Dimity and I are long-time fans of ZOOMA women's race series: We've loved them ever since we debuted our first book, Run Like a Mother, at ZOOMA Texas in 2010. We've reveled in the amazing vibe at these races across the country, from Cape Cod to Colorado, Annapolis to Atlanta, Napa Valley and maybe the debut Nashville race this November.
The ZOOMA series founder, Brae Blackley, is a mother runner of three young children, so she completely understands what a gal is looking for when she heads off for a race:
-A well-organized race with a choice of distances: Every ZOOMA race includes a half-marathon and either a 5K or 10K, and sometimes all three distances, like at last Saturday's ZOOMA Texas.
-A scenic course, often starting and ending at a resort, such as Hyatt Lost Pines outside of Austin, TX (one word: gorgeous!); Napa Valley Marriott; and Colorado Springs' legendary Broadmoor.
-A race expo that's easy to navigate yet still has make-you-linger shopping
-A race field that's big enough to spur competition and offer companionship and support the entire way, yet not big enough to jostle and overwhelm.
-A post-race party complete with wine and massages (not at the same time, but right next to each other!)
But for us, what we love most is that vibe I alluded to. Like a fragrance, it's tough to describe, but it infuses every ZOOMA event, making for a supportive, vibrant, we're-all-in-this-together experience. Even climbing up and down Austin's famous hill country, I nabbed one of my fastest-ever 13.1 times at ZOOMA five years ago--and forged some memorable bonds out on the race course. (To my pink-shirted pal who helped spur me along, I hope you are doing well!)
And now Brae and, well, Another Mother Runner (AMR) is making ZOOMA even better: Starting next week, all ZOOMA registrants will get a complimentary AMR training plan powered by TrainingPeaks. (The plans aren't live yet, but they will be in a few days, I promise!) Half-marathoners will choose from three plans: an 8-, 10-, or 12-week one, while the 10Kers will, fittingly, get a 10-week plan. Then, every day in the lead-up to the ZOOMA race, participants will get an email from TrainingPeaks, outlining that day's workout as well as the following day's fitness session. It's a perk no other race offers, and we're pleased to partner with ZOOMA on it.
Which brings us to the Hump Day Giveaway: One lucky lady will win two entries to the ZOOMA race of her choice; one race entry for herself, and one for her best running friend. Choose a race close by, or make it a girlfriends' getaway: It's winner's choice. (Please note: Giveaway is for two race entries only; no travel expenses are covered.) To enter, tell us what is the most important element of a race for you (other than the distance!). Is it the location? The cause the race supports? Friends running it? The post-race party? The swag? For a chance to win, simply click on the Comments ribbon beneath this post on our website, and tell us what aspect of a race, other than distance, makes you run (or run/walk) it.
[Some fine print for this fine prize.] This sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of anywhere on Earth as long as you can get yourself to a ZOOMA race. Part of a series of weekly running giveaways, it begins on 4/1/15 and ends on 4/7/15. We will announce the winner on our Facebook page on 4/9/15, as well as notifying the winners by email. One entry per person. The value of the prize package is approximately $200. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.