Wednesday, August 31, 2011

RoadID Coupon Code

I ordered this slim ID in pink!
Just a very short post to share a coupon code with you all!

I recently ordered a RoadID and they provided me with a coupon code to share with friends.  It is valid for $1 off and can be used up to 20 times in the next 29 days.

The coupon code is ThanksJennifer8734826.  If you use it, please leave a comment so people know how many are left.

I hope to also be doing a RoadID giveaway soon, so stick around!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Bondi Bands! (closed)

(This giveaway is now closed.)

Bondi Bands generously provided me with a Bondi Band to review their product.  I selected this cute turtle print on a black band as a joke on my own relative slowness.  As I think more about it, I realize it's also an important reminder to myself that slow and steady wins the race!

wanna race?
(I was torn between it and this flying pig print because I always thought I would run when pigs flew!)

Bondi Band promises they are "no slip, no drip" and that their products are "where fashion meets function".  Their website has this description of the headbands:
Bondi bands are a comfy, colorful and creative way to hold your hair back whether you're riding in a convertible, rushing out the door to get your kids, or getting some exercise.  Bondi Bands are an easy fix for your hair.  Check out our wicking fabric bands; they will absorb and evaporate buckets of sweat.
In my experience, the headbands follow through on all these promises (although I can't comment on the "buckets of sweat" because I'm not really a sweaty girl, I definitely have a lot of hair that needs to be controlled).

My immediate impression of the Bondi Band headband was that it was a lot thinner and lighter than I anticipated, and I was worried that it was flimsy.  As soon as I put it on, I knew I was wrong!  The material is thin and light so it feels like you're not wearing anything at all, and it is very comfortable.  At the same time, it is sturdy enough to hold my very thick and curly hair back and it doesn't slide around.  It is surprisingly snug for an almost t-shirt like material.

All in all, the headband is just... comfy.  It's hard to describe it any other way!

I had the idea that we should all have something matching when my friends and I ran the Toronto Women's 5k together, so we ordered Bondi bands with a tiara print.

Our awesome tiara Bondi bands.
The girls I ran the race with were also very happy with the bands.  When we were ordering them, they were concerned about whether they would fit after having disappointing experiences with so many other headbands.  Everyone commented immediately how well they fit and after the race everyone said they would be ordering more in the future.

We also discovered another handy benefit of the headbands - they are just wide enough to fit down over your ears and they are super soft and warm on cool mornings!  They kept our ears nice and comfy while we waited for our race to start.  One girl also commented that they would be handy for holding your earphones in.

Warm cozy ears + earbuds stay in = win!
Bondi Bands are available with countless prints and in countless colours.  They are also available in solid colours and various patterns (without a print).  Their prints range from funny (like my turtle) to messages that support different charities.

The only downside at this point for me is that I typically wear a visor to keep the sun out of my eyes, and I don't have any sunglasses right now.  My growing Bondi Band collection (I also ordered a pair for my sister and I!) has me convinced it is time for me to find some new sunglasses so I can wear them all the time.

Think you want to try out Bondi Band headband for yourself?  Now is your chance to win one of your choice!

How to enter (mandatory entry):
  • Visit Bondi Band and check out their products.  Leave a comment below about which headband you would pick and what kind of activities you would wear it for (one entry).
Optional entries:
  • Follow me on Twitter (@jennierunning) or let me know you do already (one extra entry)
  • Subscribe to this blog (email or RSS) or let me know you do already (one extra entry)
  • Tweet this message - "Check out @jennierunning for a chance to win a @bondiband!" with a link to this entry (two extra entries)
  • Mention this giveaway in a post on your own blog or link to it somehow (three extra entries)
To enter, complete the mandatory entry as well as many or as few of the optional entries that you like.  If you complete the optional entries, please be sure to leave a comment with which ones you did so I can count them!

The giveaway runs until midnight EST on Monday, September 5.  I will pick a winner using a random number generator and contact the winner via e-mail (as long as you provide me with one!) as well as announcing it here.

And in case you want to order a bunch of your own (surely I'm not the only one who orders six of these at a time?!) you can use the coupon code "FIVE" to purchase five headbands for $25 or the coupon code "ONE" for buy three, get one free!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Say It, Do It: Training Week 3

In last week's "say it, do it", I said I would do two training runs and complete my 5k race.  I did do one training run last week (about 8km in an hour, doing 10/1 run/walk intervals) and my 5k race.  I didn't do one of my two training runs because Thursday got away from me with family visiting and a Hawksley Workman concert (which was awesome).

This week, my training schedule calls for three training runs on my own plus a run with my run club on Sunday morning.

Ack!  Four runs in total after only two runs last week?  Call me crazy.  I'm going to do it!

My schedule calls for three 55 minute runs with 17:1 run/walk intervals, but I've decided to switch that around and instead add another run/walk interval to my longest run yet for my long run, building towards doing 10k at least once before my race on September 24th.  My other runs during the week will be shorter and easier runs, perhaps working on my speed.

I've made this decision for a few reasons:

  • I ran my 5k this past weekend using 10:1 intervals and did very well, which confirmed my decision to run the 10k using 10:1 intervals instead of trying to push all the way through.
  • Talking to various people made me realize that I should stick to one long run per week and not push myself on the remainder.
  • I had a lot of success adding one 10:1 interval last week, getting me up to 8k, making me much more confident that I can get to 10k without too much of an issue.  Knowing that endurance is less of a problem makes me want to focus on my speed as well.
All that being said, I WILL run four times this week.  One of my runs WILL be six 10:1 intervals (my 8k run was five 10:1 intervals) and at least one WILL focus on speed in some way or another.  Other than those three things, I'm really not sure what this week will bring.

What's on your training schedule this week?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Race Report: Toronto Women's Run 5k

This weekend we drove five hours so I could run 5k with some dear friends from university at the Toronto Women's Run.

We did it!
I am very happy to say that my time - 34:29 chip time - was a personal record, beating my time from my only other 5k by almost 2.5 minutes!  I have my fantastic friends to thank for that, especially my friend Jessica who made her personal goal for the race to pull me to a personal record.  She didn't let me slow down for even a second, even during our walking breaks (we did 10/1 run/walks).  At the finish she sped up and yelled that I had to chase her if I wanted to cross the line together.  I definitely had a burst of energy after that but crossed the line a couple seconds after her.

Here are my splits according to my Garmin (which is a little off my chip time):
  • 1 - 6:43
  • 2 - 6:48
  • 3 - 6:42
  • 4 - 7:00
  • 5 - 6:56
  • to end (0.07) - 0:21
Not bad, if I do say so myself!  I felt great through the whole race, which was a nice change from my first 5k when I was ready to fall over by the end.  We maintained a nice pace and we were able to chat most of the time.  I am always amazed how fast I really can run when someone else pushes me.  I rarely hit this sort of pace when I'm running on my own, but know that I can hit it and could run even faster based on the fact that we could chat the whole time.

Other than getting me to a PR, I made it our goal to get good (or at least funny) race photos.  After my horrible pictures from the Ottawa race (no you can't see them) and reading Caitlin's great post on perfect race photographs, I was a woman on a mission.  We ended up with a bunch of awesome pictures that look more or less like this:

We are awesome.

And a couple where we looked like serious runners:

I love that we look like we might even be winning here (we were not).

I am actually tempted to order one of the professional photos!  I never thought that would happen.

There was also a photographer near the finish that we didn't see, so we ended up with more not so attractive pictures from there, but at least I look like I'm having a good time:

I wonder what was playing on my iPod?!
The race route was very enjoyable .  It was not too flat but not too hilly, and surprisingly not crowded for such a narrow pathway and so many women running an out-and-back course.  They had course marshals all along the route making sure everyone kept moving in the right direction, and they made a great cheer squad, which was good because only the start/finish really had room for our support crews.

The race itself was well organized.  They had signs at the starting line for us to organize ourselves as to when we thought we would finish, gave plenty of warning as to when the start was, and the finish wasn't  too crowded considering they had to give everyone a medal and get everyone's chip timer off their shoe. We went right into the recovery area afterwards where we could meet our support people and get water/sports drinks and a lunch bag with treats (banana, breakfast bun, chocolate, etc.)  I was really worried about finding parking but they kept all the cars moving to the next available parking area and it was no trouble at all.

Nom nom nom!

The race fee was just under $40 and for that we got a short sleeved tech t-shirt, great race bling, and lots of food and other treats both at the finish and in our race kits, including chocolate!  The race shirts are really cute but a little small - I'm glad I ordered a large!  It *just* fits.

Race bling!
Overall it was a great race experience, not just from the perspective of my performance but the race as a whole.  I would definitely return and run a race at this series again, and hope my friends are up for meeting at the October race in a few months!

P.S. See those nifty matching Bondi bands?  Stay tuned for a review of them (preview: they are AWESOME) and a chance to win one of your own.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Say it, do it!

Tomorrow is the first say of my second week of training for my first 10k race!

Inspired by Run, Courtney, Run and Fit Chick in the City, I am going to post my plans for my training each week to make myself accountable.  The idea is that f you tell your readers that is what you are gonna do, then you are more likely to do it.  I already have my training schedule on our fridge, which helps The American keep me accountable, but it doesn't hurt to have one more tool to keep me on track!

So... This week, I will run three times (two training runs and one 5k race).  

My training schedule calls for two 50 minute long runs with three 15:1 run/walk intervals.  I am undecided as to whether I will do the 15:1s or stick with the 10:1s and make my runs longer.  I really want to make sure I work up to 10km before my race, and I with 15:1s I will only add 5 minutes of running time. I would ideally like to add at least 1km to my runs this week, which I could do by adding one more 10:1 interval.  At the same time, I am worried about increasing my running time as well.  Any thoughts or advice?

My last run of the week will be the 5k race at the TO Women's Run this Saturday.  I am very pumped for this race, because it is my first race since Ottawa Race Weekend and I will be running with friends from university.  Maybe I will see some of you there!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

GPS + tall buildings = not so awesome.

Today's run was just a run - nothing special scheduled as far as run/walk intervals.  I just wanted to get out there and run continuously for at least a half hour or so to remind myself that I can do that before my 5k this coming Saturday.

I hoped to run about 5k today, but knew it would be a little short as I didn't want to take my usual river route after running the canal.  I chose to stick to the canal and main streets because the river can be a little scary when it's not busy as there would be no easy escape if someone tried to come after me.  The weather today meant the river path would probably be fairly quiet.

It felt good to just get out there and not worry too much about how things were going.  I tried to focus on my cadence as well as keeping my pace somewhere around 12:00 per mile (I still hadn't switched my Garmin over to kilometres).

According to my Garmin I covered about 2.60 miles or 4.16 km in 36 minutes.  When I uploaded my info and looked at the GPS map it was really wonky, so I decided to check the distance on GMAP-Pedometer as well.  The difference is pretty big - about 0.50 kilometres!

I'm using the GMAP pedometer info as my distance for the day as it seems more accurate.  That means today I ran about 4.60 km in 36 minutes.  I'm happy with that as I will likely run a bit faster at the race so I'm on track for a good time.

Here's what the two maps look like:

GMAP Pedometer Map
(I couldn't remember the exact streets I took on my way towards the canal, but I generally zig zagged to Elgin, going with the traffic lights, so I took a guess.  I don't think it makes a big difference exactly which streets I took.)

Garmin Map

The GPS function on the Garmin is a little frustrating since I live and run in the downtown area.  It takes five minutes or so for it to pick up the satellites and then the tracking isn't 100%.  I had heard about these problems before purchasing it and decided to invest the money anyway and I'm glad I did.  I think I will make a habit out of double checking my distances on the GMAP site just in case though.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Two runs down...

This week I started my 10k training schedule.  I planned to run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and have switched that up to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

On both Tuesday and Thursday I went out planning to do four intervals of ten minutes walking, one minute running.  I wasn't super impressed with my performance on either day, although Thursday was worse.

On Thursday, it was super hot and humid and I had not worn my fuel belt.  I was so tired and thirsty and my heart rate must have been through the roof I had to start taking walking breaks during my last interval and eventually gave up and walked the rest of the way.

Both days I completed about 6 km in 50 minutes or so.  I would ideally like to do my 10k in less than 90 minutes.  I think this will be doable if I pick up the pace a bit and run more, walk less.  I have one more 10:1 run on my schedule and next week I'm going to try and do 15:1.

In happy running news, my Garmin arrived on Wednesday and I love it already!  It's so much easier than twisting all around to read my iPhone which is strapped to my arm.  I was also worried about killing my iPhone by using it for every run.  I am going to pick up an iPod shuffle to use for music, probably over the weekend.

The Bondi Bands I ordered for our 5k women's run also arrived.  I am doing the TO Women's Run next weekend with some girlfriends from university.  I am really excited to see everyone and to race again - it's my first one since my first 5k in May!  We decided to all wear matching Bondi Bands and ordered the black ones with the silver tiara on them for fun.  Bondi Bands is also sending me another for a review and to do a giveaway!  Stay tuned for that!

Monday, August 15, 2011

My First 10k Training Schedule

As I've been setting up this blog, I've been moving over some old posts from other blogs I have maintained.  I think I'm done with that now.  Welcome to my first actual post on Running Jennie!

In just about six weeks, I am running my first 10k race ever.  I have known about this race for some time, but only really realized it was happening at some point last week.  I then set out to create a fairly ambitious training plan to get me from here to the finish line in more or less one piece.

(I hope Blogger offers the option that you can click that and see it bigger, as I'm sure it's too small for you to read.)

You will see that not only do I have my 10k race in six weeks, I thought somewhere along the line that what I really needed to do in the weeks leading up to that race was two more 5k races.  I'm not sure what happened to the girl who ran her first 5k in May 2011 and hasn't run a race since, but she's clearly not here anymore.  

Unfortunately those two races are going to throw a wrench in my plans to gradually increase my mileage on my Sunday long runs, so instead I'll be gradually increasing every week using a schedule based on the Bridge to 10k training program.

Since this is my first 10k, I'm not worrying about speed at all - so my runs aren't "tempo" or "speed work" or "recovery" or anything else special.  They're just runs.  I am planning to do run:walk intervals on all my runs except Sundays, when I head out with my local running club.  On those days I'm going to focus on running without stopping for the length indicated (hopefully!)

I've posted my schedule on my fridge so The American* can help me out with some accountability, and I can also write my runs in as I go.  I will also continue to track my running at Daily Mile (check out my profile there to be friends).

* I've decided to call my partner "The American" because he is, in fact, American.  I stole this idea from Julie at A Case of the Runs.  She refers to her partner as "The Ukrainian".  (Hope that's okay, Julie!)  I also noticed when I went to check out her actual site as opposed to reading it in my Google Reader that our templates match, which I swear was accidental. 

Investing in New Shoes

(As I build up this new site, I am moving some select posts over from a couple other blogs I used to maintain.  I want to have all these posts in one place and have something for people to ready while I get started.  Sorry for the deluge of posts, most of which are out dated by now but still relevant.)
My shins have been driving me nuts off and on, depending on how long it’s been since I last ran and where I’m running, etc.  I began to think that maybe my shoes needed to be replaced, but I wasn’t sure.  I’ve only had them for a year and ran maybe 250 kilometres in them (and that’s probably seriously overestimating).  Surely they weren’t causing the problem?
I stopped at The Running Room en route to the gym today to check in.  Shocking that when you say “I don’t know if the problem is my shoes” the shoe salesman says “of course it’s your shoes!”
It was the first time I replaced a pair of running shoes and also the first time someone who was trained helped me to pick them out.  (Last year I bought a pair on my own at a Nike outlet based only on my knowledge that I pronated.)  Today I tried on two pairs of Nikes and a pair of Sauconys, and settled on a pair of Nikes that felt similar to my current shoes (only newer – I could actually tell there was more support and they weren’t broken down).
Total cost was approx. $170.  Yikes!  I haven’t spent that much on ANY shoes EVER.  And I really LIKE shoes.  I think it’s important though, to invest in good shoes if I’m going to be a real runner.  (Though, as the sales guy said,“There’s no fake runners and no novice runners.  We’re all runners.”)
I must admit – they definitely make me happy because they’re grey, white and pink as opposed to my old runners which were grey, white and blue.  :-)
I wore them immediately at the gym, and did a 3 k walk/run.  I ran for 15 minutes and did 5 minutes of warm up and cool down.  I was supposed to run 20 minutes straight today, but I think my feet were getting used to the new shoes.  Or it was all my head.  Either way, I’m going to stick in another run this week on Saturday afternoon to get to my 25 minutes before I have to try my hand at 25 next week.
I have 30 days to try them out and can return them so long as I only wear them inside.  I plan to give them a good workout, wearing them for all my runs for the next three weeks or so, before making a final decision on whether to keep them.  My gut instinct though it that they are keepers.
One annoying thing today was that my toes kept falling asleep.  I’m not sure if it’s the new shoes or something else.  I haven’t experienced that in a while but used to have it happen all the time while working out.  Does anyone know why that happens and how to make it stop?
Another happy thing – knowing that for the first time ever, if the guy at the running store asked me “how is your training going?” or “are you signed up for any races”, I’d be able to answer instead of making some flustered comment about not actually being a runner.  I’m a runner now!

Running Revelation: It Hurts

(As I build up this new site, I am moving some select posts over from a couple other blogs I used to maintain.  I want to have all these posts in one place and have something for people to ready while I get started.  Sorry for the deluge of posts, most of which are out dated by now but still relevant.)
I just started reading Mile Markers: The 26.2 Most Important Reasons Why Women Run, by Kristin Armstrong.
Thus far, it’s nothing ground breaking, but rather is just one woman’s thoughts about running – the who, why, where, when and how of it all.  From what I understand, it’s a collection of blog posts and/or columns that the author wrote for Runner’s World.  Nonetheless, it’s an enjoyable and entertaining read, and not too heavy after a day of work.  The author is personable and you can relate to her.  She can make you laugh and make you tear up, make you think about important things or remember special moments.
The revelation I experienced last night while reading is exactly what the post title says: running hurts.
The author was recounting a marathon she had run, and said that her feet hurt and her calves were aching.  And I thought, “Huh.  Even experienced runners feel pain.”
In my naivete about running, I had assumed that people who run all the time – “real runners” – were able to do so because after years of training, they just didn’t hurt any more.  I guess I thought they got used to it or something?  I imagined “real runners” breezing through marathons pain free, light as air, quick on their feet and feeling great.
Apparently, it’s not so.  Apparently, it’s always going to feel this way – my feet are going to hurt, my shins are going to ache, my chest is going to be tight, my body is going to fight back once and a while.
And rather than feeling destroyed by this and giving up – rather than thinking that it’s not worth training or running if becoming “good” at running doesn’t mean running pain free, I’m feeling buoyed by this revelation.  This is awesome!  Real runners hurt, so it’s okay to hurt!  I’m not hurting because I’m doing it wrong or I’m not “good at it” yet or I’m a “fake” runner.  I hurt now and I’ll hurt tomorrow and I’ll probably REALLY hurt during and after my half-marathon.  But that is okay.
I guess it all comes back to what the salesperson at The Running Room said – “There are no fake runners or novice runners, we’re just all runners.”  And we all hurt, and we all feel pain, and we all have to push through it to the next mile.

Race Report: Ottawa Race Weekend 5k

(As I build up this new site, I am moving some select posts over from a couple other blogs I used to maintain.  I want to have all these posts in one place and have something for people to ready while I get started.  Sorry for the deluge of posts, most of which are out dated by now but still relevant.)

On Saturday, May 28, 2011 I ran my first 5k race along with 9,000 of my closest friends.  It was a surreal experience.

It’s hard to believe that at around the same time only a year ago, I was just thinking about starting to run and was still making excuses!  Now I’m a runner who has conquered my first 5k!

Here’s my race report from that day:

Kilometre 1 – No problem, I can do this!  I was treating it just like any other run.  I got going when I hit the starting line (about 8 minutes after the gun went off) and we did a jaunt around a big block before hitting the canal.  A bridal party (groom and groomsmen) was taking pictures and trying to get across the road to their hotel, then gave up and ran with us for some pictures.  Hilarious.  I laughed out loud.  There was a little downhill towards the road along the canal and I hit a great stride for a bit.
Kilometre 2 - Still no problem.  We passed under a couple bridges and they were packed with people, including DH who took some pictures and had a sign for me.  The road was packed with people cheering.  I had to duck around a few people but hit a nice rhythm during this stretch.
Kilometre 3 – The halfway point was a bit tough – I was starting to get tired and the sun came out and pounded down on us for a bit.  I was wondering where the water station was.  Then Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You” came on my brilliantly built and timed play list and I actually mouthed along and fist pumped a little bit.  It got me going again.  After the halfway point I was feeling pretty great for the 3rd kilometre and into the 4th.
Kilometre 4 - A woman near me started to walk and I said “Keep running!  You can do this!”  She started running again and asked if I knew how far we were and I said at least three kilometres.  (It was great to have my Nike+ telling me all the way along.)  I encouraged her a bit more and we ran together for a bit until we hit the water  station around 3.75km when I went to the side for a drink.  (I didn’t stop though, so I didn’t really get to drink so much as take a sip and dump the rest on my sweaty self.)  Shortly after the water station there was a man with a garden hose spraying us – hilarious and nice feeling.
Kilometre 5 - I started to get tired, but I think it was mostly in my head.  I knew that a) it was almost over and b) I had never run farther than 4.70 km at a time before.  I saw two friends cheering and gave them both high fives.  Their cheers really helped me keeping going.  One had made me a sign that was hilarious which helped too.  I just kept thinking “run run run, you can walk when it’s over… keep running, keep running!”  At the finish, the clock had my “gun time” which was closer to 45 minutes, which crushed me for a minute until I remembered that my chip time was way lower (I was pretty far back from the starting line) and I hadn’t heard my Nike+ say 40 minutes yet.
In the end, I finished in just under 37 minutes, which was three minutes under my goal time of 40 minutes.  I also ran the entire thing – no walking!  I didn’t really think about walking until the race was almost over – only in the final few minutes.  The rest of the race I was all about the running.
It’s a good thing I met my goal too, since I bought my reward shirt from Lululemon (the Run Swiftly Short Sleeve in “surge” aka teal).  I love love love my new top and ran the race in it on Saturday.  It was perfect.  There was a period of time during the first half that the sun was pounding down and I was pretty sweaty and hot, but then the clouds came back and I cooled down.  And even when I was warm it was still pretty comfy.
I loved the atmosphere of racing and was addicted immediately!  The crowd of runners kept me going even when I was tired – I just went with the flow.  And there were people cheering everywhere!  It seemed crazy since to me it was just a 5k – not the 10k or the 1/2 marathon or the full marathon.  But then again – it was a 5k!  I took one of my headphones out of my ear during the last 750 metres or so when I was getting tired so I could hear the crowd cheering.  It was incredible.
I also had a chance to watch the 10k, half marathon and marathon over the course of the weekend and it was really inspiring.  I couldn’t believe how fast some of those people ran!  Especially the male winners of the marathon, who finished in just over 2 hours!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Race Report: Ottawa Mitsubishi City Chase 2011

(As I build up this new site, I am moving some select posts over from a couple other blogs I used to maintain.  I want to have all these posts in one place and have something for people to ready while I get started.  Sorry for the deluge of posts, most of which are out dated by now but still relevant.)

During law school, two friends completed the City Chase and I thought it was an awesome idea.  I then promptly forgot about it.  At some point during the past year, I remembered to sign up after reading a race report about the Toronto City Chase by Marlene at Mission to A(nother) Marathon.  Check her great report out here.  Luckily The American was game for the adventure!

Wondering what the City Chase is?  Here is a summary of what is involved from their website: 
The Mitsubishi City Chase Powered by GoodLife Fitness is a unique urban adventure that requires participants to exhibit teamwork, resourcefulness, determination and the ability to make decisions on the fly as they search for ChasePoints scattered in unknown locations throughout the city. ChasePoints are designed to test teams with a variety of physical, intellectual, adventurous and humorous challenges.
To conquer this 4-6 hour urban event, 2-person teams will run, walk and use public transit to navigate their way throughout the city, while calling family and friends for help, accessing the Internet, and even employing assistance of total strangers. The first team to complete the required ChasePoints and cross the finish line wins.
I don't know if I would technically call it a "race" - there was a mass start but not an official starting line and there definitely wasn't a set course, but there was an official "finish line".  It was a completely different feeling than running in the 5k at Ottawa Race Weekend.  There was definitely plenty of running involved for some teams, but not so much for us.  We were more concerned about finishing than winning, so we did a lot more walking than the hard core teams.  Nonetheless I'm counting it as a "race" for the purposes of me and this blog.  :-)

The race kit included awesome short sleeved tech shirts (we had to wear them that day and I’ve already run in mine once since) and we received finisher's medals (dog tag style).  There was also an after party which I hear was great, but we were too tired to go!

We completed the following chase points:
  • We sang a song while jumping up and down (a fairly easy one to start)
  • We completed a military boot camp obstacle course, including a net crawl and climbing over a wall
  • We completed a series of tasks at a gymnastics centre, including trampolining, a rope climb (or didn’t quite complete it in our case) and cartwheels (good thing B. can do cartwheels!)
  • We went white water rafting and portaged our raft (I think about 750 metres); we got absolutely soaked (which felt awesome since it was incredibly hot)
  • We rode spinning bikes (easy one but somewhat time consuming)
  • We were locked together and hunted through a neighbourhood to find various phone numbers, the digits of which were combined for the combination to the lock
  • We mixed drinks in a bartending relay
  • We completed a photo scavenger hunt using a Blackberry
  • We completed a roller derby obstacle course (this one was probably the most dangerous given the roller skating thing; we had to wear a lot of protective gear)
  • We tossed a frisbee around in an ultimate themed challenge

There were almost 40 points in total and we had to finish at least ten.  Other challenges included various water-based challenges, sculpting your partner out of clay (while they were naked!  We avoided this challenge because I wasn’t ready to push that comfort zone yet), and something involving snakes and tarantulas crawling on you (scary)!

Overall, we placed 122nd out of approximately 500 teams.  We completed ten points in about 5 hours and 10 minutes.  We did not finish all the mandatory points but since we finished in over five hours this rule did not apply to us (there were 3 groups of mandatory points, and you had to do at least 2 from each group and we only did 5 in total).

If you have the opportunity to compete in a City Chase, I definitely recommend taking the chance!  It was an awesome day.  There are still events coming up in Canada and there are also City Chase events in the United States and all over the world!  If you’re looking for tips, drop me a line!