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Dec 30, 2013

The best of racing

I thought I share my experience with you of races that I've run in 2013.  Of course, please keep in mind that these are just my opinion and based on just the races that I ran this year only.  I've put together a few categories that might be of interest to you.

Best Course 
Mustache Dache 5k - hands down the winner in my book.  I know, it's a short one too!  This was my absolute favorite course of the year and I'm so glad I got to be involved with racing RUNdetroit's first race in the area.  The course layout on the Riverfront in Detroit and in the State Park was my favorite of the year.  In fact, I've already got it on my schedule for next year.
Mustache Dache course
Best Race Organization
Kona Running Company - I've run lots of races over the last few years and Kona has exceeded in all areas of racing.  They are always looking for the next best thing.  They upped the ante in regards to more races, more bling, more fun.  It's great for serious runners and casual runners.  When it comes to overall race organization, Kona is the best that I've experienced this year.

Most Fun
Mustache Dache 5k - this was a really hard one for me to decide.  I have fun at almost all the races that I run so it was REALLY hard to pick this category.  I chose this one for several reasons - start and finish at Atwater Brewery, incredible course, running in Detroit, fun mustache theme, a mechanical bull at the finish.  How can you not have fun?
Mustaches, running and beer!
Best Race Series
Kona Triple Crown - Ok, so it's the only race series I ran this year but it was a great one.  The Triple crown - run three races including the Sham Rock N Roll, Kona Run and Wicked Halloween and get an extra medal.  An outstanding idea!  Look for their Grand Slam Series next year.
The Kona Triple Crown Series
Best Half Marathon
Charlevoix Half - this year my favorite half was the Charlevoix half.  Heck, who wouldn't like running there and making a weekend out of it.  The course was nice, the organization was good, the scenery was excellent, the bling was great.  They even had reasonably priced race pictures.  Overall, a nice race.
Race pics
Best Trail race
The Legend - Running Fit put on a great trail race with this one(minus the bees).  This was also part of a series called the Serious Series but I could not do all the races in it.  I loved the course on this race and love being out on the trails so it's my pick of the best for this year.  The only drawback - it's a long drive to get there - but worth it.
Just an incredible trail
Best Bridge in a race
Great Lakes Bay Half - One of the things I love is running across bridges in races.  I know many of you would have expected me to say the Ambassador bridge and I do love that one as well but the most unique and fun bridge I ran across this year was the Tridge in Midland. 
the Tridge - Midland
Best Finish Line
Monumental Marathon - this one finishes in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.  I was impressed with the entire course but the finish was a welcome site for sure!
Awesome finish area
Best Bling
Wicked Halloween 10k - Kona just knows how to do things right when it comes to bling.  I also credit them to bringing up the standard in bling to other race companies.  Competition is a wonderful thing, isn't it?  I chose the Wicked Halloween for it's huge medal, awesome 1/4 zip race shirt that you wouldn't mind wearing all the time and, if you did the Triple Crown series, you also got the Triple Crown medal.  I will say that they will have some competition in 2014 in this category but this year, they were clearly the best!
Best Charity race
Rock CF Half - Not only is this a great race, it's also an outstanding event for the benefit of The Rock CF Foundation.  It's an organization to help increase the quality of life for people with Cystic Fibrosis.  The race director, Emily, has the disorder too and so this organization is run from the heart.  Runners with CF run the race for free too!  If you ever wanted to run a race and you want it to go to charity, this is the race to run.

So what are some of your favorite races?(especially if you live in Michigan)

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Dec 29, 2013

Year in review in Race Medals 2013

Well this year was just an unbelievable year for racing.  I've never run so many races in a year at 26.  While I didn't receive a medal for every race that I did this year, I did get a fair amount of them(23) so here they are - my medals for 2013.
Corktown 5k March
Sham Rock N Roll 10k March
Rock CF Half March
Lansing Half April
Great Lakes Bay Half May
Dexter to Ann Arbor Half June
Kona 10 mile June
Charlevoix Half June
Rockin Relay July
Alpenfest 10k July(AG win)
Legend Trail Half August
Stony Creek Tri - first Triathlon August
Michigan Mile - first mile race August
Crim 10 mile August
Brooksie Way Half September
Sleeping Bear Half - October
Detroit half October
Wicked Halloween 10k October
Kona Triple Crown Series - October
Monumental Marathon November(Marathon #5)
Mustache Dache 5k November
Kona Chocolate Run 10k November
A Christmas Story Virtual 5k December
I'll be back with a recap of my year.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Dec 28, 2013

Time off running

So if you have not noticed, I'm not running right now.  I've decided to take off 9 days from running and will start again on January 1.  I try to do this on an annual basis just to get my legs back from all the running I do.  While I did run less this year, it was still almost 1,500 miles and they need a break.  Usually what I find is that whatever has been ailing me seems to go away during that extended rest period.  Of course, mentally it can be tough to not run when you are used to running so much.  This is especially true today since I'm skipping my long run which I have not done in over a year, however, I know it's the right thing for me.

I always feel like I should do this at least once if not twice a year but it seems like I never find time during the summer to take that long of a break with upcoming races.  2014 will be no different.

I've been still doing my weights and yoga which is always a great supplement to my running.  With that, I'll be back at it in the New Year!

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!(only later)

Dec 27, 2013

Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 Sunglasses review

I figured I would end the year with one of the most important items you can have for running - sunglasses!  As runners, we are outside in the sun a big part of our lives and sunglasses are one of the most important tools I can think of to help us when we are out there for hours at a time.  Regardless if it's Winter or Summer, they are necessary for our training and racing.  This will be my last gear review of the year and I've saved the best for last!

About a month or go, I received a new pair of Tifosi sunglasses for review.  They are the Tyrant 2.0, part of their 2014 collection.  I've reviewed the original Tyrant's and I've been running with them ever since I reviewed those.  I've also reviewed the Tifosi Podium S and Podium XC.  The Tyrant's are still my favorite pair of running glasses ever.  In fact, I've run with them so much, I fell on the trails and busted a lens and ordered replacements.  You can imagine how I felt about reviewing an updated version of the Tyrants - excited!

Here's what I received.
Tifosi typical case
Every pair of Tifosi sunglasses come with a great hard shelled case to protect your new glasses.  I love that Tifosi includes this since I use it all the time not only to store the glasses but to travel.   Many of the glasses also include several pair of lens.  In this case, it included is a clear option, an AC red option and the Clarion lens option. Also, all the glasses include a microfiber cloth to keep them clean.

As you can see, it's all a nicely presented package.

The lens are very easy to change. All you do is grab the lens and pull it down near the nose bridge and it will pop right out.
Clear Lens
All conditions(AC) red
Clarion Red
 You can see below the frame with the lens pulled out.   Speaking of the frame, it's a very nice, high quality frame.  You have the ability to adjust the nose bridge as well as the temples to fit them perfectly for how you want to wear them.
Easily removable
Tifosi has attended to every detail in regards to quality and is always thinking about the athlete that will wear them.  This includes the lens cutout. You can see a small hole in the lens that is purposely there to help keep the glasses from fogging and also keeping air moving.  The adjustable features of these allow for a custom fit so they will not bounce around on your face during training or a race.  It's the main reason I still wear the original Tyrants - many glasses bounce around and these stay in place.
Frame detail
High quality
For me, the Tyrants just fit my face perfectly.  The Clarion lens is great to keep water and sweat off the lens and I love the mirror red color.  The Clarion lens is just on the outside of the lens as this coating is not on the inside.  I have tested them in rain and snow and the water tends to drip off easily with this new feature.

While I said that the original Tyrants have always been my favorite glasses, the Tyrant 2.0 has now become my number one.  For sunglasses under $80(These are $79.95 MSRP), you cannot go wrong.  You are going to see me wearing these at races from now on - now my favorites!

Interested in learning more,

Go to Tifosi's website

Go to Tifosi's Facebook page

Go to Tifosi's Twitter page

I think you will find these are an excellent value, high quality and really a great choice for anyone that likes the outdoors but especially if you are a runner.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Note:  I received a pair of Tifosi Tyrant 2.0 in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a particular opinion on this product.