BOCO Gear hats review

Disclaimer: I received a BOCO Gear Trail Hat and 360º 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!

I’m an outside runner. Very rarely will you find me on a treadmill. I prefer being outside even if it’s 95º with 100% humidity. And because I run outside so much I sweat…a lot. So I’m always wearing a hat or visor to keep the sweat out of my eyes and to additionally protect my face from the harsh sun. I find that I almost always gravitate towards my BOCO Gear hats. They’re super lightweight, comfortable, keep the sweat out of my eyes and they’re machine washable. All huge wins for me.

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I have several varieties of BOCO Gear hats. The Technical Trucker, the 360º Visor, and the Trail Hat. For this post I’m reviewing the 360º Visor and the Trail Hat.

The 360º Visor would be my all-time favorite. I prefer visors. I have a long pony tail and a visor allows me to place it anywhere on my head without the hat getting in the way. The 360º Visor is great for so many reasons.

  • I love the internal sweatband that rests on your forehead. It really keeps the sweat out of my eyes during my run.
  • Wicking material on the outer also keeps the sweat away and helps keep you cool.
  • The elastic back fits my head without squeezing my brains out. Some visors are too tight with that elastic band (I have a big noggin). But the BOCO Gear 360º Visor just hugs it snuggly without giving me a headache.
  • Machine washable – HUGE, HUGE plus for me. I’ve thrown this thing in the wash so many times and it comes out like a champ every time. It gets really smelly after a couple of runs and being able to wash it frequently helps so much!

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Pretty much the exact same thing can be said for the Trail Hat.

  • It also has the great wicking sweatband at your forehead.
  • It’s made of wicking performance fabric
  • It’s super lightweight. I mean this thing weighs nothing!!
  • It’s a little different in that it has an adjustable back closure instead of the elastic band.
  • The Trail Hat also has a flat moldable bill, that can also be custom printed. Mine has a cute BibRave logo on the underside of the bill!

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If you haven’t tried a BOCO Gear hat, you’re truly missing out. They have a huge variety of designs and colors in the BOCO Gear store or you can even have them send you a quote for your own custom design! I promise you’ll be super happy with your purchase!

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Top 10 reasons to run the BCS Marathon

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the BCS 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!

If you’re looking for a great December race, look no further than the BCS Marathon and Half Marathon! It’s a great race, flat, fast, well organized, and beloved by runners. Here are the top 10 reasons to run this amazing race!

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10. It’s a fast, mostly flat course. This course is easy to fly and being USAT&F certified and a Boston Qualifying race, it’s perfect for that Boston attempt.

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9. With a marathon, half marathon, and kids race held on race weekend, it’s a great event for the entire family. You can make it a weekend of fun and exercise for everyone.

8.  You get to run through the gorgeous Texas A&M Campus. Majestic oak trees and historic buildings make for inspiring scenery.

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7. Plenty of time to finish the marathon and half marathon. With a 6.5 hour time limit it’s a good race for beginning runners and first time marathoners.

6. Post race beer and tons of food at the finishers festival! Margaritas, breakfast burritos, pizza rolls from Double Dave’s and and did I mention beer? So much good beer.

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5. While you’re in town, you can grab you some great Aggie gear at the MSC Bookstore and take home a little of the “Aggie Spirit”! Everyone looks good in maroon and white!

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4. Get you some yummy vitamin G post race at the Chicken Oil Company. There’s nothing I crave more than a good, greasy burger after a tough race and Chicken Oil Company has one of the best burgers around. Add on an order of Tijuana Fries and it’s a greasy, yummy, match made in heaven.

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3. You’re almost guaranteed good running weather. Bryan/College Station has a historical average of low 43º and high of 63º around race day. That’s perfect running weather!!

2. The BCS Marathon was voted one of the top 20 half marathons and top races for exceptional race organization for the Bibrave 100!

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  1. And the #1 reason…SO. MUCH. SWAG. You get a ton of great swag with this race. You get a participant shirt, a finisher’s medal and a swanky finisher’s jacket that you can wear year round for bragging rights!

 

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If any of this peaks your interest, there’s still time to register!! Go to the BCS marathon site right now and register to run this lauded race. And you can save 10% off your race entry with code BIBRAVER17.

Two things that should be on your running Christmas wish list

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the Health Warrior Chia Bar and the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 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 like finding and trying out new items for running. Sometimes they’re a winner and sometimes they’re just meh. If they’re a winner I integrate them into my weekly running routine easily. I tested out two new products recently and I’m now obsessed with them: the Heath Warrior Chia Bars and the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel (60L).

First let’s start with the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 60L. I fully expected this to be your standard, everyday gym bag type duffel. Boy, was I wrong! This thing is so much more! The people over at Eagle Creek really, really, REALLY thought this bag through. It’s features are truly made with the user in mind.

  • It’s ultra lightweight! It only weighs 1 lb 12 oz.
  • It can be carried as a backpack with padded straps. These are removable and it can be carried by the top handles alone as a duffel. I LOVE this feature since I schlep gear through airports a lot and I need hands free as much as possible. This was a HUGE selling point for me.
  • The fabric is abrasion resistant and water-repellant. Combine this with the huge side pockets and it’s great for stowing wet running clothes. I used these side pockets after a rainy trail run and my gear in the middle compartment stayed nice and dry.

  • Foam padded bottom to protect your contents for when you drop it on the ground…like me. I’m lazy and throw my bags around like crazy.
  • Lockable zippers with storm flap to shield the zipper from rain.
  • Six lash points to attach the bag to a roof rack. (I didn’t test this feature out but still cool!)
  • Folds in on itself when not in use into a much small package. I LOVED this feature too. I love that I can stow it away easily in my trunk or closet when I’m not using it or even put it in my luggage for an extra bag for all my souvenirs and SWAG.

Secondly the Health Warrior Chia Bars have now become a staple in my daily diet. I did not to expect to like these as much as I did. I really like things with chia and use chia a lot in my running fuel (smoothies, gels, etc.) so I was anxious to try these.

I got the Vanilla Almond and Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors and they came with this SUPER cute Marathon Training coloring book!!

Out of the two flavors I liked the Vanilla Almond the best. It seemed to meld the chia seeds, oats, nuts and nut butter flavors better than the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor. I’m not a huge chocolate fan (I know, I’m weird) but the chocolate and peanut butter flavors were mild in that bar.

These little guys are awesome. They are only 100 calories and 4g to 5g of sugar. They also pack a nice 3g of protein, 4g of fiber and 1100 mg of SUPER good for you Omega-3s. They’re perfect for a pre-run fuel or daily snack without weighing you down. It’s so hard to find a good snack that’s not loaded with sugar that I can carry around with me. These things are compact and really yummy. They helped curb the cravings and hunger monster. I find I’m now putting them in every bag and stashing a few in the car for snack emergencies. Ha!

The first ingredient is white chia seeds…a mega superfood. Chia is such a great fuel for runners because it has protein, carbs, fiber, and absorbs liquid to aid in hydration.

I enjoyed these so much I joined their reward program and have ordered 4 more boxes!!! EEP! You get discounts for your orders and just for following them on social media.

If you’re looking for something new to put on your or someone else’s running Christmas list, I highly recommend both of these products. Great companies, well-thought-out products, that are actually usable and tasty.

 

Running Virtually for Veterans

Have you ever done a virtual race? It’s where you sign up online, pay the fee, and you run the race anywhere you choose. You don’t have to travel to the race venue. Usually they mail you a medal after the race date for bragging rights. Sometimes they want you to verify your distance/time and other times (most often) it’s based on the honor system. Virtual races are a fun way to stay motivated without all the travel costs of location races and they’re usually done for a charity.

The DAV 5k has a virtual option just like this! You can sign up and run it wherever and whenever you like and you still get the great DAV 5k shirt and bib while supporting Disabled American Veterans. What a GREAT way to spend Veteran’s Day!

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If you want to participate in person, the Tulsa DAV 5k is being held on November 4th, the weekend before Veterans Day, at Guthrie Green. It is a run, walk, roll and motorcycle ride to thank those who served and raises awareness of the issues our ill and injured veterans face every day.

You can save $5 off your race entry with the code SAVE5 too!

All veterans, active-duty service members, reservists, National Guard and ROTC or service academy cadets are eligible for exclusive benefits on race day, including a free registration. Veterans may also participate in the DAV 5K using a wheelchair or hand cycle.
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Registration for all events is now open at www.DAV5K.org. If you don’t live near Tulsa, The DAV 5k is also holding races on November 4th in:
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Cinncinati
  • Newport News
  • San Antonio

But you’d better hurry and register! Online registration closes November 1st. Don’t miss out on a great race and a wonderful opportunity to support our disabled veterans.

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The DAV 5k Tulsa – Running for our disabled veterans

I love running races with a charity cause. I feel like I’m running for more than just myself and it often motivates me to push a little harder. The DAV 5k Run to Honor Veterans raises funds and awareness for disabled veterans across the country. Funds raised through the DAV 5k help the DAV connect veterans with health care, disability, employment, education, and financial benefits. It is presented by Disabled American Veterans and supported by USAA, their 2017 National Series Sponsor.

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The Tulsa DAV 5k is being held on November 4th, the weekend before Veterans Day, at Guthrie Green. It is a run, walk, roll and motorcycle ride to thank those who served and raises awareness of the issues our ill and injured veterans face every day.

All veterans, active-duty service members, reservists, National Guard and ROTC or service academy cadets are eligible for exclusive benefits on race day, including a free registration. Veterans may also participate in the DAV 5K using a wheelchair or hand cycle.
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Registration costs are $30 for adults and motorcycle riders and $15 for youth 6-17 and includes a race shirt, race bib, and timing chip. This year, there is also a Virtual Race registration at $40 where participants can run or walk wherever convenient. The DAV 5K is open to individual runners, walkers and motorcycles as well as groups who wish to form a team.
Registration for all events is now open at www.DAV5K.org. You can save $5 off your race entry with the code SAVE5 too! If you don’t live near Tulsa, The DAV 5k is also holding races on November 4th in:
  • Atlanta
  • Boston
  • Cinncinati
  • Newport News
  • San Antonio

But you’d better hurry and register! Online registration closes November 1st. Don’t miss out on a great race and a wonderful opportunity to support our disabled veterans.

 

Oofos Project Pink Sport Sandals Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the OOFOS OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandals 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 love my OOFOS sandals and shoes. Like, love, love them. I have several pair and I practically live in them. I swear they help keep my heel pain at bay. They are my go-to shoe for recovery and just lounging around the house or town.

OOFOS has a whole Project Pink line that I just love. $10 from every Project Pink Collection shoe purchased will go toward breast cancer research.

I received the OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandal to try out. I’ve been eyeballing these for a while but was hesitant to try them out because I have fairly narrow feet. I love sport sandals and had a pair for years that I just recently had to let go. But, with narrow feet, they can be hit or miss on the fit. If they’re too wide, they just flop right off. These were just perfect! Narrow enough that my feet fit in them snugly, but not too narrow that they were squeezed in.  Plus they have this super cute pink ribbon on the sides.

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These sandals are made with the same specially engineered OOfoam footbed that have made OOFOS so popular. They are soooo squishy and sooo comfy. Your feet seriously go “Ahhh” as soon as you put them on. It’s like walking on a bed of pillows. And the pillows don’t compress. They STAY FLUFFY and SQUISHY all day!

The technology behind the OOfoam allows the foam to absorb 37% more impact than traditional shoes, reducing the stress on your feet and body. This helps your joints and feet rest, relax, and recover. They also provide superior arch support and just really cradle your feet.

I actually wore these all day to Legoland recently and my feet and body felt great at the end of the day! They were great too because they dry out so quickly. We got soaked on The Quest for Chi ride and I was the only one with dry feet after a few minutes.

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I really like these OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandals a lot. They are super comfy and a good sandal option for the upcoming cooler months since you can easily slip them on over a pair of fun socks. You can even wear them for a little SpOOky fun for Halloween.

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A Review of SKINS™ A400 Compression Tights

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the SKINS™ A400 3/4 Skyscraper Compression Tights  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 love running in all things compression. I have a plethora of compression running sleeves and socks and have come to love running in compression tights just this last year.   SKINS™ manufactures all kinds of compression gear from bras to shirts to shorts to tights. What started in 1996 as an idea by an Aussie skier for better, longer performance has not grown into a multi-national company with over 160 products.

I had the opportunity to test out the A400 Skyscraper 3/4 Compression Tights. I personally like the 3/4 length because it’s perfect for our warm climate in Louisiana. I rarely have the need to wear full tights unless I’m traveling or racing further up north. We just don’t get that cold. I was a little leery about testing these out in September and October since we are always still in the upper 80s and 90s then. But one of the first things I noticed was how thin and lightweight the tights are. They didn’t feel overly hot when I got them on but they still offered a good amount of compression. This is due to their “ADAPTIVE Technology” which is supposed to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. I did not ever feel like I was overheating wearing these.

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I logged a couple of long runs and several short tempo runs in these and they really felt great. I really liked the wide waistband and higher rise to help tame my muffin top and support my abdominal muscles. The bonded hems and flat seams did not rub or chafe anywhere. The compression technology is supposed to minimize muscle vibration and drive more oxygen to your muscle which results in improved performance. I definitely felt the support from the calves all the way to my lower back and abs.

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I’ll break down the Pros and Cons for these tights.

Pros:

  • Thin material and lightweight so they’re great for warmer climates.
  • High rise really helped support my abs and lower back and tamed some of my middle area squishy bits.
  • I felt they offered a really good amount of compression. I definitely felt more supported and had less muscle vibration (or jiggling).
  • The flat seams and bonded hems were great. No chafing and no rubbing at all.
  • Reflective print on the side. This was an added bonus. I like running clothing that ads on reflective print. This is especially important with black tights.
  • The gusset design in the waistband is genius. It really improved the comfort and stretch and support all around the waist. No binding or pinching or rolling.

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Cons:

  • No key pocket. This bugs me. Most of their other models have a key pocket built in. For some reason the Skyscraper does not. I almost always run outside a few miles from home. I need a place to put my car key. I had to have my friend carry it for me a couple of times.
  • They can be a little see-through. These are not for the modest or for wearing wild undies underneath. Because they are thinner material they are a little transparent, especially in the booty as they stretch out. Just know this. I wore a long shirt and didn’t really care.

Overall I really liked these tights. I think they are a great addition to my training gear and will be usable year-round for me. I think the design was well thought out and executed.

If you would like to try out a pair of SKINS™ Compression tights you can save 20% off your order with code BIBRAVE20 through October.

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5k Crate Runner Subscription Box Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the 5k Crate Runner Subscription Box  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!

These days I think there’s a subscription box for everything: beauty, clothes, kids,  science for kids, dogs, cats, wine…you name it, there’s a subscription for it! I’ve seen several subscription boxes being advertised for runners as well. The reviews on some of them have not been too good. The boxes are often filled with random energy bars and gels and not much else. Well, this is NOT the case for 5k Crate. This box was crammed packed with some really, really cool runner gear.

First,  a little about 5k Crate. It’s a quarterly subscription service with each box designed specifically for runners. The subscription costs you $59.99 a quarter and they send you gear specified to your gender and size. You get 4 to 6 handpicked items each quarter and the shipping is free.

The gear in this quarter’s box did NOT disappoint. Inside the box there were:

  • A women’s Mission Vaporactive Alpha Short Sleeve V-neck T-Shirt – in my specified size. And in my favorite color…PINK! I really liked this shirt. It was moisture wicking, thin, and not too tight and clingy. I can see it becoming a repeat in my weekly running apparel.  (Value $25)
  • A Mission HydroActive Cooling Towel – I have a couple of these and they’re really nice on the hot, hot summer days we have in the South. (Value $10 – $15)
  • A pair of Zensah Peek Running Socks – Loved these! Such a cute color and great fit. Love Zensah’s products. (Value $14)
  • A pair of Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – Our team had mixed reviews on these but I honestly loved them. They fit well in my ears and didn’t pop out. They connected really easily to my iPhone and the battery life was pretty impressive. The sound quality was really great as well. I was very impressed by these headphones and they’re quickly turning into my new faves. (Value $27)
  • Two Epic Wipes – There’s a reason they market these as “The Massive Wet Wipe” because these things are HUGE! You can seriously wipe down your entire body with one huge wipe. It felt AMAZING after a hot, sweaty run. I used one right before I had to run to the grocery store after a run and I felt amazingly refreshed and not quite so stanky. I can see these being very versatile. (Value $5)
  • Two La Fresh Travel Lite Sunnyside Lotion Wipes – I threw one in my backpack and one in my purse for emergency sunblock if needed. They are each SPF 30. (Value $1)

As you can see there is well over $80 is merchandise and gear in the box and all of it is very relevant to any runner.  I liked everything that came in the box. You can get a little better view of everything in the box on my “unboxing” video below.

Adidas UltraBOOST X Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the adidas UltraBOOST X shoes 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!

Dear readers,

My name is Jen and I have a running shoe problem.

I love running shoes. Like, I LOVE, love them. I love trying out different shoes and learning all about the research and technology that goes into making a running shoes. I love all the technical data surrounding running shoes. I’m lucky in that I have a very neutral stride. I don’t over pronate or supinate. This allows me to try out all kinds of neutral running shoes without too much issue. I can switch shoes easily so long as they fit well.

A couple friends of mine had recently switched to the adidas running shoes and were raving about them. One of the ladies in my running group swears by them and trained for her first marathon in a pair of the UltraBOOST. So, needless to say, I was jumping for joy when I got the chance to test out the new adidas UltraBOOST X

One of the first things you notice about these shoes is the super cool colors. I fell in love with the “glow orange/core black” color. I mean, they just LOOK cool. I felt like my coolness factor shot up 100 points as soon as I put them on.

The second thing I noticed was how lightweight they were. They weigh about 8.3 oz. – lighter than the 9.0 oz some of my other shoes weigh. They are deceivingly much lighter than they appear. The adidas Primeknit upper and ultra lightweight boost cushioning help keep the ounces down.

I have a very narrow foot so I do need a shoe that isn’t too wide or else I feel like my foot is just flopping around in the shoe. The adidas Primeknit upper is almost like putting on a sock. It’s super stretchy and lightweight. It essentially hugs your foot when you put it on. There’s no tongue, no nasty seams to rub blisters, and no stiff back behind your heel. It’s all one big, stretchy foot hug.

One of the coolest things about this shoe is the adaptive arch. It’s hard to tell from my pictures but there is a sizable gap between the boost cushioning sole and the adidas Primeknit upper. The arch is designed to adapt to your foot to give you a better run. I could feel the arch support between the adidas Primeknit and laces hugging my foot.

The shoes are also outfitted with the boost cushioning. This cushioning is supposed to be responsive, meaning the more effort and energy you put in, the more it will give right back.

I definitely noticed that they were a little stiffer in the soles than some of my other running shoes. This took a little getting used to for me. After about 3 shorter distance runs in them I really, really started to like them and get used to them. The heel to toe drop was a little more than a lot of my other running shoes at 10 mm. I could feel the drop difference and stiffer sole definitely in the bottom of my feet after a longer run. On the shorter distance runs (3, 4 and 5 milers) I had zero issues. I would just have to ease into the longer distances in these shoes. I personally LOVED them for my short runs.

I loved how easy they were to get on and off with that stretchy, super comfy adidas Primeknit upper. No rubbing seams on my toes was a big, BIG plus in my book. My toes tend to curl up and I wear out the top of my shoes a lot.  I can see these lasting longer since they were so stretchy and adaptive to the way my foot fit in them.

Finding the right socks to go with them was a little trial and error too. They are low profile and to me, ankle socks just looked weird. I also felt that my normal, slightly padded socks just didn’t feel right in the shoe. They were almost too much sock for this shoe. I had to switch to a much thinner, lower profile sock and I was happy.

I’m really loving these shoes for all my shorter runs right now. I’m slowly breaking them in on some mid-distance runs (8ish + miles) and hope to work them up to a half marathon distance soon. In fact, I wore them to a recent 5k this weekend and took home 1st place in my age division!! They are absolutely some of the most responsive shoes I’ve ever worn. I really liked them and will definitely consider purchasing another pair once these wear out. They are a definite addition to the shoe rotation.

Global Running Day Local Race Discounts

It’s one of my favorite days of the year!! It’s GLOBALRUNNING DAY!! I look forward to this day every year. I love hearing about everyone going out to log their run. I love reading all of the runner stories; how people started running, how they’ve come to love running, how much they’ve accomplished through running. It’s such a hugely motivating day!

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If you haven’t already, you can get you a nifty Global Running Day badge here by pledging how many miles you plan to run today.

Oiselle is also doing a cool Global Running Day – Relay Around the World. They’re trying to get running participation in every time zone around the world!

 

  • Take a picture of yourself running on Wednesday, June 7th 2017 in your favorite #flystyle
  • Post in Twitter, Facebook, and/or Instagram
  • Tag @Oiselle (so we can find you!)
  • Use #OiselleWorldRelay + #[Your Time Zone Abbreviation] ex. #OiselleWorldRelay #EST
  • Follow Oiselle to follow the fun!
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Sporting my #flystyle Roga shorts for the #OiselleWorldRelay!

There are a TON of race discounts for Global Running Day as well! I’m just going to break down a few local ones around South Louisiana:

Run for FREE tonight with the New Orleans Track Club as part of their Summer Series kick off. Sign up to become a new member and you get a really cool t-shirt for free too!

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The Northshore Half Marathon (Mandeville, LA) is offering 20% off your race entry with code RUNDAY

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The Battleship 12k (Mobile, AL) is offering 22% off your race entry with code RUNDAY2017.

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The Big Easy Running Festival (New Orleans, LA) is offering $10 off your race entry with code RUNDAY

The Shamrockin’ Run 8k (New Orleans, LA) is offering $10 off your race entry with code RUNDAY

The Louisiana Marathon (Baton Rouge, LA) and theMississippi Gulf Coast Marathon (Biloxi, MS) are offering 15% off your race entry with code RUNDAY2017

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The Jazz Half Marathon (New Orleans, LA) is offering $25 off your half marathon entry with code NRD2017 and $10 off the 5k entry with code NRD5knrdweb.jpg

The Best Damn Race New Orleans is offering $5 off your entry with code RUNDAY.

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans – save $29 off your entry with their 24 hour sale. They’re having a huge sale on all the RnR races.

I’ll post edits as I see any more coming in. Now get to registering and I’ll probably see you at the start line!