Product Review: BOCO Gear Run Hat & 360° Visor®

Disclaimer: I received my BOCO Gear Run Hat and 360° Visor® 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!

As fall half marathon training season comes to an end it’s time to talk about two pieces of gear I used quite a bit- the BOCO Gear Run Hat and 360° Visor®.

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I love BOCO Gear! One of my favorite hats of all time is their Technical Trucker so when the opportunity came up to test the Run Hat and 360 Visor I jumped at the chance.

BOCO Gear 360° Visor®

I do use a visor while running but mainly in usually in warm weather. I tend to overheat in anything over 55 degrees. The 360° Visor® was not a fit for me. I really like the design of it but it was not comfortable for me to run in. The sides of my head started to hurt because it was a bit to snug for me. I have a very large head and a lot of hair which makes finding headgear hard.

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Other features of the 360° Visor® are:

  • Lightweight wicking woven or dry tech polyester outside
  • Wicking internal sweatband to move sweat from your forehead
  • Soft brushed elastic back for comfort and fit
  • Relaxed fit front panel for a better performance and comfort
  • Black underside of the bill to reduce glare
  • Curved Bill
  • Machine Washable

I do love the fact that the 360° Visor® can be customized! BOCO Gear and BibRave did a wonderful job at customizing the visor and I really appreciate the printed BibRave logo on the back of the visor. The bill of this visor is also shorter and the front is lined with really nice wicking material which is a nice touch!

Overall, I highly recommend the 360° Visor® to anyone with an average sized head.

BOCO Gear Run Hat

This is quickly becoming my favorite running hat. It has a short bill, is super lightweight and it dries quickly, which is a necessity for Fall running in Seattle. I did find it a bit warm during a 60 degree run but it kept the sweat out of my eyes with the moisture wicking front panel.

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Other great features of the BOCO Run Hat are:

  • Lightweight wicking woven polyester material provides a layer of protection from mother nature on the front and top panels
  • Dry Tech polyester mesh side panels keep your head cool for the length of your workout
  • Soft curved bill that is packable
  • Machine washable
  • Soft polyester mesh wicking sweatband on the inside to help move sweat away from your head keeping you focused on the trail or road.
  • Can be upgraded with sublimated designs
  • Can come with a black underside of the bill to reduce glare

The packable feature of this hat made it easy to stash in my hydration pack and even in the back of my running tights. It is also durable enough to be squashed in my gym bag for the majority of the day before a workout.

I know most companies claim their hats are machine washable but all BOCO Gear products really are! I took my run hat out on a super muddy and rainy run, popped it in the wash and it looked brand new.

I highly recommend buying a BOCO Gear Run Hat if you need a versatile and easy to wash hat.

 

Race Recap: Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon 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!

 This past weekend I ran the Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon. Overall, I had an enjoyable time and the race day weather held up.

Expo
I got my bib on Friday at Road Runner Sports Seattle in the Green Lake Neighborhood. There was no real expo just a few tables set up for packet pickup and an Adidas sales rep who was showing off the new Boost shoes. Road Runner Sports did give out a 25% off coupon for VIPs to use right there in the store. I didn’t end up buying anything but it was a nice they gave those out. The swag was great- there were mens and womens specific shirts, and a Red Hook pint glass. The bib was pretty cool minus for the large typo on the date, but I do like how the bib was customized for Woodinville.

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 Race Day

Getting to the race was pretty was easy. My boyfriend drove me to Redmond. There was a lot of free parking and once we found the start line there plenty of port-a-potties. I ended up getting a coffee at a café across the street in an attempt to stay warm. The weather was a bit chilly before the start. I walked over 15 minutes before and was surprised by how few people were racing. There was also a 5k that started and ended at the old Red Hook Brewery.

I found the 2:15 pacers before the start and figured I would ty to stay with them and make this race my long run. We started right on time and headed out onto the Sammamish River Trail. As we started running I realized the pacer was running fast for the first couple miles of the race. At mile 3 I looked at my watch and realized I needed to tone it back to stay with in a 2:15 to 2:20 half marathon pace.

The weather did not get too hot as the miles went on which was great! I love running in early fall in Washington. You can still wear shorts and a tank and not overheat. At mile 8 I started to feel a little off and I think it was from starting off fast the first few miles. The volunteers at the water stops were FABULOUS! They made sure everyone in the race got water and cheered as we passed. At mile 10 I was not happy and was ready for the race to be over, I was very happy to see the last water stop which mean there was less than a half mile to the finish.

The course is an open public running and cycling path. It is a super highway on Sunday mornings. I was anticipating some traffic but at times I did feel very uncomfortable, having a few close calls with cyclists. I feel like there should have been signs up warning the public that the event was happening so that everyone was aware of what was going on. The race did do a good job of putting out signs for the participants warning them to stay right before narrow parts of the course. The last 100 yards or so of course were shared with runners and spectators headed back to their cars. It was narrow and honestly frustrating for me because I was ready for my race to be done and did not want to doge people on the path.

I will say the free beer and socks at the end did help me feel a bit better after not having the best run ever.

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Race Communication

There were many small oversights when it came to this race but I am happy Craft Classic and Orca Running emailed participants when it major events occurred. The first was the bib typo- they did email late Friday afternoon to apologize for the typo which was very gracious of them. The second was the finisher medal. There were no finisher medals given out at the end of the races. They received the wrong shipment of medals the Friday before the race. They said at the race and in an email that all finishers would receive a medal within 10 business days. When I get my medal, I will update this post!

**UPDATE 9/23/17**
I did receive my medal in the mail in within the 10 business day time frame. Thank you Craft Classic!

Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon was pretty good. If you want to run a fast and flat half marathon and don’t mind a shared course I would run this race for your next PR attempt.

Race Recap: Seawheeze 2017

Oh my gosh, Seawheeze was amazing! This was my first time attending and it did not disappoint!

I drove up on Thursday and went straight to my hotel to check in. The border took 2o minutes and the traffic into Vancouver was not bad at all! I quickly changed into my running gear and went over to the Kitsilano neighborhood to explore. I went to the original Lululemon and bought a sweet Kitsilano tank! I was able to get a Seawheeze reusable bag which are BEAUTIFUL this year.

I then met up with my fellow BibRave Pro Jeannie and we went on a group run with Frontrunners. The smog was bad so I had to apologize for running so slow and hacking up a lung. But the view at the end of the beach was beautiful and it was wonderful to see Jeannie again!

I headed back to my hotel and took a nap before meeting my friends in line at the showcase store. We were there by 1:30am and the line wasn’t too bad. But as the night went out the line got longer and louder so sleep didn’t really happen. I was able to find a 24 hour Tim Hortons at 4am which saved us. Lululemon had a bunch of stilt performers walking by the line which were super cool. I would say we ended up in the first 300-400 people in the showcase!

The showcase store

The showcase store was laid out in a strange way. The reflective clothes I really wanted were in the middle of the showcase and the line for them kept growing. By the time I was in the roped part of the line there was nothing left which was a bummer. We kept searching and I was able to find a few things but there were not a lot of size 10 or 12 shorts. I was disappointed because I wanted speed but there were not a lot of prints left just solid colors. I ended up with two pairs of tights, a cropped cool racer back and a pair of tracker shorts. I found a pair of tights and a skirt for my mom too.

My showcase haul!

After checking out we went to packet pickup which was pretty quick. We got a spike bag, tube of nuun, a coupon for a free JJ Bean coffee, and a water bottle. The nice part of Seawheeze is there are no bibs! All you have to do is put a timing chip on your shoe. Personally, it makes life easier for me and I don’t have to worry that my bib is not on straight in the morning.

We then checked out the Prerace Party and there was so much to do! There were free tattoos, free water, a bunch of cool booths like Nuun and Vega who were offering samples. I volunteered to meet with the Lululemon design team and run on a treadmill then answer a few questions about my sports bra. I learned a lot about sports bras and what goes into the design process. They even gave me a free set of mala beads!

I headed back to my hotel napped and worked for a bit then met up with a bunch of Oiselle Volee for dinner. I also had a chance to explore some cool art near Gastown and found this awesome alley.

Race Day!

The race was pretty easy for me to get to. I met up with Jeannie in front of my hotel and we walked over together. We found a bunch of our fellow BibRave Pros, Mai and Bradley, for a pre-race photo and I met up with a bunch of Oiselle Volee for a team photo too! I headed to the corrals with Bradley and Jeannie and we somehow ended up close to the front. Seawheeze is self seeding so we were far ahead of most people.

My overall goal for the race was to finish since I was coming off of a sprained ankle and did not want to re-injure the pulled tendons. The start was quite quick and we started running through Gastown and Chinatown.

Head up, wings out!

In the first few kilometers there was a spin class on the overpass cheering runners on for about 100 meters. It was a huge rush of energy and was super fun to cheer them on as they were riding. There were a bunch of random number 5s hanging from the overpass and I am not quite sure why. It threw me off a bit since I knew we were not 3 miles/5 kilometers in.

The course quickly took off toward the Seawall and then to the Burrard Street bridge. There was a lot of entertainment which made the Seawall a lot more interesting. The bridge was hard but there was so much going on that I forgot about the long hill. The cool part of the bridge is we passed Lululemon HQ! There were a lot of people cheering as we got off the bridge and onto the last part of the course.

The Seawall was beautiful and narrow. I had a to walk a few times because of the heat and it was so hard to stay out of the way. A lot of people were not considerate of others which made it frustrating. The north part of Stanley Park is just beautiful. So much to see and thankfully the smog had cleared a bit too! Lululemon put a lot of entertainment- a retro DJ with dancing inflatable fish, a bunch of hippy Canadian, people on SUPS cowbelling, mermaids, Firemen and Police men with squirt-guns, and the Vega Hydration stop with a huge misting station.

The last mile of the race was partly shaded which was so nice! I ended up catching a few of my friends at the end which made the last part much more fun. I did not run this for time and I am glad I did. I had a lot of fun taking in the view and enjoying the on course entertainment.

The finish chute was crowded. We ended up waiting in line for almost 40 min to reach the front of the runners brunch. In line we got our beautiful finisher’s medal which triples as a bottle open, statue and medal (!!), finisher’s sunglasses, water, a Vega protein bar and a cooling cloth. The Breakfast was great even though I heard people were made there weren’t waffles. Lululemon even had a special dairy and partially soy-free brunch box which made it even better! After exiting Saje gave away free runner’s reward samples. I hung around and waited for my friends to finish then headed over to the Nuun at Nuun Ambassador meet-up.

Sunset Festival

The sunset festival was cool. There was free yoga that I missed due to dinner which is ok. I poked around the merchandise and didn’t see anything I liked. However, the Obligatory Victory Beer was pretty good and it wasn’t super expensive. We found a spot in front of the stage and listened to Cold War Kids and Young the Giant for a bit. This was a great way to finish a fun filled weekend.

Overall, I really enjoyed Seawheeze and the weekend festivities. Lululemon did a great job informing us about the weather and all other event related activities without being annoying. Their social media was on point- I got so many likes and replies it really meant a lot to see a brand interact with to many of their fans on a regular basis from registration to race day. I also loved all of the positivity throughout the weekend. It wasn’t about winning the race it was about experiencing the half marathon and staying in the now.

I will definitely run this race again. It is pricey but you do get a pair of $58-$65 CAD running shorts and plenty of race day swag and food. Next year’s race is in September which makes it much nicer running weather. I didn’t pay too much for transportation since I drove up and will probably do that as well.

Thanks for a wonderful weekend Lululemon! I can’t wait to do it again!

Product Review: Knuckle Lights Colors

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knuckle Lights Colors 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!

When I first heard about Knuckle Lights I always questioned why someone would use them. I’ve always run with a headlamp and made sure I had plenty of reflective gear on when running in the dark but Knuckle Lights Colors- Game Changer!

The new Knuckle Lights Colors are small handheld lights, that come in three different colors- bright blue, bright pink and black. I tested the bright blue and they are hard to lose since they are so darn bright! They are compact enough that you carry them in one hand if you do not need them right away on your run and pack a huge punch of light- 120 lumens to be exact.

Unlike a headlamp, you can point them anywhere you need light while you run. For me this helps a lot. Seattle has a lot of uneven pavement so shining a light a bit farther ahead of me helps me keep my balance.

Other great features of the Knuckle Lights Colors include:

  • Waterproof- they can be used all year round in any weather conditions!
  • Batteries are included with each set and each light takes 1 AA battery.
  • They are magnetic so they can be stored together.

Want a pair of your own? Visit Knuckle Lights and use code BRKL2017 for 15% off your own pair. http://ow.ly/w6cC30dKZxk

I am super excited to add Knuckle Lights Colors to my Fall Running Essentials. I know they will come in handy during my weekday runs while training for both the Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon and Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon.

 

Gearing up for Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon

After running two half marathons in June I’m a bit burned out. I didn’t PR like I thought I would so I’ve been a bit bummed out when it comes to running. Granted, I’ve played more ultimate frisbee in the last month than I have since college so it’s not like I haven’t been running. But I do have another race coming up- Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon in Woodinville, WA on September 10th!

After seeing posts from races in Arizona and San Diego in years past I am very excited to run. This year participants get a sweet finisher’s medal, beer glass, a cool shirt, and a free Redhook beer at the finish party! They also have a 5K option too! I am hoping this flat-ish course is just what I need to get my legs back under me. I also re-joined the training program for fall which might help me get out of this slump.

If you want to join me use code BIBRAVEHALF for $10 off the half and BIBRAVE5k for $5 off the 5k.

Hope to see you there in September!