I love subscription boxes. My obsessions with Sapphire Soul and Ashi Box led me to searching for other types of boxes, especially running-related, and it was only a matter of time before Runner Crate crossed my path. A monthly subscription service that brings more than just samples to your door, Runner Crate also packs a challenge and a reward into every package! My first Crate came in May, with a Star Wars themed award in honor of May the Fourth, along with a bunch of goodies to try. Let's take a look! (You can also view my video unboxing here.)
Like many fitness boxes, Runner Crate comes brimming with snacks for you to try. Not all of them were winners in this box, but that's of course part of the usefulness of trial boxes: learning what you do and do NOT like, before buying a whole pack. I definitely did not care for the chicken sriracha Epic bar, which looks almost as bad as it tastes; nor am I a fan of "zesty nacho" chips. I did, however, enjoy the pumpkin Go Raw bar, the almond butter, and the hazelnut butter pretzel snacks! And the dragonfruit hot cereal wasn't too bad either, though it was definitely a departure from what I'm used to... Again, kind of the point! Trying new things, figuring out what works and what doesn't work, and getting exposure to things you've never even heard of - all major benefits to subscription boxes. I appreciated getting enough of each product to actually get a feel for the taste and texture - other boxes I've tried in the past didn't even send a single full serving of some products! Big Runner Crate win here.
Speaking of WINS, Runner Crate puts another notch in the "W" column by including a piece of running gear in every box. May's item was a running belt, featuring a huge pouch, reflective strip, and elastic clasp. I've tried a few running belts, and while my hydration belt is still my favorite, my new Runner Crate belt is a great option for shorter runs. Additionally, each month's box comes with a running challenge and an award for completing said challenge. To be honest, I found the May "challenge" to be not that difficult, as each day's workout included less than one mile total distance with the majority of that distance taken at a walk. While this makes for an ideal "get started" challenge, it doesn't really give more seasoned runners a useful workout, giving the Runner Crate more of a "beginner" feel. The included award for completing the May challenge is an interesting twist on the traditional medal: it's a light-up decoration, with a Star Wars May the Fourth theme! It needs batteries to work, but it's definitely different from anything I've seen before.
The final win for Runner Crate is something I almost overlooked: at the back of the included information card (which highlights each product and the challenge), there's a recipe sent in by one of their runners! May's recipe was Sunday Buffalo Strips, and while that's not a dish I'd be eating very often, I gave the recipe to my family for a little football season variety. The recipe looks to be more healthy than other buffalo strip dishes I've seen, and I'm very interested to see what other recipes get highlighted in future boxes.
I really like the idea of the Runner Crate: provide a challenge, gear and fuel to accomplish the challenge, and a reward for completion. With a wide variety of interesting and non-mainstream snacks, the Crate definitely provides exposure to a wider portion of the running world's vast network of nutrition products, while the inclusion of a piece of gear (from what I've seen, past crates have even included some awesome footwear) provides runners with an arsenal for success. The challenges could be more adaptable to more experienced runners by providing different levels or tiers, but that's really the only opportunity for improvement I see in a product that is already incredibly solid. This would make an excellent gift for someone who wants to start building a fitness lifestyle, for sure!
What are some of the unusual snacks you've tried? Have you ever received a running subscription box? What types of gear or snacks would you like to see in a runner box?