Race Review: National Sweetest Day Run

So after running my first trail race in 3+ years in September, I thought why wait to do another one? I knew a friend who had signed up for this race, which had 5K and 10K options as well, and was doing the half marathon, so I was excited to sign up and run a race with her. This trail race, like the one I ran in September, did not disappoint. No Killer Hill’s this time but everything about it was pretty good. I’ll outline it all right here.

Course Scenery: The trails were beautiful to run on. This course was more dirt trail than grass field running, which I prefer. Many trees were in full fall foliage colors while the several pines had dropped needles throughout the trail making feel softer, if only to the imagination. There was some water that we ran around but it wasn’t easy to see much of through the trees. I also liked that this course stayed on trails and never crossed over any park roads. There were also some rustic old barns and sheds (probably used as county park facilities now) scattered along the course. Just gave it a nice feel.

Elevation Difficulty: Like I said above, no Killer Hill’s but, whoa, there were many ups and downs, several that were sharp inclines and steep declines where you had to be careful with your gait going down. And the one killer that did come, of course, was at the end of the half marathon portion of the course. No lie, it was a brutal, steep incline that led up to the final half mile remaining. My calves still remember it well, haha.

Aid Stations: Due to the COVID-19 virus and safety precautions, there were no water stations on the course and you were encouraged to bring your own water.

Expo Quality: No expo for the same safety reasons. Bib and packet pickup were accomplished one hour prior to the race at the race location itself.

Parking Access: Easy to find and right next to the starting point of the race. My only beef was that it was a county park but charged $5 for the parking. Not a fan of having to pay to park for a race.

T-Shirts/Swag: Nice long sleeve tech shirt and a cool looking medal for finishing. I COULD have gotten an age group medal too but I came up just short by one place. Boo!

Race Management: Another great job by Silver Circle Sports with organizing this race and keeping everyone safe with social distancing prior to the race. The packet pickup was quick and efficient. The race announcer had a lot of energy (and we needed it, so damp and chilly that morning) and made people laugh before their waves took off on the course. Great volunteers offering support and guidance on throughout the course as well. This group knows what they’re doing. I would recommend running any of the races they sponsor; they truly do a good job.

Any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line!

Happy running!

BibRave Product Review: Under Armour HOVR Sonic

Disclaimer: I received the opportunity to test the UARunning HOVR Sonic to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I was so excited to have the opportunity to try out these new shoes for one huge reason: the amazing technology that these shoes possess. But my excitement was tempered at first because, well, look at how sweet they look in the featured pic! Clean and crisp, just pretty to look at. It’s winter here in Wisconsin and I just couldn’t bear to get them all filthy right off the bat. And we kept having bad weather on the days I was going to wear them. Finally, we had good weather but I suffered a glute injury which shelved me for three weeks. Frustrating to say the least. So, the first few runs with these shoes I performed on the “dread”mill and, just before the testing window closed, I managed to get a run in outdoors. Now…back to those awesome features and their performance.

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As I said, the first few runs were in the gym but I was able to get a good feel for them and how they perform in short bursts; 1-3 mile runs when I had time after lifting workouts. They always felt good. Very lightweight thanks to the microthread upper that dries fast and provides a breathable, compression-like fit for the foot. There is also ventilation point in the midfoot which allows your foot to breathe. Another positive feeling point for the shoe is its heel where you receive additional support.

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Another major point of interest for my foot (and yours, of course) was the special UA HOVR tech where the foam molds to match you and to give back the energy you put into it. With this energy return that helps eliminate impact as your run goes on, you end up with a “zero gravity feel” meaning it is as if you are not even wearing shoes. That’s how light they feel and how much cushion that exists.

And now for the fun technology that the UA HOVR provides!! This is a digitally connected shoe! What does that mean? Using UA Record Sensor tech, these kicks track, analyze and stores almost every running statistic so you can improve upon each of your runs. Using the MapMyRun app on your phone/watch, you can see everything you want in detail.

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Cadence? Check. Stride Length? Check. Pace? Check. Calories burned? Check. Map of where you ran? Check. And there are graphs to show how you compare to what the average is and where you should be aiming your effort for next time.

I finally got the one chance to take these outdoors and I was happy and impressed with their performance. First, even in the chilly weather, my feet were warm enough to not freeze. Wisconsin winter is not a pleasant thing to be around, lol. They did get dirty which saddens me but, with this color, it was inevitable.

And with the outdoor workout, I was introduced to a brand new category of information that the syncing of the shoes provides: elevation results.

The UA HOVR Sonic’s are an incredible shoe and I highly would definitely recommend this shoe to almost everyone. Why almost everyone?  If you noticed, I said earlier that my treadmill runs were 1-3 miles and my single outdoor run within the testing period was just over five miles. That is because I have to wear orthotics and when placing them inside the HOVR, it severely limited my space inside of them and added a bit of discomfort for my toes. Now, I have somewhat large orthotics so that’s why this problem exists. If  you have a smaller or flatter orthotic you will not have any problem placing them inside and experiencing the magic that is these shoes. I guarantee there is no way you could be disappointed with how awesome these shoes are and can be for you!

If  you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me a note or a like!

Happy running!!