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“Don’t compare your situation to somebody else’s. You’re not running their race. You’re running your own race.”

-Joel Osteen

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#Torchlight5K Race Recap and Review – #BibRavePro

#Torchlight5K Race Recap and Review - #BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Torchlight 5K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews.

The sky opened up late in the afternoon and rain fell from the heavens for the first time in weeks. And let me tell you that it rained cats and dogs! I began to wonder if it would end in time to get the Torchlight 5K off and running at 7:30 pm that evening. The last minute decision was that my husband would accompany me. This would mean I would not need to use the free metro transit passes that had been generously offered to us by MVTA and the Torchlight 5K. But it did mean we’d have to be creative about getting me to the start line and him to the finish line on the north side of the Stone Arch Bridge. Believe you me, it wasn’t easy.

Packet pick up for this event was primo, by the way. You actually were able to choose the date and the location of interception. Brilliant! Obviously, I chose a location close to my south metro residence, and did double duty by using some gift certificates I earned to the same running store on a new pair of kicks. I had my race bib and official race shirt for an entire week prior to the event. The worst thing about that was having to look at it everyday, and NOT be able to wear it. I’m pretty superstitious that way. I don’t know too many runners who aren’t.

#Torchlight5K #RunWithFire #BibRavePro #BibChat #CharmedRunning #NeonIsMyColor

#Torchlight5K Bib Interception Complete – I’ll be running on 7/19 with bib number 719!

Running this race with #Bibrave meant I’d be wearing my #BibRavePro tank top anyway, so the official wear date for the race tee shirt was still indeterminate. But I was OK with that!

How fortunate was I to end up with bib #719 as that was the date of the race, 7-19-17. Our bibs also came with two drink tickets and a free trial membership to LifeTime Fitness!

We were told on the race website that the #Torchlight5K was sponsored by a few great local businesses, not to mention the two largest, LifeTime Fitness and Nooma. I’ve never heard of Nooma before and I had no idea what they were about. But I was about to find out.

We arrived at the race start an hour early, and we drove around quite a bit in search of a parking place. We knew it would be difficult, but this was beyond rediculous. At least traffic was moving and we never got stuck anywhere near the Basillica of Mary, where the race began.

I finally decided to ditch the relatively slow moving vehicle at 6:50 pm and head to the start line, leaving my husband to fend for himself in search of parking at the finish line. It seemed the smart thing for him to do, and at this point, there wasn’t much he could do for me at the start line anyway.

Where I deposited myself was roughly three blocks from the starting gate, and since there was a parade to take place immediately after the run, there were porta potties lined up along the parade route. I just happened to stumble upon one that was empty and unused. Bonus. Got that out of the way.

I continued my trek to the pre race area in front of the Basilica, and spotted the most incredible sea of blue. I’d guess that 75% of the participants were running in the race tee shirt they had gotten with registration. That was a pretty high percentage! The majority of the rest were sporting team tee shirts or tanks. I didn’t make it around to the back side of the building where there were still participants picking up race bibs or registering on site. But I have to assume they had a good turn out in that respect as the weather had turned out OK in the end.

A sea of blue at the #Torchlight5K.

A sea of blue at the #Torchlight5K.

I snapped a few shots before hearing the announcement that they weren’t going to load the corral until 7:15 pm. I still had roughly 15 minutes to go before that even happened. I attempted to align myself up to where they might open the gates to the corral, but as it turned out, I ended up in the middle of the pack. This was my first disappointment with this event. It was nearly impossible to get into the starting corral. The gate opened near the the 11:00 pace point, which meant weaving through the massive crowd to get to the front of the pack. The entire process took the remainder of the 15 minutes up to start time. This could have been done a little better.

Nary any breathing room at the #Torchlight5K start line.

Nary any breathing room at the #Torchlight5K start line.

I did manage to find a couple who were weaving through the very tight crowd as well, and stayed on their tails. They took me right up to the 7:00 pace area. There I stood, shoulder to shoulder with the other runners, as the national anthem was performed, followed moments later by the starting gun.

We were off and running, and I was among the fast ones up front. And they were fast. Pretty quickly I fell to the back of the pack of the first group of runners let out of the starting corral. As it turns out, they had to release us in waves so that runners didn’t get caught up having to wait for the light rail to cross one major intersection on the route. Can’t delay public transportation now, can we?

I stayed to the back of this pack at least until the halfway point. After that I caught my breath and was able to trudge ahead, despite the humidity and still air that had settled in.

Photo Courtesy of Athlinks and the #Torchlight5K

Photo Courtesy of Athlinks and the #Torchlight5K

The race website touted cheering fans along the entire route, but alas, this was not the case. I dare to say that the first 200 yard had cheering fans. After that, they were pretty non existent until we crossed the Stone Arch Bridge, and entered the race party arena. It didn’t bother me too much, except for the fact that I decided to run this event sans any form of headphone entertainment. I knew it wouldn’t take me more than a half hour at any rate.

Photo Courtesy of Tom Ruen

Finish Line Approach Photo Courtesy of Tom Ruen

Regardless, the running route opened up significantly once we approached the 2 mile mark. Crossing the bridge and the short finish line approach there after allowed me to open it up just a wee bit, despite the fact that my chest was stinging pretty good with the high humidity that had crept in the latter half of the race.

Finisher Photo Courtesy of Athlinks and the #Torchlight5K

Finisher Photo Courtesy of Athlinks and the #Torchlight5K

There was someone at the finish line handing out ice cold cartons of something. I just wasn’t sure what it was. It wasn’t water, though, which was what I was after. We were also handed a banana, a bag of pretzels, a delightfully chilled wet rag, and finally that bottle of water before being given a bag to put all of our goodies in. It would have been helpful to get this first!

Chick-Fil-A for everyone at the #Torchlight5K

Chick-Fil-A for everyone at the #Torchlight5K!

I texted my husband, but he didn’t answer. There were photo walls at the finish line with photographers nearby so I asked them to take the shot for me. I got two different ones to take them. After that, Chick-fil-A was on hand to give us all piping hot chicken sandwiches in a bag. They sure smelled good! I asked for a second one to give to my husband once I found him, and they gleefully handed the second to me. Now if only I could find him!

The friendly folks from Park Dental.

The friendly folks from Park Dental.


Athleta was there handing out free tanks to the ladies!

Athleta was there handing out free tanks to the ladies!

I had my sunglasses on for the run, but now with the dusk quickly approaching, I couldn’t see worth a damn. Plus, I had stood in front of the wonderful cooling fans that they had set up at the finish line and my shades had gotten all drippy with water. It was frustrating, to say the least, to make it through the now building crowd entering the party zone. I did manage to fill my bag with more goodies from Park Dental, State Farm, and Athleta before making my way to the beer stand to claim my 2 free Micholob Ultras (I reserved them for my husband, since I don’t drink beer).

Me and Andrey - #BibRavePro Ambassadors!

Me and Andrey –
#BibRavePro Ambassadors!

It was here that I stumbled, quite literally, into Andrey, my #BibRavePro racing partner! What luck! And at the same time, my husband finally came into view. We chatted about the run and the after party, and about Bib Rave. It was the most perfect post race meet up!

Pop Rocks at the #Torchlight5K

Pop Rocks at the #Torchlight5K

After that, my husband and I listened to Pop Rocks (the band) for a moment before heading back to the finish line area to take a few more photos when we ran smack into his oldest daughter, who had just run the #Torchlight5K with her co-workers. What a surprise!

We continued on, making the decision to leave the party and plan our next move which was to watch our daughters march in the Aquatennial Parade!

#Torchlight5K Race Results courtesy of Athlinks.

#Torchlight5K Race Results courtesy of Athlinks.

Despite the lack of parking, the overly packed starting corral, the exaggeration that there would be amazing crowd support through the entire run, and getting our bag after getting our goodies, the #Torchlight5K delivered. They later apologized for a longer than 5K race course, and adjusted everyone’s run times accordingly, so I actually ran better than I thought!


And as for the mysterious cartons we received at race end, as it turns out, this was NOOMA! NOOMA is an organic electrolyte drink that uses real ingredients naturally packed with the electrolytes you need to hydrate. Based out of Ohio, it is something worth trying. I’ll post more about this in another blog post as I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet!

So, all in all, a very fun race experience. Thanks again to the #Torchlight5K, their sponsors, and to BibRave for the generous opportunity! Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews.

Do you prefer morning race events or evening race events? Which evening events are your favorites?


Training Tip Tuesday: Don’t Just Foam Roll… #Rollga Instead!

Training Tip Tuesday: Don't Just Foam Roll. #Rollga Instead!

Since when did running become so labor intensive? There used to be a time when I could wake up and run. There was zero preparation needed. In fact, if I slept in my running clothes, I literally could just roll out of my bed and out the door.

These days, however, I find myself rolling out of bed to roll! In fact, I’m rolling before I roll into bed as well. I’m not exactly sure when this all became a part of my daily routine. Was it at 49? 50? 51? Whichever…it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that if I don’t roll, I don’t run.

Reinventing With The Evening Run – #Torchlight5K

Reinventing With The Evening Run - Prepping for the #Torchlight5K

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Torchlight 5K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews.

It’s true. I’ve been reinventing myself with my evening run. Despite the rather delightful summer we have been having in Minnesota, the mornings can be despicably hot. Well, actually, I can’t really say that, because I’ve been snoozing in quite a bit this summer. Sleep has recently become my friend again, the best of which occurs just before my alarm rings at 6 am, then again at 7 am. And sometimes even 8 am.

Run The Race That You’re In

Run The Race That You're In: A 4th Of July Run

When I was a kid, the 4th of July was one of my favorite holidays. It probably lined right up with Christmas. You wouldn’t think that a kid would be so patriotic as to find this summertime celebration rank right up there with Santa Claus. But it did.

Yeah, I have always been a true American. I love what the holiday represents. Independence Day! Red, White, and Blue! Uncle Sam! The Statue of Liberty!

#MustHaveBox by #PopSugar Begs The Question…Where Is My Hammock?

PopSugar #MustHaveBox begs the question, where is my hammock?

POPSUGAR sent me this Must Have Box to try! #sponsored

We used to have one. And I don’t think I ever used it. My girls did, though. In fact, that is why we bought it. They used to sit in it with their goats.

But when I opened this #MustHaveBox from PopSugar, my first thought was, “I need a hammock.”

After all, how often does one get such a great package of goodness in the mail, that pretty much fulfills the female need to just “be”?