I was really blessed this week and was the recipient of some really cool presents & prizes so I wanted to share my good fortune by doing my first give away on my blog!
Before I get to the good stuff though, a little back story...
As you probably know if you read my blog, I bike commute to work. In fact, I made a vow that I would ride/run more miles than I drive in a year and I try to take my car out only one day a week, usually on the weekend to run errands. I started bike commuting to lose weight and save money but now it's more about trying to live green. However, I ran into a little conflict when I started running and racing.
When I started running, I decided to use that as the impetus to explore our beautiful country & see new places. I decided I would do either a half marathon or a marathon in every state and so far I've raced in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and New York and I'll be adding Utah next month! But traveling does not exactly leave the best footprint on our planet so I made 2 rules for this venture.
1. If I can drive there in less than a day (8 hours max), then I can take my car since that mileage will be included in my yearly mileage goal.
2. If I'm going to a race that's too far away to drive to, then I will fly but I have to pick a race where public transportation is abundant and easy to use so I don't have to rent a car. That way, I can get around by foot or public transportation and still keep to my rules/goals with regards to driving.
As I started racing, I also decided that I would try to be even greener and always carry my own water/drink so I wouldn't use the cups at the aid stations and contribute to the trash from the race. So far, it's worked out really well. I've carried my own water bottle in every race since my first marathon except for races 10K or less. For shorter races like that I don't usually drink during them so it's not an issue.
I have a pretty large water bottle collection but the two that are my favorites are my Ultimate Direction bottles. For shortish runs (up to 13 miles), I use my Ultimate Direction Fastdraw (at right). It holds 10 oz of liquid, is comfortable to hold and has a pocket to stash money, keys, a gel, etc. I used it both days of the back-to-back half marathons I ran in April and it was perfect.
My favorite for long runs is the Ultimate Direction Fastdraw Plus (at right). It's a 20 oz bottle and it has a larger pocket. But the real kicker (yes, pun intended - see below) for me is the valve! It totally rocks. It never leaks, lets me drink without having to pull the top up, and let's me take the right amount every time. The finger loop lets me hold the bottle various ways so I don't get tired. In short, I absolutely love this bottle! They now have the Fastdraw Extreme which is insulated and I may have to get that for next summer. Here's a little more information about the Fastdraw Plus:
The only issue is that since I usually carry Gu Brew in my Fastdraw Plus, I sometimes wish I had a way to carry a little bit of water. And what do you know...a company called HydraPouch did just that! I just ordered a few of these to try on my runs and see how they go. I've heard nothing but good things about them so I have high hopes. You can check out a review of it here.
So, here's the deal. I am going to give a way two hydration systems:
1. A Fastdraw Plus w/a HydraPouch
2. A Fuel Belt R20
Don't worry, the Fastdraw Plus is new! Like I'd give away my favorite bottle, sheesh. ;) And the Fuel Belt is the Revenge R20 and it is new too. It's like the one shown but in blue and it's adjustable. I bought it but never used it because I ended up buying a Nathan Hydration Vest too and it works better for me. If I could have gotten the Fuel Belt to stay around my hips like Halle Berry's utility belt as a Bond Girl Jinx, then that would have made me happy but I couldn't make it work. ;) So someone gets to try it out!So...I'll pick two lucky readers for this give away. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me what you do to be a "green" runner/cyclist/triathlete. You can also specify which one you would like to receive the bottle/HydraPouch or the belt and I'll do a separate drawing for each.
The contest ends on Sunday, September 25th and I'll announce the winners on Monday, the 26th.
By the way, I found 2 bonus advantages to carrying my own water/drink in a race:
1. I don't have to worry about what the race will provide.
2. I don't have to worry about navigating aid stations and I can save time! I just say "Nothing, but thank you." as I breeze through the aid station.
Here are the links to the websites for UD, Hydrapouch, and Fuel Belt if you are interested in checking out their other products: