Disclaimer: I received free entry to Runner’s World Festival Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
The Runner’s World Half & Festival was held on October 19-21. The weekend was filled with running, running, and more running. There was a trail race on Friday, 5K, 10K, Dog Run on Saturday, and capped off with a half marathon on Sunday. I ran the half marathon and absolutely loved it.
Packet pickup was available on Friday, Saturday and the Sunday morning in the building right next to the start/finish area. It was extremely quick and easy. The Expo Hall was located upstairs. The Expo was rather small but had a nice array of running related items to search through.
At the Expo, I received my half marathon t-shirt. This is definitely one of the nicer ones I have received. I love the texture of it. Really nice job by RW.
I loved the start/finish setting of this race. The steel stacks in the background is just so cool. The historical buildings all around is a sight to see. You just think about all of the history in this location. They had a large stage set up with bands playing. The bag drop off was a quick and simple as I’ve seen at a race.
I was able to meet up with my fellow BibRave Pros prior to the start of the race for a photo, which was very cool to do. Such a great group of supportive runners.
On to the race. One real nice feature was that they kept announcing how much time there was before the start of the race. It was a cold morning, so it allowed most runners to stay in the warm insides before lining up too early. Everyone got in the corrals pretty quickly and it seemed like the race started on time.
The course starts out pretty flat for the first mile, so you can get your legs warmed up which is key for what is to come throughout the race. Unfortunately, I had to stop for thirty seconds only 4/10 of a mile into the race to adjust my shorts and tie them tight. They kept falling after I started and I knew this couldn’t go on. Good reminder for the NYC Marathon that I need to make sure they are on securely.
This course featured a lot of ups and downs. Lots of steep inclines but also some pretty steep declines. Your legs are definitely put through a test on this course. I really enjoyed it. I ran this race more at a marathon pace as I was using it for my final tune up for the NYC Marathon. They say NYC is a hilly marathon due to all the bridges, so when you think about it, this is the perfect race two weeks before. It allowed me to get a practice race run in. Work on my hydration. They had plenty of hydration stops throughout this course. Plus, with all of the inclines and declines, it was a good test for my legs and for working on my paces during those stretches.
If you’re told there aren’t any hills after mile 7, think again. I was fine with it, but for honesty purposes, just know there are. You’ll be fine, believe me.
I thought the crowd support was wonderful. You had sponsors out there cheering on, lots of high fives and encouragement. They had a couple of high school bands out at different locations which was really cool. You do hit areas where there are only a few people, but that’s expected in a race like this.
You run through a very pretty downtown at one point and through a college campus which is very pretty. Approximately, the last two miles are done over most of the first two miles. I always kind of like that because you have a really good idea of the distance you have left.
One pleasant surprise was hearing my name as I was about 50 yards away from the finish. You get a little extra burst in you when you hear the MC announce your name and city. I thought this was a really cool feature.
I received a nice finisher’s medal that I was proud to put on. They had water, bagels, granola bars, bananas available. Yuengling had a beer garden area set up where I happily accepted and drank a Yuengling Light Lager. It’s actually the first race I’ve ever drank a beer directly after. I have to say, it did taste good, even in the cold temps.
I got my bag quickly and was able to change out of my sweaty clothes in the building where the expo was. This was awesome to be able to do considering I had an hour and fifteen minute drive ahead of me.
Overall, I really enjoyed this race. They do a really nice job putting this together. I don’t see this as a PR course, but definitely a course I really enjoyed. Great job Runner’s World and Bethlehem.Loading Likes...