Runner’s Report Card: Summer 2017

October 21, 2017

Every season, I put new running products, gadgets, fuel and apparel to the test in my quarterly Runner’s Report Card. With fall in full swing, it’s time to pass out grades for the products I tested during summer 2017.

As a reminder, this is my grading scale:

Runner report card on

Here’s a glimpse at the products on today’s summer 2017 report card.

1. GU Campfire S’mores: A

When it comes to running fuel, I almost exclusively use Salted Caramel GU to fuel my long runs and races. {You can read more about my nutrition and fueling tips here.} I like the taste and that it has caffeine, and it has helped me excel in training and races. When my latest StrideBox arrived with a new GU flavor (Campfire S’mores), I was excited to try it since I’m not often adventurous on the GU flavor front. Given my love of National Parks and nature, the fact that 10 percent of the proceeds help conserve public lands via the Conservation Alliance Public Lands Defense Fund is a win.

But how did it taste? It was delicious. Although there is no caffeine in this flavor, I loved the way it tasted (maybe even better than salted caramel!) and it would be great to rotate into my fueling schedule. I tried this one right before a 10-mile run and it kept me feeling good. I’ll definitely be buying this flavor again.

2. EFS: Electrolyte Fuel System Drink mix A

Another fueling find from one of my summer StrideBoxes was EFS (Electrolyte Fuel System) drink mix. It was an insanely hot and humid summer running in Florida. On long runs, it can be a challenge to not feel like you’re dragging with the weather, even at 5:30 a.m. I decided to carry this EFS mix with me on a 10-mile run. I mixed it with 16 ounces of water the night before my run and froze it in a water bottle in the freezer. I carried it with me during the run using a Nathan hand strap so I could have constant hydration and electrolytes but so that it would stay cold the entire run as it de-thawed. I have to say that sipping on this throughout my entire run as opposed to simply stopping at water fountains like I usually do made me feel significantly better. I tried the fruit punch flavor and it’s not very sweet so it’s easy to drink.

According to EFS’s website, the product is designed to provide endurance athletes with the nutrients they need to fuel working muscles and increase endurance during exercise. It uses the latest clinical research on endurance nutrition and input from some of the best endurance athletes in the world. There are 300 mg of sodium per serving and it offers more than 1,160 mg of electrolytes coming from all 5 electrolytes, per serving. I would definitely recommend giving this a try if you are constantly subjected to running in tough, hot conditions.

3. Kelty Journey 2.0 Backpack: A

Sharing our love of the great outdoors with Baby rUnladylike has been such a joy this year. If you’ve been reading regularly, you may remember that we took her on a great west adventure this past summer to three of our National Parks. One of the key elements that made the trip a success was our Kelty Journey 2.0 backpack.

We bought this before our trip and prayed she would like it after testing it with her in the store. We crossed our fingers as we set off for our first hike in Wyoming. To say she loved it would be an understatement.

This hiking kid-carrier exceeded all our expectations. It has a 5-Point Child Harness we felt she was very safe in while on our back, and the adjustable waist belt allowed the pack to fit comfortably on both Mr. rUnladylike and me. The pack has a kick-stand to make it easy to get your child in and out of the pack and to set down after hiking. The sun shade that comes with it is also wonderful for keeping little faces protected from the sun. I can’t say enough good things about this if you’re looking for a carrier to hike with a child. It weighs seven pounds and also has plenty of pockets for carrying water, diapers and more. We put our Camelbak reservoir in one of the pockets for easy access to hydration.

4. Brooks Running Revels: C

Brooks Running’s newer Revels are a neutral shoe that is meant to be stylish on the street while simultaneously maximizing comfort running on the road. It has a sleek, knit upper which I am really liking from some of the newer Brooks models, and at $100 the price point is affordable. Nevertheless, this isn’t one of my favorite Brooks shoes. While some love the casual look, it’s a little too reminiscent of an 80s style to me and the fit is not as good for me as some of my other beloved styles. I’d encourage you to try it out and see what you think. I’d personally be more likely to wear these officially as a casual shoe as opposed to a running shoe.

Well, that’s a wrap. See you next semester. Class dismissed. Time for a run.

The GU, electrolyte drink and shoes reviewed in this post were sent to me free of charge. I did not receive compensation nor was I under any obligation to write about these products. As a long-time Brooks Running Run Happy Ambassador, I do receive free products to test each month and work with the team on a variety of running topics and products to share about. All opinions about any products shared on are unbiased, honest, uncensored … and always will be. Brooks Running links do contain affiliate links and there are also Amazon affiliate links in this post.

What new running products have you tried lately that you love? If you’ve tried any of the products mentioned above, share your thoughts on them.



That hiking pack is THE BEST!! And I have to laugh at the Brooks Revel because I absolutely love them and am already on my second pair! LOL!!


I’m so thrilled to hear you like the Revels! They just aren’t my favs BUT if you haven’t tried the Levitates yet you must! I think they are the best Brooks shoes yet and since you’re a neutral foot you may love them. Hugs!

[…] I tried the new Brooks Revel and I love them so obviously I bought another pair. Then, I read this post from Mrs. Brooks rep herself Jesica at rUnladylike and, guess what? She’s not a fan. She asked if I had tried the Levitate and I had not so […]