Get Outside & Explore Your City With LÄRABAR Plus Giveaway!!


Trails aren’t the only way to get out and enjoy nature. Us City Slickers can get outside and explore just like our friends from more rural areas.

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I have the joy and pleasure of residing just outside Boston allowing me access to city, beauty, history and nature.

So how do I get outside and explore my city?

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Here are my top 3 tips to enjoying your city:

1) Take a walking or running tour of the city. I’ve done the Freedom Trail Run, a run along the Freedom Trail in Boston offered to tourists and residents alike each day (value $40 per person).

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The Freedom Trail Run is geared to all fitness levels and ages. It was such a cool and different way to explore the historical aspect of Boston and not be stuck on a trolley tour.

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2) Take advantage of the amazing nature trails just outside of the city. While New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine offer glorious views and countless hills/mountains to climb, we don’t always have the time to travel that far. One can go just 30 minutes outside of Boston to the Blue Hills Reservation.

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Pack up your friends, your pups and your LÄRABAR bars and get out there!

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Enjoy a breathtaking view or two.

Can you spot Boston out there in the distance?

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3) Lace up your running or walking sneakers and just do it! I know it is a deep and brilliant idea, but it is true. And Cheap!!

Meeting up with friends? Take a walk around the Charles River!

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Looking for a new date idea? Lace up your sneakers while your partner rides their bike.

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Want to take your racing off the road and onto the trails? Check out the VERT Race Series – a great trail series for beginners!

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Phew! Now I am working up one serious appetite thinking about all of these sweet activities. Thankfully LÄRABAR sent me this sweet LÄRAbag with bars and RENOLA. RENOLA is a grain-free, gluten-free mix of non-GMO fruits, nuts and seeds.

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LÄRABAR the Original Fruit and Nut Bar™ features a delicious, gluten-free blend of unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices, with some flavors including coconut oil, chocolate chips or other simple ingredients. The bars are made from whole foods and each indulgent flavor contains no more than nine ingredients and at least ¼ cup of fruit or more.

For my Weight Watchers snackers, the 1.6oz LÄRABAR bars are 5-6 PPV each, while the single-serving RENOLA granola are 5 PPV. Definitely a manageable PPV for a snack, while being active on-the-go!

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My favorite flavors for LÄRABAR are: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Chip Brownie. Are we seeing a theme? ;)

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Now in honor of National Take A Hike Day on November 17, LÄRABAR has been kind enough to offer me 16 LÄRABARs and RENOLA to give away to you amazing folks!!

So here’s how to enter the giveaway (open to US Residents 18+):

Comment below with an answer to one of the following two questions!

1. Which flavor of LÄRABAR they are most excited to try and why? 

2. Share your #getoutside story and why they would love to receive the LÄRABAR to compliment their outdoor adventures.

Winner will be chosen Monday November 3 at 10am EST.

Can’t wait to know if you are chosen? Use this LÄRABAR Coupon for $0.50 off a bar!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by LÄRABAR, but all thoughts are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!
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Terrific Tuesday: Contest Win, Got Chocolate Milk Delivery & A LÄRABAR Announcement


Whenever I come off a major race weekend – like I just did with the Runner’s World Half & Festival – there is always a sad period. It can last a day, a few or even more than a week. So you can guess that yesterday was a blue Monday.

But it all changed today.

Today became one TERRIFIC TUESDAY!

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Not one … not two … but three amazing things happened today.

Without further ado I need to share it!

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1) I won…

I will wait here until you watch the video!

Did you watch it?

Don’t lie to me.

I will not write anything else until you do.

 

 

 

 

 

See!

Hearing the excitement in my voice was worth the watch, right?

I am freakin’ psyched. I cannot wait to pick out the treadmill and change the lives of my entire family.

Thanks again iFit and Runner’s World!!!

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2) My new Got Chocolate Milk gear and $500 sponsorship money arrived!

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I am in love with the new gear! I chose the Triathlon option of the three I was offered. I guess that is really hooking me in to triathlons for the 2015 year, huh? :P

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I really did love the sprint triathlons I have done so far and would love to test out some Olympic distances, but I am not sure another Half Ironman will be on my radar. For now at least.

I think I let you all know that the $500 sponsorship money will be used to fund my first Ragnar Relay experience in 2015 – Cape Cod in May with Team Running Down A Dream. Our team is made up of 12 weight loss success stories, who have combined to lose 1300 pounds.

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3) I am excited to be working on a new sponsored campaign with LÄRABAR!

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But I am not the only one that is going to benefit. Be sure to tune back to the blog on Friday when my post goes live about my experience with LÄRABAR and the giveaway opens.

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Did you catch that? I will be GIVING AWAY a bag complete with assorted LÄRABARs and RENOLA.

Are you getting excited? Well see if you can contain that excitement until Friday! ;)

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Isn’t this one sweet sweet way to turn around my post-race blues?

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I’m hosting my first Instagram Giveaway with Sparkly Soul

I’m psyched to be hosting my first Instagram #giveaway and it’s for not 1 but 3 3-packs of Sparkly Soul headbands!!

Here’s how to enter:

1⃣ Follow @irisheyes1982 & @sparklysoulinc on Instagram

2⃣ Post a photo on Instagram showing how you Sparkle

3⃣ Tag your photo #HowISparkle

4⃣ Tag @irisheyes1982 & @sparklysoulinc in the photo!!

Bonus entry: repost this photo on Instagram (make sure to include #HowISparkle)!!

 

Winners chosen Friday, October 10. You can enter daily with different photos!

sparklysoulgiveaway

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01
Oct 2014
AUTHOR Dani
COMMENTS 3 Comments

Help Me Celebrate Turning 32 By Fighting Stroke

TOMORROW I will be turning the big 3-2! I am actually pretty excited for it since my 30s have kicked serious booty.

Now I cannot wait to see what happens next…

So how can you help me celebrate turning 32?

Donate to Tedy’s Team and help me #FightStroke in honor of my #1 Stroke Hero – my gramma.

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There are two ways you can participate:

1) The Dani Ryan Holmes-Kirk 3rd Annual 30th Birthday 5k Run-Walk Ramble

A $25 to Tedy’s Team gains you entry to the virtual race, a printable bib, a Finisher’s Medal and 7 entries into the raffle.

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Sign up here!

2) Make a $20 donation to Tedy’s Team and gain 5 entries into the raffle.

Donate here!

I have an anonymous donor who will match up to $1,200 raised by the Birthday 5k/raffle! Say whaa?? Heck yeah!

What does the raffle feature????

^A #Runner Shirt from the AMAZINGLY AWESOME Pavement Runner (value $25)

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^ A 1BandID – great Boston-based company, which is an ID that attaches right to your GPS watch or shoe (value $19.99)

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ENERGYBITS Sample Pack

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^ 3-Pack of Perform Pain Reliever products (Roll-On, Spray and On-The-Go Singles)

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WYCWYC Keychain thanks to Carla and Roni (value $16)

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^ One pair of ZENSAH Compression Leg Sleeves (value $39.99)

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^A New Balance 3Axis Pedometer (value $29.99)

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^ Runfellow “I Like Your Pace” T-Shirt (value $30)

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^ A pair of Feetures Running socks (value $10.99)

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*Remember list is still growing!*

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Are you going to help me celebrate AND #FightStroke?

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#Giveaway: Join Me at Cambridge 5k Oktoberfest 5k!

Annddddd the winners ARE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONGRATS!!!!

If you didn’t win, you can still register for the race and join the Slumbrew Happy Soles!!

***

I have a confession to make.

I, Dani Holmes-Kirk, am a Cambridge 5k race series addict.

That’s right. I feel safe to admit that here to all of you.

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2013 Cambridge 5k Race bibs

The race director, Eddie O, is one of the nicest and most-dedicated folks I have met. When he asks for race feedback, he actually wants to know and you know what implements change. I tip my hat to him for that.

Eddie is persuasive. He is the man who got me to participate in the Freedom Run 5k less than an hour after finishing the Boston’s Run To Remember Half Marathon last May.

So far in 2014 I am two for three in the Cambridge 5k series races: inaugural Craicfest 5k (3/17) and Freedom Run 5k (6/1). I missed Sasquatch the trail race in July due to a conflict. My first time missing a Cambridge 5k race since 2012. :(

There is still time to register for the Big Bad Wolf, a 5-mile trail race in Ipswich, MA on September 13.

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Which brings us to race #5 of 6 in the 2014 Cambridge 5k series … the Oktoberfest 5k on October 5 at 9:30am!

Now the weather has not cooperated with this race in the past – usually raining on the day of – but that doesn’t dampen the party whatsoever.

There is a new location for the Oktoberfest 5k this year – offering more space for racers to meet with friends and celebrate afterwards.

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2013 Oktoberfest 5k

Join in for a “wunderbar” German-themed road race through Kendall Square, Cambridge to benefit Cambridge Family & Children’s Service (CFCS).

The course is fast & flat and goes through the heart of Cambridge! Runners line up on Technology Square. When the race starts, runners turn left on Main St., left on Ames St., left on Broadway, left on Ware St., left on Harvard St., right on Portland St., then turn left and proceed to the finish on Technology Square.

The Oktoberfest crowd is a great mix of all fitness levels and paces. This group really gets in the spirit too.

Run the race in your Lederhosen or Dirndl and you could win a great prize in our German costume contest! Unleash your inner Bavarian!

Registration ($38) includes a race shirt + food & beverages at the post-race Oktoberfest party sponsored by Cambridge Brewing Co, Swiss Bakers & Jacob Wirth. 

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Kim & I enjoying our beer & pretzel

I am wicked excited for this year’s run as Eddie O took runners’ comments on tight post-race quarters last year and has relocated the race this year. The crew needs room to rock the post-race dance off. Ya know? :)

So how can you get in on this awesome 5k action and run with me and some pretty sweet Slumbrew Happy Soles?

Well Eddie has been generous enough to give me not 1, not 2, but 5 race entries to give away to you lovely people!

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Here’s how to enter:

Giveaway will run from Friday September 5 (7am ET) to Friday September 12 (10 am ET)!

Winner will be announced on Friday!

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*GIVEAWAY* Celebrating 5k Twitter Followers

Annddddd the winner IS:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONGRATS!!!!

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I can’t thank you all enough for helping me hit the amazing milestone of 5k Twitter followers!

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I never imagined my little haven would ever grow to be what it is today. It is an honor to share my journey 140 characters at a time with all of you.

As promised I am ready to give away a Weight Watchers Success Kit to one lucky follower.

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So let’s get right to it!!

Here’s how to enter:

The giveaway will run from Wednesday August 27 (2pm ET) to Wednesday September 3 (2pm ET)!

Winner will be chosen and announced on Wednesday!

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#GIVEAWAY: Free Entry To South Shore Half Marathon (11/2)

Annddddd the winner IS:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CONGRATS!!!

***

Picking the perfect Half Marathon race can be tricky! There are a ton of factors: date, course, course limit, # of water stops, number of participants, race swag and of course BLING!

Well folks the inaugural South Shore Half Marathon on November 2 in Norwell, MA is hitting the nose on the head in all aspects. About 45 minutes outside of Boston.

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Let’s break it down.

The South Shore Half is a scenic back-roads course, which is closed to traffic (BIG WIN THERE!) This course is sure to offer something for runners of all experience levels. The half marathon will start in the driveway of the Norwell High School, and finish at the Norwell Post Office.

How can you go wrong running through a beautiful New England town with the leaves changing all around?

The 13.1 mile course has 11 water stops and a medical tent, which serves both Mile 5 and 9 of the course. 

The course limit for the race will be 3 hours and 30 minutes. I like hearing that the course will be closed for that entire time. I hate when I hear races open up the streets after 3 hours or less. Everyone should be safe.

Getting to and from the parking lot? They got it covered.

Shuttle buses will be provided from parking at Hanover Mall to the start line at Norwell High School and from the finish line in Norwell center to the Hanover Mall. The shuttle buses will start running at 5:30 AM from the Hanover Mall and will continue running from the finish line until 3:00 PM.

Not only do I love being part of inaugural races, but I love races that offer sweet swag!!

  • Long sleeve tech t-shirt
  • Half Marathon Finisher Medals 
  • Event running hat (register before 8/15/14 at midnight)
  • Commemorative pint glasses (register before 10/10/2014 at midnight)

Ohhh yyeaahh! That sounds right up my alley.

(Sorry I am posting this late so those who register from here on out are out of luck on the hat)

In the FAQ portion of the website, they list:

Are walkers permitted?

Feel free to run, walk, or crawl just make sure you can complete the half marathon course in under our course time limit (3 hours 30 minutes).

I like the inclusion of crawling! There are definitely some races where I feel like that may be the only way I get myself across the line.

The race does allow strollers, but asks those using strollers to start in the back of the pack for safety reasons.

Oh oh and how did I forget the post-race party. Each participant will get a free beer (brewery not listed yet) at Tinkers Son Pub at the Finish Line. Mmmm beer! :)

All of this is adding up to one sweet race and I cannot wait for it… and for YOU to join me!

That’s right it is giveaway time!!

So here’s how to enter.

The giveaway will run from Sunday August 24 (2pm ET) through Friday August 29 (2pm ET)!

The winner will be selected and announced on Friday!

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Monday Musings: Weekend of Workouts & Wedding Wonder

Weekends this summer have been full of workouts, laughs, love, friends and family …but not a ton of rest! So you can imagine this past weekend was right along those same lines. ;)

My wife actually got up early on Sunday to get her 4 mile run in before we walked over to my 5k race and she quipped later that day: “Wow, I don’t know how you do this getting up early to workout thing all the time.”

It made me smile to myself. Now she appreciates the early mornings I put in so that we can have more time to spend together. :)

Sunday marked just two weeks until the Pumpkinman Half Ironman. Wow September 7 will be here before I know it. This weekend I needed to really buckle down and focus.

The workouts started bright and early Friday after a great weigh-in. Did you hear I am happily back in the 150s?

My goal on Friday was to get 4 hours in on the bike, but that didn’t happen. Between a Recycle Studio Spin workout and a bike tide out to Bedford from Somerville – I spent about 3 hours in the saddle.

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But I still haven’t gotten 56 miles in on the bike and I need to do that before the race just to show myself I can do it. So guess what is on the docket for this upcoming week?

The bike is so mental for me. My body knows it can do it, but the mind gets nervous and overwhelmed. Time to shut the brain down.

The rest of the Friday called for relaxation and blogging. Isn’t that what all the cool kids do on a Friday night? :)

I had an early morning on Saturday. I wanted to hit up the 8am Weight Watchers meeting and claim my Ace Your Summer Challenge bling for having attended 10 of the last 11 weeks of meetings. Woo!

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It is such a nice and welcoming group. I am happy to attend their meetings and occasionally sub before I return to long run Saturdays this Fall.

I was smiling from ear to ear as members of the group talked about the fun they had attending the Nike Run & Walk Club that I have been helping to host. They talked about feeling welcome without thought of pace or fitness level. Exactly the kind of group I have been trying to create. :)

Full of motivation and inspiration, I headed to the pool to get my 1.2 mile time trial swim done.

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During the entire swim I felt strong and like I could keep swimming for days. :) I guess that training is paying off. :P It was a great morning in the pool full of entertainment from the kids’ swim classes going on on the opposite side of the pool from me.

Once I was out of the pool, I had to race home, quickly change and head to my cousin’s wedding dress appointment. How cute are the cards our friend Lauren made to judge the dresses?

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They are so my cousin. :)

Since I never did the wedding dress shopping thing myself (maybe some day), it was a complete learning experience. It really is a live version of Say Yes To The Dress. My cousin found a style she liked, but didn’t say yes to a dress at the first location.

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My cousin & I working the duck lips

She inevitably found her dress at appointment #2 of the day, which I wasn’t able to make.

While my Saturday afternoons were canceled last minute, I wouldn’t waste the time by getting in my BRICK workout with my #1 supporter the wife by my side.

She humored me while I blabbered on about nothing for two hours on the bike trainer and then jumped on her bike while I knocked out a quick 5k (26:34) to shake the legs out.

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She also listened to me curse out the wind for blowing in my face for the entire run. Not sure I could’ve said: “Are you serious wind?” any more than I did. Haha.

We decided to cook in on Saturday night and enjoy a lovely meal outside in the backyard, while the pups played.

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Please note: it is the wife who is drinking Pumpkin beer in August. #TheShame 

The wife made Skinnytaste’s Weeknight Skillet Sazon Chicken Tenders and it was delicious!! We paired it with our once a month treat of yellow rice (yum) and steamed broccoli.

After a fantastic dinner outside, we finally watched Muppets Most Wanted. It was cute but not nearly as good as the Muppet Movie from 2011.

Now while the wife got up early on Sunday to run I slept in until 7:15am – woah! Late I know. ;) But it was great to lounge around and snuggle some pups until she came home.

The Race To The Row 5k I was running on Sunday didn’t start until 9:30am AND was located across the street from my house which meant a late departure time. Boy I wish all of my races were that close.

It was a fun morning with lots of friends. I will post a recap of that race shortly.

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I wasn’t sure how my body would handle the race since I had done a 1.5 mile swim, 30 mile bike and 5k run the day before.

But as you can see it was pretty speedy. I ended up 79th overall and 10th in my division. Woo! I never reach the top 10 in my division so that was exciting.

Following the race I had a couple of hours of downtime before we headed to a wedding celebration for my friend Nicole and her partner Melsen. It was a lovely afternoon in Brookline with friends.

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They had a great spread and a make your own burritos area, which totally was up the wife’s alley. I ate most of the large salad they had available. :P

Our crew has gotten older and maybe more mature? Okay not at all more mature, but it was fun to come together to celebrate love and friendship.

With a busy weekend in the books, it was great to come home and just vet out for the rest of the evening.

I went to bed Sunday night with a happy heart, a complete Weight Watchers food tracker and renewed energy for the week ahead.

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Since we know I am – for now – just enjoying adult beverages on the weekend, here are a couple of the local brews I tried:

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Berkshire Brewing Company

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Tap Brewing Company (Haverhill, MA)

Both were full of hoppy goodness…

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Two other notes for this week:

1) I have a $10 off discount code for the Max Performance Buzzards Bay Sprint Triathlon on September 14.

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Use code: WOMSBUZZ14 (code expires Friday, August 29)

2) I am holding a giveaway for a free entry into the inaugural South Shore Half Marathon in Norwell, MA on November 2.

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Feel free to enter here.

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How did you stay active this weekend?

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#Giveaway: 3 Free Entries to take on the Big Bad Wolf

Annddddd the winners ARE:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Because Eddie O is such an awesome race director he is letting me give away not 3 but 5 entries to the race! WOOHOO!!

Thank you to everyone that entered. You can still register for the race! I hope to see you all there.

***

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

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Okay what if I say the Big Bad Wolf is ACTUALLY a 5-mile trail race in Ipswich, Mass?

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Don’t worry there aren’t any actual wolves or animals involved in the running of this race – just fun, trails, friends, laughs, and beer!! Well there might be a wolf or two on sight because…

The Second Annual Big Bad Wolf 5-Mile Trail Race will take place on Saturday, September 13 at Noon at the Wolf Hollow, a wolf sanctuary, in Ipswich, Mass.

Registration includes a great VERT shirt + free food & beer at the after-party (sponsored by NotchSlumbrewDowneast Cider & Ipswich Ale).

That’s right folks! Like all Cambridge 5k and VERT Races there will be an EPIC post-race party after the 5-mile trail race with a dance-off and great brews from four local breweries.

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Slumbrew Happy Soles love a good post-race party

Oh and there may be a costume contest too…

Run in your best wolf or wolf related running costume
and you could win a great prize in our post-race costume contest!

Now Ipswich may seem like a trek from Boston, but it really isn’t. With a Noon start for the race, you won’t have to wake up early to grab the commuter rail. Eddie O, race director extraordinaire, also has a free shuttle set up from the commuter rail to the race start.

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If you are nervous to check out your first 5-mile race or first trail run, the Big Bad Wolf is a great way to break into either! There is a great support system amongst runners, volunteers and spectators.

The course map is a loop so you never feel alone and see familiar faces all along the route.

Here’s a description of the course:

Fast & flat course over grass fields and dirt roads. The course starts & finishes @ Wolf Hollow and follows the Maplecroft Trail from Essex Road to Argilla Road and back. The course is well marked with signs and course marshalls. There is a water stop near the halfway point (polo field).

There are some slight inclines on the course, but nothing too strenuous like other trail runs might have. It truly is a course for all fitness levels.

I can’t wait to take on Big Bad Wolf for a second year with the Slumbrew Happy Soles.

So now that I have you psyched up for the trail race and party of 2014, it’s time to make it even better…

I am giving away not 1 but 3 entries!

Sayy wwhhaaa??? Raise the roof! Woo Woo!

I know.

So here’s how to enter.

The giveaway will run from Thursday August 14 (2pm ET) through Friday August 22 (10am ET)!

The winner will be selected and announced on Friday!

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Will You #RaceToTheRow With Me? *Race Entry Giveaway*

AND THE WINNER IS…..

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to everyone that entered! If you didn’t win, I still hope you will register for the race!! :)

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Amazing Race is coming back to Somerville.

Wait wait! That sounds misleading.

THE Amazing Race the show is not coming back to Somerville, but AN Amazing Race is.

The Somerville Road Runners are putting on the 2nd Annual Race To The Row 5k on August 24th at 9:30am!

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YAY!! 

I had a BLAST at the inaugural race last year. If you didn’t just click on “last year” and read the race recap, let me tell you it is the race where I set my current 5k PR of 21:59. Umm yeah so this race means A LOT to me. Plus it is less than a 5 minute walk from my house.

Since Assembly Row was under construction last year, I know the course will be even BETTER this year since Assembly Row is open and thriving. Here is a sneak peek at it.

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The race is a run or walk and is open to runners and families of all ages and abilities.

Additionally, there will be a Children’s Fun Run (age 9 and under) before the race with all kids getting a medal! Can I pretend to be an 8-year old? ;) I love a medal.

I will say the Fun Run was adorable to watch pre-race last year.

But more about the 5k:

The Race to the Row will run through the Assembly Square District and along the Mystic River, ending with a fun-filled post-race party with food and drinks served from the newest local restaurants and live music supplied by the IT Band! All proceeds will benefit the East Somerville Main Streets program (funding East Somerville business visibility and bolstering the community at large) as well as Somerville TrackPAC (provides college scholarships for Somerville High School students).

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Following last year’s race I enjoyed free Harpoon beer and food courtesy of Burger Dive. I know they will be offering free food and drink to participants again this year, but details have yet to be released.

The Assembly Row and race area are easily accessible via public transportation and offer ample parking options for those choosing to drive.

***

Now that I have you all drooling over the fun … it is time for the best part:

I have a FREE race entry to give away!

Lucky me!!

So here’s how to enter:

The giveaway will run from Monday July 28 (10am ET) through Friday August 1 (10am ET)!

The winner will be selected and announced on Friday!

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