Hello friends! Next up in the Celebrate Summer Guest Blogger Series is Patty of RunMomMe’s Project Life. I first connected with Patty via the Miles to Blog Facebook group (don’t you love how the huge running community is always there when you need it?!) Patty blogs about family, fitness, and nutrition – and is also a Beachbody Coach, with the hopes of helping other people reach their fitness goals. On her blog, she states, “Even with all the distractions in my life I’ve focused on what I now I call PROJECT LIFE to make me a better daughter, sister, wife and stay at home mom of two littles.” Are you excited to meet her yet?! Thanks, Patty, for sharing with us your experiences in joining a Summer Race Series – and encouraging us to Celebrate Summer with running!! If you would like to follow along on her adventures, check out Patty’s TWITTER and INSTAGRAM!
Same Distance. Different Day.: Summer Breeze 10k Recap
Being relatively new to the running world, celebrating my second runiversary just days before my last race, there have only been a few occasions where I’ve had the chance to run the same race course on a different day. Saturday, August 1st, the Summer Breeze Half Marathon/10k/5k was one of them. Last year in February I ran this same race course but under a different race name, then it was the Bay Breeze Half Marathon/10k/5k. That being said I have run a lot of races put on by the same racing organization. Brazen Racing, which runs a long list of races near San Francisco, is what I consider to be the best running group around. I live sometimes up to an hour away from their race locations and I make the effort to get there. The group of organizers and participants are welcoming, well-organized, have a variety of races, and most importantly have great “bling”. If I was going to suggest a first race to a newbie, I’d definitely recommend them.
Being a new runner, I don’t have years and years of experience, but overall 99% of the people I’ve come across have been extremely welcoming when you mention that you’re a runner and want to run with them. Brazen makes this apparent from the front page of their website all the way to when at the start of each race, they ask the crowd who is a first time runner at that distance and everyone claps and celebrates the first timers. All race distances start and finish at the San Leandro Marina Park! Whether you are a frequent race winner or a first-time runner/walker, you’ve got a lot to look forward to. All participants will enjoy a mostly flat, easy bayside trail that rarely strays more than a few feet from water. The absence of hills makes these courses perfect for those looking to set a personal record as well as those participating in their first race or first attempt at a longer distance! (From the Brazen Racing’s Summer Breeze Race Website) To reinforce it all, at the end of many races, the announcers read your name over the loud-speaker and the crowd cheers for you. There is nothing like keeping a person coming back race after race by making them feel like they are a professional runner! Side note on the open nature of this racing group: This weekend there were some very uniquely abled runners, including wheelchair participants and the most surprising was a runner wearing a deaf/blind runner vest. He walked up to the start with his cane, folded it up into a tiny “runners baton” if you will, and outran me!
Organization is Everything.
There is nothing worse on race day that an ill-prepared race organization. I may be new to the running world, but I know the difference between a well-organized race and one that isn’t. Luckily, I’m glad to say that Brazen Racing pretty much has this organization thing down to a science. They seem to handle parking for 500+ racers and staff, bib pick up, and course set up with ease. Taking care of so many people in such a great way is why I’m sure the racing crowds get bigger and bigger every year. The fact that they’ve been around for a few years now so I’m sure that is part of the reason of their success, but also I think their secret is the volunteer group that shows up every race day. Part of the great thing about Brazen is that if you volunteer for them, you can get discounted or sometimes free entries. I haven’t volunteered yet myself, but a neighbor of mine does it all the time and has had great fun doing it.
Variety Is The Spice of Life.
The Brazen staff has picked such a variety of race types, locations, and have included three or more different race distances at each race making it not surprising that they just celebrated their 100,000th finisher. Yes, that’s right… 100,000th finisher ran across the finish line at this past weekend’s race! If you take a look at their website, this month’s calendar shows last weeks race, one on the 15th and another on September 5th. If you aren’t looking at a calendar, that is a race every two to three weeks and in a variety of locations within about a 60 mile radius making it easy for a person, like me, who lives on one end of the 60 miles to make it to a race on the other side of the “boundaries.”
There are also extra medals for people, unlike myself, who place 1st through 3rd in their age divisions. I’m used to the great bling that they give out so it was funny to see my friend, who raced her first Brazen race this weekend, remark at how fancy the medals were! All in all Saturday’s race was a roaring success. I didn’t quite get the time that I was shooting for, but I did cut some time off my last 10k race time. I wouldn’t see why I wouldn’t have a great morning of racing. The organizers and participants were welcoming. The volunteers seemed to have everything under control as I checked in and through until I got my very well-earned “bling”. If you happen to be near San Francisco and want to find a race, look up Brazen Racing and give one of their races a try! I doubt you’ll be disappointed.
How do you enjoy summer? What are your favourite activities?
CELEBRATE SUMMER Guest Blogger Series
Tina – Fabulosi-T – Inspiring us to try new things over the summer!