One of the best things about being a runner is meeting other runners. (I sometimes joke that I’m not sure if I “like” running, but that’s how you get to meet all the cool kids.) At the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in D.C., I was lucky enough to score an invite to the unofficial Blogger Brunch hosted by Stephanie of Cat Lady Runs http://www.catladyruns.com/ and Roaen of Love Life Logistics http://lovelifelogistics.com/ About twenty running bloggers met at Sequoia, a sweet brunch spot right by packet pickup, where the waiters quickly informed us that there were bottomless mimosas and brunch drinks (cost: same as two flutes of mimosa). Score one for the bloggers!
The other women were pretty amazing! I happened to sit right by Lizza (of http://xoxolizza.com/ ) and Kathleen & Lauren (of http://sistertosisterrunning.wordpress.com/ ) and really enjoyed getting to know the women behind the words. Of all the women there, I think Cynthia gets the prize for best blog title: http://www.isignedupforwhat.com/ After a few sips (or drinks) and a quick order, Stephanie and Roaen started handing out the goodies from our sponsors.
I had never heard of The Racer Wall Frame, but as soon as I saw it I knew exactly what to do with it. The design is pretty brilliant—the curvy edges are aesthetically pleasing, but more important allow me to frame stuff without obsessing about whether it is perfectly centered—and I love that the frame is easily “reloadable.” Once I got it home and opened the box, I found instructions and an easel stand built right into the box. Seriously smart. There is no glass (perfect for me, and any home where a wandering housecat might knock it over), and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
The gift bags came next, painted to match the event (thank you, I will be reusing this one!), and filled with treats from the event’s sponsors. My very favorite discovery was an adjustable headband from BaniBands. You’ll be hearing more about them on this blog in the near future, but for now you can read more at http://www.banibands.com/ I love them because apparently I have a giant melon of a head, and when you combine that with my slippery hair, most headbands go flying off of my head. In fact, I am so fond of BaniBands that I am begging them to be an ambassador. (Okay, not literally begging, but definitely applying!)
Everyone received some individual nuun samples and Honest Tea’s bottle tea and something new (to me, anyway) a canned Honest fizz. Great to have some post-race rehydration on hand, as I flew in and TSA security theatre would have removed anything bottled I tried to bring with me. There were bicbands, Sweat Pink shoelaces, Sparkly Soul headbands, Papa Steve’s protein bars (a huge score, since I got chocolate coconut crunch, the best flavor combo ever), and Action Wipes (perfect for the immediately post-race pre-shower dust off). There were also discount codes from Magical Miles: The Runners Guide to Walt Disney World and Zensah compression (my favorite sleeves), among others, and a free virtual race from Jost Running.
We were still chatting up a storm and pawing over the goodies when brunch arrived. Can I just say nomnomnom?
Next came the raffle (mostly for items impractical to donate in 20s). This was the first time I’d encountered Red Fox, which donated a variety of cool race electronics (wireless earphones, portable blue tooth speakers). There was a bag from Apera, which donates bags to Special Olympians; an Arm Pocket; xx2i racing sunglasses; and all manner of other loot. As each number was pulled the winner got to choose from the sponsors’ generous donations.
My first pick was a delicate running necklace from Scott James sport jewelry (http://www.scottjamesjewelry.com/ ). Since I’ve caught whatever disease it is that compels one to sign up for more and more races, running has permeated my wardrobe choices (running shirts are acceptable work attire) to my hairstyle (no more fancy layers, they won’t stay in a ponytail), and it seemed appropriate I should choose running jewelry. A little something to keep my Nike Women’s Half Marathon finisher bling company, you know?
My second pick was a racing tank from X Race Wear (http://xracewear.com/ ). I’m excited about this one because the chief design feature is a zippered mesh pocket that can hold your race bib! This means for a mud run or obstacle run, you don’t have to risk losing your bib or getting stabbed. I’m a huge fan of black, but blue and pink are also options (in the women’s sizes).