Ghosted…the only acceptable way-Brooks Ghost 14 Review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Brooks Ghost 14s 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!”

To say I was just a little bit hype when I learned I would be product testing the new Brooks 14s, would be an understatement. I have run in Brooks for a number of years, with the Ghost model being my favorite. Brooks has been really good over the years at evolving their technology, which has kept their customers running happy. Let’s take a closer look at the new Ghost 14s and some of it’s highlights.

Carbon Neutral
The Ghost 14 are Brooks first carbon neutral running shoe. You may ask what does that mean, will that means this technology is assisting Brooks in achieving a zero carbon emissions by year 2040, which will aid in a healthier planet. Brooks to a major step in converting materials used in their shoes to goods that were recycled. I don’t know about you but we got to make taking care of Earth a major objective, after all we only get one. Any company that is doing their part to protect our Earth, deserves to be supported.

DNA Loft Cushion Technology
The dna loft cushion makes sure you have a soft ride and your feet stay happy. Brooks DNA Loft is made up of: EVA foam, rubber, and air. If you have been wearing Brooks as long as I have you might wonder how the DNA loft stacks up with some of Brooks’ previous technologies, like: DNA Amp, Flash and BioMoGo. Lets take a look at a quick comparison:

  • DNA AMP has the highest energy return, offering a super springy ride that propels you through your run.
  • BioMoGo DNA hits the sweet spot between softness and responsiveness: it’s not as soft as DNA LOFT, but feels softer than DNA AMP.
  • DNA FLASH is our lightweight cushioning, built for speed. Soft but not quite as plush as DNA LOFT, you’ll find DNA FLASH only in our fastest racing and training shoes. DNA FLASH technology is also infused with nitrogen.

Test Drive
The most important thing is how well they feel during workouts/runs, because everything else goes out the window. I took these Ghosts out for a few runs that ranged from 3 miles, up to 10 and they did NOT disappoint. The softness of the cushion was real and I didn’t find that my feet were tired after the runs, even if they had just been pounding the pavement for up-teen miles. They fit snug to my feet, while a nice bouncy tread. Bottomline, if my feet are happy, I AM HAPPY.

Recommendation
If you are a Brooks shoe fan, even if you aren’t a usual Brooks wearer, you will not be disappointed in this shoe. Snug fit, light and they come in an array of colors for both men and women. Added benefit….your feet will look great in those post training run shoe pics.

Welcome Back IRL racing- Philadelphia Marathon recap

After almost 2 years, I finally happy to toe the line at my first marathon since the pandemic wrecked havoc on the world and running community. The race…Philadelphia Marathon. I was scheduled to run this race last year and deferred to this year, rather than getting a refund. I admit I was still a little nervous knowing I would be in the presence of thousands of other runners, not knowing if they were has vigilant as I was in trying to stay safe during the pandemic. My worry eased a bit, when we received an email from the Philadelphia Marathon about 6 weeks prior to the race that they were requiring all runners to have proof of vaccination to participate. For those that didn’t want to do that, the option was provided to go virtual or defer to 2022.

Now that I decided to run the race in person, the decision loomed on whether my family would make the trip with me. We ultimately decided that they would not because my son is only 4 and we wanted to protect him. Although I really wanted them there, and ultimately I think it played a part in how I ran the race, I think it was the right thing to do.

The marathon was on Sunday, I decided to arrive on Friday evening so that I had a day to just relax and rest my legs heading into race day. The half marathon was ran Saturday, so I was able to walk a block from my hotel and see the runners come through. After cheering on the runners, I took the half mile walk to get to the expo. They seem to have a good system in place for entry, with one line for runners with their vaccination cards and another for the runners who uploaded their cards to Crowdpass ahead of time(i was the latter). I also made the decision to purchase my items online, so all i had to do was pickup them from the store. The expo itself, left much to be desired. It was very small for a race this size but I am sure Covid restrictions paid a part in how many vendors were allowed in the establishment, etc.

Race morning arrived, I woke up about 3:30am to begin preparation. Temps were in the high 30s, so I opted to bring a throw away jacket since my legs rarely get that cold. The race provided shuttle buses from several locations downtown, one being about 50 yards from my hotel. I hopped on the shuttle that left about 5:15am. All runners were required to mask up on the bus. We arrived at the starting line about 10 minutes later and got through security without issue. 

Race began promptly with the elites being sent off a couple minutes after the wheelchair participants. My wave starting around 7:15am. It was good to see so much crowd support out there, it is probably one of the things I missed the most during covid shutdown. One thing I noticed around mile 4 was…there were way more hills than I was expecting. The Philadelphia Marathon promotes itself as “flat and fast”, but it was anything but flat. Luckily, where I live is lots of hills so I was trained for them…I just hoped I didn’t have to run on them in the race. Lol. The hardest point of the race is probably the miles 19 through 21. This is because this part of the race is a run out and turnaround to head back to finish line. So, you are heading towards mile 20 and you see runners coming back on mile 24-25. The last 3 miles were tough as they were mostly uphill, but I endured and finished with my second fastest marathon time of 3:45(I ran a 3:41 2 years prior). I feel subconsciously, I did not push myself the way I would have if my family was there. I don’t think I wanted to risk anything happening and not having any support there with me.

All in all, it was a great race weekend and Philadelphia did a good job in managing it safely. Thank you Philly and welcome back to IRL racing.

Bittersweet-Virtual Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte Review

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to run the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte 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 most of you know, over the past year, Virtual has become the new now. Virtual meetings through Zoom and Google Meet, virtual races to somewhat fulfill the void left with the lack of IRL races. The AllState Hot Chocolate 5K/15K Charlotte was not any different as most if not all the Hot Chocolate series has decided to go virtual. I have run the Charlotte installment of the series since it’s inception, so although it pains me not to be able to travel to Charlotte to run, I was happy to have the opportunity to knock it out locally and keep my streak going for the 4th year in a row.

SWAG
To start, I am always impressed about how thorough the race organizers are about getting your race packets out to you in a timely fashion. I received an email about 2 weeks before the race, letting me know my packet had been mailed and included tracking information. I received my package about a week before raceday. I personally treated it like a IRL race and refused to open my package until I had earned it. I took the package with me the morning I planned to do the race and tore it open as soon as I was finished.

And can we talk about swag…SWAG. I have lone said that Hot Chocolate is one of the best races as far as swag goes. Let’s take a look at what I found when I popped open my package.

Jacket
Good quality, full zip black jacket. Hot Chocolate emblem on the chest and removable hood.

Medal
Cool medal in the shape of a chocolate bar, that opens up to reveal a little piece of chocolate.

BIB
2 Packs of dark chocolate hot chocolate
2 pieces of chocolate

Honey Stinger

Nuun
A sample of CBD ointment

The Run 

I couldn’t have picked a better day to run this virtual race, although some would say it was too cold. I think the temps were low 30s but felt like 26 with the wind chill. PERFECT! I picked a route that I was familiar with and only had a couple spots that required me to cross over a 2 lane street. I admit, I am totally not big on virtual races because I find it harder to push myself and I always liked to feed off the race spectators. Regardless, I set out and just let my legs do what they wanted. When I finally reached my 9.3 mile mark, I had finished with a 2 minute PR for 15K distance. Couldn’t wait to go to the website and upload my time. So that’s it, another Hot Chocolate in the books and looking forward to racing it IRL in 2022.

Embrace the Turtle 🐢-Turtle Gloves Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Turtle Gloves Midweight Winter soft gloves 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!

FEAR THE TURTLE

As winter approached, one of the many things I started to think about is “winter running”. I mean i run outside all year long so I am always looking for ways to avoid frostbite and keep my digits properly circulated. I had heard of turtle gloves but never owned a pair….and to be totally honest, I never seen myself running with mittens. I have always had some version of 5 finger gloves with the fingertip material so you could still use your touchscreen. The opportunity presented itself and I couldn’t pass it up.

AVAILABLE COLORS

There is no lack of variety when it comes to color choices. There is sure to be one or two colors that tickle your fancy.
*Charcoal w/ Orange Trim

*Charcoal w/ Blue Trim

*Charcoal w/ Kelly Green Trim

*Kelly Green

*Lime Yellow

*Orange

*Pink

*Red Crimson

*Royal

SIZES

FEATURES

*Technical Fabrics

*Wicking & Breathable

*Wind Resistant

*Water Repellent

*Adjustable Venting

PERFORMANCE
I was delighted at how these turtle gloves performed. I am an early morning runner so it wasn’t too hard to find some mornings that were cold enough to put this mittens to work. On each of my runs, i started with them in mitten form and by mile 1, my hands would already be sweating. Each time I would have to convert the mittens to fingers out version to finish the run. Throughout the run, I never had any feeling of cold or freezing from my hands which is a big difference from the normal gloves. Previous gloves I have tried would often require me adding some handwarmers to make sure I didn’t get frostbite.

RECOMMENDATION
Without a doubt, I recommend this turtle gloves to any winter runner or anyone doing anything outside in the cold; going to a parade(those were the days), etc.

Are you ready to order your own? Visit turtlegloves.com and use code TURTLEBIBRAVE for 15%.

Savannah Bridge Run (virtual) Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Savannah Bridge Run(virtual) 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!

With the pandemic wrecking havoc on everyone’s running calendars, I took the time to start looking into some virtual races. My rationale being virtual races will help keep me motivated to crush out the weekend miles through the winter months. I had heard about the Savannah Bridge Run in previous years, so when I was given the opportunity to participate virtually, I jumped on it.

Not only was the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run ranked in The Bibrave top 20 of races under 10 miles, but runners also refer to it as “The South’s Toughest Bridge Run. Although I certainly missed the opportunity to run of the beautiful bridge in Savannah, I made sure to incorporate some bridges in my virtual run. 

I chose the Double Pump Challenge, which consists of a 5K, followed immediately by a 10K. I took on the strategy of taking the 5K a little faster and coasting through the 10K. I knocked out the 5K in a time of 22:20. I followed that up with a 10K time of 51:50. The weather probably accounted for why I didn’t see very many runners out on the trail.

Post run was very organized, as the race provided a link for you to upload a screenshot of your completed run and also an opportunity to submit a photo for a contest. All finishers swag will be mailed out after 12/5 and I plan to update this blog with some pics.

Hopefully some normalcy will return soon and maybe i will be able to participate the Bridge Run in person for 2021. Until then find you some fun virtual races and keep running. Running Is Not Cancelled.

Let’s face it, it’s the new Norm- Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask Review

Disclaimer: I received a Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask 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”

It’s been a while since my last post, and the world has gone through more than a few changes. Most, if not, all of us have had our entire race calendar cancelled due to Covid-19. I was lucky enough to get 1 live race in before everything started to shut down. As runners we are starting to have to embrace the new norm(or new norm for the time being), which involves face covering and social distancing. So when the opportunity to test Body Helix new face mask was presented, I jumped at the chance.

Let’s look at the tale of the tape for the Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask:

1. Reusable and Washable:
it goes without saying, most people want something that can be washed and reused vs having to keep buying disposable items

2. Flexible, closed-cell fabric which prevents the transmission of water, viruses and germs

3. Disposable filters 

4. Large over-the-ear strap helps reduce the ear soreness you typically get when wearing something for an extended period of time on your over your ears.

5. Very Light and fabric is only 0.5mm which helps during hot temperatures

6. Optional nasal bridge controls air leakage and also helps reduce the dreaded glasses fog

7. Simple measurement helps to ensure more customizable fit for your mask and maximize protection.

Installing the filter

Style
As far as masks go, this is one of the more stylish ones I have seen. I kind of felt like Bane(from Batman) when I was out running or Jason in Friday the 13th, depending on who you ask. Lol

Test Runs

Let me start by saying, I’ve never run with any type of anything covering my nose and mouth. Even in cold weather, I will still have my nose uncovered so I knew this was going to be a new experience. The summer heat has been no joke here in NC, and it is made even worse by the high humidity percentages. The first morning I went out on a 10 mile run, temps were 77 degrees and the humidity was 100%. I know….I know.. pure torture. I was amazed at how easy it was to breath while running in the ultra light mask. I was able to breath freely through the miles but I did have to stop and remove to get hydration.

My second run was a shorter distance but I experienced the same results. My breathing was fine, but again the high humidity just made everything more difficult so mask was soaked with sweat by the end.

RECOMMENDATION
This is a product I would recommend, not only because of the current state of the world but I can see myself using it after we finally get through this Covid craziness. The only thing I could see as an improvement would be if they design a snap in for the disposable filters, rather than adhesive. This will take out the issue of trying to line it up so that all the holes are covered. Head over to bodyhelix.com and grab yours. Use code BR15 to get 15% off your order of $40 or more.

Here are what some of my fellow BRPs had to say

Jessica Danielle

Safety is the New Sexy-Road iD Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a Road iD sidekick 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

Safety when you are out biking or running is essential, so what if you could make safet…SEXY. Enter the great people of Road iD.

Quick  Background
The idea of road iD was born in 1999, when one of the co-founders was training for his first marathon and almost became a road pancake by a truck. Lucky for him, he wasn’t hit but if he had been, he would have been rushed to hospital as a John Doe because he had no identification on him. Edward and his father created road iD in the basement a few months later. 

Styles
One of the first things you notice when you go to their websites, is just how many styles of road iD is available. Let’s take a look at your options.

Wrist ID $19.99-$39.99
Just like it sounds, the wrist ID is id that you wear directly on your wrist. About the size of a fitbit, it carries all your emergency information engraved on a small metal plate. You have 3 styles to choose from Stretch, Sport or Elite.

Pet iD $19.99
Man/Woman’s best friend can be lost too, enter the pet iD. It attaches securely to dog collars up to ½” wide(small) or ½”-1” collars(med/large). It is secured to the collar so you hear no jiggling. 

Sidekick iD $19.99

This is the one I chose for myself. The sidekick attaches to the band of you Fit Bit band or Garmin band. I like to minimize the amount of things I wear as much as possible(makes me faster), so being able to just add the iD on something that I already wear instead of having to wear a totally new item, won me over. The stainless steel plate just easily slides right over your band in seconds. You can get the faceplate in rose gold, graphite or slate.

Apple ID $29.99
Just as the name suggests, this id will fit the band of your apple watch series 1 through 5.

Kids iD $19.99

I know no one misplaces their kids, but just in case your kids decide to venture out in the park one day, you have the kids id. These are made of durable silicone and comes in several fun colors including sandcastle and electric.

Accessories
After you pick out your iD, put your own touch to it by adding some accessories. From bands and clasps, to my favorite badges. They have a whole library of badges you can add to your band like: 13.1, 26.2, Bike, Believe, Run, etc.

Ordering Process

Ordering is as simple as easy as it can get. After picking out your iD, the site walks you through the steps to entering your engraving. They do a good job of providing suggestions for what you should put on each line. You can either follow their suggestions or wing it and put whatever you like(24 character limit for each of the 4 lines) Once your order is submitted, they do a great job of keeping you updated on the process of your order through the shipping.

I know you are ready to order your own, right… Visit www.roadid.com and use code SAVE25BRP to score 25% off.

Chocolate Dreams-Allstate Hot Chocolate Charlotte race recap

I received an entry into the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte as being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about becoming a bibrave pro (ambassador), as well as, find read and write race reviews on bibrave.com.

For the 3rd year in a row (every year since it’s been in Charlotte) I ran for chocolate. This year was a little different as upon completion, i would be a legacy runner. It was never a sure thing as my son had been sick and i had been fighting something for a few days leading up to the race. I was still coughing but i figured i had enough to at least finish the miles.

I didn’t even consider trying to PR, instead i settled on a B goal of trying to maintain a sub 8 pace. It is a hilly course but nothing I’m not used to. Mile 6 is the great equalizer and typically separates the runners as it’s a street that is an incline for about ¾ mile. The amount of spectators on the course is low, but I’m hoping they will increase in coming years. As I mentioned, the race had only been around 3 years so still fairly new. I accomplished my B goal and while doing that actually ended up being about 20 seconds from a PR(I was unaware 🤷🏾‍♂️)

What really sets Hot Chocolate races apart are the swag and finish line treats. This year’s swag was a full zip jacket, with ample lining to keep you warm on those cold days. The men’s color was a light blue and ladies was magenta. The finish line treats consist of: hot chocolate, melted chocolate, marshmallow, rice crispy treats, pretzels, banana and honey stinger waffle. This was on top of the finisher’s medal and extra legacy medal.

Hot Chocolate 15k was a success and I got my chocolate fix, as always. Put this one on your race calendar for 2021.

Give Good Vibez-AfterShokz Aeropex Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Aeropex headphones 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 rave reviews!”

I’ve been an Aftershokz customer for a number of years so when I was presented with the opportunity to try out the new Aeropex as part of their “Give Good Vibez” campaign, I was all in. Let’s first talk about the Give Good Vibez campaign because I think it’s a sweet deal and great idea.

So what is it? Starting on Black Friday, while supplies last, whenever you purchase a pair of headphones you get a pair of Aftershokz Titanium FOR FREE. You read that correct, you get a free pair of headphones and all Aftershokz is only asking you gift them to a deserving person. I chose to gift my headphones to the owners of Boricua Soul. This couple started a food trucks couple years ago with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. The food they serve is a Puerto Rican and soul food fusion. Recently they opened their first brick and mortar location, so they are super busy. The headphones will help, especially on the truck, to allow them to answer calls but still be able to hear their customers. I captured the moment I presented it to them on IGTV, so you should definitely head over to Instagram and check it out.

Now let’s talk about these awesome new Aeropex headphones. Prior to this I had been a loyal user of the Aftershokz Airz, so I was interested to see how they stacked up. I will do my review based on the differences between the two.

COLOR

Airz: Black, Grey, Red, Midnight Blue

Aeropex: Black, Grey, Red

BATTERY LIFE

Aeropex Airz

8 hours 6 hours

CHARGE TIME

Both are fully charged in 2 hours

WATER RESISTANCE

The Aeropex are waterproof, while the Airz are water resistance.

WEIGHT

Aeropex are actually 4 grams LIGHTER than the Airz.

PRICE

AEROPEX $159.95

AIRZ $119.95

After all that, I think I found a new model of Aftershokz! You can’t argue with increased battery life, waterproof and with the same awesome sound quality. Yes, they are slightly more than Airz but I think the update is worth it. Sign up for give good vibes and bless a deserving person, after you make your purchase. Sign up here: givegoodvibez.aftershokz.com