My first Runner’s World Half & Festival Experience

On Saturday, I got up and out the door to head to meet Karen, Ashley, and Alissa for the Runner’s World Half & Festival 10K and expo. I left the house 90 minutes before I’m usually able to get out the door on a weekday for work. Coincidence? I think not.

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Even with construction zones, my drive to Bethlehem from Philly was great. The sun was shining, I was car dancing to songs from my favorite Sirius XM stations, and I saw several hot air balloons. Sidenote: I’m obsessed with hot air balloons. I want to get in one, and fully expect no matter where I am, I will land in Oz. If Dorothy can leave Oz in one, I can get there in one.

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I was really excited to get there, but seriously nervous. It’s Runner’s World! And some of my favorite bloggers were already there. If you read Run, Eat, Repeat, Hungry Runner Girl, or follow the Run Chat guys, you’ve also seen the super cool stuff a handful of bloggers got to experience. Mine was not that cool, but the festival, nonetheless, was really well done. Next year, I want to stay there, and experience it all.

Using the power of my smile, I was able to park for free not far from the start, finish, and expo. Met up with Karen, and made our way to bib pick-up. The expo facilities were nice but very crowded. It was tough to move, or even put yourself together before heading to the race start.

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The positive, was that by telling Alissa and Ashley we were near the bathrooms, we found them quite easily. Squealed, hugged, and took lots of pictures. The families around us, clearly thought we were nuts.

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It was quickly time to hit the start line, dance around to the music, and talk about our next races. Obviously.

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And then we were off. Ashley stuck with Karen and I for the first mile, then we let her fly, and settled into our usual 3:1 rhythm. The course was nice, albeit hilly, but we powered through, and by mile 4, I felt like I’d found my stride.

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My legs felt good, my new shoes felt great, and we started to speed up. As we rounded into mile 5, we got great views of the stacks and the river.

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Around that time I also realized if we finished really strong, I’d have a several minute 10K PR. Karen was on board, so we picked up the pace, skipped our walk intervals, and had a crazy strong finish.

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Huge thanks to Ashley for these awesome pics.

After hydrating and getting some other pics, Karen and I headed to the expo. For a small expo, it was great. We chatted with the Sweaty Bands team, the Running Skirts team, and on our way out, ran into Scott and Dave from Run Chat, and accosted them.

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By the time we finished the day out, we’d gotten lots of good swag, and spent a little money too. All in all, a great race, great day, and I’m definitely going back for more next year!

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Free stuff from Pro Compression, Lara Bar, Sweaty Bands (we mentioned Twitter so we got a free headband), Belvita, and an awesome tech shirt from Runner’s World

Have you met any Twitter/Blog friends in real life?
What’s been the best swag you’ve gotten at a race expo?
Will the RW Festival make it on your race calendar next year?

13 thoughts on “My first Runner’s World Half & Festival Experience

  1. Pingback: My Year in Running – 2013 | Run Stretch Go

  2. I’m fairly new to the running blog community, I took a 4 year break from blogging but came back to it when a very good friend of mine who is also a blogger inspired me to start again.We met in 2002 when our husbands were deployed, long before blogging. The army sent us in opposite directions in 2003 and we met up again this year when my family moved to the same area her family is in. She has generously offered to pace me for my first 10k on November 3rd. Aside from Kim, I have not met any other blogger but would love to.

    I’m curious about your “3:1 rhythm”, is that your walk/run ratio?

    • What a great story! You must be so happy to be back near each other again.

      Yes 3 min running 1 min walking. It’s kept me injury free ( although definitely some aches and pains) and powered me through a big half marathon PR this fall!

    • Yes, you have to come. If he’s nice, we’ll let Justin come too. Maybe they’ll add a kids run, and you can bring Macon for the dog run. It can be a family affair 🙂 or you can just come play with the girls 🙂

  3. This was such a fun race! I hope to meet more Twitter and blogger friends in real life when I head to Disney.
    I loved that this was a local race that was a whole weekend event. I would enjoy going to a few of the seminars and meeting some of the Runners World folks!
    Karen@karenlovestorun

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