2016 College Park Mother’s Day 5K

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Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins

It was a glorious Saturday morning in College Park, Maryland for the 3rd Annual College Park Mother’s Day 5K put on by the College Park Community Foundation (CPCF). Fresh off five straight days of rain the sun broke through and blessed us with the perfect amount of energy for the family fun run. We’re so proud of everyone for rising early and energizing their lives.

The Fit Fathers team was on deck with both experienced, first time runners and walkers to show solidarity and support of one of God’s greatest treasures. My cousin Havena Rawlins drove down from Delaware with personal trainer Jermaine to participate in her first ever 5K. It was amazing seeing her cross the finish line, and with the sweat to prove it. Yeah baby, you did it! Also, the father of my daughter’s best friend – John Bryant — was equally excited since it was his first official race although he is an avid runner. His wife Bibby and her friend also participated.

[Read more…]

2015 MORE Summer Festival

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Experienced by Kyle Ayoung

MORE’s Summer Festival at Rosaryville State Park in Upper Marlboro, MD was a spectacular, active family outing for mountain bike riders of all skill levels. My fellow Fit Father Shawn Ciers and I participated specifically in the Poker Ride, an 11-mile route through the park’s perimeter and interior trails. At each of the 5-way stations, riders drew a card from the deck as part of the competition. Riders with the top 5 poker hands won prizes.

Kia_Sorento_2015_MORE_Summer_FestivalThe state park was certainly worth an experience with fast and challenging, steep trails. After unloading the Kia Sorento our Trek MTBs were up for the winding twists and stimulating turns, while fun, up-hill points along the route provided a great endurance test for these Fit Fathers. MORE also hosted a youth ride and a skills competition for advanced riders.

It was an energizing and vibrant Sunday morning workout to kick off our days. We definitely found a new home for future riding.

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Mountain Biking with the Crew: A Fit Fathers Social Workout

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Words by Kimatni D. Rawlins / Vision by Henri Fisher

It was an amazing weekend with the Fit Fathers crew as we hit Schaeffer Farms Mountain Bike Park on hardtails in Gaithersburg, MD. Typically when a group of dudes get together to catch up it’s at a sports bar, club or a live game. Nothing is wrong with either if that’s your cup of tea. For me, I am happy to have broken free from habits that I no longer care for. In comparison to my old self I’d rather bike or hike within the natural mystic of life with my brothers and sisters while eating nuts and berries opposed to clubbing with baby ballers. Thus, it’s amazing how quickly enlightenment is ascertained when the path to purity is chosen. There are never any excuses for energizing your body incessantly.

We call them “Social Workouts” whereas a group of dads, moms, kids or friends of the family get together for an exercise-focused activity in an environment conducive for life enhancing socializing. Prior examples include running and hiking meet-ups at national parks and local high school tracks. This past Saturday seven Fit Fathers went out on what is to be the first of a cadre of planned mountain bike outings.  And for those who didn’t own a cycle we made a call to Race Pace in Columbia, MD and reserved a few of their rentals for $45 a day. Again, “no excuses” is our daily mantra. “This experience provided a great alternative to the regular routine of weekly gym workouts. Both physically and mentally challenging, the scenic path allowed us to truly appreciate both the power and beauty of nature,’ said Shawn Ciers. “Enjoying this time with fellow brothers that wanted to spend a Saturday morning greeting mother nature opposed to snoring in bed or playing video games made this outing and the conversations magnificent!” [Read more…]

2015 Volkswagen Golf R: Jackrabbit of All Trades

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Experienced by Shawn Ciers

Automotive Rhythms arrived to the energetic vibe of San Diego, California for the 2015 Volkswagen (VW) Golf R media drive this past week with great anticipation. Given that the sportier and hipper edition of the recently crowned 2015 Car of the Year was launched on the West Coast, the redefined Golf R challenging the twists and turns of the popular region was an electrifying experience.

Based off the 7th generation Golf, which provided great insight into the upgrades the R would bring — such as its muscular stance — the hatchback is strong, bold and exudes confidence. VW utilized its experience in the World Rally Championship series to enhance the Golf R with the needed components for a successful performance package. Beginning with its profile, the R’s suspension has been lowered by .8 inches, adds quad exhaust tips, has a slightly extended rear and shares the same MQB platform as the Golf and Golf GTI. Impressive Bi-Xenon headlights with dual U-shaped LED DRLs continue to augment style and appeal to the German brand and literally shines light amongst their newfangled generation of sport editions.

2015_VW_Golf_R...10But what would vivid design changes and renovations be without respective alterations under the hood? The increase of 36-horsepower and 37 lb.-ft. of torque over the previous generation offers more roar when the pedal hits the floor. Its power packed and turbocharged 2-liter, 4-cylinder TSI engine with direct-injection never hesitated in the delivery of increased acceleration out of tight turns or approaching highway ramps. I was amazed at its cornering acceleration capabilities and all-out speed on open straightaways. With a total of 292-horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,800 rpms, all-wheel-drive (AWD) and the availability of a DSG transmission (at launch), the 2015 Golf R is the fastest consumer VW in the company’s history. It runs from standstill to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds (DSG equipped). Specifically, the DSG is a dual-clutch automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and features launch control to allow your rabbit to jump out the gate far faster than the hounds in pursuit. A 6-speed manual will be added to the 2016 model year. But not only is the Golf R’s throttle happy, it knows how to conserve fuel with 23 mpg/city and 30 mpg/highway.

Handling is improved by way of the hatchback’s 4MOTION AWD with the technologically enhanced 5th generation Haldex coupling and the DCC adaptive damping system, a feature that significantly elevates the Golf R’s handling attributes. DCC adjusts each of the four wheels independently based on their road characteristics allowing optimal traction in almost all conditions and at any speeds. While many in this field establish the Golf R as strictly a rally car, the sporty hatch proves that it is moving in the direction of overall appeal to a broader audience. DCC selections consist of Normal, Race and slightly customizable Individual modes as part of the Driving Mode Selection. Race mode as you can imagine signifies high-speed performance and stiffens the dampers further, shortens shift times and alters engine behavior to respond to performance effectively. In a Golf, it’s always simple maneuvering around town, finding parking and loading items in the cargo area. Now imagine doing the same but you have less time to complete each task. The extra ponies and safety features certainly come in handy as I found out in California.

2015_VW_Golf_R...16The Golf R’s revised 4MOTION AWD as stated uses the latest Haldex system which spearheaded the major improvements in the vehicle’s responsiveness. Haldex as you know is globally recognized for advancements and innovative solutions that progress safety, dynamics and sustainability in consumer vehicles. Their AWD platforms are used in major brands such as Volvo and Volkswagen’s sister company Audi. Handling felt so precise because 4MOTION thinks before you can even blink. It actually monitors road mannerisms and anticipates when traction could be loss, engages itself and thus prevents as much wheel spin as possible. Moreover, it saves fuel by running only the front wheels when 4-wheel traction is not required. Supported on either Cadiz 18” or the upgraded 19’’ Cadiz aluminum-alloys tucked in performance rubber, the R feels perfectly at home on tracks or public roads. It’s the greatest asset of having a dual-themed vehicle. Also added, in conjunction with the included 13.4” front and 12.2” rear brakes, is the new Automatic Post-Collision Braking system which applies the brakes to stop secondary impacts in a collision. Thankfully, this is one feature I personally enjoyed not testing!

2015_VW_Golf_R...18With the power, handling and excitement that the Golf R will bring to eventual owners, internal intelligence simultaneously increases optimism to the owner experience. The cabin is larger, the vehicle is lighter, a sleek blue instrument gauge (unique to this R) energizes the cabin, heated front seats, a power driver’s seat, leather throughout the cabin and automatic climate control are just a few interior niceties. The racing oriented, flat bottom, leather wrapped steering wheel provides most of the needed functionally directly while the navigation offers parking assistance by way of front and rear Park Distance Control. Through the infotainment and Fender premium audio sound system, syncing mobile devices will deliver home-like entertainment from your streaming audio. Although some of the responsiveness was a bit slow.

Excluding the $895 destination charge, the Golf R starts at $36,595 and increases to $39,090 for the Golf R with DCC & Navigation, which also adds the 19” aluminum-alloy rims, DCC of course, Fender tunes, a touchscreen navigation system and Park Distance Control. Currently it battles directly with the Subaru WRX STI and bears secondary competition from the BMW M235i and Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG. Five distinctive hues are available for your bunny of choice, or should I say jackrabbit. But make sure to put an order in soon before the Golf Rs bounce out of site.

BMW xDrive Comes Alive: Drove 513 miles to run 13.1

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 The family and I kicked off another Fit Fathers weekend in our Michigan hometown to participate in the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon (a first for me). Thanks to Automotive Rhythms and Auto Fit by Fit Fathers the drive from Maryland was a comfortable 513-mile experience in the 2014 BMW X5 xDrive35i Sport Activity Vehicle (SAV). Added with BMW’s M Sport package, the AWD SAV handled the Pennsylvania and Ohio turnpikes like a true champion of the road. Empowered with ultra 93 octane, the entire trip was completed on almost a single tank of gas. That’s what we call Efficient Dynamics!

Nike-Running-Fit-Fathers-Shawn-CiersAnd like the impressive highway mileage attained in our sports performance utility vehicle, I also have been logging miles on foot as training continues. So far I have completed two magnificent race days of preparation in Michigan weather and am looking forward to spending more time with family and friends and making the rounds around town after crossing the finish line.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series hits Virginia Beach: Fun, Family Fitness Weekend

IMG_0513Shawn Ciers

What a fascinating escape to Virginia Beach during Labor Day weekend to participate in the Mazda sponsored Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach ½ Marathon with a few other Fit Fathers such as company founder Kimatni Rawlins and Delaunta Cameron, both also former Georgia Tech football players. Like a band off brothers we decided to join Team Mazda and train jointly for three months with the culmination being a splash in the Atlantic Ocean after crossing the finish line. [Read more…]