When Runner's World started this weekend long festival five years ago, their goal was to make the pages of the magazine come to life, and that's exactly what they've done. The event, which includes five races spread over three days and culminates with a half marathon, is a true celebration of running and the healthy lifestyle that we all strive for after we finish reading an issue.
There's something for everyone at the #RWHalf. Friday morning kicked off with a November Project workout at the Steel Stacks. The Friday afternoon trail race was no joke and included a trail running clinic lead by running form guru and Altra running shoes founder, Golden Harper. After the trail run, you can run right down the mountain to catch the kids race which includes a rockin', crowd-on-their-feet concert performed by Kira Willey. Amy was front and center dancing her heart out. I'm not sure if she liked the concert or the run better, but she is so proud of the child-friendly rubber medal she got at the finish line.
On Saturday the road racing begins. There's a 5k, a 10k, and then the crowd-favorite: the dog run. The 5 and 10 courses are challenging, yet fast and take you on a tour of both sides of downtown Bethlehem. You may think, who would stick around to do another longer, harder race after finishing a 5k? Well, this crowd does that! All for the love of running!
Runners got to team up with their four-legged sweethearts later in the day for the dog run. The 200 or so dog/owner teams corralled at the start just like it was a people only race. When the gun went off, a few bolted (including Maya and me) around the 1 mile course. Others lingered, stopped for pictures, and made new friends along the way. Sounds familiar, right?
After all that running, refueling is a must. And RW has you covered there, too. The Saturday night Dinner with the Editors breaks the mold on the typical pre-race pasta dinner. The menu is curated with healthy dishes, the atmosphere is inviting, and the chances of sitting next to Bart Yasso, Amby Bufurt, Tish Hamilton, or David Willey are high.
The event culminates with the Half Marathon on Sunday. Like the 5 and 10, the course is hilly, but provides that challenge that keeps drawing us all back to running race after race, year after year. Whether it's chasing PR's, racing to the podium, or finding fitness, everyone shares that common goal of getting to the finish line. And at this finish line awaits the community of runners that Runner's World has cultivated over the last 50 years.
Thanks RW for introducing us to this event. We can't wait to come back next year!