2015 Sunburst Races WINNER & Discount Code!!


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!!

South Bend

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?!?


#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! 


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 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. 

Sunburst 2014_welcome to SB

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!

sunburst 2014_ mile 7

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.

 Sunburst 2014_path.

Sunburst 2014_riverfront2

Sunburst 2014_riverfront

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.

Sunburst 2014_road

sunburst 2014_ mile 11 path

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!

Sunburst 2014_medal

** 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!

Sunburst_stadium jumpers

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


Number 37 is rl262 


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!


** Happy Running ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

Sunburst Races – Half Marathon (2013)

On Friday I realized that I wanted to run the Sunburst Half Marathon on Saturday morning.  I wasn’t registered.  I didn’t have a sitter.  However, I was heading to my parents for the weekend so had family to help.  I jokingly called this my “super secret race”,  facebooking and tweeting the same.  However, it had been on my radar for months, I just hadn’t registered.  On Friday, the kids and I swooped into South Bend, IN just in time to register before the 8pm close of packet pickup/registration.  Here I am after registering for my “secret” race.


I’ve ran Sunburst before so I knew that registration and packet pick up would take about 2 seconds.  I also knew there wouldn’t be an “expo” to distract us from getting in and out of town quickly.  I also knew that it would be easy to convince the kids to make the stop because the South Bend Chocolate Company has a café downtown with amazing ice cream.   I could probably get my kids to run to the moon and back for ice cream.  No joke.  I use this to my advantage all the time.  Sometimes daily.  It’s an amazing tool for manipulation motivation.  So in 20 minutes I was registered,  received a cool women’s size tech shirt which actually fit me, and the kids had ice cream to go.  BAM!  Back in the car to finish the trip to Grammie’s!

shirt   choc co

Race day for Sunburst starts at 6am with the full marathon, followed by the 5K run at 7:15am, the half at 7:30am, the 10K at 7:45am and a 5K Fitness Walk at 9am.  Something for the entire family.  Seriously.  Try something!  Last time I ran (2011), I wanted to be sure to get into town before the marathoners started for fear of road closures & parking issues.  Not necessary.  South Bend is a small town.  Hospitable.  Loads of FREE parking.  No stress.  This time, I rolled into town easily at 6:45 for the 7:30 am start of the half.  The biggest snafu, if I can even call it one was waiting in line for the inside bathrooms at the Football Hall of Fame.  Took about 10 minutes. Of course, AFTER the race I did see a row of port-o-potties outside the venue but I failed to notice those pre-race.  No big deal.  There is nothing to do pre-race anyhow and parking is only a couple of blocks from the start.  I even went back to my car to grab some extra anti-chafe when I realized it might not pour rain on us the entire event like I had previously thought.  I did spot a few friends pre-race but was so focused on retrieving my anti-chafe that I failed to grab a photo.  Major fail in my opinion but I decided to steal their photo off Facebook and Photoshop myself in …… oh wait, I can’t Photoshop!  So here is Courtney & Kris getting ready to rock out their second half TOGETHER!  Loved seeing these ladies on the course!!

Court & Kris

The start came fast and was flawless.  On time.  It looked like rain but it wasn’t raining.  It was 70ish with 88% humidity at the start.  A little sticky for me.


I started slow.  I remembered the course so knew I had some hills to run and a lot of residential neighborhood’s to face, plus twists, turns, ups & downs.  As random as this course seems while running it, I like it.  What I like is that it’s shaded in A LOT of spots!  Plus we get a few miles along the river which is refreshing.


When I ran in 2011, they had to shut the race down due to heat.  I personally was able to finish before the red flag but  I remember it being so hot that I ran 5-6 miles, then had to start run/walking for self preservation.  It was hot as heck but I remember the shady areas, the kind volunteers and the residents who brought their sprinklers and water hoses to the streets to help keep us cool.  My memories did not disappoint me, it was just as nice this time around and I enjoyed the race despite the warm temps and humidity. 

I was smarter this year and started dumping water on myself at the first aid station.  Although the sun wasn’t out yet, I was warm.  I just kept steady and focused on running.  The sun then came out around the half way point (yikes!!).    To be honest, I’m not in good enough shape to run fast but I did well enough until the last 3ish miles.  I didn’t feel bad during those miles but had plugged into my iPod in the 9th mile and I totally fell off pace.  Like by 2 minutes per mile.  I have to be the ONLY person in the world who can’t run with music.  I just can’t focus.  I must have been dancing down the streets instead of running because I was totally surprised that I wasn’t going to be even close to the 2 hour mark.  LOL!  Lesson learned, leave the earbuds at home!  I did finish just a few seconds under 2:05 and I’m actually happy with that.  I didn’t push.  I didn’t stress. I just kept moving.  As a side note, this was exactly one year after I tore the tendon in my right foot.  The entire race was a bit of a celebration for me.  I wanted to be there.  I wanted to run.  I wanted to celebrate how hard we (Dr Alexis & I) had worked for the last year to get my foot back in the game.  And I had no pain.  Win!     

I ran to the finish in the Notre Dame stadium just ahead of my friends who started the FULL Marathon 1.5 hours before me!  LOL!  So I got to celebrate with them for a few minutes before I hopped the bus back to the start area.  I saw some F’N Runners too!  First Mary.  Then Keith.  Then Nicole F & company!

Me&Mary Me&Keith

Me, Nicole F, Carol K, Heather Z & Suzanne S


These ladies in the photo above (and Keith too!) are EVERYWHERE.  I’m pretty sure if I ran in Alaska, they’d be standing at the finish with me.  LOVE THAT!  Thanks for always making me feel like I have a friend in town, even if I travel to the event solo!

The Sunburst Races are nice.  Many who race Sunburst live and die for the finish on the Notre Dame Football field.  It’s cool but not being a football fan, I’d be happy to finish anywhere, just let me stop running NOW!!!  The events are very organized.  Lots of aid stations.  Lots of port-o-potties.  Lots of friendly volunteers.  I saw GU on the half course one time.  I saw wet sponges one time.  Small event (490 finishers for the full, 1377 for the half, 1162 for the 10K, & 3271 for the 5K).  Great support from the town.  I never felt unwelcome or had issues with cars being angry about waiting for us to pass.  However, there are lots of twists and turns in the course, a few not so nice hills and I’ve heard the full is rough.  To be honest, I haven’t heard any good things about the full course and lots of negativity.  I haven’t ran the full so I will reserve judgment but do know that if you pick a small town marathon with low registration numbers that it’s going to be hard.  Very hard.  You’ll be running a lot of solo miles and you’ll need to dig deep to pull out a finish.  I know that’s easier for some than others, which is why I like the distraction of big races for that distance, but I wanted to point it out.  Be prepared if you want to try the full.

Great race!  See you in South Bend next year!!!

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

Hard to Rest…..

Yesterday might possibly have been the nicest day of the year, so far, but alas I had a rest day planned because I felt like I needed it.  I also wasn’t feeling my best but when I got off work and saw the sun shining and the mild temps, of course, I wanted to run.  I debated running vs. not running the entire commute home.  I knew my feet needed to rest.  The Plantar Fasciitis is hopefully almost gone and I do not want to do ANYTHING to aggravate the situation so that was basically the deciding factor to continue as planned with a short cross training session on the bike trainer rather than going for a run.

I may have mentioned a billion times before that riding on the trainer is like running on the treadmill. It is harder because it is boring but the good thing about riding in my dining room on the trainer is that I can blast my iPod.  So the times goes pretty quickly for these short workouts since I can listen to my favorite songs, very loudly.  Another bonus is that I am getting acclimated to the warmer temps for 13.1 Miami Beach in 16 days!!!!! a bit before spring/summer arrives.  I also enjoy not having to layer up for the outdoor temps.  Yesterday I wore one of my favorite items of SWAG, the Sunburst Half Marathon shirt from 2011.  This was one of the A4 shirts I received last year and I really like the brand, especially in the women specific sizing.  It’s soft, cute and I could wear it every day. 

So all in all, it was a short but sweet workout.  I calculate my trainer miles at 15 mph.  I  figure I ride slower inside than out so this is a fair estimate.  Yes, I would have rather been running but focusing on recovery and injury prevention is MORE important than logging a few extra miles and ending up with 8 months of injuries from being stupid not listening to my body. I want to be healthy this year so I can walk without pain be my best.  I will listen to my body and rest when necessary, regardless of the weather, or an invitation to run with a friend or an extra time slot without the little man.

Rest is just as important as the mileage.  I encourage you to also remember to rest when you need it. 

What is your favorite thing to do on a rest day?  Do you cross train or take the day completely off?  Or do you leave it to your body to decide?

Happy Running!                                                                                                           Amanda – TooTallFritz