Race Recaps: Summer Trail Series 3 & 4

Yep, we've been bad bloggers and not posting too often.  In our defense, we've really been trying to enjoy every last bit of the remaining summer, before we head into the fall race season. 

This is my recap for the second half of the four-race Gulf Winds Summer Trail Series.  You can find the recap of my first two races here.

The last two races of the Summer Trail Series were held on single-track trails at Tom Brown Park, in Tallahassee Florida. These are very popular, well-used local trails; DisneyBride and I run these all the time. I had hoped the heat would subside, however, it continued through the last two races. For some reason, the RD didn't arrange for cooler weather. I guess to make up for the heat, he provided Moon Pies for the last two races. Yep! Moon Pies! I thought the ice pops were awesome in the first two races, but Moon Pies trump ice pops every time. I might just have to eat one (or two or three) while working on this recap.

One of the coolest things about these events was bumping into some of our running friends in the 'off season'.  We really have a great running community here.

Prolific runner & writer, Paula Kiger of http://biggreenpen.com/

Stacey Conticello, she and her husband Tony are fellow runDisney aficionados


Race #3 7/26/14 6:00PM- Magnolia Trail ~Tom Brown Park 3.5 Miles

Source: talgov.com

This was the shortest of the races and I think it was the easiest of the 4 courses. Thankfully, it was also the final evening event. I don't know why, but I am not a fan of evening races. Training runs fine, but not races.   Nevertheless, Magnolia Trail is a fun course with many twists and turns.  

photo credit: Fred Decker

As many times as I have run this particular trail, there is no accounting for the unexpected during a race.  For the first time, I took a wrong turn  and found myself off the course.


There were some flags from a previous race still on the trail. I took a turn for a race that I wasn't actually running. Thankfully, I wasn't the only one. It only added a few minutes and some shame to my time. 

No, there were no mid-course showers. I am completely drenched in sweat, as was everyone else that evening. 

photo credit: Fred Decker

Okay, well not everyone.  DisneyBride remained fresh as a daisy, while she worked the finish line with the other volunteers.

She can't get me into a SparkleSkirt.  I'm all about the Sportkilt.

Post-race, a group of us went out for a bite to eat. And there were some who did not bring a change of clothes.  Fortunately our friend Patty was prepared for such an occasion, and carried with her a can of Febreze.  Ross (shown here) and a few others decided not to subject the other patrons to our funkiness, and doused ourselves in Febreze's 'Gain' laundry detergent scent instead.  #DontJudge  

I always forget to bring a change of shirt to my local races, so DB may or may not have chased me with the Febreze.  (ahem)

Race #4 8/9/14 8:00Am- Cadillac Trail ~ Tom Brown Park 5.5 Miles

photo credit: Fred Decker


This was probably my favorite race. This trail is pretty technical, very scenic, and has old abandoned classic cars scattered along the route. Yep, classic cars - hence the name: Cadillac Trail

I have run most of this course before. This race showed me about a mile and a half of this trail I had not run previously.  Discovering new sections of trail is a great little adventure.

Source: talgov.com

This course is designed for mountain bikers and has many cool bike obstacles. These obstacles are also a lot of fun to run over and having that additional challenge provides a much needed distraction from the heat.  At least I think so.  Luckily, this mountain bike course is always open to runners. I'll be back here for my next few training runs, as I really enjoy this one.

 Rocking the Xracewear shorts, photo credit: Fred Decker

Series Overall

Since I may never be so lucky again, I feel obligated to mention "I never trippedl"! Yep, four trail races and I managed to not face-plant even once. I think that this is worthy of an award. Don't you? 

Speaking of awards, here is the plaque for the age group winners. I know you are assuming it's mine, you would be very wrong. I managed to finish solidly last (Seventh Place out of seven) in my age group. I may fall into an "average" category in a runDisney race, but here in Tallahassee I am a back of the pack runner.

In addition to having an awesome Race Director, Bobby York, we had smiling faces and expert volunteers.  That really makes a difference in a race - however big or small.  Special shoutout to my lovely DisneyBride, who worked the finish line at all four races.

Summer Trail Series ~ Finish Line Crew

My only complaint about the series happened during the last race. While a few runners were still on the course, the raffle/awards ceremony started.  The raffle winners were required to be present to win. One of our good friends was still on the course and her name was called for a really great raffle prize: a pair of Salomon trail shoes. 

Cool SWAG!

 Fortunately, we told the organizers she was still finishing her race and they held her prize.  Several names were called with no response.  Some had gone home already after the race, some had missed the fourth race of the series, and there may have been a few other runners we didn't know - still out on the course.  I understand it was hot and people wanted to go home, but perhaps the 5.5 mile course (one of the toughest trails at that) wasn't the best choice for the final event ~ coinciding with the raffle/awards ceremony.  Awards were given at the end of the entire four race series, not for each event.  And the presentations took a long while.  A shorter course for the last event, and everyone would've been done sooner, and fewer would've missed out on the awards and raffle.

In case you are wondering, this box of Moon Pies was not my raffle prize.  I won a subscription to Trail Running Magazine instead. Almost as good. Almost.

Final Note:  Moon Pies were consumed during the writing of this blog post.

So that wraps up my summer race events.  Can't wait for the temps to drop a bit and our longer distance events to start coming up.

Do you love Moon Pies as much as I do?

Did you discover a new use for Febreze?


(thanks to my sponsors: SportKilt and XRaceWear for providing me with comfortable running apparel)

Skechers Performance #GORun #Ride3 Review

Recently we both got to try out the Skechers Performance GOrun Ride3.

Skechers Performance is really becoming a force to be reckoned with in the ultra competitive running shoe market.  Meb Keflezighi famously won the 2014 Boston Marathon in a pair of Skechers, and recently elite runner Kara Goucher also joined the Skechers Team.
From the GOrun Ride webpage:
The next generation of Sketchers GOrun Ride has enhanced Resalyte cushioning to go the distance.
·         Awarded 'Best Buy' by Runner's World Magazine
·         Upper provides lateral and medial support for stability during long
·         Upper provides lateral and medial support for stability during long or short distance runs while maintaining breathability
·         GOimpulse sensors and pillars repositioned on outsole to allow for an even smoother transition and optimized running experience
·         Removable insole for a custom fit
·         4 way stretch mesh on front and side panels 
·         4 way stretch mesh front
·         3D printed texture detail on side panels
·         Promotes a midfoot strike
·         4mm heel drop
·         Weight: 8.4 oz. in a men's size 9

·         Unique textured 3D printed side panels
·         Contrast colored edging detail
·         Side S logo
·         Padded collar and tongue
·         Agion odor protection
·         Custom Fit insoles included

Fit and Wear 

DG:  I was a bit skeptical about running in Skechers when I first got them.  I had never really seen them as a running shoe company.  But, if Meb can win Boston wearing Skechers, why can’t I give them a shot?  The shoes were extremely comfortable and adding the optional (included) insole made the shoes feel even better for me.  I managed to get just shy of 58 miles on the shoes during my testing, and while they got pretty dirty, they held up great.   I had seen a couple of online review that mentioned concerns about the shoes wearing prematurely.  My shoes show some signs of wear (lots of trail and concrete running), however, I have no concerns that the shoes won’t make it to 400 miles. 
DB: Unlike DG, who is consistently a 13 no matter the brand or style, my shoe size varies.  So selecting a size from an online store tends to be a leap of faith for me.  I wear a Ladies 7 in dress shoes and I got a size 8 in the Ride 3.  The shoe is considered a 'minimal' style, and it can be worn as is for a very minimalist feel.  But I found that it felt a bit too roomy for me that way.  With the insole however, it was just perfect.

My Experience

DG: As I mentioned before, I put just shy of 58 miles on the shoes.  I ran on every kind of surface I could find.  The shoes performed great on the road, concrete, and dry trails.  The shoes felt good and provided a surprising amount of cushion, despite the 'minimal' shoe label that I have long avoided. 

DB:  I've been wearing minimal style running shoes of various brands for over a year.  So these felt great and perfectly natural.  There is no break in period, and the  'sensors' on the outsoles provide a slightly cushy ride. 


DG: The shoes were comfortable and I had absolutely no blistering or rubbing issues.  They really surprised me during my runs on dry single-track trails.  The shoes are also pretty affordable.  The current version is available direct from Skechers for about $80.   Given what I have spent on running shoes the last couple of years, $80 is a great deal.

DB:  The smooth sock-liner interior of the shoe was a big plus for me.  I am super-sensitive to seams in clothing and shoes, so I cannot deal with even the tiniest little seam or fold.  Flat ribbon-style shoelaces stay put while you run.  Why haven't ALL shoes switched to this style of laces.  It is a subtle thing easily taken for granted, until you put on a pair of shoes with the traditional round laces for comparison.  Also, I am fortunate to have a few local running stores in town, but I realize that many runners don't have one near them.  So, the good news is that Skechers Performance are available at many of the larger sporting goods chains, and even some department stores.

Happiness = race day in comfortable shoes!


DG: I have to say that using these for a wet trail run was probably not the best idea.  The shoes seemed to absorb water and hold on to it for dear life.  I have not seen Skechers advertise these for trail or off-road runners,  so just keep this in mind if your runs will have you going through and water or over wet grass.   

DB:  I had to think hard about this one. The only con I see is the shoes claims to be 'engineered to promote a mid-foot strike'.  In late 2012, I retrained myself away from heel strike into mid-foot strike  and I am fairly consistent now.  But DG is a stubborn heel-striker and I watched him run in these quite a bit.  Unfortunately I did not see that the shoes encouraged any change in his gait. 

Final Thoughts

DG: DisneyBride posed the ultimate question to me a couple of days ago “When these wear out, would you go out and buy yourself another pair?”  Without hesitation I said “Yes”.

DB: I feel confident in the quality of the Skechers Performance line and plan to purchase their new trail running shoe next month. Another thing I like is that Skechers offers cruelty-free options.  You can search for "vegetarian" shoes on their site to see which styles do not contain leather or animal-based glues in their construction materials. 

DG is a mild pronator and tested a Mens 13 GOrun Ride 3.
DB is a neutral runner and tested a Ladies 8 GOrun Ride 3.
Disclosure of Material Connection: No financial compensation was received. We  received product from Skechers Performance in exchange for this review. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will be good for our readers. All opinions stated on this blog are our own. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”