Latest reviews by Meridith Daniel
What an awesome event to take part in! The Inspiration 4 Miler was a run in honor of the first ever all civilian space mission. A fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the goal of the run was to raise funds for St. Jude and awareness of the mission.
I loved following along with the Netflix series leading up to blast off and I felt connected with the four civilians on the trip (one being a medical professional who was a patient at St. Jude as a child).
I eagerly tuned into the live stream on the internet to watch them go into space and planned my run for the weekend they returned. It felt bigger than just a regular virtual race and I was glad to be a part of it.
Love the hat and medal swag. The shirt was too large for me, which is always something that can happen with a virtual race.
2021 is my 5th straight year participating in the Allstate Hot Chocolate series and you know I couldn’t give up that legacy streak so I opted in through BibRave to run the virtual event.
Leading up to race weekend, the communication from RAM Racing was a quiet, which surprised me. In past years, the series sent out a weekly training plan email so I thought that they might incorporate that into their planned virtual event. Alas, other than a few sporadic emails, there was nothing noteworthy. A missed opportunity!
Rather than relegating myself to another treadmill run, I felt comfortable and safe taking my run to a favorite running locale of mine, the Ben Franklin Bridge. It stretches between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the base directly in the city of Philadelphia.
My son joined me for this run and we took our time, took a ton of pictures, and enjoyed the beautiful day. We haven’t run the Ben since early March 2020, so this was welcome change for the both of us.
Due to a manufacturing delay, I have not yet received my race packet in the mail. I received an email regarding this on April 2nd, two days before the "race weekend".
It stinks not to have the swag now that I’ve run the distance… after all we live in a world of instant gratification! However, I know that the swag is 100% worth the wait and I’m looking forward to it arriving. I've given the swag a high rating based on past experiences and I hope that I feel the same once it arrives.
Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. After a year+ of virtual races, I needed to take a little break from them. It’s difficult to self motivate and try to to best myself outside of in-person races.
That’s why I was intrigued when I heard about Run To Escape‘s Mission Mt. Olympus experience. Not a race, an experience! Their slogan is Listen. Solve. Run. And I have been doing just that.
Described as an escape room on the go, Mission Mt. Olympus’ storyline theme is based on the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Atalanta, the Goddess of Running (natch) is trying to become the 13th major deity of Mt. Olympus.
You don’t need to know anything specific about Greek mythology to participate, the audio clues you receive through RunKeeper™️ are not specific to established knowledge. Instead, the clues you receive along the run lead you to puzzle answers.
The clues show up at timed intervals throughout your outside run (treadmill runners, you’re going to have to head outside for these miles!). When you return home you are able to review the audio clues to solve the puzzles, which are provided through email. Once you solve the riddle, you are able to move on to the next challenge.
As someone who loves to solve things, this is my jam! Some of the clues are solvable as you runs, others you’re going to need to look at the puzzle that goes along with it to do so.
Since starting in mid-April, I’ve been getting out to the paths and trails about every other weekend to get my specific distances completed. There are 6 experiences with a total of 27 miles so no run is longer than 6.2 miles.
I also love that there isn’t a set time or date for the experience to start or end. You do what works within your schedule.
There’s a great community online of those participating so it’s easy to connect with others. The RTE team also checks in if someone is having an issue or just to chit chat – they’ve been fantastic about responding promptly, which ranks highly in my book.
Since it’s not a race, you don’t have to worry about going fast or slow, it’s all about getting the distances done!
The one thing I might suggest for future RTE experiences is the OPTION of swag. I know it’s not a race but some people like representing a job well done.
I ran the America Runs Virtual 5k as a BibRave Pro.
America Runs benefits local COVID-19 recovery funds and registration is open until the end of September 2020. If you’re looking for some sweet swag, this might be the virtual race for you!
The swag for this virtual race included a cotton t-shirt, distressed trucker hat, water bottle, medal, and running bib.
There wasn’t too much in the way of email communication from the promoters of this race; since it can happen on any day and at any time, there was no big “race day” announcements or getting hyped with a large online community. It’s something that I’m missing from in-person events so that might be something to consider for those hosting future virtual runs.
Spoiler: I was the only one in my age group!
Last weekend I took part in the 5k portion of the William T. Nace Tin Man 5k/10k. This race is a small, local race and serves as a fundraiser for a student scholarship.
In its 8th year, the race has raised thousands of dollars to further their nonprofit’s mission, established in honor of their family member, William T. Nace.
The race takes place at Cooper River Park also known in the running community as the Cooper Loop.
The 5k and 10k races were scheduled for 9:30. The fields were small; 12 5k runners and 16 10k runners. It was easy to grab our bibs and cotton t-shirts the morning of the race around 9:10. There was no prior pickup.
After a quick stop in the lovely heated bathrooms (I did NOT what to leave), the 5k runners walked with a representative of the timing company to our start. There was no timing mat at the start so the runners time was based on gun time, not chip time. Because the field was so small, it was even.
The loop is just under 4 miles which meant that the 10k runners would be doubling back at some point – they had a different start and ran in the opposite direction so we passed them on the far side of the course.
The route is a loop around a river. Around the halfway point there was a volunteer with water bottles, which I opted to skip.
On the far end of the course there’s a great view of the Philadelphia skyline. The wind also works with you at that point, which is lovely. However, the last mile back, the wind was right in my face, making it cold and difficult.
There was a great snack spread set up for the runners (my 14 year old son was very pleased about that). After the 5k finishers crossed the line, the results were quickly posted and awards were distributed.
There’s no finishers medals, but because it’s a small race nearly everyone who crossed the line got age group awards. Additionally they have a few raffles for the runners of each event. I won a $25 Visa gift card!
When our awards finished, the 10k runners started to cross the line. The overall winner was a friend of my son's from school; it awesome to see an 8th grader rock her first ever 6.2 distance!
There’s something very special about a small race – you can feel the love and importance of the event to their family. That said, I hope that next year it grows in size and even more students are able to benefit from the scholarships.