Latest reviews by Stephanie Dunlap

(2020)
"A Virtual Race with Ocean Views"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

I love running the Giant Race in person, but if I can't run it in person, at least I can run it virtually. The communication from the Giant Race about the virtual race was timely and informational. The race management showed concern for runners' safety and made themselves open to feedback from runners. The San Francisco Giant Race swag is always amazing! From the limited edition bobble heads to the tech tees, I love receiving the Giant Race swag! Finally, the virtual support on race day was incredible! Runners had the option to listen to inspirational messages and interact with other runners virtually. I highly recommend the San Francisco Giant race either in person or virtually!

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(2020)
"Run For A Cause"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

It was a joy to participate in the Team in Training Resilience Challenge. The virtual information was given in a timely manner, the website was organized, and the staff members who reached out to me were courteous. As a 5th grade teacher, I encouraged my students to participate in the Resilience Challenge with their families. This allowed all of us to get up and to get moving towards a cause. I would highly recommend anyone who is looking to run for a purpose greater than themselves, to look into teaming up with Team in Training.

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(2020)
"Virtual Race Option"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Have you ever headed into a run and/or workout and felt totally unprepared? That was me during my most recent virtual race, the Across the Bay 12k & 415k. I’ve been a runner for the last eight or more years, yet I still made three mistakes during my last virtual race.

The first mistake I made during my most recent virtual race was that I started too late. With a high of 100 plus degrees, I should have started my run closer to 6am, not 8am. By the time I finished my run, it was already 85 degrees! The ice cold water that I had in my handheld Nathan water bottle was warm within the first mile. I don’t know about you, but on most summer runs, all I really want to drink is ice cold water! Races that serve ice cold popsicles at the aid stations are my favorite!

I was so thankful that I was wearing my new BUFF Pack Run visor because it kept me cool and protected my face from the sun. A visor or hat is definitely an essential for all of your outdoor adventures!

The second mistake that I made was not eating something before I left for my run. I don’t really classify a 7.5 mile run as a “long run” which would require me to prepare fuel to consume during my run. I thought, therefore, that I’d be fine to quickly go out for my run, then return home to eat breakfast. Sadly, this was not the case.

For the last five weeks, I have been juicing one to three meals a day. Quickly into my run, I realized that my body needed fuel. I felt weak and low of energy. Not only that, but before I had reached the halfway point, I had already drank all of my water. I was one very thirsty and hungry runner!

Starbucks is my usual go-to coffee shop, but when I ran past a local coffee shop at mile 4, I decided that THIS was going to be my saving grace!

I stopped and enjoyed an egg and cheese breakfast sandwich along with an iced black coffee and an ice water. A fellow runner saw me with my race bib on and asked, “Oh, is there a race happening today?”

I nonchalantly replied, “Yes. It’s the Across the Bay 12k & 415k. This is my aid station” as I sat there with my feet propped up.

After fueling my body with some much needed hydration and food, I continued on my way to cross my own virtual finish line.

My one final take-away from the virtual Across the Bay 12k is that I miss my people! Running races alongside my running friends is way more fun than running all by myself! I, like so many others, am looking forward to the day in which we can all reunite once more. Despite these 3 mistakes that I made during my last virtual run, I had fun and am proud of another race finished.

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(2020)
"Finish Line Beer"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as being presented with an ice-cold beer after crossing the finish line of a race. You find a place to sit down and take that first glorious sip while chatting with friends or a complete stranger. (Don’t you love how the running community is so welcoming and friendly?)

One beer run race that I enjoy participating in is the IPA 10k in Sebastopol, California. After finishing this 10k race, each runner receives their finisher medal and a mini-pint. The mini-pint is good for tastings at the post-race Brewfest featuring the region’s finest craft brews and ciders, bands and exhibitors.

Finding your motivation to run can be difficult, so if running for beer helps propel you to the finish line, then do it!

I love that through the shutdown of all in-person races, the IPA 10k still found a way to connect to all registered runners, made us feel special, and brought us together as a running community!

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(2020)
"A Half Marathon On Fire"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

Sometimes virtual half marathons can be boring. The opposite of boring is what the Silicon Valley Half offered their runners. One of the features of the virtual Silicon Valley Half that I found quite intriguing was their partnership with PWR Lab, a Silicon Valley digital platform that helps runners of any level to perform optimally, to create a Real Virtual Racing experience unlike any other! They provided runners a couple of real, fast courses for each distance in Silicon Valley as well as one in San Francisco so runners could run their best while also comparing themselves directly to others on their own time from Friday, September 18 – Sunday, September 27.

I love that my race swag for the Silicon Valley Half arrived in a timely manner which allowed me to truly feel that since of accomplishment. I highly recommend the Silicon Valley Half!

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