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Clif Bar shipped their latest products to our office and we put them to the ultimate taste test

We put this Clif Bar box to the ultimate taste test.

Clif Bar packages are like Christmas morning!

A Clif Bar box arrived the other day. They’re the Official Nutrition of the 3M Half Marathon. Good things happen when those boxes are delivered. We opened the contents and quickly discovered an array of their newest products. We knew we had to put them through a taste test. The box was stuffed with Energy Granola, Fruit Smoothie Filled bars, and Sweet & Salty bars. There was also a stainless steel travel jar so you could take granola with your on your next hike. Read our reviews, then head to your nearest store or visit clifbar.com to scoop these up.

Energy Granola

Four different flavors arrived and they all pass the taste test: Cinnamon Almond, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Cocoa Almond, and Blueberry Crisp. All four bags of Energy Granola delivered in the taste department. The clusters were extra crunchy and you only need a handful or two before you’re good to go. These make for the perfect afternoon snack at the office. Depending on your preferred flavor, Energy Granola would come in handy on a long trail hike or a cross-country flight. Pro tip – these make the perfect cereal topper. Sprinkle in a handful to liven up your morning!

Sweet & Salty Bars

Clif Bar sent all three new Sweet & Salty flavors and holy smokes these were insanely amazing. Honestly, we can’t decide which one is our favorite. We loved Caramel Toffee with Sea Salt, Chocolate Chunk with Sea Salt, Peanut Butter & Honey with Sea Salt. As many in the endurance community know, sweet and salty is the magic combination. Clif Bar hit the nail on the head with these three creations. Constructed like the original Clif Bars, these are perfect for a pre-workout meal or post-ride snack on the go. The bars were light, crunchy, tasty, and left you contemplating whether or not you should open another one.

We put the Fruit Smoothie Filled Clif Bars to a taste test.

The Fruit Smoothie Filled Bars hit the spot!

Fruit Smoothie Filled Bars

Introducing the highlight of the box, the CLIF® Fruit Smoothie Filled Energy Bars. Talk about hooked on a filling. All three new flavors (Strawberry Banana, Wild Blueberry Acai, and Tart Cherry Berry) arrived in the box and it was a toss-up to see which one we ate first. All three bars got the job done and left us wanting more. Each bar uses USDA organic and non-GMO ingredients to deliver sustained energy. The filling is made from a blend of cashew butter and the bright flavors of organic fruit.

We apologize at the abrupt end to this blog. We’re headed to the store to get more.

Goals were achieved and hundreds of PRs were earned at the 2018 3M Half Marathon on Sunday, January 21st. More than 7000 participants registered, the most in event’s 24-year history, for the standalone half marathon, coming to Austin from 47 states and 19 countries. Thousands of spectators lined the streets of Austin, cheering on runners and ensuring this special day will be remembered by all, including Laurie Allen, 9-time IRONMAN finisher, who finished her first half marathon on a hand cycle in 2:29:59 (after an accident in 2015 rendered her a quadriplegic).

Laurie Allen and Kent Snead.

“Another spectacular race day made possible by the folks at High Five Events and my amazing group of friends,” said Allen. “I love being back out on the race course with my fellow runners. It was a perfect day!”

Allen started at 7:10 a.m. while the rest of the field began their race to the heart of Austin at 7:30 a.m. Navigating their way downtown, 5626 runners enjoyed a fully supported course, complete with eight aid stations with water and nuun, a CLIF Bar CLIF Zone handing out CLIF SHOTS near Mile 7, thousands of cheering spectators with cowbells and hilarious signs, and nine bands performing live music on course.

“I had two goals coming into the 3M Half Marathon: to PR by one minute and to stick with the 1:55 pacers, then pick up my pace the last couple of miles,” said Jillian Baaklini, who set her half marathon PR (1:53:19) at the 2018 3M Half Marathon. “About a mile out I realized I would beat my previous PR by three minutes. I had this unexpected burst of energy and sprinted to the finish!”

Austinite Jessica Harper (1:15:45) was the overall female winner; with Jennifer Hall (1:17:51) and Anita Perez (1:19:35) finishing second and third respectively. The top three female Master’s finishers were  Tammy Bogle (1:33:08), Rochelle McClanahan (1:33:39), and Anne Hughes (1:34:08).

Jessica Harper, 2018 3M Half Marathon female champion (1:15:45).

Syracuse alumnus Joey Whelan (1:09:06) crossed the finish line first. Bryan Morton (1:10:13) and Mike Kurvach (1:12:24) completed the overall men’s field, respectively. The male Master’s finishing in the top three consisted of Matt McCurdy (1:14:19), Adam Reiser (1:16:49), Kevin Kimbell (1:16:55).

“2018 3M Half Marathon was a great opportunity to test my fitness and get myself into a race environment,” said Whelan, who used this as a tune-up race before the Austin Marathon on Feb. 18th. “It was nice to work with Byran Morton while being cheered on by the Austin running community. I look forward to running these streets again in a month at the Austin Marathon.”

For those planning ahead to January 20, 2019, next year’s registration is open and set at the low price of $65. This amazing deal will be available until Wednesday, January 24th. Don’t miss out on one of the faster half marathon courses in the country and the best packet in the industry, full of useful 3M products. Participants can see their results on the 3M Half Marathon website and continue to share their memorable experiences on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Runners can expect their FinisherPix race day photos to be ready in 24-48 hours after the race.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will open registration for 2019 on Monday, January, 22nd. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing in near the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 300+’ net elevation drop.

The 2018 3M Half Marathon would like to thank the volunteers, spectators, and participants who made the race so special. They would also like to thank 3M and Director Mark Holmstrom, Girlstart and Deputy Director Julie Shannan, H-E-B, Under Armour, Clif Bar, nuun, Heavenly Care Moving, Dole, Medicine in Motion, Oskar Blues Brewery, Ben Phillips – Engel & Völkers Austin, and Austin Massage Company.

High Five Events is making final preparations for the 24th annual 3M Half Marathon on January 21st. With registration numbers nearing 7000 participants, this is expected to be the largest field in the race’s history. The race will begin at 7:30 a.m., feature a competitive elite field, benefit Girlstart, and highlight thousands of runners racing for their half marathon PR.

“I started running on a treadmill three years ago in cardiac rehab after a heart attack at 57,” said Renee Myrick, who will complete her first half marathon at the 3M Half Marathon. “I’ve done 5Ks and 10Ks, but on Sunday, Jan. 18th, I’ll run/walk my first half marathon at the 3M Half Marathon!”

Beginning near The Domain, thousands will run the predominantly downhill course in search of their PR, cruising through beautiful Shoal Creek Blvd., historic Hyde Park neighborhood, the world-renowned University of Texas at Austin, before finishing near the Texas State Capitol. The 3M Half Marathon’s finish line festival will celebrate finishers and their efforts. In addition to their Under Armour participant shirt, spinning finisher medal, bottle of water, and snack bag, participants (21+) can enjoy Oskar Blues Austin brews and devour delicious food from several food trucks. Sponsors, vendors, and partners will populate the finish line festival, celebrating runners and their achievements.

“We’re thrilled to host a record-breaking number of runners at 3M Half Marathon, especially those running towards a half marathon PR on the streets of Austin,” said Stacy Keese, co-owner of High Five Events. “Couple the excitement of race week in Austin with great sponsors like 3M, Under Armour, nuun, and Clif Bar and you have the makings of a memorable event for participants, spectators, and volunteers alike.”

Girlstart is once again the beneficiary of the event. 3Mgives will contribute $50,000 to support Girlstart’s educational programs in conjunction with the race. Through its comprehensive programming, Girlstart provides a year-round, intensive suite of STEM education programs for K-12 girls. Girlstart’s core programs foster STEM skills development, an understanding of the importance of STEM as a way to solve the world’s major problems, as well as an interest in STEM electives, majors, and careers.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 24th year running in 2018. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing near the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate 306’+ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.

High Five Events announces Clif Bar & Company will be the Official Sports Nutrition for the 2018 3M Half Marathon. The partnership is in its fifth year and will provide runners with Clif Bar’s nutritious products before, during, and after one of the country’s fastest half marathons.

“Clif Bar is excited to return for our 5th straight 3M Half Marathon in January – we love feeding the adventure of all 3M Half runners,” said Christina Yamanaka, South Marketing Manager at Clif Bar. “We will provide nutrition and on-course support as the runners strive to hit their PRs on January 21!”

Clif Bar returns for another year to the 3M Half Marathon, set to take place on January 21, 2018. Runners can look for CLIF SHOT® Energy Gel on course at the CLIF® Energy Zone and other products at the finish line. Flavors include: Mocha, Citrus, Razz, and Vanilla. The famous packets, stuffed with essential 3M products, will have one of the newest CLIF® Nut Butter Filled Energy Bars: Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter, Caramel Chocolate Peanut Butter, or Blueberry Almond Butter. In addition, the 3M Half Marathon and Clif Bar will increase community engagement and product awareness by offering free samples to training clubs, sampling product at running stores, and supporting various demo runs around Austin.

“Clif Bar has been an integral part of the 3M Half Marathon for the past four years and we’re glad they’ll fuel hundreds of PRs for a fifth year,” said Jack Murray, co-owner of High Five Events. “They have a strong commitment to community engagement and it shows before, during, and after race day.”

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will celebrate its 24th year running in 2018. Runners enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing near the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 300’+ net elevation drop. Participants can register on the website.

The 23rd Annual 3M Half Marathon, produced by High Five Events, endured high, gusty winds on Sunday, January 22nd. The fierce winds didn’t stop the elite men and women from putting in some speedy times or deter hundreds of participants from PRing on one of the nation’s faster half marathon courses.

Happy finishers.

More than 6300 participants registered for the race also known as Downhill to Downtown. Other than the forecasted high winds, the weather was perfect for running. Runners toed the start line at 7:30 a.m. and begin their race to the Texas State Capitol. Navigating their way downtown, runners enjoyed a fully supported course, complete with eight fully stocked aid stations featuring nuun hydration, a CLIF Bar CLIF Zone, and thousands of cheering spectators with hilarious signs.

“I had heard many great things about Downhill to Downtown and am thrilled at the outcome of my first race on this course,” said Samantha Stubbs, who PR’ed along with hundreds of other runners. “This event was very organized, well-supported, and the volunteers were beyond amazing.”

Lauren Smith Stroud (1:17:07) was the overall female winner; with Nora Colligan (1:17:27) and Brooke Slayman (1:18:03) finishing second and third. The top three female Master’s finishers were Chris Kimbrough (1:23:00), Tammy Bogle (1:25:07), and Christina Hughes Babb (1:29:06).

2017 3M Half Marathon Male Champion, Mark Pinales.

Mark Pinales (1:06:51) crossed the finish line first. Adam Waldum (1:08:49) and Daniel Glaz (1:09:03) completed the overall men’s field, respectively. The male Master’s finishing in the top three consisted of: Kevin Kimbell (1:15:55), Hernan Rozemburg (1:16:06), Steven Hernandez (1:16:45).

“The race was much windier than expected, but it was amazing running with so many of the local guys,” said overall champ, Mark Pinales. “I’m humbled to take the win in my hometown. This race will be another crucial piece of the puzzle leading up to the Austin Marathon.”

Participants can see their results on the website and continue to share their amazing experiences on the 3M Half Marathon’s social media channel. For those planning ahead to January 21, 2018, next year’s registration is open and set at the low price of $65. This amazing deal will be available until January 25th. Runners can find their race day photos on Marathonfoto.com. Search for ‘3M Half Marathon 2017’ and enter your last name or bib number.

Team CBS Austin.

The 3M Half Marathon boasts one of the fastest 13.1-mile courses in the country and will open registration for 2018 on Monday, January, 23rd. Runners will enjoy a point-to-point course with mostly downhill running that showcases some of Austin’s finest locations. Starting in north Austin and finishing in front of the Texas State Capitol, runners will appreciate a 306’ net elevation drop.

Make sure to watch us in the news. Who knows, you might be in the segment!

FOX7, Spectrum News Austin, and KXAN.

A special series featuring four Austin runners and their journey as they train for the upcoming 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. Brought to you by CLIF Bar & Company, the Official Sports Nutrition of #downhilltodowntown17.

Name – Jason

Club – Rogue Running

1. What got you into running?

I ran a couple 10K events several years ago, but didn’t stick with it. Then I thought it would be good idea to run a marathon before I turned 40. I joined a training program and got hooked, running became my routine and I’ve met some great friends along the way.

2. How long have you been a runner?

I’ve been a “consistent” runner since December 2012. It started with a social 5K run “Jingle Run” at Rogue Cedar Park. Then I joined one of their intro programs. It’s been almost four years now and I’m still going strong.

3. What continues to motivate you to run?

Being part of a running group is essential for me. The team environment really motivates me, even on days I don’t want to roll out of bed at 4 a.m., knowing my teammates will be there makes me accountable. Training with Team Rogue constantly pushes me outside my comfort zone. I keep breaking my PRs, with no limits in sight. Oh, and the races, the energy and excitement of running with so many people is the greatest feeling! Finishing strong and celebrating that moment with friends and strangers, you feel on top of the world.

4. What does a typical long run Saturday look like in your world?

Typical Saturday long runs are with Rogue Cedar Park location. We typically run the neighborhoods of CP or Brushy Creek Trail. Generally running anywhere from 12-20 miles with a variety of people, typically a group of three or four of us will settle into a conversational pace. Stories are all over the place, amazing what you learn about people when running for three to four hours together. We typically stretch, roll, and have coffee back at Rogue after the run and spend time socializing. Generally done by 9:30 and get my weekend moving.

A special series featuring four Austin runners and their journey as they train for the upcoming 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. Brought to you by CLIF Bar & Company, the Official Sports Nutrition of #downhilltodowntown17.

Name – Cressida

Club – Gilbert’s Gazelles

1. How long have you been a runner?

The demands of graduate school got me into running consistently. I found that running helped me in so many ways – physically and mentally. I also had two rescue dogs at the time in a one-bedroom apartment, so they (one in particular) needed to run as much as I did! It was also in graduate school that I met two important people- my husband and Gilbert! My husband inspired me to run my first marathon in 2007 and Gilbert was actually my neighbor in graduate school. It took a few years, but I started training with Gilbert to get ready for the 2008 Boston Marathon.

2. How long have you been a runner?

I would say for 15 years, although as a kid even I loved running!

3. What continues to motivate you to run?

I have lots of motivations to run, which is why it’s easy for me get up so early most mornings! First, my family. Along with my husband, my two boys ages – three and five – are my biggest cheerleaders. Then, of course my other family – Gilbert’s Gazelles. Gilbert is truly an amazing person. Days that start with his workouts are certainly brighter. He brings joy to all of us who run with him. The friends I have made through the Gazelles are like family and we all support each other. Being a runner in the Gazelle community makes me a better mother, wife, and psychologist. It’s definitely been a balancing act with work and family, but so worth it.

4. What does a typical long run Saturday look like in your world?

Meet up with friends at Luke’s Locker and then head out on whatever course Gilbert has mapped out for us. Then, go home and spend the rest of the day with my boys!

Review both the Course Map and the Elevation Map while reading this preview.

Mile 1 – Runners will depart the start line and head north on Stonelake Blvd. for roughly one mile. The start of the course has one of the few smooth inclines; use this as a time to get your body warmed up and primed to sail downhill. From Stonelake Blvd., runners will turn right and head east on Braker Lane. Now the downhill begins! Mile 2 provides the first aid station. Make a quick pit stop if you need water or nuun.

JJ Pickle Research Campus

Mile 3 – After passing Aid Station #1, runners will turn right off Braker Lane and continue their descent by heading south on Burnet Ave., passing by The University of Texas’ JJ Pickle Research Campus. In less than one mile, Longhorn Rd. will bring about your next right hand turn. Look at that sunrise! This begins the only part of the course that has back-to-back turns. After taking a right on Longhorn Rd., you will have hit Mile 3. The course takes a quick left on Neils Thompson Dr. and then another immediate left on Industrial Terrace. Make another pit stop at Aid Station #2 to refuel. Head south on United Dr. towards Research Blvd. After turning right, runners will make a quick u-turn under Highway 183 and begin heading south on Shoal Creek Blvd.

Mile 5 – Feel the downhill breeze through your hair! Right after Mile 5, you’ll come to Aid Station #3. Make sure you give a big thank you to our volunteers. They’re amazing! Continue south on Shoal Creek Blvd. and make a quick right on Foster Lane. You’ll be on Foster Lane for just a minute before taking a left on Great Northern Blvd. Floating down Great Northern, you can replenish fluids at Aid Station #4. Congrats! You’ve just passed Mile 7 and are more than halfway to the finish.

Great Northern Blvd. (looking north)

Mile 7 – Need an extra boost of energy? Grab some CLIF Bar Shots in the CLIF Bar Energy Zone. Halfway past Mile 7, you’ll take a left on Bullard Dr., passing Gullett Park (on your left). After Bullard, take an immediate White Rock Dr., crossing Shoal Creek. Hopping back on Shoal Creek (you’re still going downhill!) you’ll arrive at Mile 8 and Aid Station #5. Make sure you grab some nuun! Keep running south, with Shoal Creek on your righthand side.

Mile 9 – Right after Mile 9, runners will head east on 45th St. After crossing N. Lamar Blvd., Aid Station #6 appears. Don’t forget to thank the volunteers! This is the second brief incline throughout the entire course. Boom! You just passed Mile 10. Double-digit mileage feels good! Welcome to beautiful Hyde Park; you’ve got a 5K left. Runners will arrive at Duval Rd. and take a right, heading south once more.

Hyde Park.

Mile 11 – You’ve now entered Central Austin and are that much closer to the finish line. All your training, early mornings, and long runs will be put to the test now. Continuing south on Duval St., you’ll arrive at the final aid station. If you need a final gulp or water or nuun to push you through, grab it now! From Duval St., you’ll veer left on San Jacinto Blvd. and wind your way through The University of Texas campus. That’s Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium on your left, home of the Texas Longhorns.

Mile 13 – You’re in the home stretch. Downhill to downtown is nearly complete! Take a right and head west on MLK Blvd. See the Capitol yet? Hear all the spectators cheering you on through the finish?! You got this! Take a left on Congress Ave. Turn on the jets as you push towards the finish line. The Capitol is in sight, as are your friends and family. Cross the finish, throw your hands in the air, and smile! You’ve just run downhill to downtown! Enjoy the finish line festival. This atmosphere has been created with you in mind! Grab a cold Oskar Blues Beer, visit the food trucks, and snap photos with your medal and the Capitol in the background. Get friends and family in there too. Remember to use #downhilltodowntown17.

#downhilltodowntown17

A special series featuring four Austin runners and their journey as they train for the upcoming 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. Brought to you by CLIF Bar & Company, the Official Sports Nutrition of #downhilltodowntown17.

Name – Jillian

Club – Twenty-Six Two

1. What got you into running?

I ran on and off throughout middle school and high school for fun. I found out that I enjoyed running when I was a cheerleader in 8th grade. We had to run a mile before practice every day and it was my goal to be the fastest to run my mile. I never joined cross country or track, but I continued to run occasionally during college and I picked it up more after I graduated. I really began running again in 2013 after I started the South Beach Diet. After four years of teaching, I was at my heaviest, 198 pounds, and didn’t feel good, so I decided to do something about it. After I lost the initial 25 pounds, I started running more and signed up for my first 5K. I ended up losing 72 pounds and have kept it off for three years now.

2. How long have you been a runner?

I would say an avid runner for three years.

3. What continues to motivate you to run?

My motivation comes from how running makes me feel. I feel accomplished as well as relaxed after I run. I also enjoy the time to think and escape from reality for a little while during a run. I also keep running to stay in shape and maintain the new lifestyle that I started.

4. What does a typical long run Saturday look like?

We start running at 7 a.m., usually from Cover-3 off of West 5th Street. I’m usually finished between 8:35-8:45 a.m. It really depends on the route we take and how far we have to run. Then I rest up a bit at Cover-3 and head home. Sometimes I stop at Starbucks on my way to get coffee and a second breakfast. Then after that I relax for the rest of the day.

A special series featuring four Austin runners and their journey as they train for the upcoming 3M Half Marathon and the Austin Marathon. Brought to you by CLIF Bar & Company, the Official Sports Nutrition of #downhilltodowntown17.

Name – Abi

Club – Austin Runners Club

Area to run – South Austin (St. Edward’s University)


1. What got you into running?

I started running as a way to cope with difficulties in my life. Running has been an outlet for me, a way to de-stress. It has improved my self-confidence, reduced my negative thought processes, and brought stability and peace. Time spent running is time for me to reflect on myself and how far I have come.

2. How long have you been a runner?

I ran cross country and track in high school. I quit when some mental and physical difficulties took over my life. As an adult, I began to run again in early 2015 and I don’t foresee that ending any time soon!

3. What continues to motivate you to run?

I am motivated to continue to run because of the dedication that it takes when it gets hard – both mentally and physically. I am motivated by that “special” feeling I get after I finish a run. I am also motivated by my fellow ARC runners, the multiple health benefits that result from running, and the ability to explore the city that I live in by using my feet.

4. What does a typical long run Saturday look like?

I live near the St. Ed’s campus in South Austin and find myself training through those neighborhoods, around the downtown trail, and when my schedule permits, with ARC.