13 Trail Run Necessities

Disclaimer: I received a Gear Vest Pro by Orange Mud to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!


Finish line feels!Finish line feels!

Finish line feels!

I was so flippin’ excited about my trail race last Saturday that I made an annotated infographic on my favorite necessities to take on a trail run 🙌. I explain all 13 items just a bit lower in this post.

Last year, I signed up for the Cactus Flower Trail Series with Race Timers that consists of 6 trail races: 3 in the Spring and 3 in the Fall. Last Saturday, April 20th, was the 1st one of the season, called the Saguaro 7k in the beautiful White Tank Mountains. It’s been a little over 2 years since I raced — or even ran — in the White Tanks park. It’s was a beautiful day and I got to meet up with @sarahfaith327!! As promised, here are my trail running necessities and why:


Photo by Andrea Heser, Featherpress©Photo by Andrea Heser, Featherpress©

Photo by Andrea Heser, Featherpress©

7️⃣ @balega_international socks because they are the only socks that don’t give me blisters. Even on my 50k with @aravaiparunning, I did not get one blister while wearing these socks.

8️⃣ @altrarunning Olympus 3 are my new trail shoes. They are super supportive and the wide toe box give my toes lots of wiggle room. The color is modern and pretty too.

9️⃣ Sunblock always and I even carry it with me. I sweat a ton while I run and I need to reapply often. Getting sunburned while running isn’t good because the body will take blood from your muscles and send to the skin to help the healing process. I need my blood to stay in my leg muscles so I could run faster!

1️⃣0️⃣ @guenergylabs is easy for me to take on runs and the toasted marshmallow flavor is my favorite! I’ll eat this 15 minutes before I race.

1️⃣1️⃣ @aftershokz Trekz Air will be on my head during the race. Wearing headphones is a controversial subject while on a trail. I get it. You need to hear your surroundings. The cool thing is, #aftershokz lets you hear your surroundings because they apply bone conduction technology. The ear canal is never compromised, no speaker goes in there. I won’t have the volume all the way up as I listen to my running playlist just to be on the extra safe side.

1️⃣2️⃣ @buff_usa is something I keep tucked in my front pocket in case I get sweat in my eyes.

1️⃣3️⃣ A long sleeve! Yeah, I’ll wear a white long sleeve tech shirt today. It helps protect my skin from the sun. Light colors are best to deflect the sun rays too.

1️⃣ @athleta Racer Run 2 in 1 Shorts are great for me because they have extra coverage, yet fantastic ventilation. Also, the Black Olive color seems perfect for a desert surrounding.

2️⃣ @Garmin feñix 5s is the watch I bought over 2 years ago as a birthday/anniversary/Christmas gift LOL. It’s my everyday watch. Pretty enough for work and smart enough for workouts. It will keep my check by monitoring my HR so I don’t overdo it while on the trail.

3️⃣ @Orangemud Gear Vest Pro is a new product I’m testing with @BibRave. I opted in for the Coyote Brown color because it just fits in well with the desert and because it’s subtle and modern color. I love the mesh back to help keep me cool, the built-in whistle on the top chest strap and the abundance of pockets. The Gear Vest Pro makes it easy for me to carry all of my goodies. Also, the 35oz bladder is perfect for shorter distance trail runs. I’ll have enough water and won’t be weighed down by it. BibRave is offering a 15% off all Orange Mud gear with code BIBRAVEGVPRO. Apply it at checkout.

4️⃣ A cell phone is something I always carry with me while I run. Safety first.

5️⃣ @knockaround Fast Lane sunglasses are large enough to completely block the sun from my eyes and in my peripheral vision. I wear regular glasses and what I hate most about glasses is that I can see the frames in my peripherals. There isn’t that problem with the Fast Lanes because they are bigger all around.

6️⃣ Trucker hat because isn’t that what all the trail runner kids wear? Seriously though, I need the mesh back to keep me cool and the hat bill to keep the sun off of my forehead and face.



Running is better with friends.Running is better with friends.

Running is better with friends.

Who’s A Trail Racer?

What types of gear to you wear on trail? Are you trail racing this spring and summer? Tell me more! My next race is the Desert Marigold 6k on Saturday, May 11th in the Estrella mountains. I’ll be wearing the gear I have featured above and also thinking about testing out some trail shoe gaiters.

5 Tips For a Fantastic Giants Race


Checking out the Scottsdale Stadium before this Saturday’s Giant Race.Checking out the Scottsdale Stadium before this Saturday’s Giant Race.

Checking out the Scottsdale Stadium before this Saturday’s Giant Race.

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Scottsdale Giant Race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Do you ever check out the course before the race? I had a little time this morning before work to do a little Scottsdale Stadium scope-out shuffling for this Saturday’s Giant Race. 🕵️ I was able to see where Gate E was for packet pick-up this Friday ✔️ What the stadium looked like in general ✔️ and BONUS see some players. It didn’t occur to me why there were a few police officers standing around and a handful of people with binders hovering near this one gate. Then I realized that the players were driving in to start their practice for today’s spring training game against the Reds.


I was curious on why there were a handful of people standing around this gate as fancy cars drove in. Then I realized the players were arriving for their practice!I was curious on why there were a handful of people standing around this gate as fancy cars drove in. Then I realized the players were arriving for their practice!

I was curious on why there were a handful of people standing around this gate as fancy cars drove in. Then I realized the players were arriving for their practice!


⬇️ Here are some tips I thought to share if you are attending packet pick-up this Friday or racing this Saturday.


heser-andrea-giant-race-gate-eheser-andrea-giant-race-gate-e

1️⃣ Gate E: Go to the west side of the stadium that faces Drinkwater Blvd, that is where you’ll find Gate E. You’ll need to go there to pick-up your packet and bib this Friday, March 1st from 1pm-7:30pm. 

2️⃣ Parking: Don’t try to park at the stadium. That little parking lot off of Osborn Road is for players only! There are tons of free parking garages near the stadium or take a free ride on the Scottsdale Trolley.

3️⃣ Start line: The start line is at Scottsdale Stadium and starts on Drinkwater Blvd. The 10K starts at 7am. The 5k starts at 7:15am.

4️⃣ New Course Route: There has been recent construction in Scottsdale, and minor adjustments were made to both the 5K and 10K course. I’ll be running the 5k course. Click to see the new course map.

5️⃣ Save Money: There is time to run this race. Registration ends in a day. Sign-up here: https://raceroster.com/events/2019/19721/2019-scottsdale-giant-race-presented-by-alaska-airlines. Save $10 with code WERUNAZ19


andrea-heser-giant-raceandrea-heser-giant-race

PR On The Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona 10k Course!


Hands up if you know you’re going to PR at the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona!Hands up if you know you’re going to PR at the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona!

Hands up if you know you’re going to PR at the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona!

Disclaimer: I received a race entry to the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews.

Sometimes things don’t go as planned but then something magical happens as a result. If you remember from my last post, I was planning on doing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Remix Challenge. In the end I discovered I could only choose one race distance. Honestly, I got a little bummed. Quickly, I turned those feelings around and decided this is my chance to still PR on my 10k time, so I picked that distance to race and represent BibRave. The ending of this story is a good one. I did PR my overall 10k time and buy 67 seconds! So proud of myself.

Here are three big takeaways I got from racing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona 10k:


Tons of energy at the 10k and half marathon start line of the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona.Tons of energy at the 10k and half marathon start line of the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona.

Tons of energy at the 10k and half marathon start line of the 2019 Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona.

Excellent Organization: I ran this race through BibRave which means I didn’t have to pay for a race entry fee. I did have to pay for parking, gas, and food. On the first day of the expo, I picked up my bib. It was a Friday, a hard work day and week for me and I was fried. Luckily, I found a metered parking spot and put in 50 cents. I had 27 minutes to get my bib and get out of there. In my Oofos, I trotted along and made it to the solutions booth. My name was on a paper saying I was good for any distance I wanted (thanks BibRave!) I told her the 10k and she handed me a paper to fill out. Then I was moved to another woman and then a man. He told me that I could go to the 5k distance if I wanted to. ‘Ok,’ I told him. Got my bib from him and I was out of there back to my car with 7 minutes to spare. Fast forward to Saturday. I looked at my bib because I wanted to do a flat lay. 5k!? I am thinking he thought I said yes to the 5k instead of acknowledging him. Honestly, I panicked. The RnR website start line map did show a solutions booth there on race day. I had to take a chance. Sunday morning I made the 34 mile trek to Tempe to see if RnR could help me. Worst case, I just wouldn’t run the race and get over it because I should have checked my bib as soon as it was handed to me. There wasn’t a line at the booth even though the total event was packed. The woman at the booth didn’t bat an eye at me when I told her my situation. She took my 5k bib, and handed me a 10k one. Whew. I’m so thankful for RnR and the way they handled this for me.

Other key points of perfect organization on the RnR part was providing runners a safe course. There were cones, cops and volunteers everywhere along the course. I felt very safe. There was TONS of free parking and it was easy to find a spot when I arrived at 7:30am which I feel is late considering the race starts at 7:50am. Also, they got people in and out of the shoot so fast. Great organization on the RnR part, just not on mine!


See my  Stava data  for the course and those mean little hills.See my  Stava data  for the course and those mean little hills.

See my Stava data for the course and those mean little hills.

10k Course: I love the many options RnR Arizona gives to their runners. There is a 1-mile, 5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon over the course of 3 days to choose from. My initial plan was to do a 3-day Remix Challenge that consisted of the 1-mile on Friday, 5k on Saturday and 10k on Sunday. It didn’t work out in the end, but you know I didn’t let that get me down. My plan was to still PR my overall 10k time.

The energy throughout the entire race was strong! The 10k and half marathon racers started at the same time on the same start line and shared the course for about 2.5 miles. The 10kers then ran west on Curry Road while the 1/2 runners went north. Once on Curry, we were greeted with a slight downhill and the beautiful view of the Salt River. We ran along the waterfront for about 1 mile. The RnR website says the 10k course is a fast one. Maybe they forgot to mention the hill at mile 4.5 :D. I’ll be honest, seeing that hill concerned me. I kept trucking along and got up it slowly with hopes there would be a downhill for the last part of this race. I was in luck! The last 1.25 was pretty much all downhill and I took advantage of it! The scenery was pretty in this part of the course. We then crossed Tempe Town Lake on the Mill Avenue Bridge. It was awesome! At this point, I had a huge grin on my face and I’m excited to see my race photos. The emcee was calling us all in at the shoot. There were tons of spectators cheering us on. The fastest half marathoners were coming in too which made it even more exciting. The red carpet finish line made me feel like a star. I ran with a 67 second PR over my last 10k I ran last year! And my 10k PR from last year was on an all downhill course. So that tells you I was working it.


All smiles when crossing the finish line!All smiles when crossing the finish line!

All smiles when crossing the finish line!

Finish line festivities: It was a good little walk from the time you hit stop on your Garmin to the time you got your first glimpse of the band on stage. Along the way, tons of volunteers were handing out chocolate milk, Gatorade Endurance, chips, granola bars, bananas and water bottles. Then a few volunteers at the end passed out RnR drawstring bags to load your loot into. Since I ran the 10k and ran it kinda fast, I noticed there wasn’t a line at the massage tent. This was my chance! I never got a post-race massage before. I quickly signed up and in one minute I was on a table and in another world. The massage therapist asked me exactly what I wanted and I opted for a stretch and quad massage. I was in heaven. The massage was 100% free and it lasted 15 minutes. I recommend the post-race massage to everyone. Once done, I chilled out on the lawn for a bit, updating my Strava, IG and Twitter feeds and giving tons of love to people I follow on social. After I was relaxed a bit, I headed back to my car which was about a 3/4 of a mile walk. It was needed to get my legs moving after that hard 10k.

Post-race at home, I was able to jump on Athlinks.com and claim my race results. You can check out how I did, and while you’re at it, jump on and make an account too. Don’t forget to add me as a friend so we can go head-to-head in future races!

I’m thankful I was able to turn my mindset around in the end and focus on nabbing that PR. My next goal is a PR on my half marathon time at the MESA-PHX Marathon happening on 2/9/18. For a gigantic race with tens of thousands of runners, this is one of the best races to start the year with and I fully recommend racing it.

All My Favorite Brands Brands Brands Brands

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Virtual Oakland Turkey Trot 5k race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”


andrea-heser-oakland-turkey-trot-flatlayandrea-heser-oakland-turkey-trot-flatlay

My first official turkey trot is just 3 days! I’m totally pumped for race day and why not celebrate with a flat lay. What the what is a flat lay you say? It’s basically any photograph you take from directly above while the objects are on a flat surface. Usually the objects are arranged neatly or in a creative way. If you follow my IG or Pinterest feed, you know I LOVE doing flat lays of my run gear aka flat runner!

Here’s a rundown on my favorite brands included in this flat lay:

  1. Oakland Turkey Trot: This race is pretty unique. All proceeds go back to the Oakland community. Part of my heart belongs to the Bay Area (I lived there for a number a years while growing up.) Both of those are reasons why I signed up to have this race as my very first Turkey Trot!

  2. Knockaround: These sunglasses are my go-to shades. They are reasonable, stay on your face and look good on.

  3. Buff: Lightweight, comfortable and keeps you warm. Buffs are the best!

  4. Altra Running: I was favoring an ‘other’ brand for a while and my right hip as been killing me. Decided to bust out my Altra Impulse Flash and I wish I did that sooner. My hip pain is going away and I’m running fast. Wow. Love Altra.

  5. Aftershokz Trekz Air: Hear the world around you and your music. I feel safe while wearing my Trekz Air during runs. Also, no cords to deal with and the Canyon Red color looks fab against my skin tone.

  6. Garmin feñix 5s Rose Gold: Oh, momma! Talk about beauty meets tech. This watch is my favorite watch of all time. It does NOT leave my wrist unless I need to charge it. My favorite features is all day HR monitoring and how accurate it tracks my pace during runs.

  7. BibBoards: I first noticed rust on my shirt last year. WTH? It was from the safety pins! BibBoards protects your favorite tech shirts from rust and holes and they are customizable!

  8. Sparkle Athletic: #TeamSparkle 4eva! Be bold, be bright. Running is FUN, so have fun doing it. I like to shine during races and I am absolutely wearing a Sparkle Athletic skirt while doing this virtual 5k Turkey Trot.

Join me in getting your #feastmode on and sign up for the Oakland Turkey Trot. Apply code BROTTVIP for 10% off registration.

Race Discounts on Your Favorite National Races

Running races is fun and more fun when you can save money. Below is a list of a plethora of race discounts BibRave is offering on Races from California to NYC and everything inbetween:

2018

January

1/20/2018: F^3 Lake Half Marathon – Chicago, IL

http://www.f3running.com/
Use code “bibrave13” to save $6 off the half and “bibrave5” to save $5 off 5K!

 

1/21/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/atlanta
Use code “BRHCATL18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

1/28/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Houston – Houston, TX

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/houston
Use code “BibRaveHCHouston18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

1/28/2018: Miami Marathon – Miami Beach, FL

http://www.themiamimarathon.com/
Use code “BIBRAVEMM18” to save $5 on race entry!

February

2/3/2018: Sedona Marathon – Sedona, AZ

http://www.sedonamarathon.com/

Use code “18BibRave” saves 20% on race entry!

 

2/3/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Dallas – Dallas, TX

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/dallas
Use code “BRHCDAL18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

2/4/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/atlanta
Use code “BRHCATL18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

2/10/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Charlotte – Charlotte, NC

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/charlotte
Use code “BibRaveHCChar18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

2/11/2018: Palm Desert Half Marathon – Palm Desert, CA

http://www.palmdeserthalfmarathon.com/
Use code “BRPD18” to save 10% on race entry!

 

2/17/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Nashville – Nashville, TN

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/nashville
Use code “BRHCNASH18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

2/18/2018: A1A Fort Lauderdale Marathon and Half Marathon – Fort Lauderdale, FL

http://a1amarathon.com/
Use code “BIBRAVE” to save 15% on the Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K.  

 

March

3/4/2018: 13.1 Miami Beach – Miami Beach, FL

http://www.run131series.com/miamibeach/
Use code “BIBRAVEMB18” to save $5 on the half marathon!

 

3/4/2018: Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans – New Orleans, LA

http://www.runrocknroll.com/new-orleans

Use code “BIBRAVE15” to save $15 off Half and Full, valid until 1/29.

 

3/4/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Seattle – Seattle, WA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/seattle
Use code “BRHCSEA18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

3/4/2018: The Alamo 13.1 & Alamo 26.2 Marathon – San Antonio, TX

http://alamo131.com/
Use code “BIBRAVE18” to save 18% on your race entry!

 

3/18/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K San Diego – San Diego, CA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/sandiego
Use code “BRHCSD18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

3/18/2018: Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon – Cary, NC

http://www.tobaccoroadmarathon.com
Use code “bibrave1” to save $20 on race registration!

 

3/24/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/indianapolis
Use code “BibRaveHCIndy18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

April

4/7/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/philadelphia
Use code “BRHCPHILLY18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

4/8/2018: Hapalua – Hawaii’s Half Marathon – Waikiki Beach, HI

http://thehapalua.com/
Use code “BIBRAVEHAPALUA” to save 10% on race entry.

 

4/8/2018: Statesman Cap10K – Austin, TX

http://www.cap10k.com/
Use code “BibRaveRunsCap10K” to save $5 on race entry.

 

4/14/2018: Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Minneapolis – Minneapolis, MN

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/minneapolis
Use code “BRHCMINN18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

 

4/26-28/2018: Illinois Marathon – Champaign-Urbana, IL

http://illinoismarathon.com/
Use code “2018bibravebonus” to save $5 on race entry!

 

4/28-29/2018: New Jersey Marathon – Oceanport, NJ

https://www.thenewjerseymarathon.com/
Use code “NJMBibrave18” to save $5 on all race distances!

 

4/29/2018: RUN CRANDIC – Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA

http://runcrandic.com/
Use code “BibRave18” to save 10% on race entry!

 

May

5/5/2018: OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon – Indianapolis, IN

https://www.500festival.com/running/mini-marathon/
Use code “BRP2018” to save $5 on race entry!
 

5/19/2018: Harper’s Ferry Half Marathon – Harper’s Ferry, WV

http://www.harpersferryhalf.org/
Use code “BIBRAVE5” to save $5 on race entry!

 

5/27/2018: Vermont City Marathon – Burlington, VT

https://www.vermontcitymarathon.org/
Use code “BibRave10” to save $10 on race entry!

 

June

6/1-3/2018: Hospital Hill Run – Kansas City, MO

http://www.hospitalhillrun.com/
Use code “BIBHHR18” to save 15% 15% on any event distance!

 

6/3/2018: North Olympic Discovery Marathon – Port Angeles, WA

http://nodm.com/
Use code “BibRave527” to save 5% on race entry!

BibRave also offers sweet discounts on gear. If you are in the market for AfterShokz, Knuckle Lights or protein power from Luvo, then here are your money savers: BibRave Gear Discounts


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