Giveaway! Runner’s Guide: Handana


handana giveaway

The running item that I’m going to share with you today is awesome not just because of how well it works and how useful it is, but also because the story behind how it came to be is so inspiring.  The item is the handana: basically what it sounds like from the name, a sort of “bandana” that you wear on your hand.  The purpose of it is to be an easy way to wipe off sweat while you run.  It’s comfortable and great for any sport that will get you sweaty (but especially running!).  It works much better than typical wrist bands or sweatbands.

I haven’t seen anything else like this product out there, and the way that it was born is truly an inspiring story.  The creator of the handana, Katie Niemeyer, got a rare disease called Stevens-Johnson Syndrome at just the age of 16.  It’s the result of an adverse reaction to medication, and it causes rashes and blisters all over the skin, swelling of the eyes, flu-like symptoms, and more.  It can be fatal.  In Katie’s case she came down with the syndrome 3 weeks after starting a new medication, and was soon admitted to the burns unit of the hospital when her body had rashes and blisters that were classified as 2nd and 3rd degree burns.  The picture below will show you just how serious this was, but it is not for the squeamish.


Luckily, Katie survived, and jumped back into fitness training.  However, due to the SJS she was still very sensitive to certain things, and one of the most sensitive parts of her body was her eyes.  When sweat dripped into them it really burned, and while sweatbands helped a little it still wasn’t enough – and that’s when the idea for the handana came about.  It was a great way to wipe away the sweat while running, and helped Katie complete a marathon!


Now lots of runners are finding the handana useful, sensitive eyes or not.  I got the chance to test one out and I have to say, it is just as great as it sounds.  In terms of usefulness, it did exactly what it claimed to do.  It was an easy way to wipe the sweat away.  When it gets warm I do have to admit I sweat a lot when I run!  Sometimes I try to bring a towel and carry it around my shoulders or something, but it’s always slipping around or falling off.  This is so much easier to deal with and a very natural way to get the sweat off your face.  I used it with a sweatband on as well.

I also like how it looks.  It’s simple but fashionable, and it comes in a variety of colors.  I definitely want to purchase a couple more so that I can have them to go with different outfits, and to match my costumes for the Disney races!  It’s very comfortable so that I hardly even noticed I was wearing it.  The fabric is thin but still strong.  It doesn’t feel bulky or in the way at all, and you can still easily use your hand while running for whatever you need – checking your phone, holding a water bottle, etc.


For Disney runners I imagine having a handana will be super useful, because as you probably know it can get very warm down in Florida!  Overall I think this is a really great product, and one that I’m happy to support.  I think Katie’s story is truly inspiring for women everywhere, and I hope lots of Disney runners out there will support her by checking out the website!

But you can get your own Handana!  We’re hosting a giveaway to win a gift certificate to the site, which will allow you to pick out your very own  handana in whatever color you like!  All you have to do to enter is fill out the rafflecopter form below.  Giveaway ends Friday, June 13th at midnight.

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Also make sure you take a look at all the other items we have in the Disney Running Gear Guide:

disney running gear guide


14 thoughts on “Giveaway! Runner’s Guide: Handana

  1. Wow! That is an amazing story! And to be able to turn something so awful into a positive thing is a true gift. Sounds brilliant to me. Off to check out the website. (Don’t enter me into the drawing, since I already won something from you! I just really had to comment about how inspiring this is!)

  2. What an inspiring story (I guess a good thing to come out of something so awful for her). These are GREAT!! My question about running is how do I keep from getting sunburned on the top of my head? I have thinning hair (thanks to old age and bad genes) and I have to wear a visor in summer because I get WAY too overheated in a hat. I always get sunburned on the top of my head. And when it peels it looks just fantastic like I have dandruff out of control. 🙂

  3. amazing story and recovery. As a newbie runner…my question is, How often should I increase my distance and speed?

    • That’s definitely a tough call. For me, as a newbie, the couch to 5k program was a good one to help me figure out when to increase those things. You need to find that sweet spot where you definitely feel like you’re pushing yourself, but not so hard that you’re in actual physical pain.

  4. An issue I have is running in the heat. When is the heat and humidity just too much?? Sometimes it can be deceiving how hot it is

    • Definitely tricky, especially for Disney races! Try to run early in the day or later in the evening to avoid the worst of it. Bring lots of water with you. One of my favorite items is a Frogg Togg – it’s a towel that you wet to keep it cool, but it doesn’t drip on you or anything. It’s amazing when it’s hot out! You’ll start to get a feel for what your body can handle, and if it’s just too hot out don’t be afraid to hit the treadmill or just wait until the next day to go out.

    • That’s definitely a hard one! Especially when you’re in a race, because everyone starts off fast. I always have that problem, but I just try to think about how bad I’ll feel later if I push myself too hard in the beginning.

  5. @turtlepace – put a little sunscreen on the top of your head 20 minutes before you head out to prevent burning
    A question I have is do you run alone or with friends most of the time?

    • I run alone. I don’t really have friends in the area that run, so on a normal day to day basis I’m by myself. I do races with friends but I also tend to stay on my own for that – I don’t want to feel obligated to run slower or faster than I feel comfortable just to keep pace with someone else. But it’s fun to meet up with them at the finish line!

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