I struggled with how to begin these recaps, because there was honestly no racing going on. There was a lot of dancing. There was a lot of laughing. There was a lot of running. There just wasn’t a whole lot of speed. I’m clearly only speaking for myself. Oh, and for everyone who was kind enough to party on the course with me.
Let’s back it up a bit, though. The Runner’s World Half & Festival is a weekend-long event. There are shake out runs, multiple races, speakers and seminars, delicious dinners, and a whole lot of amazing people to meet.
I was fortunate enough to attend with the blogger group (full disclosure: they sponsored my involvement in the races), and I left with more memories than I did speedy miles under my belt. I signed up for the Hat Trick, and I had plans to really nail it this time. When I attempted the Hat Trick at Heartbreak Hill, I took it easy. I was bound and determined to actually race something this time. Well, life happened. I’d bore you with the list of excuses, but to sum it up: there was fun stuff to do and I did that stuff instead of training. It is what it is. This is why I run similar half marathon and 5k paces. Apparently it takes work to run fast. Luckily for me, I just enjoy running for the sake of running. Most of the time.
The most awesome part of the races was having three bestfriendsforlife to run with throughout the weekend. I met Dani and Matt in June, but Doug got thrown into the mix to round out our special little racing foursome. We share an affinity for awkward dancing, dumb jokes, and bad karaoke. The four of us ended up hitting the town of Bethlehem hard. I’ve never stayed out so late and had so much fun the night before a race. Much less before multiple races. We’ve obviously got this whole running thing down.
So, about those race recaps. I would be faking it if I sat here and posted the elevation changes, my splits, and “how I felt” throughout each race. I’m learning that I’m not that runner right now and that it’s totally okay. Having fun isn’t a crime, am I right? I will share a few photos and thoughts for each one, though, because I like to hear myself talk. I guess in this case, it’s see myself talk. You get the point.
I really liked the 5k course and I got to see some beautiful fall colors and run on some crunchy leaves. Besides the ability to run faster, what more could a girl want?
The four of us danced our way through Bethlehem and finished in 30:28, which happens to be my current post-gambling PR. I’ll take it. We had about an hour break between the two races, so we checked out the expo, chugged water, and laughed about the miles we just ran.
The 10k was really similar to the 5k just, you know, longer. In case you were wondering, I think all the fun we had the night before really hit me around mile four. I probably said “Just leave me here to die!” and “I’m going to puke!” about 3,000 times. I’m a blast to run with, y’all. We finished in 1:01, and I was very happy to finally cross that finish line.
I have never devoured a bagel faster than I did after that race, and I now know that I’m not 21 and invincible anymore. Going to have to remember that in the future.
The third and final race was the following day. We went to bed at a decent hour before the half, so at least I went into it knowing I wouldn’t want to die. That was a plus. The half was pretty freaking hilly for the 7 or 8 miles, so if I were doing a real race recap I would probably share that piece of information with you. Once again, we took it easy and laughed our way through the entire 13.1 miles. My abs ached afterwards and it certainly wasn’t from sprinting.
There were dance breaks, porta potty stops, outfit changes, candies from strangers, and statue kisses. All normal and expected things, of course.
We finished in 2:10, which means we ran at almost exactly the same pace as the previous day’s races. Consistency counts for something, right? Honestly, I would probably be embarrassed of my times if it weren’t for the memories I got to walk away with. Is that supremely cheesy? Yes. But it’s also the absolute truth.
If you’re looking for actual recaps, these people might have more intelligent things to say: Aliah from The Get Fit Diva, Matt from No Meat Athlete, Katie from Ms Fit Runner, Kristen from Fit Bottomed Girls, Doug from Rock Creek Runner, Sarah from Picky Runner, Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders, Ali from Ali on the Run, Katie from Runs for Cookies, Jamie from From Couch To Ironwoman, Beth from Shut Up And Run, Lauren from The Foodie Runner, Charlene from FAB Running, and Dick from Better Cheaper Slower.
In addition to thanking Runner’s World for inviting me, I want to send a huge thank you to everyone who came out and supported the runners during each race. I was blown away by the amount of crowd support there was on each course. It’s crazy how there was such a small-town feel yet there were people cheering us on at almost every turn. Bethlehem, you rock. Hope to see you again sometime!