Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Why the Runner's World Festival and Half is Great for Runners AND Spectators.

I participated in the Runner's World Half and Festival Oct 18-20, 2013.  Runner's World invited me to represent our blog at the event and they paid for all the activities/dinners I participated in.

The Runner's World Half and Festival truly puts on an activity for everyone. The events for the public kicked off on Friday afternoon starting with the Runner's World Health and Fitness expo in the Arts Quest building. Although I couldn't get a lot of good pictures in this building where the expo was held (all windows on one side, no windows on the other), it was the perfect spot for the expo! Three floors for bibs, shirts, and vendors. I felt there was enough room for everything and didn't feel cramped like at other large expos.

At 5:00 pm on Friday there were Kid Races.
There were a variety of different distances for each age group and every child received a finishers medallion.

For the adults, two movies played that evening: To Them That's Gone and Spirit of the Marathon II.  If a movie wasn't your thing, you could go to a Race Weekend FAQ Seminar.  Later that evening Bart Yasso held a night time run, it was a run with the Amish.

Saturday started with the 5k race.

I Caught a glimpse of Summer Sanders running this race with her son.

There was an hour and a half between the 5K race and the 10K race. Some people ran both races back to back. This was called the "Five and Dime". I however chose only to do the 10K.
I had packed shorts and a running tank to run the race in but the weather was much cooler than I expected. I had run in compression capris and a long tech the day before, so I thought I would be comfortable in something similar for the 10K and I was.  I thought the 10K was a continuation of the 5k course that we ran the day before. Boy was I wrong!  I was not expecting as many hills as there were. I was expecting two hills, but I'm not sure which of the inclines on this course were those "two hills".  Even thought the course was hillier than I expected, it was a good challenge and I thought it was a good race. I never felt like the inclines had taken too much out of me. In the end, I finished with my best 10k time yet!

After the 10K race and the awards ceremony, there was a dog run.
Are these not the cutest little racers ever?

After all the races were completed on Saturday, participants and their guests could go to the expo for some more shopping, participate in one of the many seminars, or see one of the movies that was playing. All these things were open to the public as well.
Runner's World editors, and authors were on hand at the book signing area to sign copies of their books.

Participants also had an opportunity to have a pasta dinner with  the Runner's World editors later that evening.  There were  three times offered for this event. There is an additional fee for the dinner, but Runner's World paid for us bloggers to go.
The Runner's World staff put out an incredible spread. Again, all recipes were from The Runner's World Cookbook!

After dinner we were all invited to listen to the Keynote Speaker, Dave McGillivary, Race Director of the Boston Marathon.  For an additional fee, this event was also open to the public.
( Toni from Running, Living, Loving)      Dave McGillivray has got to be one of the most fascinating people I have ever had the pleasure of hearing speak. There is so much I want to say about him, but in an effort to keep this post a reasonable length I will have to save it for later. I will just say this, if I were still in school, he would definitely be someone I would want to do a report on!

Sunday morning's half marathon was the last of the big events for the Runner's World Half and Festival that weekend.
Those of us who were not running the half marathon chose to come to the start line and cheer on those who were running. Although the finish line for the half marathon is the same as for the 5K and 10K, the start is in a different location. It starts up on the road in front of the Sands Casino ( near the bridge). Take note if you are driving a car, there is plenty of parking near the finish line, but you may not leave the lot until the road opens again at 12:30pm.

This is one of our blogger friends Jocelyn from Enthusiastic Runner running towards the finish line at the half marathon. 
I'm so proud of all the girls that participate in all three races, AKA The Hat Trick!
The finish shoot was long enough that there was plenty of room for anyone who wanted to see the runners up close. Another plus was that spectators could watch from both sides of the finish line. Many larger races I've been to, the spectators could only watch from one side, making it rather crowded at the finish line area. But wait, if it was too chilly for you outside ( remember it is October in Pennsylvania), you had all the comforts of waiting inside the Arts Quest building until it was time to go watch your runner cross!
Since the Start and Finish lines for the 5K and 10K were held in this area, runners had a nice warm place to wait between races, grab a coffee or a bite to eat, and actually use a real bathroom! Now how many races have real bathrooms for you to use right at the start line? The ability to go indoors and stay warm was definitely something that made this race a bit better than the others I've been to!

I think one reason this race was top notch all the way was because it was a race put on by the running professionals, not just a marketing department. If you want to host a good race, have people who run actually put it on!  Kudos to Runner's World for a job well done!

And of course here is the great race shirt and the bling I earned!

I really enjoyed my time at the Runner's World Festival and Half. I am so glad that I got to be a part of this event! Thanks Runner's World!

Have you ever been to a whole weekend of race events?

If you didn't get to read the first two post I did on the Runner's World Half and Festival you can read them here:
1. Runner's World Blogger Event: Barbecue at Runner's World Headquarters.
2. Runner's World Blogger Event: A day of Running Activities and Cool Sponsors.


  1. Runner's World is awesome; I am so glad you had fun this weekend! That dog race looks soooo cute!!

  2. Thanks Lauren! This is definitely a race I would recommend to others. There really is something for everyone!

  3. I love the idea of a dogs' race. They needs exercise too.

    Everything looks so wonderful and yes, real bathrooms are absolutely wonderful.

    1. Dog races and inside bathrooms. Really, what could be better than that, right? lol

  4. I've loved reading all the Runners World recaps! This race is definitely on my radar for next year!