Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Review

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2
4 Overall
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The Inov-8 F-Lite 235 V2 is a weight lifting and general cross fit shoe.  It fits tight through the heel for extra support and the mesh middle leaves room for your foot to move. It is a shoe used for lifting, jumps, burpees, running and rope climbing. The versatility of this shoe lends itself to train for obstacles like the rope climb, or simply increase your jump speed. This shoe makes it possible to do a variety of exercises while providing support for the heel and extra protection for the toes. Certainly, burpees are no fun, but the form comes easier wearing this shoe.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Features

Sturdy, durable heel  – Great for dead lifting and squatting, also helps with box jumps and step-ups on bench. Great balance for lifting all weights in general, good ability to lock in your heel

Mesh cradle – Very comfortable and looser in the middle of the foot without compromising the stability of the heel to lift with power.inov-8-f-lite-235-v2

Thick front bumper – Great when doing burpees or toe touches on the box. It protects feet and makes your jumps stronger because your toes are secure and fully guarded.

Grip on the side of the shoe – There is a grip for rope climbing on the side of the shoes.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Usage

I have done an extensive amount of weight lifting, cross fit and pylometric exercises at the gym with these shoes. They are great for dead lifting and squats; I have also done jumping squats, box jumps, toe touches on box, and burpees. I really like the support they give and have not yet found a shoe that functions as well in different capacities.

In the past I would always have to change out of my lifting shoes to run afterwards. It’s been  awesome to just wear a shoe that does both. I am able to lift, do up hill running, and sprinting on the treadmill for up to 40 minutes with real support and comfortability. It falls into what you would want out of a true crossfit / cross training type shoe.

inov-8-f-lite-235-v2-review

The middle support is very secure and snug which helps keep my foot steady and healthy while sprinting. The way the middle of the shoe is designed with  mesh material helps your feet breath and feel unrestricted. Its the perfect balance between tightness and flatness to lift strong and heavy while there is support for the whole foot to run and jump.

inov-8-f-lite-235-v2-2

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Durability

These shoes are very well made and the main attributes are durable heels and toes. I think this shoe will be with me at the gym for a long time. It’s even comfortable enough to wear everyday so that should prove as a further test of it’s durability. I will update this if there is any issues in the longer term with the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2.

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Ability to lift and run with the same shoe
  • Comfortable mesh through middle
  • Toe protection for jumps
  • Plenty of space for the foot while in motion

Cons

  • Laces are too short
  • Not easy to adjust texture of laces
  • Laces have come loose sprinting

Similar Products

Nike Romaleos 2
Reebok womens crossfit lifter 
Reebok crossfit nano
Nike Metcon  2 
 

Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2 Conclusion

This shoe is adorable, I love the colors and the simple design. It is feminine for a weight lifting shoe which is hard to find. This shoe is absolutely great for lifting weights and doing cross fit. I definitely recommend this shoe if you lift and/or do crossfit. I have been wearing Converse for a long time and this is the first weight lifting shoe that gives me that support to push through the floor with support. It is convenient and practical to be able to run as well as do other exercises to train. I LOVED lifting in  my Converse, and I never thought I’d change my shoe because of the specific form I have with lifting heavy. I’m pleasantly surprised by the performance and security this shoe provides with intense work outs. I highly recommend the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2  to anyone who loves to lift and also does regular cardio. These are ideal shoes to train at the gym in the colder weather for an OCR. It “multi-tasks” very well and I’m very happy with the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 v2.


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Stacie Davis

Stacie Davis lives in Atlanta with her husband Matt and their 3 children . Her husband occasionally drags her to an OCR, but she's more of a road race girl. You can find her short stories and the nitty gritty about raising small children at her blog: http://ihadalifebeforeyoukids.com/

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Merrell All Out Peak Review

Merrell All Out Peak
4 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
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The Merrell All Out Peak are the 2nd pair of shoes in the “All Out” line, that we have reviewed. Previously, ORM reviewed the Merrell All Out Crush, which was the first true “OCR shoe” by Merrell. The All Out Peak are a more traditional trail shoe and do not have holes for water drainage, etc.

merrell-all-out-peak

Merrell All Out Peak Features

High heel  – At 32mm, the heel is actually higher than the Hoka Challenger ATR 2 (29mm). This makes for a super comfy run.

Great Grip Without Aggressive Looking Lugs – The Merrell All Out Peak’s lugs are 6 mm (just under 1/4 inch) tread. While this “Vibram Megagrip” compares in depth to popular trail/OCR shoes, they don’t have the appearance of being “super aggressive”, and allow these to be everyday shoes.

merrell-all-out-peak-tread

Merrell All Out Peak Usage

I began running on some of my favorite trails near my house such as The unfinished Atlanta BeltLine and Sweetwater State Park. The Beltline is a flat trail with mostly loose dirt, gravel, and some mud. Sweetwater is far more technical traditional trail where you must watch your step as you run over pine needle and hidden roots. I found these shoes handled all this terrain with no issue. In addition, the shoes are so comfy, I began wearing them around as my everyday shoe. I realize I am shortening the running life of these by doing so, but so far it is really worth it.

Merrell All Out Peak Durability

I have not had an issue with Merrell durability in the past, no signs so far that it will be an issue down the line.

Merrell All Out Peak Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Super comfortable.
  • Great for technical terrain.

Cons

  • Not an OCR shoe.
  • Poor drainage.

Similar Products

Merrell All Out PeakMerrell All Out CrushReebok All Terrain ThrillVJ Sport Irock 2
Weight295g227g320g240g
Heel Drop6mm6mm13mm6mm
Grip1/4"3/16"3/16"3/16"
Metal StudsNoNoNoNo
Price$69.00$100$125.00$99.00
ORM Review Yes YesYesYes
BuyAmazonAmazonAmazonPending

Merrell All Out Peak Conclusion

Merrell has figured out how to transfer the comfort of their working shoes  over to a trail shoe, without losing stability or traction. These are the some of the most comfortable shoes I have worn to date, and they tackle the trails with tenacity. If you are the type of runner who enjoys a good Hoka, the Merrell All Out Peak is right for you.

 


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Stacie Davis

Stacie Davis lives in Atlanta with her husband Matt and their 3 children . Her husband occasionally drags her to an OCR, but she's more of a road race girl. You can find her short stories and the nitty gritty about raising small children at her blog: http://ihadalifebeforeyoukids.com/

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VJ Sport Irock 2 Shoe Review

VJ Sport Irock 2
4.4 Overall
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The VJ Sport Irock 2 is a model made popular as the shoe worn and endorsed by the 3x OCR World Champion from the UK, Jon Albon. He originally represented Inov-8 brand shoes and parted with them for VJ Sport. That in itself says something, and I wanted to know what the appeal was. If you’re familiar with UK OCR social media groups, you know the VJ Sport/Icebug debate rivals that of the US OCR group Inov-8/Icebug/Salomon loyalty split. It wasn’t easy to obtain a pair of these as they currently have one U.S. based retailer that has a very limited stock and buying overseas increases cost and delivery time with customs holds. So when I finally received a complimentary pair direct from the Finland home office, I couldn’t wait to lace up.

VJ Sport Irock 2 Features

Fitlock  – In my opinion, it should be used by every brand possible. This lacing system is flat out amazing. Most shoes tighten straight down the middle when laced up. With this particular system you can feel as though the entire shoe is conforming to your foot for a personal fit, exact to your foot shape.   According to VJ Sport ” It is important the shoe feels snug and fits your foot so that you can safely move and turn where ever and whenever you want with a stable feeling”.  Someone recently said they looked narrow when seen on a racers foot. That tells me that user has a narrow foot. I couldn’t wear the Reebok All-Terrains because of the narrow fit. I couldn’t wear the Icebug Acceleritas4 for more than a 5k because of the narrow fit and reduced comfort. To me the most comfortable shoe brand is Altra with the wide toe box, though I don’t consider myself to have a wide foot. But regardless of foot width, this lacing system will allow a near universal perfect fit.
IRock2-Feature-Photo
Great Grip – The VJ Sport Irock 2 employs a “Superior Contact” tread technology that, according to VJ Sport “guarantees you the best grip imagined”. I prefer the RB9X tread(outsole) of the Icebug Zeal2 to be honest. The Irock tread provided a very secure feel, void of any slippage, on multiple terrains including technical trail, steep inclines and sharp turns on both terrains. The preference on the RB9X stems from obstacle grip. I always felt a very high level of confidence on incline walls and other shoe grip related obstacles in the icebugs as opposed to IRock 2’s. I felt more slipping and less security on this tread than the Zeal tread.

 

IRock-Heel-TreadVery Durable Material – Much like all 2016 model OCR shoes utilizing Kevlar in their shoe fabric, VJ Sport Irock 2’s use “Schoeller-Keprotec”. “Schoeller-Keprotec contains Kevlar, an armide fiber which is five times stronger than steel, is tear and temperature resistant. Schoeller-Keprotec is waterproof “.  As far as drainage goes, the statement above makes the same claim as 2016 Icebug Models which are not the most popular for drainage qualities. Which stake claim to expelling water through the seams after several foot strides. Of course not as efficient as the Reebok drainage system but they don’t become bricks, similar to Salomons, if wet. I also noticed, despite the aggressive tread pattern, mud/dirt does not accumulate within the tread throughout a race.

IRock-Logo-Side

VJ Sport Irock 2 Usage

To provide the most accurate information on these shoes I tested them in multiple OCR events, with varying terrain/weather/obstacles.  Savage Race MD was a 5.9 mile course ran 2x.  Through those 12 miles in the rain the grip to ground was fantastic.  I encountered zero slipping on wet grass, mud, and dirt trails which you’d normally expect some grip issues.

Savage Race Maryland featured a flat course that sent you through cornfields, wooded technical trails with sharp turns and the 25 world class obstacles featured in a Savage Race including warped walls, mud, ice water, swim sections various hanging rig grips in which your shoes were fully engaged, on a day that it rained providing ample opportunity to test in varying terrain.

While running on technical trails I experienced minimal awareness of rocks or roots under my feet.  Able to change direction on a dime with optimal ankle support thanks to the Fitlock lacing providing a secure fit and support.

Also used during Goliathon Obstacle Challenge that also featured warped walls, balance obstacles, dirt, sand and trails.  The outsole material didn’t give way to allow sand in the shoe, experiencing minimal accumulation.  The removable insole stayed in place on downhill running and the lug spacing wicked away any dirt/mud accumulation allowing the tread to do its job.

VJ Sport Irock 2 Durability

As previously mentioned the VJ Sport Irock 2’s are made of a waterproof, Kevlar material(Schoeller-Keprotec).  Kevlar materials are used in many popular OCR shoes released in 2016.  Reebok All-Terrain Super OR, Icebug Acceleritas4 and Icebug Zeal models utilize a Kevlar blended material.  The VJ Sport Irock 2’s are not narrow like the reebok models so durability/tearing is a non issue and the material provides an adequate amount of ankle support to reduce any buckling on downhills and rough terrain.

IRock-Lace

VJ Sport Irock 2 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fitlock lacing provides superior fit
  • Flexible material
  • 8.4 oz that stays light when wet
  • ample ankle support

Cons

  • Tread slips on wet walls
  • water drainage lacking
  • Better in dry conditions

Similar Products

VJ Sport Irock 2Salomon SpeedtrakReebok All Terrain Super ORMerrell All Out Crush
Weight240g245g219g227g
Heel Drop6mm6mm5mm6mm
Grip3/16"3/16"3/16"3/16"
Metal StudsNoNoNoNo
Price$99.00$99.00$120.00$100
ORM ReviewYesYesYesYes
BuyPendingAmazonReebokAmazon

VJ Sport Irock 2 Conclusion

The VJ Sport Irock 2 is a great shoe, and you guessed it, not perfect. I will certainly be using these for future events because of the amazing fit from the lacing system. I requested 1/2 size up from what I normally wear but you should be safe with true fit sizing. Speculation has these becoming available in the U.S. from a preferred OCR retailer, but nothing is set in stone at the time of this review. We will update this review with a link to a US retailer when available.

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Stacie Davis

Stacie Davis lives in Atlanta with her husband Matt and their 3 children . Her husband occasionally drags her to an OCR, but she's more of a road race girl. You can find her short stories and the nitty gritty about raising small children at her blog: http://ihadalifebeforeyoukids.com/

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Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 Preview

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-4

Reebok has allowed us to preview their latest iteration of the Reebok All-Terrain Super line up that is due for release in the next 2-4 months. They have gone back to the numbering convention after the recent Reebok All-Terrain Super OR – which you can think of as 2.5. With that said we have the Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 here for preview. We will come back with a more in-depth review after we have put a few hundred miles on them.

Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 Updates

First up the first thing you notice is that they weigh almost an ounce more than the previous version thanks to the reinforced upper. You can see some of the changes in this photo –

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-9

There is a rubber coating around the entire toe box area. The “Dura-Grip” continues to the inner arch area where it is called “Rope-Pro”. The “Rope-Pro” is supposed to help with rope climbs and provide durability on the ropes.

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-8

That same rubberized coating continues up to the lace area and is actually the structure that holds the laces to the shoes. This is a little worrisome since normally laces go through the entire fabric of the shoe. By laces going through the shoes, it makes ripping out a lace hole nearly impossible. The laces here are just looped under the rubber and are shielded from the inside. The upside to this is that the this feature helps keep debris from the inside of the shoe.

More along the lines of isolating the inside of the shoe, they have made something close to a one piece upper with a completely new tongue design. The new tongue is connected on one side as you see but the other side connects near the base of the foot with a thin mesh that goes inside the shoe. This should keep more debris out as well as letting the shoe fit a larger range of feet widths. With one piece uppers if you aren’t within a certain range it can be too tight and if your feet are too small when tightening the material will bunch – this looks to solve that while still having the same effect as a completely one piece upper.

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-2

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-7

Another change to the Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 is the heel has an added amount of padding. This should help keep the heel more locked in to help prevent losing your shoes in the mud pits. This is speculation on it’s effectiveness but that appears to be the purpose of the added padding.

reebok-all-terrain-super-3-preview-12

Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 Similarities

There are a two main things that are completely the same and with good reason, they work. The sole is completely unchanged and will continue to provide amazing grip while running in the mud. Water drainage ports remain on the side of the front of both foot to keep this as the fastest/best draining shoe you can use for OCR.

One thing that hasn’t changed, that some people won’t be happy about, is that the width is the same. The last for this shoe is the same as all the previous versions. It remains to be seen if they will release a wide version but we won’t hold out breath on it since they haven’t in the past 3 years of releasing this shoe.

Reebok All-Terrain Super 3.0 Wrap-Up

Reebok continues to try and hit the sweet spot between performance and durability with this beefed up version of the shoe. They have completely changed the thin synthetic upper to a more durable feeling material that shouldn’t rip from normal running. The only thing that appears to have gone in potentially the wrong direction is the way the laces are attached. We will post a full usage review in the coming months with the full rundown of wether or not these will hold up under the rigors of OCR.

 

Hoka One One Clayton Review

Hoka One One Clayton
3.7 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
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I purchased the Hoka One One Clayton shoes prior to running A Race For The Ages (ARFTA) when I realized I would be on my feet for potentially 32 hours. In the end I only ran for about 11-12 hours before calling it quits but it was a great initial test for the Hoka One One Clayton’s.  Leading up to the race I had run about 20 mies in the Hoka One One Clayton’s to break them in and since then I have put around 200 miles on them prior to this review. These are not obstacle racing shoes, they are shoes you would run in to train for an Obstacle Course Race. 

hoka-one-one-clayton-review-2

Taking in the view prior to ARFTA

Hoka One One Clayton Features

Lightweight Breathable Upper  – The upper material on these shoes is so thin and transparent that I was very nervous about it’s durability when I started wearing them. It turns out they just got the material (No-Sew TPU Lattice) perfect.

Lightweight Everything – I could go through each element of the shoe but they made everything light. The shoe weighs in at a shocking 7.3 oz. The only area I was a little concerned with the weight cutting was the heel cup. I’m guilty of not untying my shoes between wears and when I slide my foot in I can easily crush the heel area. No problem here, just an observation for some people that may need more shoe support.

Wide Foot Base – Hoka calls this feature – Oversize Active Foot Frame – what it boils down to is the sole of the shoe has a wide footprint. I think this provides some stability that makes up for the shoes general lack of structure. It’s not an often used concept and I wouldn’t want to wear shoes with this feature on a trail run but it works here.

Hoka One One Clayton Usage

As I stated in my intro, I wore these shoes initially for two training runs of around 10 miles prior to 40 miles at ARFTA. One thing I didn’t mention in my intro was that when I ordered them I bought my normal size of 9.5 and a size 10. I did this because my last Hoka’s that I bought felt very short at 9.5 and were constantly rubbing my toes. I tried them on and ended up returning the 9.5’s, this is the first time for any shoe ever in 15 years that I have bought a size up. I was immediately nervous about buying a size up but after running in them I realized it’s the the way I need to buy Hoka’s from now on. My old Hoka Clifton’s have the outside area of both toe boxes cut out so I can wear them on occasion.

hoka-one-one-clayton-review-3

Hoka Clifton with Cutout

When it came to actually using the Hoka One One Clayton I found them to be surprisingly supportive with their stripped down weight. I mean, you are running in shoes that feel like road racing flats but they have 24mm of cushioning in the heel and 20mm in the forefoot. The break in period was not noticeable (for my body/sore muscles) and pretty much seamless going from Inov-8 Ultra 270’s to these. What I did notice was the very cushioned feel in comparison, these feel like pillows like the rest of Hoka’s shoe lineup.

I have worn them only on packed trails/ road and that is the only surfaces I would suggest because of their wide base. The base of Hoka’s used to make me nervous because it was so built up tall that you can roll your ankle easily in them since the fulcrum point it creates and these are similar but in width instead. They width does feel safer than the platform like style of the other Hoka One One’s.

The only real issue that these shoes have is that the grip is very soft and as a result not durable. They are using a new type of material called RMAT and it trades off durability for performance. After about 200 miles the heel has almost worn through to the cushioning. I’m a little annoyed here because they are such expensive shoes ($150) and it looks like I can maybe get 300-350 miles out of them which is a poor investment for running shoes. I’ll be emailing Hoka to see if this is normal and to get an official response that I will update here.

Hoka One One Clayton Durability

The durability of the Upper is, as I stated previously, perfect. Hoka managed to get a super breathable and thin upper that shows no signs of ripping. The sole is the main area of concern and I would love to hear from other people that have worn these if their soles have worn down fast. Leave Comments and Reviews!

hoka-one-one-clayton-review-4

Hoka One One Clayton Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very Light weight 7.3 oz
  • Breathable upper
  • Great Cushioning

Cons

  • Expensive – $150
  • Not durable sole

Hoka One One Clayton Conclusion

The main question that matters – would I suggest you buy the Hoka One One Clayton? Yes – but be aware you may need to replace them sooner than you would like. If you are trying to keep you running habit to a bare minimum as far as costs are concerned, don’t buy these. What the Clayton’s bring to the table is a high performance shoe that is on the expensive end of shoes. Like many thing in life you get to pick two – Good, fast, or cheap – Hoka chose good and fast for these shoes and that’s what you get in the Hoka One One Clayton.

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Stacie Davis

Stacie Davis lives in Atlanta with her husband Matt and their 3 children . Her husband occasionally drags her to an OCR, but she's more of a road race girl. You can find her short stories and the nitty gritty about raising small children at her blog: http://ihadalifebeforeyoukids.com/

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Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 Review

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2
4 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
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For years, I have been hearing about the love for Hokas by my ultra-running friends. I have to admit I was at first frightened by the whole “moon shoe” concept, but I later realized Hokas come in a few shapes and sizes. This meant there was a way for me to give them a try without going “Full (Hoka) Retard“. It was suggested to me by my local Hoka rep that the Hoka One One Challenger ART 2 would be great for both road and trail.

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 Features

Tons of cushioning – Shock absorption to the max. Hoka calls this wide and thick part of the shoe -“The Marshmallow”. It’s what gives Hokas that whole moon-shoe look that they are famous for.

The “Meta Rocker”– Another feature unique to Hoka that is a massively curved bottom of the shoe. As you can see in the photo below, the front of the shoe comes up quite a bit. This supports a “rocking chair” kind of movement as you run.

hoka-one-one-challenger-atr-2 nine

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 Usage

The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 shoes are advertised as road or trail, so I have tested them on everything. I’ve done lots of short neighborhood jogs on pavement. Since they don’t have giant lugs, they are a great shoe for concrete runs. They are very padded and feel like you are running on clouds. Despite the cloud like feeling you can still feel the details in the surface you are running on.

In addition, I’ve also used them on many a long trail run. On trails they can be a little tricky on more technical sections since they have you up on a platform. The higher sitting foot rolls a little easier if you don’t pay attention. They have been through every kind of “every day usage” terrain one could imagine. I took the Hoka ATR2s on rocks, mud, single track, and anything else you might find in your favorite local trail run.

Unlike so many popular running shoes, these shoes run true to size, without being too narrow in the toebox. After many many miles, I have no blister or hot spot issues.

hoka-one-one-challenger-atr-2 five

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 Durability

I have run 190 miles in these to date. No holes or other specific damage to the shoes, just general wear and tear. If this pair of shoes is in the trunk of my car, I am set for a run pretty much anywhere. My guess is I will be ready for a new pair around the 250-275 mile mark , which is standard for me with any running shoe.

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Great for road or trail.
  • Tons of support.

Cons

  • NOT an OCR shoe.
  • Standard lacing verus Speed Lacing.

Similar Products

Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0Reebok All Terrain SuperSalomon Speedcross 3Inov-8 X-Talon 212
Weight234 g229 g310g280 g
Heel Drop5mm5mm9mm6mm
Grip3/16"3/16"3/16"1/4"
Metal StudsNoNoNoNo
Price$100.00$75.00$80.00$120.00
ORM ReviewYesYesYesYes
BuyAmazonAmazonAmazonAmazon

 

Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 Conclusion

hoka-one-one-challenger-atr-2 eight

It’s so nice to have a pair of shoes that I can use anywhere. Most street shoes suck on trails, and all of my other OCR deep lugged trail shoes are awkward at best on the street. The Hoka One One Challenger ATR 2 have become my go-to pair for a standard trail run, or any time I do a quick run around the block.

I will be ordering additional Hokas pairs as I am now one of the Hoka converted.


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Stacie Davis

Stacie Davis lives in Atlanta with her husband Matt and their 3 children . Her husband occasionally drags her to an OCR, but she's more of a road race girl. You can find her short stories and the nitty gritty about raising small children at her blog: http://ihadalifebeforeyoukids.com/

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