highly breathable polyester that is moisture wicking with a four-way stretch. This makes it great as a thin layer to keep the chill off but also wick the moisture in the heat. It's also antimicrobial, to help control odors.

Are the comfortable?

The sleeves are great. The material is quite comfortable. It's lightweight, smooth, and fits well. I'm on the bigger side of the sizing, but the tops weren't too tight. These are the first arm sleeves I've had that stayed in place no matter what. I usually have the problem they either slip down or the tops roll down during my run. These had just the right amount of snugness to stay in place but not feel uncomfortable. They fit the arms and keep their shape well.

Are they hot?

Sleeves are common for wearing when you want to keep the chill off but don't want long sleeves. The sleeves performed well there, as expected on chilly morning runs. The nice thing about these sleeves is that they're for more than just the cool weather. The sun protection is something I personally love. Being a redhead, I burn easily. Wearing sunscreen for my runs is a must for me, but also a pain. If I can have an area covered that is one less place for sunscreen, count me in. In my warmer temperatures, I didn't feel these too hot. Yes, it's warmer than nothing, but not overly hot. It also probably helped that my particular ones are white, a good choice for the sun. I didn't try it in too high of temperatures as I had hoped, but we got a cooler spell for this time of year. You should check back for an update as we get into the summer. My plan for when it is hotter to load them up with some ice. Sure, it will be a wet mess, but a cooler wet mess.

The Takeaway

These sleeves are great. I've owned several other pairs from other companies and none have compared to these. They're the most comfortable and best fitting I've had. They fit well, even on my larger and less conventional (for a runner) body. They were good on chilly mornings but also as the temperatures warmed up. They even kept this ginger from getting any sunburn (no small feat).


This week's #bibchat will feature BUFF and the UV Arm Sleeves. Stop by on Tuesday, June 6th at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the BUFF team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway with bibchat, as always, so there's always that added bonus.

Do you use arm sleeves? How do you protect from the sun?

May 26, 2017

Race Schedule: Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm super excited to announce some races I've added to my summer and fall schedule. The last race I'd like to share with you is a race where I'll be doing a little traveling: the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon.

Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn

Earlier this year, I ran the Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon. I had a great time running that race. I'm excited to announce I'll be at another tour stop: Brooklyn. Not only am I excited to run another Rock 'n' Roll race, but I've always wanted to run a race in New York City, so this is ticking of a spot on my wanna-do race list.

Image from runrocknroll.com

The Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon takes place on Saturday October 14 and runs through the closed streets of Brooklyn, from Grand Army Plaza to Prospect Park. The course looks fun, looping around the park with a down and back in the middle of the course. I'm looking forward to the course and the sites of the city. The map has a lot of music locations posted on the map, so I'm really hoping for a rocking good time. Also, who doesn't love a good finish line party?

Heavy Medal

One thing that is pretty cool about the Rock 'n' Roll races are the medals. Races have medals customized to the city. They also have good number of special challenge medals for multiple races in the city or by racing particular cities. No matter what, they also have special Heavy Medals that you get just by racing multiple cities. By having run DC and now Brooklyn, I'll earn the Double Beat medal.

Join Me and Save

Join me in running the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half and save $15 with the code BIBRAVE15

May 15, 2017

Race Schedule: Clarendon Day Run | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Clarendon Day Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm super excited to announce some races I've added to my summer and fall schedule. The next race I'd like to share with you is a local race here to the DMV (DC - Maryland - Virginia): the Clarendon Day Run.

Clarendon Day Run

The Clarendon Day Run is a set of races that are part of a series of races put in by Pacers Running, a local chain of running stores. The festivities include a 5K, 10K, and a Kids Dash. You can even sign up for the double to run both the 5K and 10K. The races are part of the the Clarendon Days Festival, celebrating the Clarendon neighborhood of Arlington, VA. The races take place in September 24th, starting at 8am.

The courses are supposed to be fast. There is an hour between the start of the 5K and the 10K, so if you want to run both, you need to make it the mile and a half to the start line after completing the 5K. I'm working this summer to increase my speed in hopes I can run both races. The distance is not a problem, just making it back to the top of the hill by 9am. I'll be doing some summer time speed work to improve myself.

The registration includes a t-shirt, refreshments, medals, and even some drink tickets for local establishments. On top of that, you can stick around for more fun in Clarendon after.

Sign up now and join me for some festival running! Run one or run them all. Save $5 with the code 17ccrBibRave

Apr 30, 2017

Race Schedule: Crystal City Twilighter | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Crystal City Twilighter to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm super excited to announce some races I've added to my summer and fall schedule. The first race I'd like to share with you is a local race here to the DMV (DC - Maryland - Virginia): the Crystal City Twilighter.

Crystal City Twilighter

The Crystal City Twilighter is 5K part of a series of races put in by Pacers Running, a local chain of running stores. The race takes place July 22nd, in Arlington, VA. Now, before you say "why?!?!" to running a race in Virginia in July, what makes this different is that it takes place at 8:30 pm. That's right, this is a midsummer's night jaunt through Crystal City.

This will be my first time running this race, or any Pacers event. I'm quite excited to run in Arlington and for a night time race. I've always wanted to run at night. I'll have to come up with something good to do involving lights or glow sticks, because that's just how I am.

The registration includes a t-shirt, refreshments, glow sticks, and even some beer tickets for local establishments. Looking at 2016, it even includes free photos.

Sign up now and join me for some night time summer running! Save $5 with the code 17cctBibRave

Apr 16, 2017

Elite Peace of Mind: Road ID Wrist ID Elite Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the Road ID Wrist ID Elite to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

As my last review mentioned, I try to be a very safety conscious runner. I do everything I can to be safe, but you also even need be prepared and have peace of mind. Enter Road ID.

What is Road ID?

The inspiration for Road ID came from way back in the fall in 1999. One of the co-owners was inspired by the combination of his father's request to "be safe" and a black pickup truck that came a little too close (the full story). Since then, and to this day, they're on a mission to save lives. Should heaven forbid anything happen to you while out on a run, having a Road ID on means your family can be contacted, and first responders can have vital information about you they may need. They have a page full of testimonials of real customers who found themselves in need. With Road ID, you can have that extra peace of mind.

Road ID is a company out to make a difference. First, their product was developed to help people when they need it the most. They also go beyond that. The have an ecrumbs app, targeted at letting your family know where you are, so they can know you're ok. End up turning a 4 mile run into 7 because you feel good? They don't need to worry because they can pull up the tracker and see you're still going strong (I've been there, they get mad). When you have watches, some of them offer a live tracking feature, but I found it hard to find that in the smartphone app marketplace before I had my watch. It can even send out stationary alerts, meant to provide an alert to someone if you stop for more than a specified amount of time, which could be a sign of a problem. It doesn't replace the need for the physical ID, because in an accident, your phone will likely be damaged, but it can give them some peace of mind on your behalf. Lastly, I'd like to mention something during their purchase process. They donate a portion of the sales to a charity of your choice from their list. You don't have to add anything for the charity to get a donation, though you're welcome to do so. It's a great way they give back, and a small thing that makes me love them as a company.

They offer a wide range of IDs. You can chose from four different wrist IDs, two to wear around your neck, one for your ankle, two for your shoes, two for your dogs, and if you have a wearable, IDs that fit your Apple watch, 13 different Garmin devices, 7 fitbits, and one Polar device.

What makes it so 'elite'?

I received the Wrist ID Elite to test and review. The Elite comes in three styles: classic, rugged, and black edition. The classic comes with a plain flat faceplate, the rugged has an outer raised border, and the black edition comes in a black matte finish with engraving with a hint of gold. While I like the look of the black matte, I prefer silver over gold, so I instead went with the rugged edition. I love the little extra touch the rugged faceplate gives the ID.

The band is what makes this ID stand out from the others available. You can have either a silicone or leather band with a watch-style buckle. The silicone band comes in one of six solid colors or five dual "black collection" colors. For the leather band, you can choose black or brown. The sleek style gives it a look that will work for everyday wear if you want, not just on the run.

What do you get?

I'd like to take a little time to talk about the packaging. I'm big on the little things, and Road ID does the little things right. The Wrist ID Elite comes in it's own tin, with the band and faceplate inside. The tin is perfect for some reuse for holding some tea bags for myself in my desk at work. Inside the package, I also got a nice little card from Keith J, who prepared my Road ID. It's a nice little touch, with just a bit of humor, but also gives you the contact information to reach out right away should something not be right. Additionally, on the back is a coupon "Redeemable for One (1) Free Bear Hug at Road ID HQ", and it has a footnote of "from an actual bear. He works in the warehouse. Great hugger". I'll be holding onto this in case I ever get the opportunity to try and redeem it.

The Wrist ID Elite is one size fits all. You get a long band that you trim to just the right size. I went with a silicone band, which was easy to work with. I took my time, taking little by little off until it was just right. It was easy to do, if not a little time consuming. Of course, I was extremely scared of trimming too far, so probably trimmed it many more times that I could have skipped. In the end, I did get it just right.

The last additional thing I got was a badge. Road ID helps you customize your ID further with small badges with either a small picture or text. There are a lot of cool looking ones that made it hard to pick from. In the end, I went with a custom badge. With a custom badge, you can add up to 15 characters, 11 if you want larger text, or 7 if you want to go with the largest font size. I made myself a #BIBRAVEPRO badge on large text size. I'm very happy with it. Now that I have it on the band, I also see I can easily go with more than one (at least at my wrist size) with it still being comfortable, so I may get myself another one, or more to swap in and out (it does currently say bye two elite badges and get a third free).

How do you like it?

I love the peace of mind I get from wearing my Road ID. I've owned a Wrist ID Sport for quite a while now. I purchased that one after I started running because I thought it looked like it'd be the most comfortable one. The Elite is so much better than my Sport. It's very comfortable, looks good, and most of all feels good to have that information right there. I like the customization of adding badges, especially one I could customize myself. The silicone band with the clasp gives it just the right amount of weight to feel good on your wrist, but you quickly forget it's even there. It's a hard balance to achieve, but it fits the bill for me.

It may be a running "accessory", but a necessary one. I never run without it, and even wear it to the gym, just in case. I'm not a person who wears it all the time, but you never know. With this particular ID, I could see that as a possibility more than the others. If you have any serious allergies, this is a perfect solution to always having that information on you.

The Takeaway

Running is a wonderful sport that allows me to destress and feel better both mentally and physically. Having my Road ID gives me the peace of mind knowing should anything ever happen, which I pray it never will, that my wife will be able to be contacted right away. They'll know who I am, which can also help doctors. I hope my Road ID never needs to be read by anyone, but as an Eagle Scout, I like to always be prepared. Road ID gives me peace of mind. The Wrist ID Elite gives me a sleek and comfortable delivery of the peace of mind.

Free $5 Giftcard

Want a Road ID of your own? Need to get that peace of mind? All you need to do is go to bit.ly/2ocFWMl, fill out the form, and you'll get a $5 gift card to use at Road ID. That gift card will be valid for 2 weeks, so go fill out the form now and then find what ID will fit your needs best. Maybe Keith will help your order out. ;-)


This week's #bibchat will be featuring Road ID. Stop by on Tuesday, April 18th at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway as always, so there's always that added bonus.

Do you always have identification with you when you run? How about at the gym?

Apr 9, 2017

Be Brilliant: Brilliant Reflective Running Tapes Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the Brilliant Reflective to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I try to be a very safety conscious runner. I'm lucky enough to live somewhere with a lot of great paved paths and sidewalks, but I always try to take extra precautions: blinking clip on lights, bright cloths, Knuckle Lights. With that in mind, a product that can help make my current gear even safer is right up my alley. I got a chance to try two products from Brilliant Reflective: their stick-on and iron-on options.

What is Brilliant Reflective?

Brilliant Reflective Running tapes allow you to take almost any gear and make it into reflective gear. They help you to customize your gear and help make it safer. They come it two options to best suit your needs: stick-on and iron-on. They also come in 4 colors: black, red, blue, and purple, keeping your gear looking good too. I opted for black because that's easier to at least look alright with whatever I put it on. 

How hard are they to use?

Both products are easy to use. With each, you get a sheet of various sizes, some short, some long, some thing, some thick. I like this because it helps you find just the right size of the right place. Plus, if they're too long, they look easy enough to trim (though I should note, this is not something I tried). I first worked with the stick-on, because that require nothing extra. While I don't often ride at night (or at all that much), I figured a helmet was a great first item to test on. I did thin but long strips down the sides as well as a fat short one across the back on the foam. All of the pieces were easy to get on and stayed in place well, even on the foam. I actually have some pieces left over, and once I find them, I'm adding them to some of my other gear, because they're great.

Second, I tackled the iron-on. Now, I have used an iron before. Fact. I also may not have used one in over 10 years probably. Also fact. This made me a little nervous about messing these up. One nice thing is when you open up the packaging, the inside are easy to follow instructions. It walked through what settings to use, how long to iron, and how to handle it when it's done. it even shows a diagram with recommended placements. This was so useful as a guide. It was so easy to do, even with ironing onto a tech shirt, which worried me. The worst part was peeling off the plastic top after, not because it was difficult, but because I feared ripping off what I had just done, in case it had been done incorrectly. Luckily, this was not the case, and it all turned out quite well I think.

How bright are they?

Sure, they're easy to add to your gear, but how well do they work? They are brilliant! (see what I did there?) The tiny strips are super reflective and super bright. As you can see on my shirt in the previous section, the shine bright. Even my shirt sitting on the steps after I was finished would reflect some light of the light from my stairs light. If you're going to make a product to add visibility, you better be sure it works well. They delivered on this.

The Takeaway

The strips are easy to use and apply, not very expensive, and are super bright. They really can make any piece of gear into a piece of high visibility gear. So far they seem pretty durable, so I'm not too worried about their longevity. All in all, these little guys do their job, and do their job well. I'm even planning on picking up some more to viz out my other gear, I just need to pick some colors.

Special Sale (Limited Time)

Right now, you can be seen and be saving. You can save 25% off your order with the code: BIBRAVEPRO25. The code is valid only until Tuesday April 11 at 11:59 CT, so act now to save. Have the Easter Bunny put a little reflection and safety in your basket this year.


This week's #bibchat will be featuring Brilliant Reflective. Stop by on Tuesday, April 11th at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway as always, so there's always that added bonus.

What do you wear to be sure you're seen?