Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes (IA) – FIVE (5) Free Entries & 30% Off Discount Code

As we are staring down the end of 2014, many of us are putting together our race calendar for 2015. I know I am!  I particularly like a few spring/summer races set up going into a nasty winter because it forces me to keep moving, when I’d rather be hibernating.  So, I’ve been looking at the calendar and one of the races I’ve been watching for the last 3 years has moved to early June.  The Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes, Half & Marathon Relay is on June 14, 2015 in Marion, Iowa. 

Marion Rotary For Shoes_logo

Who still needs the state of Iowa?  I do! I’ve registered for the 2015 Marion Rotary Marathon for Shoes and will soon be coloring in Iowa!

Marion, IA is located just north of I-80 about 4 hours from Chicago and is centrally located for Wisconsin residents too!  This is the 3rd year for this race, the first two years focused on creating the perfect race, year three is focused on growth.  So let’s help Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes  GROW!  They have a great charity component and the number of runners directly effects the number of kids they can help each year.  More on the charity below:

marion shoes

The Marion Rotary Marathon for Shoes is a charitable marathon designed to raise support for Shoes for Kids, a program of the Marion-East Cedar Rapids Rotary Club, as well as other rotary supported initiatives.

​More than 10,000 children in Cedar Rapids Metro Area schools qualify for free or reduced lunch. Many of these students have other unmet needs, as basic as shoes. Shoes for Kids provides health administrators in the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area with “shoe cards,” valued at $20 each to Payless Shoe Source. Cards are distributed to students with inadequate footwear.

​Many times, with parental permission, the school nurses or counselors actually take the kids shopping for shoes. We often hear of this being the first time these students have bought their own new pair of shoes. The program began in 2003 and has provided more than $45,000 in shoes to needy children. Each year the need outweighs the financial resources.

​The Marion Rotary Marathon for Shoes will allow us to grow this program across our community and region.

So as I’ve said, I’m all in to try to help get the word out about this race and also help the kids of the Cedar Rapids area.  Bonus, I get to run PLUS color in another state on my map.  Smile

image

Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes has generously offered FIVE (5) free entries to be given away.  The free entries may be used for either the full ($60 value) or the half marathon ($30 value).  They want YOU and ALL YOUR FRIENDS to come see what Iowa and the City of Marion have to offer.  In order to be entered in the drawing you can do one, or all of the items listed below.  Just let me know in the comments what you did so that I can give you the appropriate number of entries!  Maximum possible entries per person =  6. 

  1. 1 entry – comment below and tell us how you pick your races.  Location?  Timing?  Charity component?  Or do you just go where your friends go?
  2. 1 entry – Like Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes on Facebook HERE.
  3. 1 entry – Follow Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes on Twitter HERE.
  4. 3 entries – Share this giveaway with your friends via your favorite social media channel.  Tag me so that I can see it!  Otherwise, I’ll ask for the link if you win via a social media share.  It’s super easy to just retweet my link, or share my facebook post.  Or you can go to the bottom of this post and share it that way. 

Good luck!  I’ll select the 5 winners on Tuesday, December 2nd at 9am. 

If you want to register now, go HERE and you can use the 30% off discount code:  MARION201515.  This code brings the marathon entry down to $42, can’t beat that deal!!  Or the code will bring the half marathon down to $21.  Now that’s a deal too! 

See you in Marion for the 2015 Marion Rotary Marathon For Shoes!

Amanda – TooTallFritz

Advertisements

WINNER of the SOL REPUBLIC Punk Wireless Speaker …..

Lots of excitement about the SOL REPUBLIC Punk Wireless Speaker!  Glad everyone thinks this thing is as cool as me and my family! 

image_thumb3

The Punk Wireless Speaker retails for $69.99 at Best Buy HERE and SOL REPUBLIC HERE.  However, one lucky reader will receive it for FREE.  The random number generator selected #8.

image

#8 is Melissa Madorma!

image

Melissa, please email me your address so that you can get ahold of this Punk Wireless Speaker ASAP!  Congrats!

If you, like me, can’t get enough SOL REPUBLIC, follow them on social media for the most up to date news on their amazing products. 

I hope your holidays are amazing, filled with love, joy and lots of music!

Amanda  – TooTallFritz

SOL REPUBLIC Punk Wireless Speaker Review & Giveaway …..

I’m not exactly sure where the year has gone but like it or not, the holidays are upon us.  I’ve slowly started to Christmas shop and Michael already found everything I had hidden for him specifically because I need to budget for it this year in a different way than ever before.  So start slow and space it out, right? 

Even though I’m on a budget, I still like to give killer gifts!  Therefore, I wanted to talk about the SOL REPUBLIC Punk Wireless Speaker NOW before I get lost in the holiday shuffle! 

image

SOL REPUBLIC is known for delivering amazing sound in everything they produce.  I have multiple SOL REPUBLIC items and love each and every one of them.  Definitely my favorite retailer for sound.   However, the Punk Wireless Speaker is a bit different than their other products because this speaker was built to go wherever you go. 

SR_SM_Punk-1024x512-7

It’s small.  Like fits in the palm of my hand small.  My wallet is larger than this speaker!  It easily fits in my purse, gym bag and the pocket of my vest. 

IMG_5677

It has a mounting thread on the bottom of the speaker to mount to your bike.

IMG_5681     Punk_bike

It was built to take a hit and keep on blasting those tunes. 

Beware of PUNK. Smaller, tougher and louder than you would expect. Play it everywhere and take it anywhere. PUNK is fearless. Not afraid of water, dirt, or getting kicked around and gutsy enough to play music loud. If you won’t break the rules, PUNK will.

So parents, if your kids (or you) want a wireless speaker that can roll down the stairs, get wet, dirty and keep on playing, this might be for you.  I specifically wanted this speaker for my sun room which has a hot tub.  I know you are all thinking, “hot tub, that’s so cool”, well it’s not cool, it’s hot!  It gets hot and steamy in there, like a sauna.  It’s not a great place for a fancy sound system!  The wireless range on the Punk Wireless Speaker is 60+ feet.  I set up a play list on my phone, start the speaker, leave my phone high and dry in the house and take this little guy out in the “sauna like” sun room with me.  Sound quality is excellent.  It plays LOUD.  And the battery life lasts for around 8 hours.  I’ve used the Punk every single day since it’s arrived, in and out of the sun room.  Smile    Love this thing!

IMG_5590    IMG_5591

One last thing, that’s important if you are as UN tech savvy as me, is that the Bluetooth hooks up easily.  I don’t mess too much with technology.  In fact, when iPods were “wired” and I had to plug into the computer, it was a train wreck, my iPod was never updated and at this point I don’t even have a computer with an active iTunes account.  Bluetooth was invented for people like me.  It’s easy.  I can quickly/easily pair my iPhone with any SOL REPUBLIC wireless speaker.  I just go into my settings, click on Bluetooth and my phone searches for the speaker (which needs to be on).  The Punk speaker pops up and I select it.  After that initial pairing it hooks up automatically.  So easy!  IMG_5682

The Punk Wireless Speaker retails for $69.99 at Best Buy HERE and SOL REPUBLIC HERE but we have one to giveaway FREE to a lucky reader!!  In order to be eligible to win, please comment below and tell us what you plan to do with the Punk Wireless Speaker if you win!  Are you keeping it or giving it to a lucky someone as a gift?!?!?  Tell us!!  Giveaway starts NOW and ends next Friday, November 21st at 9am.  Good luck!

Watch SOL REPUBLIC on the social media channels below for the most up to date news on their amazing products. 

I seriously hope you rock out at every holiday gathering you attend.  Music makes the soul happy, take the PUNK and go get those parties started or if you aren’t into parties, you can just listen to it while you work, like I do.

** The Punk Goes Where You Go ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Hipster Hands Free Leash Giveaway Winner!!!

Thanks so much to everyone who commented and entered the giveaway for the Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster Leash!  Please note that this giveaway was sponsored by Dog Fence DIY!  Huge shout out of THANKS to them!

I absolutely love the fact that so many people are active AND totally in love with their pooch.  Of course, active dog lovers are going to be active WITH their dog and that’s a great thing for everyone involved!   I’ve had amazing years running with my girl, Libby, and look forward to creating a similar bond soon with a new friend so my old girl can officially retire

20121115-113621[1]

Without further ado, let’s pick a winner!!  The Random Number generator selected #6!!

image   

Who’s #6?  David Mauger, AKA “Frogger”.  Congrats, Frogger!!  Get your new pooch out and running with this Hipster Hands Free system!!  But beware of those squirrels so that powerful girl doesn’t pull you off your feet!! 

image

As for the rest of us, we can buy the Hands Free Hipster Leash by clicking HERE!  The Hipster is normally $34.95 but I see it’s currently on special for $29.95 with additional discounts for multiple leash purchases.  Great deal!

image

Enjoy all those walks, hikes & runs with your pooch!  Time with them is so precious!

** Run Hands Free ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Hipster Hands Free Dog Leash Review & Giveaway

mattessienstatepark_abylibby_nov2008[1]

As most of you know, I’m  a HUGE dog lover.  One of my favorite activities with my dogs is hiking and running.   However, I’m also a freak about having my hands free while “on the run” for a variety of safety reasons.  For the last 10+ years, I used the same hands free leash system.  It wore out and didn’t make the move to Indiana.  I’ve recently discovered that it’s no longer available unless I feel like shopping in the UK.  You may have seen it previously posted in my “how to” segment on Running With Your Dog.  Needless to say, I don’t do a lot of shopping in the UK so I need something new and readily available.  Enter the Outward Hound Hands Free Hipster Leash

Full Leash  water bottle holder

Much to Libby’s dismay, we took the Hipster out for a test run.  She really isn’t into running much anymore and prefers napping while tucked into a warm blanket.  Age will do that, right?  While Libby may not be using this much, we do have plans to add another 4 legged “runner” to our family soon, so it’s important that we are ready to run when the time arrives!!!

The Hipster arrived quickly and looked great.  Loved the a neon green color!  It had several zippered pockets for storage, including one pocket that contained a collapsible water bottle carrier (pictured above) and another (the one labeled #2 above) that was large enough for most cell phones.   There were also D rings on both sides of the adjustable waist belt.  While Libby runs in heel position, I love the dual positioning option for dogs who run/walk/hike on both sides of their human.  Clever!

The Hipster also comes with an adjustable leash, with clasps on both ends.  The leash can be adjusted from traffic lead length (2’) to approximately 6’.  The leash is NOT on a quick release so be vigilant, my friends!

Off for a run to test this Hipster out!!

photo (8)

 photo (5)  photo (7)

The verdict?  The Hipster will work great for a dog that’s been trained.  However, the same goes for all hands free systems.  You can’t use a hands free leash if you haven’t put the time in to train your dog to walk/run with you.  And “with you” means either beside or slightly in front of your body.  No pulling, otherwise, they could pull you off your feet!    I also loved all the zippered pockets so that I had plenty of space for my phone and a few doggie bags.  Plus there is plenty of room/pockets for Sour Patch Kids gels or fuel for your run/hike.

If I were doing a list of Pros/Cons for the Hipster, my only con would be that the D rings for the leash were on the side of my hip.  Libby generally runs one step in front of me, rather than directly beside me.  Therefore, when she was ahead of me, she tugged on the belt and twisted it a bit.  Next time I’ll tighten the belt a bit more to see if that helps or I’ll just twist the belt at the start so that our D ring is sitting on the front of my hip bone.  I don’t think this is actually a design flaw but rather, just the way that we have learned to run together.  Overall, I like the Hipster and am happy to add it out our arsenal of must have dog accessories! 

Thanks to Dog Fence DIY for allowing me to review this awesome product!  They not only sent one for me to review but are also giving one ($34.95 value) to a lucky, dog loving reader!  Who can’t wait to hit the road with their dog & a new Hipster Hands Free Leash?!?!?!?

In order to be entered in this giveaway, please comment below and tell me & Dog Fence DIY where you plan to go with your dog after winning the Hipster Hands Free Leash!  Are you a runner, walker,  hiker or all of the above?

Giveaway “runs” from now until Wednesday, November 12, 2014 at 9 am.  I’ll draw one winner via a random number generator.  Good luck!!

** Run Hands Free ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Bobcat Trail Marathon–Glouster OH

On Sunday, my friend Julie & I knocked Ohio off our list of states with the Bobcat Trail Marathon!

photo (4)

As usual, we picked a weekend we were free & signed up for a race that was within driving distance.  We didn’t know much about it other it being a trail marathon.  I think we both figured it couldn’t be any worse (harder) than the Dances with Dirt Marathon at Devil’s Lake WI but we were about to find out.  Our one and only unspoken rule about our marathon running adventures is that we don’t obsess about the course.  We don’t spend any much time looking at the website and thinking about race day.  It’s an adventure and with adventure comes surprise and well, it’s always a surprise.  We pick races based on timing and our availability, nothing more.  The rest of what’s to come is a mystery.

The Bobcat Trail Marathon is in Glouster, OH at Burr Oak State Park.  It features 26.2 miles of running around a 660+ acre lake, thru the woods, mostly on single track, up and down leaf covered trails in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  Yes, the Appalachian Mountains.  SURPISE!  In case you don’t know, Julie & I are Midwesteners.  You might even call us flatlanders.  We run and train in and around Chicago and we consider the Roosevelt Bridge a mountain.  Let it suffice to say that we only see mountains on TV and we don’t even really have “hills” on which to train.  So this was a difficult run for us to say the least.  But the lake was beautiful!

Burr Oak Lake

Packet pick-up and the start/finish were at the Burr Oak Lodge.  Great location.  Great price on rooms. Great food in the restaurant.  Lots of activities for the family!  Plus it was super nice to be able to stay inside and use real bathrooms until just moments before the race began. 

If you’ve been to packet pick-up at a trail race, it’s  normally a non-event.  They almost always offer packet pick-up on race day.  You stand in a short line, tell them your name, they hand you a shirt and a bib.  You leave and get ready to run.  So easy!  Bobcat was no different.

photo (17)

The race started on time.  The only distance offered was the marathon and we soon found out why.  We basically ran into the woods and short of a few road crossings, we never came out until we were back at the lodge/finish line.  It was a full day of single track trails around a huge lake.  No cell service.  Race officials were in constant contact with one another via radios and they kept very close track of the runners and made sure we all went thru each of the check points.  We were told to “not worry” and that if something happened, they WOULD come get us.  Comforting.  I think. 

The entire race looked like this.

photo (7) 

We ran single file 99% of the time.  Following the path of partially crushed/disturbed leaves.  I’m pretty sure the local wildlife “cut” this trail.  It was very technical with an endless amount of exposed roots & rocks buried beneath several inches of fallen leaves.  Super cool.  Fun.  Adventurous.  Yet totally exhausting.

photo (6)  photo (10)  photo (8)

I fell on my face one time but didn’t get hurt.  Stubbed my toe & went “flying” countless times.  Slid both up and down hills on the fallen leaves.  Crossed numerous bridges & ravines.  We had one full on water crossing that was impossible to navigate without submerging ourselves ankle deep in a cold creek.  I climbed.  I descended.  I wondered how bad this would hurt “tomorrow”.  I wondered if I would lose any toenails from the nasty downhill’s.  Three days after the fact, my quads still feel like they went thru a meat grinder.  I’m definitely sore this time.  Like really sore but I still have all my toenails so far.

We carried our own water and were thankful to have it.  There were aid stations every 4-5 miles, some manned, some with just water jugs dropped along the trail.  Aid stations offered coke, ginger ale, heed, water, cookies, Halloween chocolate candies, chips, pretzels, chex mix, Hammer Gels & other goodies I can’t recall.  The only thing missing was the salted/boiled potatoes that most trail races offer!  Multiple places with park potties.  Multiple check points with volunteers keeping track of our progress and encouraging us to continue at whatever pace was manageable. 

We were at the end.  Like almost last.  Everyone we met seemed local and trained on the trail which we were running.  They seemed light on their feet.  Running was effortless for them.  It took slightly more of an effort for us.  But we still got the same medal that they did when we crossed that finish line!!  And something cool, when we finished, we were offered a choice between a medal or a finisher’s plaque with a picture of the lake.  It was a tough choice but we both picked a medal. 

photo (16)

Best part of the race?  Locals decorated part of the trail with Halloween decorations!  But beware, if you spend too much time looking at the decorations and taking photos, you may miss a flag or two, get lost and run off course. 

photo (11)photo (12)photo (13)

Worst part of the race?  The endless roots/rocks that necessitated spending the entirety of the race looking at the ground.  It was tiresome and very rough on the feet.

Absolute must if you run this race?  Trail shoes!  You need those babies to protect your precious feet!

All in all, it was a good event.  It certainly wasn’t my favorite of the year but a nice solid race that was well supported.  Very peaceful.  All the runners and volunteers were super encouraging and very nice.  Yet, we may have decided that we make better road than trail runners!  Our lack of hills for training, our injured feet and the occasional need for a potty or two, may keep our feet planted on the road for the next few races!  But only time will tell.  We are taking a short break to recoup, then we’ll see where our adventures lead us next!

** Adventures in Marathoning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **