So for those of you who don’t know, Road Runner Sports hosts an event every month called Adventure Run in different areas. It’s basically a free run with a mini expo and raffles. How it works is you run to different check points and collect raffle tickets from each stop. The more stops you run to the more tickets you get. At the end of the run you throw in all your collected tickets and cross your fingers. They generally give out a ton of rally good prizes, from foam rollers to free race entries to free shoes! And even if you don’t win anything, there is a free little beer garden (you get 2 free drink tickets). Plus the vendors there give out a lot of cool samples before the run!
I went to the Shirt Release Party they held in March to buy my Adventure Run tank for the season (they have tshirts and tank tops in Men’s and Women cuts). If you wear your Adventure Run shirt, you get double raffle tickets at each checkpoint during and Adventure Run so it’s totally worth it! I also got a 25% off coupon during the event and ended up buying a ton of Hydroflasks to give out as gifts! I have a Hydroflask obsession, but that deserves it’s very own post.
So now onto the April Adventure Run, this was my very first official Adventure Run and it was a pretty great experience. The pre run events had some cool stuff. You could visit each vendor and collect a total of 8 stamps to enter into a drawing for a free pair of shoes. Plus the Spartan booth was giving out a raffle ticket for every 2 burpees you did! Some guy did 100 burpees! Unfortunately, once the run started, I realized I had lost my bag of raffle tickets once we got to our first checkpoint. But more on that later.
Whether running or walking, you can get to a lot of checkpoints so this is a great event for anyone who wants to run or casually walk. The further you run the more checkpoints you can get to. They release a map on their facebook page with all the available checkpoints on a map when the race starts. I didn’t get all the checkpoints but I know a lot of people who did, but I still got a lot of tickets thanks to the double tickets I got for wearing my Adventure Run shirt (it has to be the current year’s shirt, sorry last season’s shirts don’t count).
You pretty much have 1 hour to hit as many stops as you can, so once we headed back, I talked to the emcee and guess what they found! My lost raffle tickets! And guess what?! I ended up winning a raffle from a ticket from my lost bag! I won a 6 week strength training session at a local fitness gym. Pretty cool for my first run. I can’t wait for more!
Race Date: March 22, 2015
I have to say this was one of my favorite races. Some highlights: Ridiculously cute/cool jackets & a super cute medal ( hot chocolate bar with a bite out of it). The race is in downtown San Diego so the hills can get hard, there are A LOT of hills. The scenery is also not very interesting, just the typical downtown view.
The aid stations are plentiful, all the hydration you need. Although I would pass on the chocolates and sweets they give out at those stations, especially if you are doing the 15k vs the 5k. I would not want the sweets sloshing around in my stomach around the last few miles.
Parking is in downtown, but not that bad. It’s super early so the only ones around are the runners anyways. The expo has a lot of random stuff around. The swag is awesome. Cute drawstring bag, super cool jacket, unique medal. The post race expo is nice. It has some good photo ops, and then you get this giant plastic mug, filled with marshmallows, crackers, chocolate, a banana, and a cup of hot chocolate. This is one of my favorite races in San Dieg.
I was registered for the 2017 race but they ended up switching the dates and I was at a climbing festival, so I was pretty sad I couldn’t make it to this year’s race. But I will try again next year if I’m still in the area!
Race: Spark Run | Date: June 7, 2014
So this was the race that Kaskade put on. I got roped into it by a friend who really wanted to see Kaskade. This was my first official race and it was a good short one to start off with. There was no real expo, just a bunch of open space in a parking lot next to the run start with 2 food trucks. There was also a bar open but it was on the pricey side, not so worth it. Especially before a run.
The only thing we really got was a not so great quality shirt. The design was nice but I have never worn the shirt since I got it. The organization was not so great either. Lines for check in/packet pick up was all over the place and volunteers were saying different things. But once the run started things were smoother. The run itself was nice. The start was pretty cool with awesome decorations and there were a lot of great light up/glowing props at different parts of the course.
Some spots along the course had major bottlenecks with no one moving over to pass. And it got a little sketch to run once it got dark. But it was a pretty short run, so the flaws were pretty easy to get over. Plus there was a free concert at the end with Kaskade closing out the show. I wouldn’t really do this race again, but I think it was a one year tour anyways.
Race Date: Oct 31, 2015
I never in my life thought I’d do a Tough Mudder but I somehow got roped into doing one and I have to say I did enjoy it, for the most part. The obstacle courses were pretty fun! I had a few favorites that pretty much involved free falling and my heart sinking but I loved it! The most difficult part was probably the hills on hills on hills! Endless hills and the view wasn’t much to look at. I would probably do another tough mudder on a shorter route with less hills, or maybe just a different location. I can’t say I enjoyed running up and down hills for 10+ miles just staring at dead grass.
The expo pre/post run was pretty cool. Free beer, cool mini obstacles/challenges for prizes and things. A nice place to hang out after the course. Parking was pretty straight forward, it was a slight walk from the lot to the expo/race start. But the race loops you back to the beginning so no shuttles required.
The aid stations had the basics and some extras, but I feel like the further into the course you got the less they gave you at each station. The beginning stations were the best! The swag was ok, you don’t even get a medal which was a little disappointing. You get a tshirt (I’m not very fond of it it is not soft), a head band, and a face towel all with the Tough Mudder logo on it.
Overall I say I’d do another one but definitely at a different location. What I really want to do is a Spartan and compare them.
P.S. Yes there is a ton of mud that you have to practically crawl through! The mud ripped my shoes off a few times!
Race Date: Oct 8, 2016
Finally completed my first half marathon and this was the best one to do it! The elevation for this race wasn’t too bad, lots of flat patches but the only negative was that there were a lot of really harsh down hill slopes. It ended up being super hard on the knees. But you can’t beat the views! Nice nature scenery to run through and the last stretch is a run by the lake!
Parking is pretty straight forward, dirt lot and a shuttle to the race start with shuttles back to the lot after. The main thing was that it was freezing out there at 4am! But the organizers built us some fires, although I was probably close to freezing to death a few times.
My favorite thing about the race (aside from the amazin scenery) would be that it was a cups free race! Races tend to create a lot of waster and this was a bring your own cup type race. They provided you with a nice little reusable one to take with you or you could bring your own system (I used a double bottle belt). Just refill at the stations as needed, my 2 bottles were more than enough and there weren’t a million paper cups after the event!
The expo was on the smaller side but still some pretty cool things to look at and some cool raffles/prizes. We got really cute/nice race shirts too! They were soft and had 3 different color options! It was also the sweat/moisture wicking fabric! Overall I would love to do this race again and hit a PR for a half! The downhill helps a lot with your time!