Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock ‘N’ Roll Montreal 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!

Combined with my first visit to Quebec in four years, Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal provided the chance to reconnect with friends and explore even more of the city. As travel day approached, however, the extreme heat warnings began. Then, just four days before race day, on the eve of our departure, the unthinkable: the full marathon distance of Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal was cancelled! And so began a sweaty, humid and exhilarating weekend in Canada’s major French metropolis!

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Under Armour Eastside 10kA new course. Unexpectedly good weather. A title sponsor that helped deliver a fabulous race. This was the Under Armour Eastside 10k 2017! After two consecutive years of utterly miserable conditions – particularly last year’s torrential downpour – it was such a blessing to wake up on Saturday morning to mild temperatures and clear skies. As I hopped on a Mobi bike and pedalled along Pacific Street towards the Woodward’s Building, I felt a surge of anticipation. This was going to be a good day!

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James Cunningham Seawall Race

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the James Cunningham Seawall Race 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!

The James Cunningham Seawall Race holds a special place in my heart because it was among my very first races when I started running – among the first dozen, at least. Here are a few photos from 2010 and 2011, when I made the most of things:

2010 – I ran with my friend, Deanna (who was a spider). I donned a pair of wings and carried a wand to sprinkle fairy dust on everyone (?)

James Cunningham Seawall Race

2011 – Jean, Louisa and I dressed as mimes, and showed our Hallowe’en spirit.

James Cunningham Seawall Race James Cunningham Seawall Race

It was a very rainy day, and by the end I looked like a drowned rat / murderous mime. But oh the fun we had!

 James Cunningham Seawall Race James Cunningham Seawall Race

The James Cunningham Seawall Race has a prestigious place in Vancouver history. It’s the oldest consistently run race in the city of Vancouver, which is pretty cool. This year is its 47th iteration.

Who is James Cunningham?

Great question! I won’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve done a bit of reading on James “Jimmy” Cunningham. He was a Scottish stonemason who worked on the Seawall from 1931 until his death in 1963. When the race was started in 1971, the organizers wanted to recognize Cunningham’s contribution by name the event after him. I strongly encourage you to read about the history of the race here.

The Course

Lots of races include the Seawall as part of the course – including (but not limited to) the Summerfast 10K, the Great Climate Race, the SeaWheeze, and the BMO Vancouver Marathon. However, the James Cunningham Seawall Race is unique in that it makes a complete loop, and doesn’t make concessions or tweaks for distance: in fact, it’s an unusual distance of 9.62km. A great opportunity for a PB!

The Swag

This year’s James Cunningham Seawall Race includes an event shirt and a finisher’s medal.

The Costumes

Although just over a week before Hallowe’en, costumes are strongly encouraged at the James Cunningham Seawall Race! I’m not much of a costume runner myself, but I may just make another exception this year!

Event Details

When: Saturday, October 21 at 10:00am
Where: Starts at Second Beach in Stanley Park
Price: $55 until Sept 30;  $60 Oct 1 until race day
Stay connectedWebsite | Facebook | Twitter
Run the Seawall! Register here

PROMO CODE! Save 10% when using promo code BIBRAVE10 at registration!James Cunningham Seawall Race

 

hot chocolate seattleDisclaimer: I received a free entry to the Hot Chocolate Seattle 15K 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!

We’ve had a balmy summer here in Vancouver, and the past week has been no exception. So why am I thinking about hot chocolate? Well, although the race is still 6 months away, I’m pretty excited to be running my first ever RAM Hot Chocolate series race: the Hot Chocolate Seattle 15k!

What has me anticipating this race so far in advance? Let me tell you 5 reasons I can’t wait to run Hot Chocolate Seattle!

1. The City

Seattle is a great city! Although it’s just a few hours’ drive from Vancouver, we don’t get down there enough. However, last year some good friends of ours relocated from San Francisco, so we have even more reason to visit! Back in June, I had the chance to run Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon – and even had my own little cheer squad! Here’s hoping that the weather in March won’t keep them indoors!

If you’re already in Seattle, you know what a vibrant place it is. But if you need a reason to visit – either for the first time or as a regular – then Hot Chocolate Seattle is the sweetest excuse!

2. The Distance

I’ve run oodles of half marathons, and a whole bunch of 5k and 10k races. The 15k distance is not one that runners see very often. In fact, in my 8 years of running, I’ve only raced this distance once – at the VanRace 15k in 2015!

If you’re aspiring to run a half marathon, but haven’t quite worked your way up to that distance, the Hot Chocolate Seattle 15k could be just what you’re looking for. It’s a great ‘in between’ distance that provides a bit more challenge than a 10k, but isn’t quite as daunting as a half. Plus, you’re guaranteed to get a PB / PR!

For a course map, click here. Oh, and it’s a USATF-certified course, too!

3. The Shirt

Every 5k and 15k participant gets a long-sleeved pullover with their registration. The Hot Chocolate Seattle shirts are beautiful – technical fabric, three-quarter zip, striking colours, thumb-holes – even a zippered chest pocket! Just the thing to keep you warm and toasty in the dreary Seattle winter!

hot chocolate seattle

4. The Bling

I have always admired the medals of the Hot Chocolate series, and the bling for Hot Chocolate Seattle is no exception. There’s a fancy new design for the 2017-2018 series, plus an extra bonus…every city has its own unique keychain! Whether you’re a Seattle native or visiting from out of town, the Space Needle keychain will be a great reminder of this awesome race!

hot chocolate seattle

5. The Hot Chocolate

Ummm…OK. I admit that in the grand scheme of things, I’m more of a savoury guy. I love me my potato chips. HOWEVER, on a chilly winter day, there’s nothing better than a warm mug of hot chocolate. It comforts you more than any bag of sour cream ‘n’ onion chips ever could.

What about the selection at Hot Chocolate Seattle? Well, here’s a preview:

First of all, it’s all about dark chocolate (yum!) – and it’s both gluten- and nut-free!

Then, there are the sweets stations on course – these include:  M&M station, strawberry marshmallow station, chocolate chip station, and chocolate marshmallow station.

For hydration – because even when it’s cold (and possibly rainy), you need to stay hydrated – my favourite brand nuun will be at the aid stations! I know, nuun isn’t chocolate, but still worth mentioning!

Let this photo inspire you:

hot chocolate seattle

Race Details & Promo Code!

Have I whetted your appetite for Hot Chocolate Seattle? Here are some of the key details, so you can make your plans!

When: Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 6:45am
Price: 15K is $59 thru Sept 17; 5k is $39 thru Sept 17 (price increases again in January and February…so sign up soon!)
Stay connected: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Want all the chocolate? Register here

PROMO CODE! You’ll get bonus Hot Chocolate swag using the code BRHCSEA18 at registration. Codes for other Hot Chocolate series races can be found here.

Have you ever run a Hot Chocolate race before?
Share your experience with us!

hot chocolate seattle

SeaWheeze 2017

Upon the completion of the epic SeaWheeze Half Marathon in 2016, I figured it was probably a ‘one and done’ type of scenario. Although I enjoy the hype and the bling, my race tastes tend toward the smaller and more understated. However, when I was given the unexpected opportunity to run SeaWheeze 2017, I jumped at the chance! And do I have any regrets? Not a single one!

I’ve given the spiel before – SeaWheeze / lululemon / yoga / Vancouver – the SeaWheeze Half Marathon is one of those races that draws people from all over the world, that sells out in an hour, and that gets everyone talking. SeaWheeze 2017 was no exception!

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rock n roll montreal

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal 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 date, I’ve only had the opportunity to run two Rock ‘n’ Roll series races:

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Vancouver Half Marathon – in both 2014 and 2015 (sadly – the Vancouver RnR has since been cancelled)
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon2017

While I’m not entirely motivated by the hype and the bling of big races, I have enjoyed the Rock ‘n’ Roll races immensely. The events are well-organized, the participants and volunteers are enthusiastic, and the medals are arguably the best out there!

Montreal

With the cancellation of Vancouver race, Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal is now the only RnR event in Canada. Second only to Vancouver – which is arguably the most beautiful city in the country (but perhaps I’m biased…) – Montreal holds a place in my heart as the most vibrant, culturally exciting place in Canada!

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orange mud phone. flask. vest.

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Phone. Flask. Vest. 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!

Ever since I first heard about the Orange Mud brand, I’ve been wanting to try out their products. Something about the name really appeals to me (you know, me and orange, my signature colour!) – plus, their selection of gear is diverse and tremendously practical. You can imagine my excitement when I finally got the opportunity to review a brand new product – the Orange Mud Phone. Flask. Vest. (I’ll give you a hint: I was really excited!)

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