Latest reviews by Meridith Daniel
Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Atlantic City Marathon Series King Neptune Challenge to as part of being a BibRave Ambassador.
If you follow my racing adventures, you already know what a big fan I am of the Atlantic City Marathon Series races. Whether it be the April Fools weekend, the Bungalow Beach 5 Miler, or their fall races, you can usually find me at one, two, or three of these weekends each year. I was extremely excited when they teamed up with BibRave this year to promote their races!
I am not a marathoner (yet?) but I wanted to challenge myself during the weekend. The King Neptune Challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity. What is it, exactly? It's when you run both race days - Saturday and Sunday. You're able to choose your race distance - 5k or 10k on Saturday and half or full marathon on Sunday. I chose the 5k and half option.
My house is an easy hour drive away so I landed on driving down and back each day. Additionally, a friend and I drove down for the race expo on Friday afternoon. Quick tip: Get a player's card for the host hotel; it will make your parking cheaper!
The expo was held at Bally's this year. It was a smaller experience and easy to get our bibs and shirts. The volunteers throughout the entire weekend were wonderful and great to chat with. After getting my two bibs and three shirts, I visited their merch booth and bought a comfy sweatshirt too. I've been living in it ever since!
Saturday's weather was fantastic and the 5k was lovely. I wasn't sure my exact game plan for the pacing of my 5k but I wound up keeping a solid pace for me and I was happy with what I did. After crossing the finish line I quickly got a water, banana, and my medal. The medals were awesome this year! I love that they've been changing up the look recently. The afterparty is always enjoyable - complete with the BEST bagels (truly), snacks, and a drink ticket for a beer or Truly.
Mother Nature was not as kind to us on Sunday. It was a mix of rain and wind but at least it was not super cold! I wore a singlet and I was comfortable the entire time. I've never actually ran this 13.1 course in Atlantic City before and I loved it. The first half was through the streets of Atlantic City, there were a few "hills" with ramps and a tunnel, which kept things interesting. I really enjoyed it, despite fighting the headwind.
The second half was on the boardwalk, which is where I'm used to running in Atlantic City. It was comfortable and there was a tailwind at points so it felt like the wind was carrying me forward (always a nice push!). The tough part is going past the finish line and then having to go another mile and change before turning around to then return to the finish.
My training cycle was pretty solid so I felt great throughout the entire race. Crossing the finish line was joyful and again, the afterparty was solid.
Already looking forward to the next time in AC!
For even more info and pics, feel free to swing by my blog at scootadoot.
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.
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.
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.
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.