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Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities

by Meghann on February 11, 2013

I’m such a run nerd. Give me a running themed event with the promise of free food, massages, and a photo booth and I am so there. Throw in Brooks, a group of girlfriends, and a gorgeous Monday evening and you not only have a fan, but you have a fan who shows up 30 minutes early ready to get the party started!


I first heard about the Brooks Rock ‘n’ Roll after party when I visited the new Hyde Park FITniche store last month. The Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities Bus is following the Rock ‘n’ Roll race series around the country this year, throwing after parties and shakedown runs after each race. Since FITniche is a new store in the area, it seemed like a good fit that they would host the Tampa Bay party. I made a mental note of the date, then later RSVPed through Facebook.


I’ve worked with Brooks for over a year now as a blog ambassador and am mildly obsessed with the brand. They just get runners and seem to cater to the quirkiness that every runner possesses. Like handing out awesome blue sunglasses or hosting post-half marathon shakedown runs. ๐Ÿ˜‰


I arrived at the shakedown run about 30 minutes early and ran into a handful of friends on my way to the store. Everyone at FITniche was so kind and welcoming. The owner was making his way from group to group introducing himself and asking if there was anything we needed.

Outside there were a couple of tables set up with snacks and goodies to nibble on.



There was also a photobooth to get silly at.



Fellow run nerds unite!



As a bonus they were handing out $10 gift certificates we could use on anything in the store. A few of my friends loaded up on $10 worth of fuel or a free pair of socks. I put mine towards some sports detergent (I’ll let you know how it works!).


The store had a good crowd. This wasn’t an exclusive event, everyone was welcomed!


Right at 6:30, the FiTniche owner greeted everyone and let us know the running routes. We had the option of going with the 1 mile or 3 mile group. Nothing crazy, just an easy run along the water.


My friend Steph and I decided to go with the 3 mile group. We kept a steady pace along Bayshore and spent the majority of the run talking discussing our weekends. It was a great way to spend a Monday evening.


After the run I thanked the folks at FITniche for showing us a great time and headed home for dinner.

We had some leftover french bread and sausage from Saturday night that I turned into french loaf pizzas for dinner. It was an easy meal that took less than 5 minutes to put together, you really can’t argue with that.


Does this meal remind anyone else of college? Just me?


Derek and I split a chocolate sundae cupcake for dessert.


I wish there had been more nuts in the cupcake, otherwise the icing was pretty darn delicious.

Do you belong to a weekly run group?

I used to do weekly speed work session with the Tampa Tri Team, but haven’t been in a while. I wish we had more casual run groups in my neck of the woods. It feels like there are a half a dozen associated with bars in South Tampa, but not as much up here. ๐Ÿ™‚

1 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 11, 2013 at 10:53 pm

I did all my marathon training long runs with my training pace group, through the Chicago Area Runners Association, but that’s the only time I’ve met a weekly group
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..Nutty Friends and Nutty Butter

2 Sonia the Mexigarian February 11, 2013 at 11:17 pm

I’m on a list for a weekly run group, but have yet to go run with them ^_^;; I have been planning on checking it out once it stays lighter later in the day. I did a once a month womens group last year until October when it ended due to dark afternoons. It was very very fun,and am looking forward to it happening again this year.
Sonia the Mexigarian recently posted..Dog day Monday

3 lisa fine @ vermont vittles February 11, 2013 at 11:47 pm

We’re in a super rural area, so the closest groups are all over 40 minutes away. On the last few long runs I’ve done, my fiancรฉ and I have done to same route at the same time, and usually see each other a bunch along the way, though we don’t necessarily run together.

Sounds like a cool shop!
lisa fine @ vermont vittles recently to train for a marathon in winter, in vermont

4 Lesley T. February 12, 2013 at 1:32 am

Looks like fun! I wish Brooks shoes worked for me because I love the way they look, but they just don’t. ๐Ÿ™

Oh, and I’m currently training for my first 10K with a YMCA group.

5 LMM February 12, 2013 at 3:46 am

Sorry – is it Brooks? Or books?

6 Christina February 12, 2013 at 4:18 am

Wow, you misspelled Brooks in the title of your blog post. I don’t get how you’re too busy to overlook an obvious typo.

7 Sara @ Fitcupcaker February 12, 2013 at 6:27 am

I used to be in a running group but I took a little break. I want one of those cupcakes!!
Sara @ Fitcupcaker recently posted..Push Up Challenge Week 3 & Fit Test

8 Genna February 12, 2013 at 6:50 am

I did NOT see the cupcakes!!

9 Meghann February 12, 2013 at 8:42 am

haha I think you got a better deal with the cookies, those looked homemade. ๐Ÿ™‚

10 Becky @ runfundone February 12, 2013 at 8:07 am

That looks like a super fun event!
Becky @ runfundone recently posted..Sprint Triathlon Training Plan

11 KT February 12, 2013 at 8:10 am

What do you mean by “They just get runners and seem to cater to the quarkiness that every runner possesses. “? What is “quarkiness?” Does that mean “normal” people can’t be runners? All runners have to be “quarky?”

12 Meghann February 12, 2013 at 8:39 am

Not all runners have to be “quirky” but a lot of the runners I’ve met out there are quarky – in a good way! Heck, most runners are proud of that fact. Being quirky is good! ๐Ÿ™‚ Urban Dictionary definition of “quirky”: Dorky in an adorable way. Cheezy but cute at the same time.

13 KT February 12, 2013 at 11:06 am

My point was that “quarky” isn’t a word. Merriam Webster (an actual, reputable dictionary) defines quirky as “different from the ordinary in a way that causes curiosity or suspicion.” I’m surprised that brands continue to want you to represent them when you can’t handle basic spelling and grammar of the English language.

14 Belle February 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm


15 Allie February 12, 2013 at 8:37 am

That event looked fun! I joined a running group last year for the Flying Pig training. We meet twice a week. I loved it so much I joined again. I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime. Having a group makes those long runs fun!
Allie recently posted..Marathon Training {Week 6}

16 Maureen February 12, 2013 at 8:47 am

Looks like a great event! I would love to join a local running group, I just haven’t found one that fits my schedule/needs yet. Maybe I’ll have to start my own.
Maureen recently posted..Motivation Monday

17 Emily N February 12, 2013 at 8:49 am

My run group does speed on Tuesdays (I am currently OUT) and long runs on Saturday mornings. They focus on training for the Pig and then the Columbus marathon. Right now, I just go for fun.
Emily N recently posted..Two Runs on a Treadmill + a Lil Circuit

18 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats February 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

This event seems so fun! I try to run with Gulf Winds track club but the times don’t always work with my schedule. It’s do much more fun running with a group though!
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Week 1 Long Run

19 Beth @ Running with the Sunrise February 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

I am always sure to stop by the Brooks Cavalcade at the Rock ‘n’ Roll races that I run, but I had no idea that they did after parties, too! I am absolutely in love with all of my Brooks shoes, so I think I would have loved that party. I’m glad you had fun! I don’t belong to a run club, but I’ve thought about joining one. I just moved to a new area where there are more opportunities for group runs than where I used to live.
Beth @ Running with the Sunrise recently posted..Busy weekend

20 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats February 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

I try to run with our local group but a lot of their times don’t work with my schedule. It’s so much more fun running with a group though!
Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Week 1 Long Run

21 Joelle (on a pink typewriter) February 12, 2013 at 9:16 am

This looks like such a fun event! I love being around runners- it’s always a great dynamic.

22 Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter February 12, 2013 at 9:25 am

Such a great time! I agree, Brooks seems to be in touch with the “quirky” side of athletics. Good to see you yesterday!
Tori @ In Love and Peanut Butter recently posted..Race Recap: Rock โ€˜n Roll St. Pete Half Marathon 2013

23 Kat February 12, 2013 at 9:26 am

Such a fun time! Brooks can put on a run-party!
Kat recently posted..Motivational Monday – Featured Sneakers #18

24 meghan February 12, 2013 at 9:30 am

I had fun last night! The photo booth was great, and I was excited with my free sunglasses! I will definitely be wearing those!
meghan recently posted..Rock ‘n’ Roll St. Pete Half Marathon Recap

25 Lianne February 12, 2013 at 9:39 am

Your posts make me miss living in Tampa so much! I run with the Gulf Coast Runners down in Naples, if you ever make a trip south. Such a great running group! Are you running any of the Gasparilla races?

26 Meghann February 12, 2013 at 9:56 am

Unfortunately my running budget is tight this year so I will not be running any of the Gasparilla races. However I do plan to cheer my little heart out for all my friends who are running this year! Sometimes it’s fun to just be a spectator at the big races.

27 Katie February 12, 2013 at 9:57 am

There isn’t a running group in my hometown, but I am considering getting one started! Except I might wait until after my first marathon in June (so I can focus exclusively on my training and not add stress in my life).
Katie recently posted..Race Recap: TC Valentineโ€™s Day 5k

28 CT Cupcake February 12, 2013 at 10:10 am

who doesn’t love free stuff?! I know I do, but not sure that makes me a run nerd.
Wish I lived in a more populated area that had more fitness related events and shops.
CT Cupcake recently posted..A Forgotten Fave

29 Christina February 12, 2013 at 10:19 am

World of Beer Westchase running club meets every Tuesday at 6:30 .. that may be closer to you.

30 Selene Thompson February 12, 2013 at 10:55 am

I feel jipped!!! Fitniche did an awesome job, the Brooks Cavalancade of Curiosities event in Orlando was not as well put together at yours ๐Ÿ™
I’m so jealous.

31 Meghann February 12, 2013 at 11:17 am

Really? I’m curious – how did they differ?

32 Selene Thompson February 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

We didn’t have:
1. FOOOOOOOOOOOD – and I know you know how important that is ~_^
2. Photo Booth
3. Massages
4. Run
5. Gift Certificate for Fleet Feet (that’s were it was held)
Basically it was the Brooks Trailer and a tent, we did get some goodies, my husband a pair of sunglasses and I won a bandana ๐Ÿ™‚
I was excited to go, and I invited friends, but had to call them to say “don’t come, because it’s a little lame” ๐Ÿ™
And after reading your post I realize it wasn’t really Brooks’ who put all that fun stuff together in Tampa it was the Fitniche store…. I want a Fitniche store by my house !!!

33 beka @ rebecca roams February 12, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I’m becoming more familiar with the BRA group and their schedule, but unfortunately my work schedule gets in the way of most of the meet up times :/
Good to see you last night. Did you notice that any time we are together we take some really crazy pics?
beka @ rebecca roams recently posted..Weekly Rockin’ Workouts Roundup

34 Heather February 13, 2013 at 8:09 am

I train with RunVie Racing ( We meet up on Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings, either in Oldsmar, Safety Harbor or the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. Not sure if any of those are close to you.

35 Jessica February 13, 2013 at 8:28 am

My group hosts an easy 3mile run from Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza at 630pm on Wednesdays. You are more than welcome to join! ๐Ÿ™‚
Jessica recently posted..2013 Goal Update!

36 Liz February 14, 2013 at 3:30 am

I have never belonged to a run group, but I always wondered if I could keep up with one. I would definitely be the turtle in the group, but it might be fun. ๐Ÿ™‚
Liz recently posted..FD243 โ€“ Never Let Um See You Sweat..Yeah Right, Wednesday Rewind

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