Oct 23, 2015

Runner's World Half Recap and Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Runner's World Hat Trick to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I received the opportunity to run any race at the Runner's World Half & Festival. Of course, if you're going to give me that option, I'm going to pick the challenge. I recently finished racing the Runner's World Hat Trick, which was a fantastic experience all around. I'll be writing about all three races. You can find my experience for Saturday with my 5K and 10K recaps. The time has come to give you the completion of the Hat Trick.

Runner's World Half Recap and Review

Sunday started out the same as Saturday, parking and venturing. Only this time, the parking I used last time was supposed to work well for walking to the half marathon start line. Sunday morning decided to start out even chillier than Saturday did. I got out of my car with it saying 33°F, which is not quite ideal. Now, the sun was just starting to color the horizon, so it was early yet. Luckily, my outfit for Sunday was #orangeisthenewfast and black, so I had my full Buff (read the review) with me, so I covered my face and pulled it up over the back of my head and I was good. Combined with my hands pulled up into my arm sleeves and my compression socks, the only really cold place was the gap between my shirt and my arm sleeves, so not bad all things considered.

The full "chilly" gear, from early in the race.

The walk to the start was as they mentioned in the race paperwork not too far. It was however, not the best. Initially, from the parking to the main road was sidewalked. But, from there over towards the casino had no sidewalk, just a semi worn path from other walking this direction with out any real path. Once you got past the initial part and towards the casino, there was a birm of the road to at least be on and then some coned areas, but the walk was definitely sub-par in safety to start. The start area was not directly next to the ArtsQuest building like the other races, so there was a separate area with some port-o-pots and bag check, but nowhere to step out of the chill. As the sun came out, it warmed up a tiny bit, but not too much until into the race. Once more bodies showed up and everyone funneled into the chutes, it wasn't so bad. I even jumped to the front of the line before too many where there to snag a start line selfie, because I'm not exactly front of the pack start line material.

The half marathon course was a really fun course traveling throughout Bethlehem. I had taken it easy during the 5K and 10K, saving my energy for the half, so was back to pushing myself more in this race. I still tried to not go too hard up front, so that I could finish strong. No part of the course was that boring. Portions of the course ran through many of the historic areas, including the Historic Moravian settlement, the Historic Hotel Bethlehem, and portions of the original 1741 settlement. The course had some early longer hills, but the back portion was largely downhill overall which made for a great race. Even the residential portions had a lot of spectators cheering you one. One of my favorites was a little old lady, who had one of those walkers with a chair in a large coat ringing a cowbell in 40 degree weather. THAT is some support.

I couldn't not stop for my school's Nittany Lion.

The course included plenty of water stops, med tents, a Clif shot stop, as well as a food stop that included pretzels and gummy bears. I find I need something real during that long of a run, and the pretzels were a good fit (though it needs to be paired with a water stop just a little ways down the road). There were a couple of on course entertainment, including pep bands, bagpipes and DJs. The only on-course issue was at the very end, which mimic the 5K and 10K courses, there were so many people leaving via the course route, making it hard to know where to go. I knew from the past two races before, but I had to help direct a lady in front of me which way to go in the last half mile so she didn't miss pretty much the last turn. The course had the same great finish by the steel stacks with the large shoots and Runner’s World staff on the mics with plenty of cheering. At the finish there was a band, Sunshine Symphony playing some great covers as well as a beer garden from Saucony Creek Craft Brewery. I had their lager in the garden, but tried some others at the expo that were great. The post race food included bagels, bananas, Subway cookies, raisins, pretzels and mini muffins. That was a huge selection that was great to have.

Coming into this race, I wanted to finish with a time under 3:15. Not a huge improvement goal, but one that I really wanted to make. I had a stretch goal of 3 hours, but with the other two races, didn't think that was realistic. If only I had realized earlier, what time I was on pace for.

I finished with an official time of 3:02:53. A new PR!

Also, did I mention the free pictures yet? Well all of the races included on course photographers with free pictures. Just check out this action. Looks like I know what I'm doing or something, doesn't it?

Race Review

Fantastic race with just the right amount of challenge. Course that sets you up for a strong finish.

Race grade: A

Check out my review on BibRave

Final Take Away

Was the race course fun?
Yes. Great views and great spectators

Was the challenge fun?
Really rewarding and enjoyable experience.

Would I do it again?
I need to and drop those last 3 minutes.

Have you ever raced a challenge? What about setting a PR during it?


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  1. Congrats on your new PR! No doubt you will she'd those 3 minutes next time!

    That is awesome that they gave free race photos!

    1. Thanks. Yeah. I love free race photos. And these are some of the best of me from any race I think. I lucked out with these photographers.

  2. Love the orange, and that is a great photo!
    Congrats on your time.

    1. Thanks. I liked how my outfit worked out. I think it made me fast, haha.

  3. Congrats on the PR! I enjoyed catching up on all your recaps. This is def on my bucket list.

    1. Thanks. It's a great one to run. I definitely plan to run it again. May not be next year depending on schedule but I will go back and run these again. Had a blast.