Garmin Goes Strapless!

Garmin Forerunner225

Garmin has finally given users something they have been asking for heart rate without using a heart rate strap. On Tuesday, Garmin introduced the Garmin Forerunner 225 with an optical heart-rate sensor like that used by FitBit Charge HR, Microsoft Health Band, and the Apple Watch. The Forerunner 225 can measure pace, distance and heart rate while running, along with tracking steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned and your sleep at night.

The Forerunner 225 will be available for $300 in the US in second quarter of this year.

Top 10 Reasons to run the Rock n Roll Portland Half Marathon

BottleOpener-Vid210. Extra Bling: It’s part of the Cascadia Limited Edition Medal Series. Complete the 8K, 10K, half or full marathon distance at the following three events in 2015: Rock ‘n’ Roll Portland, Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle and Rock ‘n’ Roll Oasis Vancouver and it’s all yours.

Rock n Roll Marathon Series Cascadia Limited Edition Cascadia Medal9. A new course. Rock n Roll Marathon Series delivers a new course this year that promises to maximize scenery and minimizing congestion and traffic issues.

8. Did someone say doughnuts? Voodoo Donuts has become synonymous with Portland. However, if you are looking for some amazing donuts and pastries that are true local favorites without the insane line check out Helen Bernhard Bakery, Coco Donuts, or Tonalli’s Donuts & Cream.

7. A Chinese Connection: The Lan Su Chinese Garden, in the middle of downtown Portland, shows its connection to its sister city in China. Portland’s official sister city in China is a city named Suzhou, near Shanghai. In 1999, 65 workmen came to Portland to build a 40,000-sq.-ft. Suzhou-style garden. They imported huge pieces of wood and enormous rocks from the homeland to make sure it turned out as authentic as their homeland. The garden is a tranquil break in the middle of the city. To complete the visit, there’s a teahouse where you can savor some traditional tea.

6. Natural Beauty: On a clear day you can see Mt. Hood, the 11,249-foot (3429m) volcano is approximately 50 miles (80km) east of the city. The snow-capped summit is crystal clear and will leave you in awe. Curious why Portland is nicknamed “The City of Roses”? Visit the International Rose Test Garden to get your answer.

5. Food Carts. Savor some of Portland’s most inventive chefs clustered in pods in downtown. Portland is second to none when it comes to food carts. Ranging from old vacation trailers to sheds where you’d store your lawnmower there is something for everyone. A few favorites: the garlicky porchetta sandwiches at Lardo, Belgian fries at Potato Champion, and Mexican at La Jarochita.

4. Liquid Bread. AKA BEER! There are close to 60 local craft breweries in the Portland area. Be sure to try Amnesia Brewery, The Commons Brewery, Cascade Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, or Rogue Ales.

3.  Post-race headliner: Portugal. The Man. The Portland band will perform its chart topping hit “Purple, Yellow, Red and Blue.”

2. Multi-tasker Medals: Your half marathon or 10k medal doubles as a bottle opener just in case you need to open a Rogue Ale. (see above)

1. Shopping Spree. Oregon has no general sales tax, you may want to bring an extra suitcase or buy one in Portland.

Top 10 Reasons to run the Country Music Marathon


10.  It is part of the Southern Charm series from the Rock n Roll Marathon Series. In order to receive the extra medal, you must complete three out of four Rock n Roll Southern USA events (New Orleans, Raleigh, Nashville, and/or Savannah) in 2015.

9. Live music on Broadway. Regardless of the time of day you can find live music playing in one of the bars on Broadway. Be sure to check out Legends corner and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge are a steps away from the Ryman Auditorium.

8. A Healthy habit: Forget those Netflix marathons on the couch. Running/walking a marathon or half marathon will put you in a great mood, keep you healthy, and help you earn those calories after the run.

7.  The Music on the course: The Country Music Marathon is the original half marathon and full marathon dedicated to country music since its inaugural running in 2000.

6. Celebrity sightings: The Country Music Marathon has had its fair share of celebrities including New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Sheryl Crow, members of the country music band Diamond Rio, Weather Channel meteorologist Stephanie Abrams and GAC host Suzanne Alexander.

5. The post-race food and drink. Nashville will not disappoint you when it comes to letting your inner-foodie come out. You can find Nashville’s authentic flavors in many areas of town such as Downtown, East Nashville, and Germantown, The Gulch, Midtown and 12South. Each neighborhood has its own personality but somehow is still down-home Nashville. Some favorites include Pancake Pantry, Mike’s Ice Cream, Hattie B’s, Holland House and the iconic Loveless Café.

4.  The support: The South is known for its southern hospitality and the people of Nashville deliver some of the best crowd support anywhere in the world, making sure you get to the finish.

3. The city of Nashville provides a beautiful backdrop for this race. The course runs through downtown Nashville, along the riverfront and the surrounding neighborhoods providing runners with amazing views and some challenging hills.

2. Run for something greater than yourself. Become a St. Jude Hero. These amazing runners and walkers do more with their race by raising funds for the patients and families of St. Jude. They help St. Jude make sure that no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing and food—because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. ( )

1. The headliner Martina McBride. She has received numerous major music awards, including most wins (tied with Reba McEntire and Miranda Lambert) for the Country Music Association Award (CMA) for Female Vocalist of the Year, with her fourth win in 2004. She holds the record in that category for most consecutive nominations. She has been nominated for 14 Grammy Awards with hits like Independence Day, I love you, Concrete Angel and I’m gonna love you through it. This concert will rock!