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Yes, I’m really about to have another birthday. (Hey, it beats the only alternative, right?) The big day is October 9th, same as John Lennon, but of course I’m going to celebrate all month–pumpkin spice all the things! Trick or Treat! The beginning of soup season! In many non-California parts of the country this is also the beginning of race season. (California doesn’t really have a race season, and I’m pretty sure I could run at least one race every weekend without driving more than two miles from my house.) Naturally, I think you should celebrate my incarnation “with” me by running a race.

Invite your friends to celebrate my birthday by running a race--click here to tweet!Click To Tweet

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If you actually want to run in the same physical location with me, come out to City to the Sea in San Luis Obispo, where I will be running the half marathon as a BibRave Pro! This will be my first time running the race, and my first time to visit San Luis Obispo as well. The race features a mostly downhill point-to-point course, and I understand there may be breakfast tacos at the finish line. Check out all the perks and details on the race homepage. If you’re feeling less adventurous–maybe you’re celebrating my birthday on Saturday night?–there is also a 5k option. You can still use citytotheseabibrave to save $10 on your registration, but hurry because the race is this weekend! This is the link to online registration.

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Naturally as soon as I committed to run City to the Sea, Represent Running set the East Bay 510k for the same day. This really bummed me out because this is my first year as part of the Represent Running team, and I wanted to run all of the races in person, though there is a virtual option so I can still earn the mega-bling. (Of course there is mega-bling!) It’s not to late for you to sign up, however, and if you use code REPRESENT2016ER you can save a few bucks for a post-race celebratory beverage. This year there are pre-race packet pickup events in San Francisco and in the East Bay. Head over to the registration site or to the race website for more details. While you’re there, think about how much you want that trifecta medal and register for next year’s San Jose 408k. See you at the Mariachi Mile!

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If trails are more your jam, I highly recommend checking out the Honey Badger at China Camp State Park in San Rafael. (In fact if I had not already committed to City to the Sea, I’d be out on the trails with cowbells cheering you on and pointing you in the right direction.) You can choose a half marathon, 10k, or 5k trail party. Keep your eyes peeled for the hidden woodallions along the trail because if you find one you could score a sweet prize! (Past loot has included trail shoes, cases of beverages, headgear, and running supplies.) If you’re one of the first ten people to enter code BAIN, you also score $10 off your registration. All the details are over here.

Finally, however you choose to celebrate, keep an eye on the blog (or follow me on twitter) because giveaway-a-palooza continues all month. I’m a little behind on my ambitious goal to get 31 prizes up for the 31 days of October–right now you can enter to win The Long Run and Trailhead–but they are all coming. Future prizes include more books, race swag, charitable and sweet-smelling soaps, and goodies from IDEA World BlogFest and Natural Products ExpoWest.

Disclosure: I am a proud Ambassador for the 2016 Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon (and Half Marathon, Relay, 5k, and Kids Fun Run). The race supplied the books I’m giving away in this post. All words and opinions are my own.

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As I’m writing this, there are 20 days left until race day! (So, um, I guess I’d better buy some plane tickets and make a travel plan, eh?) If you’re not registered, it’s too late–but only for the international races. (Since the marathon, marathon relay, and international half marathon all cross the Ambassador Bridge into Canada, there’s that pesky business of giving the races’ registration lists to the U.S. Border Patrol and the Canada Border Services Agency to pre-clear everyone to enter. Can you imagine what your race times would look like if you had to wait in line at the border??) There IS still time to register for the U.S.-only half, the 5k, and the kids fun run. So hurry over to the race website and use code TRAINWITHBAIN to save 10% off of the current prices!

The 2012 Detroit International Half Marathon was the first race I did any serious training to run, and I still wasn’t fast. (It wasn’t even a PR.) I ran it for Mom, and for DetermiNation (which raises funds for the American Cancer Society). In the process, I also convinced my best friend, my Dad, and two cousins to run with us. In subsequent years I got one of my brothers to run (he likes to gloat about how much faster he is) and my best friend’s husband joined us too.

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My 2012 Race Crew, post race, at the DetermiNation tent

I remember how cold it was at the starting line and as I sit here sweating my buns off in California (hello, isn’t it supposed to be fall?) a crisp fall breeze blowing in my face as I run to Canada sounds delicious! It was chilly enough that while I slipped off the arms of the sweatshirt, I still wore my gloves for the entire race. At the same time, it was quite sunny and otherwise beautiful weather. Given how much I dislike the heat, I’ve found this race to have the perfect running weather.

Note the fashionable addition of Dad's old sweatshirt to my outfit to combat the cold! P.S. I did pay for this download, so I'm not sure what's up with the watermark.
Note the fashionable addition of Dad’s old sweatshirt to my outfit to combat the cold! P.S. I did pay for this download, so I’m not sure what’s up with the watermark.

2016 is the 39th running of the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon. The race has a colorful history filled with “firsts” and “onlys.” For example, this race was the very first event to ever close down the Detroit-Windsor tunnel, which runners have playfully nicknamed “the underwater mile.”

The Under Water Mile, and quite possibly the world's worst selfie
The Under Water Mile, and quite possibly the world’s worst selfie

As a runner, I love this race. It shows off the best of Detroit, and while it doesn’t necessarily show off “the worst” it doesn’t hide that Detroit is a city undergoing big changes. Detroit has some magnificent architecture and a pretty great history; I like to try to imagine what it looked like when my great-grandmother went to Detroit to meet with the rum runners who supplied her bar during Prohibition. The crowd support is amazing, especially along the Windsor waterfront where the streets are lined with cheering Canadians, and there’s always a giant crowd right before you hit the runnel to run back to Michigan. Speaking of the tunnel, there is a great selfie opportunity at the U.S./Canada border. As Emma Tranter (the women’s winner of the 1978 marathon) said, “The people along the route were great to us and the course was great. There’s just not enough I can say about it. It was a really great event.” Thirty-nine years later, that’s still true. But don’t just take my word for it; check out my fellow ambassador Meghan Warzecha’s reasons she loves this race.

As one of the inaugural Ambassadors for this race, I only love it more! (I still can’t believe they picked me to be on the team.) The entire race team welcomed us aboard with a meeting in February, and it was scheduled during my visit to Michigan for Dad’s wedding so that I would be able to attend. New Balance Detroit provided us with some sweet Ambassador swag, including tech shirts and pullovers. Ambassadors have been invited to subsequent planning meetings (though I haven’t been able to attend). We have regularly been invited to give input, and our suggestions are taken seriously. This year we are even going to host a #WeRunSocial meetup at the expo!

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By the way, if you aren’t prepared to run the race but are going to be in the area, you are still very welcome to join us at the meetup–#werunsocial is for all runners! If you can’t make the meet-up, come say hi at the

This week, three of the race staff took time out from their Sunday evening to join us on the Runner of a Certain Age podcast too. (Did you know there are 4,000 runners who will run Detroit for charity?) You can check out the episode and the show notes for The Gotta Lose Your Mind In Detroit edition. The podcast is filled with race details and excellent trivia.

A little more than half of the 2016 Ambassadors
A little more than half of the 2016 Ambassadors

I’m really just thrilled to be able to share one of the best races in the country with my friends! Before I forget, the medals for this race are also pretty sweet. The bling itself pays homage to Detroit’s heritage as The Motor City. Each year features a different car (see above and below). The ribbon weaves elements of the U.S. flag and Canadian flag together.

I'm in line for coffee while displaying the 2012 bling
I’m in line for coffee while displaying the 2012 bling

In combination with the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon weekend, I’m giving away three copies of The Long Run. This book is a history of the first 30 years of the race. It’s filled with facts, but also with pictures, and covers not just the runners but also the wheelchair division and the handcycle division. It’s interesting both as a history of this particular race and as a a chronicle of the development of a major marathon.

This is the prize!
This is the prize!

If you want to get a sneak preview, you can check out the “Look Inside!” feature on Amazon.com. (Or you can just trust me that it is a great read!)

Details: this contest is not sponsored, endorsed, or otherwise related to anyone or any entity with two exceptions. One, Bain is an ambassador and this is her blog; she is 100% responsible for this contest. Two, the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank Marathon has generously provided copies of the book. Shipping will be slow! This contest closes on the first day of the race expo, and Bain and the race team are going to be super busy!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: BibRave and BUFF have partnered up for a BUFF prize pack giveaway, and because I am a BibRave Pro, I am giving you a chance to win! Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Join Me In the Buff®! What?

As a BibRave Pro, I’ve been introduced to some really great gear for running and a healthy lifestyle. One product I had seen, but never tried, is the Buff®. The Original Buff® is basically a seamless soft fabric tube that you can wear a variety of ways. My favorite way to wear the Buff® is as weather protection: in colder weather, I wear it around my neck and pulled up over my mouth and nose; in warmer weather, I wear it as a hat liner and to cover the tops of my ears (which have a habit of getting very sunburned in the summer).

Speaking of sunburned, I’ve also been able to test-drive the UV Buff® and UV Half Buff®.  The UV collection Half Buff is the perfect hat-liner size for me. The entire UV collection blocks 95% of UV rays, so it is a must-have for all the best summer activities, regardless of whether you like to get out and run, watch parades, go fishing, or work in the yard.

How much did I love these Buff® products? So much that in addition to buying a few more of each, I also bought a wool Buff® (because, winter) and a Buff® Headband (a quick-drying way to keep sweat out of my eyes during hot yoga), and I bought all the women in my immediate family a Buff® scarf for Christmas.

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#Buffie alert!

To enter to win the giveaway, you need to find me (or another BibRave Pro) at a race during the month of May. My race schedule is:

Come find me at a race and snap a Buffie with me! It’s BYOB (bring your own Buff®) or you can try on mine.

If you won’t be at any of these races, perhaps you’ll be at a race with the other BibRave Pros who will be out there wearing Buff® in the wild? Check out more places to play to win by finding out where Karen, Mark, Angie, Brenda, Heather, and Katherine are running–we’re running wild, all over the country!

UV Half Buff as packaged
UV Half Buff as packaged

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Giveaway Details!

What’s the prize? The winner will receive:

  • 1 Original Buff®
  • 2 UV Buff®
  • 1 Merino Wool Buff®
  • 1 UV Half Buff®
  • 1 Headband Buff®
  • 1 Shirt
  • 1 Sweatshirt
  • Stickers

What are the rules? Official Rules:

  • Take a #buffie with a Bibrave pro AT A RACE
  • Post your #buffie to Twitter or Instagram. (Note: this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or otherwise affiliated with Twitter or Instagram.)
  • Tag @Bibrave & @buff_usa
  • Use hastags #buffie & #bibchat
  • Contest runs May 1–31, 2016
  • Open to US residents only (sorry Canadians, I still love you!)
  • Participants can enter #buffies from multiple events
  • One #buffie entry per race

Come Buff(ie) With Me!

Part of my Buff collection
Part of my Buff collection

 

 

 

National Running Day is June 3. I’ve collected up a few things you can do to celebrate, beyond the obvious (just go run, any time, anywhere, with or without anyone). Find more events and join the fun on twitter by searching #NationalRunningDay, calling up your local running store, or searching on Event Brite.

Please feel free to comment with additional event information. Let me know where YOU are running!

NationWide and Multi-City

Run the Nuun and Motigo virtual run. Download the iPhone app, or follow the alternate instructions for Android. It’s free. Details here: Nuun Virtual Run with Motigo

Score a Rock ‘n’ Roll Discount. I don’t have the details (yet!) but the Rock ‘n’ Roll series will have discounts of up to $20 on select races. Here’s the Scoop!  Today only most Rock ‘n’ Roll events have a discount up to $20. (A few exceptions…No discount: Las Vegas, Brooklyn, San Francisco, San Diego; ; Closed Event: Portland.) Open for one day only–TODAY!!–Carlsbad5000, Country Music Marathon (Nashville), Dallas, Raleigh, Mexico. Note this discount does not “stack” with other promo codes. (Remember you can save some $ on any race but Vegas every day by using code TRAINWITHBAIN.)

Review a race on BibRave.com. You could win some yummy stuff! During the day, tweet a link to your favorite review on BibRave.com, tag @bibrave and @justins, and you could score some Justin’s nut butters!

Apply to be a BibRave Pro. BibRave ambassadors get all the good stuff, and it turns out the team really needs more West Coast runners. (I’m lonely out here!)  Apply online HERE, and let them know I referred you. (‘Cause if you get picked, I might get a shirt or something.)

Enter to win Ortholite with Neon Is My Color. It’s a National Running Day and you should visit the blog of Neon Is My Color to learn how to win with Ortholite.

Join Black Girls Run for a 5k. It’s a virtual event with real bling. Details at Black Girls Run.

Run with Road Runner Sports, Fleet Feet, or your local running store. Check with your local store to find out what is going down and when. (If you’re in CA, the free raffle-prize-loaded Adventure Run at Road Runner in San Carlos is on Thursday!)

Run for funds. Use the CharityMiles app to donate your miles to your favorite charity.

Get the hook up from Dean Rauschenberg (and others). Be safe out there, especially if you run events or run alone.  Hook up with Road ID.

Keep an eye on your favorite running brands on social media. I’m betting there are surprises in store. Personally, I’ve got my eye on Brooks.

Win stuff from Skora. Rafflecopter giveaway with shoes, a Garmin, and Nuun! Entry form here.

Win shoes from ASICS.  “ASICS America will be giving away a free pair for shoes to a random winner for every 100 tweets that use the #GoRunItJune3 hashtag on Twitter.” You can also grab a badge and get more deets at their website.

Try Everlast’s new VEGAN protein! Go to the Everlast website, and use code TRAINWITHBAIN to save. No expiration, starts today for National Running Day and the code is good pretty much forever.

Go green with EnergyBits! Go to the EnergyBits website, and use code BAIN to save 25% on any kind of Bits. Organic, non-GMO, pure algae. Green goodness to keep your run on! This isn’t National Running Day specific, but it is a great source of fuel for runners.

Show your GameFace. “In honor of National Running Day, we’re honoring your achievements! Are you ready to show off your best photos and win some cash? Post your best Gameface photograph on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook to be entered to win a $250 Visa Gift Card. The winner will be picked Friday afternoon, announced on our Facebook page and contacted by Gameface. All you need to do is dig out that picture of you crossing the finish line, conquering that obstacle course, or just having fun enjoying the sport you love. Use #rungameface and tag Gameface Media on Facebook, Twitter (@gameface_media), or Instagram (@gamefacemedia) to ensure we catch your entry! Good luck and keep up the good work.”

Save (others) with socks. Bombas socks are having a special today, ALL sales proceeds go to Back on My Feet. (You can also help Back on My Feet by signing up for the Los Angeles area Foothill 5k Challenge! Use code BIBRAVE when you register to save 15%.)

Sparkle a little. Sparkly Soul 26.2 and 13.1 headbands are marked down to $5 all day. No code necessary, just go shop. Then enter to win one: “Enter to win 1 of 10 surprise headbands by telling us why you run, your plans to celebrate National Running Day or post a picture of you running with hashtag #irunandsparkle and tag @sparklysoulinc on any social media! Enter through Thursday June 4th at 11:59pm PST – 10 winners chosen at random from all social media on Friday June 5th!  Be sure to follow us on the social media you enter on to win!”

Share the love?

San Francisco and California-related

Party (and Run!) with Marathon Matt at A Runner’s Mind (3575 Sacramento Street, San Francisco) during the National Running Day Soiree!  The event includes a 4-5mile run with treats and prizes, such as Michelob Ultra sponsored by Rock ‘n’ Roll San Francisco, Mamma Chia, Hint Water, and more. Details and RSVP here: National Running Day Soiree

Run in Oakland! Project Sport, the group behind The Town’s Half Marathon, is hosting a National Running Day event at Lake Merritt. Meet at 6 p.m. at 599 El Embarcadero for a loop or two around the lake. Run, register for The Town’s Half, join your fellow runners for a post-run beverage. Can’t wait until Wednesday? Run Tuesday! Meet at Athleta Bay Street, Emeryville at 6 p.m. and run part of The Bay Trail.

Run in Oakland! The Oakland Running Festival producers, CSE, have two deals for you. One, stop by their office at 1001 Broadway (on 11th Street across from Faz) during your run between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to get water, Gu, a vintage ORF shirt and a discount off a future CSE event. Two, if you can’t stop by the office–like me, I’ll be working in Stockton tomorrow–Use NRD at checkout to save 10% off any CSE West Coast Race (the code is only valid on June 3rd). Upcoming events include the Sunnyvale 10-Miler/5k on June 28th; the Raiders Back to Football Run on Sept. 12th; Broads Run Broadway on October 10th; Hellaween Costume Run on October 24th; and Oakland Running Festival on March 20, 2016. Check out ORF online.

Run with See Jane Run. Meet at the SF and Oakland See Jane Run stores at 6:00 for a 5k run, raffle, door prizes, and other goodies. Plus for every ten people who attend, See Jane Run will donate shoes to Girls Run Roosevelt.

Run with Team Luna Chix. The weekly run with the SF group is at 7:00 at Sports Basement in the Presidio. Find them on Meetup.com to RSVP.

Enter to win a free entry to the 33rd annual California International Marathon. (It’s easy–print the form, fill it in, snap a selfie, and tag it!) Click to read the instructions.

Register for the Dana Point Turkey Trot. The early bird gets the gravy, right? Registration opens on National Running Day. Details here.

Golden State Half Series. Register today on their website. IF you register for all three TODAY, you get a free VIP upgrade at one race. Register to run the Livermore Half (Code ROLLBACK saves you $5), The Town’s Half, or the Golden Gate Half.

Los Angeles area (Glendale): Register to run the Foothill 5k Challenge, benefitting Back on My Feet (a sweet charity that helps people experiencing homelessness through running programs). The challenge is that there is a 1,000′ elevation gain! I’ll join you in running it on July 19. Register here with code BibRave to save 15%.

Napa to Sonoma. If you tried to register and didn’t get in through the lottery, go check your email. They’ve released a few spots, but they are ONLY available to those who tried to get in via the lottery.

Avocado Half Marathon. Hit up the website between now and June 8 and save $10 with code NATRUN15.

Zooma Napa Valley. Register today at the website, and save 10% with code LASTCHANCE. Then join them for a training run on Saturday. Free training  run (10 miles or 5 miles) with the ZNV Ambassadors. Athleta will open early to host our runners and will raffle off a $50 gift card. Details: Saturday, June 67:00am; Athleta-Corte Madera, 215 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera, CA

Events & Deals in Not-California Places

This is an incomplete list, of course…you can also look at the Facebook page for National Running Day.

Angel Fire, NM: Register for the 4th of July Angel Fire Adventure  half marathon, marathon, or 5k. Use code AFABIB20 to save 20% when you register here.

Arizona: Score a discount on the 12ks of Christmas by using code NATIONAL RUNNINGDAY. Details here at the 12ks of Christmas.

Atlanta: Kick off the Summer Stride series with West Stride. Click for details on the Summer Stride Series in general, or click to the facebook page for the National Running Day Event.

Chicago: Register to run the Terrapin 5k using code BibRaveShoes, and be entered to win a year of free shoes! Register here.

Cleveland: Join @djstephfloss for a downtown run. Follow @runwiththewinners for more details.

Dallas: Register for the Back on My Feet for the Peace Love Run in July. Use code BibRave to save 15%. Details here.

Durham, NC: Join Bull City Running for a 7 a.m. run. According to the event page not only will there be donuts, but the chance to win free shoes.

Meridian, Idaho: Pick a treadmill or a stationary bike to join a 24-hour run and ride with FitOne, and score a $15 race registration. Details here.

New York: Of course the New York Road Runners have the event hookup! Click here for NYRR’s event listings.  I’m sure you are not surprised that there are a million and one other runs in New York City.

 

P.S. check out my friends’ suggestions for National Run Day! Take a look at Confessions of an Amateur Athlete and You Signed Up For What for more celebratory discount announcements and Races and Rescues for a glimpse into one runner’s “why I run.”

The team at Women’s Health magazine sent this invitation to the Action Hero team and asked us to spread the word.  I’m not going to be at Coachella (I’m wine tasting with friends on Saturday, and teaching yoga on Sunday) so unfortunately I can’t attend. That’s too bad because the tickets are my favorite price (FREE!), you just have to RSVP.

Perhaps YOU can attend and tell me how it went?

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