Happy Friday GIVEAWAY for the Michelob Ultra Chicago 13.1

We are fortunate that Chicagoland is BURSTING with half marathon pride.  It’s the perfect race distance for so many and as result Chicago has really embraced the distance and offers road racers a variety of events at that distance.  One of my favorite races is the “13.1 Chicago”.  This year Michelob Ultra is the key sponsor and the official name is the Michelob Ultra Chicago 13.1.  I ran last when it was the Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 Chicago (race report HERE).  Before the big name sponsors, it was simply 13.1 Chicago and well, that’s how I’ll always think of it! 

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This year 13.1 Chicago is on June 7th.  Once again it occurs on the same weekend as the Madison to Chicago Ragnar Relays.  Since I’m spearheading an all ladies ultra team for Ragnar Chicago, I will unfortunately not be able to run the 13.1 event in 2014.  However, if my calendar permitted I would be there and I hope to see lots of pics of all of you enjoying this amazing event!

What does 13.1 Chicago have to offer that puts it heads above the other Chicago half marathons?

  • Unique Southside location, starting at the South Shore Cultural Center where Mr. & Ms. Obama were married, running thru the beautiful trails in Jackson Park, and covering sections of the lakefront trail that most of us never run.
  • Beautiful views of the city of Chicago while you are running north on the course.
  • Amazing backdrop for photos when you run back south toward the finish line.  Photo below courtesy of Xaarlin (Pain is Nothing). 

13.1 Chicago_me running

  • Sophisticated starting corral system which seeds participants well and allows for space on the course to run YOUR race. 
  • Low traffic on run course, even when running the Lakefront path. 
  • Shade on the run course.
  • Out and back race where you can see your friends come and go for the majority of the race.  This is definitely one of my favorite things about this run.  I saw each and every one of my run buds, the fast ones and the ones behind me too! 

13.1 Chicago map

  • After race BEACH PARTY! 

13.1 Chicago_FNRC

This is a great race, certainly my favorite of this distance in the city of Chicago.  They also offer a 5K if you (or a friend) is not up to the half distance.  Take your friends to this race because you are going to want to stay and enjoy the after party!

NOW, did you want to win a FREE ENTRY to the 2014 Michelob Ultra Chicago 13.1?    If so, please make a comment below and tell me your all time favorite half marathon (so far), it doesn’t have to be a Chicago event.  For a second entry, like the TooTallFritz Facebook page.  For a third entry, like the 13.1 Marathon series Facebook page.  Let me know which of the above you did so that I can assign your entries correctly! 

Giveaway starts now and runs until Wednesday (March 26, 2014) at 9am when a winner will be selected via a random number generator.  Good luck, all! 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Allstate Life Insurance 13.1 Chicago Race Entry Giveaway….

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The Allstate Life Insurance Chicago 13.1 Marathon will once again take to the South Shore of Chicago on June 8, 2013.  Although this is a newer race in Chicagoland, it is a good one!  The 13.1 race series is known for putting together great races with a few extras, gender specific race shirts, unique locations and a crowd pleasing after party.  For what they offer, the event is still priced reasonably with the current registration fee of $80.  Possibly the best part of the Chicago event is the unique location.  This is one of the few races held south of Jackson Park.  Runners start and finish at the South Shore Cultural Center, loop thru Jackson Park, then take to the lakefront for amazing views of both Lake Michigan and the city of Chicago.

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I’ve wanted to run this event for multiple years but it hasn’t worked out for a variety of reasons.  I had planned to be out of town this year as well but I’m thinking we had an abrupt change of plans over the last couple weeks so I’m going to try to squeeze this in and I hope to see lots of friendly faces.

If you would like to be entered for a free entry, please comment below.  For an additional chance to win, go like 13.1 Marathon on Facebook HERE and leave a separate comment stating that you did so (and include your facebook name for verification purposes).

Good luck!  I will draw one winner via a random number generator on Monday, March 11th at 9am.  Two entries possible per person. 

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

13.1 Race Entry Winner!

The winner for the 13.1 Chicago Race Registration is #115, Joe DeMarco!  Congratulations Joe!  Contact me at amanda@tootallfritz.com so I can get your information and send it to 13.1.

Good luck to Joe and all of the rest of you running 13.1 Chicago!  I’ll see you on course next year!

Happy Running,                                                                                                           Amanda – TooTallFritz.com                                                                       amanda@tootallfritz.com

Team Tough Chik – The Kit Arrived!!!

This week has been hellish busy but good because my Team Tough Chik kit arrived!  If you have familiar with our “Toughies” you have probably seen pics blasted all over the net over the last couple weeks of Tough Chiks in their new team wear.  Opening the kit was a nice surprise as it not only included our team apparel but also a Tough Chik sticker!! goodies from our sponsors, which ranged from a vacation resort, swim shampoo, bike lube,  Anti Chafing Cream, snack bars, hydration, and a lot of other fun things, some of which I never knew existed! 

Although free stuff is beyond awesome, what we were all awaiting was the team apparel!    I purchased running singlets for both Aby and I.  On occasion, when I beg, she will actually run or race with me in a matching outfit.  This is super fun for me, somewhat embarrassing for her, but always GOOD because as I am running back to find her in a race, people identify me as “THE” mom and tell me how cute she is or that she is running really well, or that she is right behind them.  It works great on many levels.

Here we are below, preparing for a photo after a long, hot run for me.  I wasn’t feeling great, the heat is bad for me and I was drained!  I certainly wasn’t feeling a photo but we were dressed for it, if I could just get her to hold still long enough to get those blonde locks in place!  And what is she doing?  Is that an adapted “SuperStar” pose?  She is always a clown just like her father.

I know I look like hell and that’s how I felt too but let’s focus on the Team Tough Chik apparel. 

This is a large running singlet for me (xs for Aby) and fits perfectly.  Bonus that it feels and looks great too!  this singlet is very similar to the green & pink “i run” tanks from Tough Chik and as you may already know, I REALLY love the style and fit of these tanks.

Here is the green i run tank on South Beach when I was there to run 13.1 Miami Beach!  If you would like to run 13.1 Chicago for FREE, don’t forget to enter my giveaway HERE.

Pink i run tank:

Don’t be shocked but I also ordered a TRI tank.  I can easily say that I have never owned a more attractive TRI top. 

You can possibly see that there is a large pocket (the graphic with the chik) on the back for your gels, phone, etc.  This is huge if you have a TRI bike because once you transition from road to TRI bike, say goodbye to that nifty little under the seat bag that keeps all of your belongings.  Not that you would stop to access it during a TRI anyhow so this large pocket is both handy and very necessary! 

This is a large top and I should have gone XL.  Half of my TRI tops are L and the other half are XL.  TRI tops tend to run small, I should have known better.   When they reopen registration in May, I will order an XL.  That’s right you heard me, they are reopening registration for Team Tough Chik!  If you would like to be notified when they reopen, please click HERE and fill out the form. 

While we are talking about TRIs.  I have gotten a lot of questions as of late on TRI apparel.  Specifically TRI Suit vs TRI kit.  As always, this is really about personal opinion.  I am so tall that I wouldn’t even think to do a TRI Suit.  I also like to mix up my “outfits” so the thought of wearing one suit for every race doesn’t make me think happy thoughts.  However, they are convenient and do well for many people. 

In the past, I have had the best success with SkirtSports for TRI tops.  I wear a large in this brand, the tops are not skin-tight and I am comfortable racing in this top without worry that my mommy tummy is hanging out.  It’s long enough but not too long.  However, since it isn’t skin-tight, if you swim in the pool or have an open water swim which is not wetsuit legal then know that your top will be “floating” when you stop or are turning. 

I’ve also had success with TYR and Speedo (in large).  However, it seems that Craft has made its way onto the TRI scene in a big way while I was on Mr. Michael baby hiatus.  I have heard very good things about Craft but have not yet owned any of their apparel. And I’m currently coveting this Sugoi top but have never owned any of their products either.

I personally have not had good luck with 2XU tops.  I have an XL that is so tight that I can’t even wear it.  If you are tiny, then you will be fine but it you are a bigger lady then I wouldn’t recommend it. 

For the bottom, I always use the Skirt Sports Race Belt Skirt to slide up over my briefs after the swim.  I normally don’t use TRI shorts.  If I do opt for shorts, then I use Peal Izumi TRI shorts.  Since length is always an issue for me, most TRI shorts are too short so I favor the skirt. 

Do you have a favorite TRI brand?  Tri Suit or TRI Kit?  Or more importantly, are you doing to sign up to be notified when Team Tough Chik reopens registration? 

Get out and enjoy this beautiful weather, it’s amazing!

Cheers,                                                                                                                        Amanda – TooTallFritz