Last Friday afternoon I received two opportunities to offer cool prizes for the right kind of readers - the trouble is, I have no idea who those readers might be. Furthermore, I have no experience with either product to tell you anything insightful about them, although in one case I’m going to be quite envious of the winner.
But first, since I was a slacker on my normal weekend posting, here’s a quick Random Shot of Beauty:
An evergreen vista in the Santa Cruz Mountains, as seen from the Christmas tree farm our family has been patronizing for 30 years. As usual, we came home with a tree that looked significantly bigger in the back of the truck than it did when it was still standing in the forest. As to how it looks when it’s decorated, perhaps that will be the subject of an upcoming RSOB.
On to the giveaways …
The first offer is a free entry to the 13.1 Marathon (kind of a confusing name, but it is indeed a half-marathon) taking place in Los Angeles on January 15, 2012. A PR person offered me an entry, but considering that 1) road races aren’t really my thing nowadays, and 2) I don’t live in Los Angeles anymore, I figured the opportunity was better suited for somebody else. When I suggested as much to the contact person, we worked out a scenario for a giveaway.
Here’s the deal: if you want a free entry to this race, leave a comment below this post and I’ll pick somebody at random as my winner. I’ll send you a code for free online registration, and all of the other logistics are up to you. After the race, you agree to write a brief race report and/or offer some constructive feedback for the race committee about your experience at the event.
I don’t endorse or promote races I’ve never done, so I have no idea whether this event will be a bust or a smashing success. (On a related note, if you win the contest and the race turns out to suck, don't complain to me.) I do know that 2012 marks the third year for this particular race, and that it’s part of a larger half marathon series with eight events nationwide. The course traverses a quintessential Southern California backdrop, starting in Venice Beach and looping around Marina Del Rey before taking a long out and back down the coastline and finishing in Playa Del Rey. It’s also pancake flat, so it would make a great course for a first-time half-marathoner or anyone looking to blaze a new PR.
I figure I must have some readers in SoCal who might be interested - or some non-SoCal runners who would be interested in visiting LA in the middle of winter - so if you’re one of them, let me know in the comments, and I’ll announce the winner here next Saturday night.
This next contest is the one I’m envious of, because you’ll get the opportunity to test an as-yet-unreleased product that I haven’t even laid eyes on yet. What’s more, it’s from one of my favorite companies, GU Energy.
Their PR person sent me a surprise e-mail announcing GU’s Roctane Drink mix, which apparently is to standard GU Brew what GU Roctane is to standard GU energy gels: a unique formulation specifically designed for long aerobic endurance activities. Because I train with GU Brew on a daily basis, and since I’ve used Roctane gel for virtually every long run and ultra I’ve done over the past year or two, the rep pretty much had me at hello.
|Sorry the pic is so small ... they only sent me a lo-res thumbnail|
And then … well, I’m not really in the mood to talk about it, so I’ll just copy excerpts from her e-mail here:
Sounds great, right? Well … sorry, it’s not for you. It’s for your readers. Specifically, it’s for your Reader of the Year.
Roctane Drink isn’t available to the general public yet, but in the company’s tradition of hands-on athlete development, we would like to extend an exclusive product testing opportunity for one lucky reader.
We’d love to reward your most loyal fan and send one tub of the drink to them, as well as a complimentary GU Sample Pack for them to test out. There are only 29 sample tubs of the powdered drink mix in existence; you announce the giveaway, and we’ll handle all of the fulfillment from here.
Needless to say, this bums me out a little bit – not only because I don’t get to try any for myself, but also because I have no Earthly idea how to determine who my most loyal reader might be. I actually made an argument to the rep that I could be considered my own most loyal reader – after all, I've read every single one of my own posts, something that probably nobody else can claim – but my pleas fell on deaf ears.
So congratulations, everybody but me: you have an opportunity to test a sweet new product from perhaps the best sports nutrition company around. Meanwhile, I’m going to keep reminding myself to handle this situation gracefully.
As for how we run this contest, I’m not really interested in having anyone prove their loyalty or otherwise suck up to me in any way. Therefore, I’m leaving the creative aspect up to you, and making one simple ground rule: if you want to win a sample tub of Roctane drink mix, tell me why I should pick you. Maybe you have a big event coming up, maybe you have some special dietary concern, or maybe you can just make me laugh somehow. I have no idea what I’m looking for, really – but hopefully I’ll know it when I see it.
Leave a comment stating your case below this post, and I’ll choose the answer I like the best to receive the prize. The winner will be announced next Saturday night along with the race contest winner above. (In case you’re wondering: yes, it’s OK to enter both contests at once.) Thanks very much to sponsors GU Company and US Road Sports & Entertainment Group, and good luck to everyone!
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