Latest reviews by Lissa Nypaver

(2021)
"Running in Costume (and in the Rain)"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

Full disclosure, one of the big reasons I registered for this event was the adorable swag. It was seriously cute. And lots of it. Everything was amazing quality (the shirt is amazing soft) and came in plenty of time before the week of Halloween when I intended to run my race.

My Thursday night Run Club (hosted by Rock Hill Brewing Company) was planning a costume run the Thursday before Halloween (Oct. 28) so I figured that would be perfect. Then I wasn't the only crazy running around Rock Hill in costume.

It took me awhile to decide what to run in. I narrowed it down to Purple Crayon or Snow Leopard (both recycled costumes from my daughter's stash) but ultimately decided on the Snow Leopard for 2 reason - 1) it was fairly cold and a bit rainy on my chosen race day and the Snow Leopard costume was warmer and 2) I ran as a Purple Crayon the year before and didn't want to repeat.

Unfortunately, it was pretty rainy that night, but I'm a runner and we run rain or shine. Though our group was pretty small that week due to the rain, so I guess not everyone shares my opinion. Oh well, fun as still had! My 5K time was ok, I tend to take things a lot more cautious on wet roads, but most of all I had fun. I got some strange looks from people in downtown Rock Hill running in the rain as a Snow Leopard, but whatever! LOL!

Overall, it was an awesome time, and I totally would recommend doing this Virtual again. The race kept in regular contact, posted frequently on social media and encouraged participants to interact with them with hashtags as well.

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(2021)
"Why Drive it When You Can Run It?!"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

This is the 2nd time I ran the Around the Crown and it is truly a cool race. They shut down the 277 loop of the interstate that circles Charlotte for a view that you can literally never get any other way. Running past the Panthers Stadium through Uptown and then up the exit ramp and seeing the runners stream down it is really just the coolest sight. There are a few challenging hills on the loop, being the view of the entire city makes up for that killer one right before you exit and finish up back in Uptown at First Ward Park. The day before there is a huge Expo, especially for it being just a 10K and NODA Brewing makes up a special Jogger Lager beer for the occasion. The race is one of the most sustainable in the country with a try commitment to low impact from reusable cups at water stations, reusable packet bags, shirts made from recyclable materials and paper water bottles. The after party is a great time and the Swag is top notch - I wear my race shirt often, which I can't say for a lot of races. One word of warning, there is a rather strict course time limit due to the nature of the race, they have to reopen the interstate fairly quickly, so the do enforce a 13:45 pace until you exit the 277 loop. There is a bus that will sweep stragglers who do not make the time cut (though I do know from friends that they were a bit looser this year with the time cut). Overall, I love this race and will keep running and recommending it.

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(2021)
"DC Batman - Batastic Fun!"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

This is my 2nd year running the DC Batman Run Virtual, and as always, it was a great experience. You just cannot beat the Swag! This year was a super soft full zip hoodie, really cool medal, running visor (love me a good visor) and personalized bib. New this year was a finish line. How perfect is that for putting on your very own personalized race!? And of course, one of the best things about a virtual race is that you can run it anytime, anywhere. My Fall race season is always full and I was able to run my Batman Run in between race weeks. It was perfect. Highly recommend.

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(2021)
"Lots of Options and SWAG for Days!! "
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

So lately, I've been kind of doing this thing where I organize live race day events for my friends and I do Virtual Races together. That is one of the beautiful things about Virtual Races, your race, your rules. So when I saw this cool event benefitting Girls on the Run, and some seriously awesome SWAG, I got my girl squad involved and set out to plan. About 15 of us registered for either the 5K or the 10K. I am still on injured reserve or I'd have done the Half (next year). You could even do double and triple play events to earn multiple medals.

For the race day event, I came up with some scenic routes in downtown Rock Hill and gathered supplies for a finish line party on our race day of April 10. The official race dates were the 10th and 11th. The weather was a bit damp, but another beauty of a Virtual is that you can play with the time. 2 ladies decided to do their races the day before to stay dry and 1 was out of the area so she did hers solo but posted on our FB event page. We had coffee, donut holes, Ultima, water and bananas to celebrate after. And since I was technically RD for my event and manning the finish line I went out the next morning to put in my 10K at my favorite local trail. Again, Virtual Races = Flexibility.

The SWAG we got was a tech shirt, bright medal with detachable charm, bondi band, reusable shopping bag, Ultima samples (8 I think), bib, and suntan lotion.

As far as the race management, they were super communicative and supportive. If you tagged them on social media, they always commented. They had a Facebook group for the event that encouraged lots of posting and even had photo tags to decorate your pictures. They held several giveaway events, one of which I won a visor. A friend of mine also won a visor as well so that was cool. One of the ladies was missing something out of her packet and sent them a message and it was immediately resolved. You could tell that they really cared about their racers. It was a great event and I'd for sure do it again.

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(2021)
"Running Meets Escape Room"
Overall
Race Management
SWAG
Virtual Support

Standard virtual races are so yesterday! The Run to Escape: Mission Mt. Olympus running experience is something totally new and unique! Run to Escape is the first of its kind, fun and challenging running experience that pairs fitness with escape room style puzzles to unlock 6 challenges progressing through an interesting and engaging storyline to help the goddess Atalanta join the Olympian Pantheon. You track your runs on RunKeeper app and then answer the puzzles that are emailed by the god Hermes to you to progress through the story.

I scored the SWAG 3/5 stars because there is no real traditional SWAG, no shirts, bib, medals or anything like that. What you do get is upon completion, access to an after party that is filled with cool digital SWAG like discounts, recopies, music playlists and lots and lots of chances to win prizes.

The race management interacts with any posts that you make on social media in character and is almost as entertaining as the actual audio during your run. You are also given access to a Slack channel where you can chat with others doing the series. But don't worry, no spoilers as there are separate rooms for each stage, both In Progress and Completed for each challenge.

Overall, it's a pretty cool concept. And definitely something new. If they release a new storyline, I will most likely register for that one too.

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