Sunburst Marathon …. 2015

I’ve ran the Sunburst Races multiple times but each time, I’ve ran the half marathon.  It’s definitely the race with the most participants and a manageable distance for me when I’m also training for other events.  The full marathon, is a bit of a push.  Always difficult.  Always taxing.  Always an event where anything can happen.  But I took the gamble for 2015 and threw my cards in for the full.  26.2 here I come … and fortunately, Julie came too.  Smile

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This was our 20th marathon.  Although we haven’t ran all the others together, we have ran a good number together over the course of 2014 & 2015.  So it was a bit of a celebration and we were excited to be on the same number at the same race.

Temps were cool, in the low 60s at the start and climbed to 70 degrees by the finish.   This race is known to be a “hot one” so I was happy about the weather!  The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.  Easy packet pick up the morning of the race.  Easy, free parking!  Cute shirt.  Early 6am start to get the marathoners on their way before things got too busy with the other races.

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Due to the construction at the Notre Dame stadium, both 2014 and this year (2015) boasted new finish line areas and new courses. 

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I thought the course this year was very well laid out.  We saw lots of sites.  Ran various trails & waterfront paths.  And we were mostly shaded, which is a huge bonus!

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As usual, the aid stations were plentiful, approximately every mile in most areas.  There were a couple aid stations that offered GU, wet/cold sponges & bananas.  Nice set up and friendly volunteers.

We ran thru the same neighborhoods as in previous years but didn’t spend so much time “circling” as we had in the past and that made me pretty happy.  I’ll be honest, I had not heard anyone say anything positive about the Sunburst Full from previous years.  Most of the people I know who have ran it previously don’t plan a return trip.  As a result, I was nervous about about the race.   But I think the course change really knocked it out of the park.  There were a couple spots that could still use some improvement but overall I think they really did a great job.  And they added a killer character building hill at the end.  Both the full and the half ran up “Hallelujah Hill”.  Or at least we were supposed to run up it.  Julie and I walked.  She probably could have ran it cuz she is a decent hill runner but I was in walking mode by then.  Smile

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The finish on the Irish Green was much better planned out this year.  There looked to be plenty of space to hang out and wait on friends.  Melanie & Jill were awaiting our finish after their first half at Sunburst so it was nice to see some friendly faces at the finish. 

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#20 is in the DONE column!  Next up, the Marion Rotary for Shoes Marathon in Marion, IA on Sunday! 

** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

2015 Sunburst Races WINNER & Discount Code!!

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We now have a winner for a FREE entry into one of the 2015 Sunburst Races!   The free entry is good for the half or full marathon.  I am running the full so I’m hoping you pick that too!!

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The winner was selected via a random number generator.  Entry #1 was the first person who commented and entries were counted on a first come first served basis.  Just that easy!  So who won?!?

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#40 – You’re the winner!  Lisa!  And I know a lot of Lisa’s so please contact me if you are the winner.  Here is the comment and I will match it up with the recorded email address so don’t cheat, even if you are a really great friend of mine, cuz I won’t let you claim someone else’s free entry! 

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Lisa – Please email me at amanda@tootallfritz.com to claim your free entry to the Sunburst Races!

As for the rest of you, I hope to see you in South Bend on June 6th!  Go HERE to register now before you lose your nerve so that you have something solid to focus on since the snow may finally be melting.  Use Discount Code:  Sunburst2015 for $5 off at checkout!  That code works for every event.  Now go register and let me know to look for you on race day!

** Run South Bend ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Sunburst Races Marathon (or Half) Giveaway – 2015

It’s that time again, let’s start thinking about the spring and early summer marathon calendar!  I know that most of us have been in a major rut with this nasty weather but that’s about to end.  What better way to motivate yourself and refocus but to sign up for a race?  How about one of my favorites, the Sunburst Races Marathon & Half?  I just signed up for the marathon and hope to see a lot of friendly faces out on course with me. 

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The Sunburst Marathon & Half is on June 6, 2015.  That is 99 days away.  Plenty of time to train and be ready to RUN South Bend!  The event offers a variety of races over the weekend and pulls a great crowd to downtown South Bend.  It’s a fun atmosphere and there are events for the entire family.  The race starts in the downtown area, weaves thru town, along the river walk, and thru some nice neighborhoods where the residents come out in force with food, water, sprinklers, music and create a supportive environment for all runners.  This is definitely a race where the community is behind the event!   And the river walk is breathtaking!

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The races finishes on the beautiful Notre Dame campus where there is a big after party with lots of food and fun so that you can await the finish of friends and family.  Check out the Sunburst Races Marathon & Half website and figure out which event you want to run for 2015!

Sunburst had generously offered to giveaway ONE free entry to the Sunburst Races.  The entry is to the race of your choosing! Join me in South Bend on June 6th and see why so many people love this race!  Giveaway starts right now and will run until Thursday, March 5th at 9am when I will draw the winner via a Random Number Generator.

To be eligible for the giveaway, you MUST comment below.  You can earn a second entry to the giveaway by liking the Sunburst Races Facebook page HERE, just let me know in the comments section so I can credit you with an extra entry.   Good luck!!

Not required for this giveaway but please feel free to follow along via Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for everything TooTallFritz!

** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz

Sunburst Half Marathon 2014

The Sunburst Races were on Saturday in the beautiful town of South Bend, Indiana.  Although this race has become a bit of a tradition, this year has certainly been a bit “non-traditional” for me and the family.  Yet, I’m happy to say that I was still able to participate!  I drove in the morning of the race and it’s about a 1.5 hour drive from most of Chicagoland. 

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Traffic was light and the wait to get into the FREE parking garage went quickly.  I utilized race day packet pick-up with none too much time to spare, dropped my shirt back in the car, hit the port-o-potties which didn’t have too long of a wait, and managed to get to the start about 30 seconds before the gun went off.  Yes, my time management skills are in overdrive these days because I honestly don’t have a minute to spare!

And we were off!  I ran to catch up with my friend Kasey to hang with her for a few miles.  We chatted.  We complained that it was hot.  I acknowledged that I was over dressed in capris and tall socks.  I slowed down to a crawl.  I wasn’t much in the mood to “run” and that’s just kinda how I’ve been feeling lately.  I’m not hurt although my Plantar Fasciitis will probably NEVER go away.  I’m just overwhelmed and emotional and that really takes a toll on my body.  Plus I’m an emotional eater and drinker and well, I’d rather have a beer and eat ALL.THE.FOOD. after work than actually slug out a nasty workout.  So let it suffice to say that I’m not in great shape right now and my cute clothes don’t fit  I just feel sluggish and tired.  So I wasn’t looking to “kill” this half but just try to enjoy the atmosphere and give thanks that I’m able to run even if I don’t feel like it.

My “not so fast” attitude also allowed plenty of time for photos and making new friends! The 2014 course was changed in several areas to account for the construction in the Notre Dame Stadium which negated our normal finish on the infield.  I know this was upsetting to many but I liked the addition of a long out and back on a very shaded road in miles 5 & 6.  I was able to see all my friends in front and behind me!!  What I didn’t love about the new course was that it passed a sewage plant 2x in the 6th mile and with the 80 degree temps the odor was a bit overwhelming.  So I was happy at mile 7 when we put the stink behind us!

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The last half of the course boasts several miles by the river on the riverfront path.  This is one of my favorite parts of the course.  We get some shade from the trees and it’s a very scenic run.

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Then after the river, as soon as it starts to really heat up, we head into a subdivision with amazing residents who put out their sprinklers and shower us with their water hoses.  Such a treat on a hot day.  The people of South Bend really get behind the Sunburst Races and support the event by running/walking, volunteering or supporting the runners in some way shape or form.

The race is well organized offering a 5K run, 10K, half marathon and full marathon, plus a family 5K walk.  There were aid stations and port-o-potties every 1.5-2 miles.  They were well spaced, even considering the heat.  I also saw several people collapse in the heat and bike medics were busy chasing those call as quickly as they were able.  There are a few hills in this course but nothing crazy.  Plus lots of trails and shaded roads to help with the heat.

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Overall, I think this is a great race.  I understand that there were  few “hiccups” this year due to construction and need to reroute the course but I’ll still be back for 2015 and I hope to see YOU there as well. 

One more half marathon in the DONE column!

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** Run South Bend ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Winner!! Sunburst Marathon Giveaway…

Everyone was super excited about the Sunburst Races giveaway!  I hope you still join me on May 31st, even if you didn’t win!

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Without further ado, the winner of the Sunburst Race giveaway is #37.

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Number 37 is rl262 

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Congrats, Mr. rl262!  I’m sorry I don’t know your name but please email me at amanda@tootallfritz.com and we will get you registered for the Sunburst race of your choice! 

Everyone else who would like to run the 2014 event, please register HERE!

I’ll see YOU in South Bend on May 31st!

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** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Sunburst Marathon (or Half) Giveaway!!!

It’s no secret that one of my all time favorite race series is the Sunburst Races in South Bend, IN.  This is a great location for me because it’s close to Chicagoland but also close to my parents home so that they can help with the kiddos.  The timing is also good and avoids holiday conflict by running the weekend AFTER Memorial Day.  There are multiple race distances to suit the entire family (Fitness Walk, 5K, 10K, Half Marathon & Full Marathon)!  The course is scenic and relatively flat.  And last but not least, the finish is inside the stadium on the 50 yard line of the Notre Dame Football Field.

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Runners and football fans alike, love, Love, LOVE this event.  One of my favorite aspects of the event is that it’s convenient for those of us who tend to “fly in and out” of races as well as those who like to stay for a while and enjoy the local atmosphere.  Downtown South Bend offers an array of activities from the College Football Hall of Fame, to several restaurants/bars, to the Chocolate Café by the South Bend Chocolate Company, which is a favorite for my family.

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I have ONE entry to the Sunburst Races to give away to one lucky person.  The entry is to the race of your choosing! Join me in South Bend on May 31st and see why so many people love this race!  Giveaway starts right now and will run until Tuesday, March 4th at 9am when I will draw the winner via a Random Number Generator.

To be eligible for the giveaway, you MUST comment below.  You can earn a second entry to the giveaway by liking the Sunburst Races Facebook page HERE, just let me know that you did so in the comments section.   Good luck!!

You can read last year’s race recap HERE if you want more Sunburst details.

Not required for this giveaway but please feel free to follow along via Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram for everything TooTallFritz!

**What’s Better Than a GREAT Race?  Running that GREAT Race for FREE! ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **