Why? Weekends!

Every year before Jeffrey starts back to school, we do a weekend away as a family to celebrate the end of summer break. The last two years, we’ve done an overnight trip to Cedar Point.

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While Jeffrey spends a lot of time at Cedar Point over the summer since we’re season passholders, he never gets to see the park all lit up at night, so it makes for a great place for our weekend stay.

This year, we stayed at Castaway Bay, so we had indoor waterpark fun, in addition to Cedar Point fun.

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Jeffrey could ride on all the slides at Castaway Bay, which is always a plus. He loved the colorful tube slides, the water roller coaster, and the wave pool!

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Plus, being season passholders, we saved on our stay, since Castaway Bay is part of the Cedar Fair family.

Of course, we spent lots of time riding the rides at Cedar Point too. From cable cars to Camp Snoopy to lots of spinny rides, Jeffrey is a ride monster!

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We also caught the last weekend of Cedar Point Nights, with lots of light-up fun and music on the beach.

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While we were at Cedar Point, a nice couple who had won one of the midway games offered their prizes to Jeffrey and another little boy, so we ended up coming home with this massive shark!

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We started a lot of conversations walking through the park with this! Jeffrey loves it and it was such a nice reminder of the kindness and generosity of the human spirit.

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We all renewed our season passes for next year and found some great deals: Matthew and I have the new Gold Pass and Jeffrey has the Pre-K Pass. The Gold Pass and the Pre-K Pass include unlimited visits to Cedar Point and Cedar Point Shores. Plus, the Gold Pass includes parking, as well as discounts on food, souvenirs, and resort stays. Check them out! Season passes make it easy to enjoy lots of fun at Cedar Point all year.

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Do you do anything special as a family before your kids start back to school?

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Why? Chefs Unbridled!

As thoughts start to turn toward fall, one of my favorite annual foodie evenings is just around the corner: Chefs Unbridled presented by the Harrington Family Foundation on Saturday, September 7.

Jen Rome and Alicia Hansen sample Chefs Unbridled dishes

This event not only brings together some of Cleveland’s finest chefs, but it does so in a beautiful setting at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club Polo Field.

Photographs of "Chefs Unbridled" fundraising event for Fieldstone Farm-09/16

Stroll around the decorated tent and enjoy the food and drinks, wine pull, and live auctions or pop outside for food and dessert trucks, a bourbon tasting from Tom’s Foolery, and horse-drawn carriage rides with Cleveland storyteller Dan Ruminski.

Of course, the stars of the evening are the chefs who will create delectable dishes to enjoy.

Scott Kuhn 2018 Chefs Unbridled

This year’s Chefs Unbridled chefs are:

  • Scott Kuhn and Chris Hodgson of Driftwood Restaurant Group
  • Matt Mytro of Flour Restaurant
  • Arnaud Berthelier of The Union Club
  • Will Burke of Revival Social 216
  • Vince Thomascik, Brett Sawyer, and Nolan Tidwell of Good Company
  • Brett Zubek of Sol
  • Joe Pinzone of Forno Wood-Fired Catering
  • Demetrios Athenos of Bold Food and Drink
  • Mike Schoen of Tinman
  • David Kocab of Black Pig

Chefs Unbridled is a fundraiser for Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, which serves over 1,000 special needs children and adults by connecting them with horses for care, lessons, and friendship. Some of the horses make an appearance at the event, too!

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Last year’s event raised nearly $300,000 and this year promises to be even bigger and better!

Tickets are currently on sale for $140 and can be purchased online. You can also purchase Golden Ticket raffle tickets for $100, which puts you into a drawing for a 5-course meal for 20 people with wine pairings, prepared in the winner’s home by Chefs Kuhn and Hodgson. These tickets are available now and will not be sold at the event. Winner need not be present to win.

I hope to see you under the tent and under the stars at Chefs Unbridled!

***Disclosure: I was asked by Fieldstone Farm to help promote Chefs Unbridled. In exchange, I will receive two complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Hudec Dental!

As a busy mom, I’m all about places that can provide one-stop shopping. I also like the idea that once you build a comfort level with a service provider, you can go to them for all your needs.

Which is why Hudec Dental is such a great fit for our family. They offer a wide range of services all under the Hudec Dental umbrella, with great communication and coordination in between the offices.

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The services offered at Hudec Dental:

General & Preventative Dentistry

  • Adults
  • Seniors
  • Kids
  • Cosmetic Services
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Emergency Dental Services
  • Restorative Dentistry

Orthodontic Services

  • Adults
  • Kids
  • Standard Metal Braces
  • Ceramic Brackets
  • Clear Aligned Treatment (Invisalign Type)

Oral Surgery

  • Adults
  • Kids

Root Canal Specialists

  • Adults
  • Kids
  • Hudec Dental works closely with Root Canal Specialists that will work with their patients to determine the best course of dental treatment for each individual patient.

Periodontal Care

  • Adults
  • Kids
  • Hudec Dental works closely with a Periodontist that will work with their patients to help determine the best course of dental treatment for each individual patient.

Each Hudec Dental location has shared access to patient files. The orthodontist is able to access the patient’s general dentistry files to help better tailor their orthodontic treatment based on the history of every patient. The same goes for Oral Surgery.

If a patient has an emergency but can’t get in at their normal location or is on the other side of town, Hudec Dental can quickly check other locations nearby so the patient can get an appointment and be out of pain.

If a patient has an advanced root canal or needs periodontal services we work very closely with an Endodontist and Periodontist. They share the same values and purpose as Hudec Dental and therefore patients will receive the same 5-star care with the specialists as they would with Hudec Dental.

This ability to streamline services and work closely with a wide network of professionals across the Cleveland area makes Hudec Dental a one-stop shop that is not only convenient, but trusted.

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Hudec Dental. I received compensation for this post.***

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Why? The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom!

We all know that The Cleveland Orchestra is a world-class orchestra. But seeing The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center is also a world-class experience.

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On Sunday, Matthew and I attended a show with the Blossom Festival Orchestra and Brian Wilson, celebrating the iconic “Pet Sounds” album (as well as lots of Beach Boys classics). This was so exciting for me, since my first concert was seeing The Beach Boys at Blossom.

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But before the music even starts, there are new features at Blossom that make an evening there with The Cleveland Orchestra even more spectacular! The newly-opened Tasting Room offers wine, beer, and desserts to enjoy in the Tasting Room or take with you to your seats in a handy, yours-to-keep carafe.

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At all The Cleveland Orchestra concerts, the featured wines in the Tasting Room are themed on what the orchestra is playing. So, at Sunday’s show with Brian Wilson, the wines were from California.

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You can also order boxed lunches or picnic baskets from the Tasting Room to enjoy on the lawn or in one of the cute new seating areas.

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Beyond The Tasting Room, the Blossom Grill offers full-service, sit-down dining or you can enjoy one of the many food truck vendors lining the lawn.

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Matthew and I grabbed dinner from The Shuckin’ Shack. The BBQ pulled chicken was delicious, as was the garlic parmesan roasted corn.

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If you’re a season subscriber to The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom, you get exclusive access to Kulas Plaza, which includes a bar, food vendors, seating, restrooms, and easy access to the pavilion.

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We also got a glimpse of all the backstage action. The backstage set-up at Blossom is truly impressive and massive, with practice rooms, dressing rooms, catering services, and everything to keep shows from The Cleveland Orchestra to rock ‘n roll up and running.

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Then it was time for the show! It was such a cool throwback for me to see Brian Wilson and hear music that I enjoyed at my first concert ever. The Blossom Festival Orchestra added such great depth to the music too.

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From taking us through the entire “Pet Sounds” album to an encore dance party of Beach Boys favorites, it was a wonderful night!

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The Cleveland Orchestra has three more concerts left at Blossom this season: Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances on Saturday, August 17; South Pacific in Concert on Saturday, August 24 (a collaboration with the Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre Program); and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on Friday, August 30 through Sunday, September 1.

Of course, you can also catch The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall. Learn more about the 2019-2020 series here.

For a magical night of music, food, and fun, don’t miss your chance to see The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center!

***Disclosure: I was invited by The Cleveland Orchestra to attend a show at Blossom Music Center. I received two complimentary tickets to the show, a parking pass, and drink vouchers. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Matthew’s Birthday!

Last week, Matthew turned 40, which called for several celebrations…

Marble Room Steaks and Raw Bar

Marble Room Steaks and Raw Bar was one of the spots we kept wanting to go to, but hadn’t yet. A big birthday celebration seemed like the perfect reason to go!

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We went a bit before our reservation time, so we could enjoy a cocktail at the bar and take in the ambiance first (thanks for the pro tip, Adam and Rebecca!)

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I had the Love Potion, with Belvedere Vodka, Pama Liqueur, grilled pineapple purée, pomegranate glaze, baked coconut flakes, and cranberry juice. This was light, fruity, and seasonally perfect!

Matthew had the High on Life, with Tanquerey Gin, St. Germain Elderflower, Dolin Blanc, cucumber, mint, lemon juice, and shiso leaf.

For dinner, we shared two appetizers: Hamachi Jalapeño Crudo and Duck Confit Duo (a Korean BBQ bao bun and confit-mushroom spring rolls).

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The Hamachi was perfection and the duck was smoky and delicious. I could drink the ginger-plum sauce that came with the duck!

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For our entrees, we made our own surf and turf. Matthew chose the dry-aged Delmonico and I had the King Crab. Both were simple, but prepared very well.

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The side dishes are shareable and we split the Crispy Potato Cake, with roasted poblano and guajillo chiles, garlic, scallion, and cotija cheese. It’s like a hash brown in heaven!

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For dessert, Matthew was presented with Marble Room’s homemade special-occasion cotton candy.

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He also got the Liz’s Gilded Chocolate Cake and I got the classic Vanilla Bean Crème Brulée, served with a snickerdoodle cookie (my favorite cookie).

The food, service, and atmosphere all truly made it a very special meal!

The Lion King

From there, we walked down to Playhouse Square to see The Lion King.

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The show is playing at the KeyBank State Theatre through Sunday, September 1 and is truly something to see. You know the story, of course, but there are new songs and the costumes are incredible. Disney never skimps on production value!

Dinner at Home

On Thursday (Matthew’s actual birthday), we enjoyed a family dinner at home with tacos and birthday cake, which is a meal that can keep everyone from a 5-year old to a 40-year old happy!

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Jeffrey helped make the cake, which made it even more special!

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Masthead Brewing Co.

Then on Saturday, we gathered with friends at Masthead Brewing Co. for one last birthday celebration of this big year.

Masthead was the perfect spot to meet up: great beer, delicious food, a nice patio, convenient parking, family-friendly for those who wanted to bring their kids…

We ordered lots of pizza and pretzels to share and of course enjoyed lots of craft beer, too!

It was a fun few days celebrating! Where are your go-to birthday celebration spots?

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Why? St. Jude Walk/Run Cleveland!

Lace up your running shoes and get ready to run for kids with cancer. On Saturday, September 28, the annual St. Jude Walk/Run takes place at Edgewater Park.

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The event includes a 5K race and a walk. Registration for the 5K race is $20 for participants ages 6 and up. Registration for the walk is free. Registration for any participants 5 and under is also free.

You can join or start a fundraising team or raise money on your own. Click here to join or start a team.

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The proceeds from the Run/Walk benefit St. Jude, an organization that helps families dealing with childhood cancer. St. Jude ensures that families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing, or food because all they should worry about is helping their child live.

St. Jude has helped push the overall cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80%. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes so that doctors worldwide can work together to make childhood cancer 100% survivable.

Last year, 900 participants in the St. Jude Run/Walk Cleveland raised over $100,000! So, if spending a fall morning getting a workout on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie for a fantastic cause sounds like your thing, register today for the St. Jude Run/Walk Cleveland!

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Why? Legacy Village Meet the Machines!

On Sunday, August 11 from 12pm-4pm, Legacy Village will host a monster-sized touch-a-truck event that will allow children and their families to get hands on with safety vehicles, school buses, construction equipment, service vehicles, and more.

Meet the Machines flyer

Meet the Machines is fun for the whole family! There will be vehicles from the City of Lyndhurst Police Department, Fire Department, and Service Department; the Cleveland Police Museum; the Cleveland Cavaliers; the Cleveland Monsters; W.B. Mason; and more.

Aside from all the vehicles to see and touch, Meet the Machines will also feature live entertainment, giveaways, crafts, and safety information. This event is free and is made possible with support from Hawken School, the City of Lyndhurst, iHeart Media, and Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine.

 

Fuel up and head on out to Meet the Machines at Legacy Village!

***Disclosure: I have an ongoing relationship with Legacy Village to promote their events. In exchange, I will receive compensation in the form of Legacy Village gift cards. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Weekends!

We had a wild time not just at the Zoo this weekend…here’s what we were up to:

Vintage Ohio

On Saturday, my friend Anne and I (and Jeffrey) headed to the Lake Metroparks Farm Park for Vintage Ohio Wine Festival.

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This year marked the 25th annual Vintage Ohio, which brings together the best of Ohio wines, along with crafts, food, music, and more.

Anne and I already knew we liked the wines from Gervasi Vineyard, but it never hurts to taste test to confirm!

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We also discovered a nice sparkling wine from Valley Vineyards.

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Buckeye Winery offered lots of interesting flavored wines. We both tried the jalapeño wine, which I can’t imagine drinking an entire glass of, but was quite nice when you added Bloody Mary mix.

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And we both took home a bottle of the Carménère from Urban Vintner (also, there’s a winery in my neighborhood that I didn’t know about…I’m failing).

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All of us rode the ferris wheel and got some lovely views of Lake County.

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It was a fun day of great weather, great wines, and great friends!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Ohio Wine Producers Association to help promote Vintage Ohio. In exchange, I received complimentary tickets to the event. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

Beach Days

We also spent a lot of time on the Lake Erie shore this weekend. On Saturday, Matthew competed in the AIA Cleveland Beach Day sand castle competition at Edgewater Beach. Of course, Jeffrey and I had to stop up to cheer him on!

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The team from AECOM (where Matthew works) has won the competition for the last five years straight, so they have quite the dynasty. It’s always so cool to see what the different teams create! This year, his team built “Nautical Nonsense on the Cuyahoga,” with lots of SpongeBob characters.

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There were sand castle Rock Halls and Cuyahoga Rivers and even the Game of Thrones iron throne! You can see all the castles and participate in voting for your favorite sand castle on the AIA Cleveland Facebook page.

On Sunday, we found ourselves back on the shore, but further east at Headlands Beach State Park. Jeffrey enjoyed building sand castles and being silly with his cousins!

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We’re so lucky to have great beaches in the Cleveland area and to be able to enjoy lake breezes and seashore fun!

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So, that was our weekend! How was yours?

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Why? Twilight at the Zoo!

Friday night brought one of the wildest parties of the summer to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo: Twilight at the Zoo, a fundraiser for the Cleveland Zoological Society.

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We started out in the VIP area. Twilight at the Zoo is an event where the VIP upgrade is really worth it: you get reserved parking, more food options, and a full bar, as well as some additional bands to hear.

We noshed on nibbles from Bonefish Grill, Carabba’s Italian Grill, Cleveland Kraut, Graeter’s Ice Cream, and Aramark.

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And the Cleveland Whiskey bourbon lemonade was the perfect summer sipper.

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Then we headed to the main event to hear some of the best bands in Cleveland. We always love Billy Likes Soda

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…and Faction, both of whom keep the crowd singing and dancing all night.

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Plus, we got to check out the Asian Lantern Festival, which was all lit up for the party-goers.

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If you want to have a wild time at the Zoo yourself, you can grab tickets this morning for another great Cleveland Zoological Society fundraiser: Date Night at the ZOOvies. The event takes place on Friday, September 6 and includes complimentary beer, wine, and appetizers, along with a showing of “The Goonies” in the Zoo’s Savanna Theater (with movie snacks to enjoy during the film).

Tickets are $90 for a couple or $55 for an individual. This event always sells out quickly, so grab your tickets ASAP! They go on sale today (Monday, August 5) at 9am!

***Disclosure: I was asked by the Cleveland Zoological Society to help promote Twilight at the Zoo and Date Night at the ZOOvies. In exchange, I received four complimentary VIP tickets to Twilight at the Zoo and two complimentary tickets to Date Night at the ZOOvies. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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Why? Recovery Resources Run for Recovery Giveaway!

You’ve got to love when the chance to do a fun activity in a great location for a good cause all come together. That’s a trifecta for me! That’s why I’m excited to again partner with Recovery Resources for the Run for Recovery.

Run 19-Theme Logo

Held on Saturday, August 17 at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Run for Recovery offers a 5K race, 1 mile wellness walk, and kids’ fun run. There will also be family-friendly activities and free admission to the Zoo for the entire day following the Run.

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Run for Recovery proceeds benefit Recovery Resources, which provides education and prevention, outpatient treatment, and supportive services to those dealing with mental illness and drug, alcohol, and other addictions in Northeast Ohio.

You can register for Run for Recovery as an individual or a fundraising team. Registration prices are as follows:

  • $30 for 5K Race
  • $15 for the 1-mile Wellness Walk
  • $15 for the Kids’ Fun Run (up to age 10)

You can also purchase additional Zoo passes at a discount for family and friends to join you after the Run for Recovery at $6 for those 12 and up and $4 for those ages 2 to 11.

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You can register for the Run for Recovery online. Or you can enter to win two registrations for the Run for Recovery event of your choice right here! Here’s how to enter (you can do one, two, three, four, or all five entries, just leave a separate comment here for each):

1. Leave a comment here telling me why you want to participate in the Run for Recovery.

2. Visit Recovery Resources and Why CLE? on Facebook and leave a comment here letting me know you visited both pages.

3. Follow @recrescleveland and @whycle on Instagram and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

4. Follow @recrescleveland and @WhyCLE on Twitter and leave a comment here letting me know you’re following both.

5. Tweet the following phrase and leave a comment here letting me know you tweeted:

I want to #RunforRecovery with @recrescleveland and @WhyCLE #giveaway https://whycle.com/2019/08/02/why-recovery-resources-run-for-recovery-giveaway 

You can tweet once per day for additional entries, just leave a separate comment here each time you tweet.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday, August 6 at 11:59pm and the winner will be notified the following day. Good luck!

***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the Run for Recovery. In exchange, I will receive 2 complimentary race registrations to give away. I declined my complimentary race registrations due to scheduling conflicts. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***

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