Race Recap / Review: Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival Weekend 10k

The Runner’s World 10k was my first “race” post-baby.  I wasn’t completely racing it as I am still trying to be patient with my return and not over-exert my body before it’s ready…but I certainly pushed myself harder than I have in 10 months!

Although the course description and profile didn’t sound or look too hilly, it was much hillier than I expected and was ready for.  I avoided hills like the plague at the end of my pregnancy (I was recovering from posterior pelvic pain that developed in July) and so I haven’t run on really any hills since the first week in July.

Runner's World 10k course - it doesn't look too hilly, right?

I started off the run with two amazing (and speedy!!) ladies that I got to spend time with and get to know this weekend – Kristin and Kat.  They ran the Hat Trick over the weekend and were still the flying in the 10k like it was the only race of the weekend! Somewhere just before the 1st mile, I started to drift back from them.  I was worried about starting way too fast and then crashing and burning at the end, so I didn’t try to keep up (and I wouldn’t have lasted very long if I had tried!).

My garmin decided not to start for the first ~1.1 – 1.2 miles so my splits are not accurate. (Why does it always seem that my garmin decides to give me a hard time only on race days???).  These are my estimated paces for the day (based on the mile markers):

  • Mile 1: 8:15
  • Mile 2: 7:55
  • Mile 3: 7:50
  • Mile 4: 7:33
  • Mile 5: 7:28
  • Mile 6: 7:44
  • Mile 6.2: 1:30 (7:30 pace)
  • Finish: 48:20 (7:47 pace)
  • Overall: 242 out of 1705
  • Female: 55 out of 995

I’m not going to lie – the first three miles were tough – the hills totally kicked my butt and I just wanted the miles to tick by and the race to be over.  The course leveled out and I was able to pick up my pace a little bit (miles 4 and 5).  At Mile 5.5, there was a small incline (felt much bigger in person than it looks on the course diagram) and my body just couldn’t recover from it – my lungs and legs were dead!!

Overall, I am happy with how the race went.  More than anything, it gives me an idea of where I am in terms of pace and fitness level!

Post-race with Kristin and Katherine! (Photo courtesy of Katherine)


Race Review

Despite this being the first race that Runner’s World has ever organized (crazy that in their 45+ years in existence, they had YET to run a race!), it was executed flawlessly.

Some of the highlights:

  • Number of runners: 6,000 was the perfect number – allowed for amenities that larger races have without the crowd and confusion that comes with a 15,000+ event
  • Race Distances:  There were three distances offered – the 5k and 10k on Saturday and half-marathon on Sunday
  • Expo: While not huge, the expo had a good variety of reputable vendors (including Altra, Running Skirts, and The Stick).  It also was not overly crowded (at least on Friday).  We were able to comfortably make our way to each vendor (with a BOB stroller) without too much traffic

    Photo courtesy of Kristin (stuftmama.com)

  • Non-race events:  RW touted this as being a “Festival Weekend” and they delivered.  From the availability of meeting ALL of the senior editors and staff at Runner’s World (hello Bart Yasso, Tish Hamilton, Amby Burfoot, and even David Wiley), to hosting a wide mix of interesting seminars chaired by subject-matter experts (check out the schedule), to getting to meet and chat with (and run with if you ran the half-marathon) Shalane Flanagan, the weekend far surpassed my expectations.

    Amby Burfoot Book Signing

  • Support on Course: There was ample support along the course – including mile markers, three water stations(on the 10k course), volunteers directing runners, and police blocking traffic / road closures
  • Course:  The 10k course was a good mix of straightaways and turns through quiet neighborhoods in Bethlehem.  Although hilly, the three courses weren’t too tough where you couldn’t PR – a handful of the runners I know PR’d this weekend – including Robin who PR’d the half by 6 minutes!
  • Race Start: Although I have enjoyed running some of the larger races, I dislike the start at such popular events.  Having to show up hours before the race, waiting in never-ending lines at port-o-potties, and waiting in corrals long before the race begins makes me prefer smaller races.  The RW 10k was ideal for me – I was able to sit in the car with my husband, older son, and newborn – nurse my youngest one last time (good for both of us), and then make my way to the start line 10 min before the gun went off.

    Part of my cheering squad!

I really, really, REALLY hope that Runner’s World decides to repeat the Festival Weekend again next year – I would absolutely love to return to participate in the weekend activities and compete in all three events!  And I would definitely recommend this event to anyone interested in enjoying a weekend of running and running activities.

Disclaimer: I participated in the Runner’s World Blogger Event this weekend and received free entry into the 10k on Saturday.  All thoughts and opinions expressed in this blog post are my own.  


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    36 thoughts on “Race Recap / Review: Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival Weekend 10k

    1. Pingback: First Step is Believing

    2. It was so nice to finally meet you this weekend and your little guy. I loved your race report and am so happy you were able to share your experience with us. Your training during pregnancy and now after is very inspiring. Congrats on your 10k. I agree that Runner’s World really knows how to put on an amazing event. The whole weekend was so surreal, I still can’t believe I was able to participate and meet so many amazing bloggers as well.
      Robin recently posted..Runner’s World Half Marathon Weekend–Day 1My Profile

    3. Great race review and agree on all counts! They did it up so well. They certainly knew what they were doing.

      And I’m so glad to have finally met you! It was wonderful and I only wish we could have had even more time to hang out.

      Congrats on the 10K! You killed it!
      Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..#RWHalf aka #EPICMy Profile

    4. You are seriously such an inspiration coming back from just having a baby and racing with such an incredible time. Daaang woman!

      I’m also so jealous! I should have been there with y’all but since I just moved to Austin apparently new jobs aren’t willing to wait for you to start because of a race. I JUST DONT GET IT 😉 😉 😉 haha
      Charlotte recently posted..Austin Marathon Training Week 2My Profile

    5. What an amazing opportunity! Bethlehem is hilly! I’ve run there a few times when we have gone to visit my grandpa. How did you juggle nursing and all the activities plus the race? I’m always curious because in the first few months or racing after Sophia was born I always got so stressed out about being able to nurse her before the race and meeting up with my husband after. Breastfeeding and racing is no easy task.
      Sarah @RunFarGirl recently posted..The Comeback Plan RevisitedMy Profile

      • Sarah! NEXT year we will both be there =) The activities over the weekend was easy b/c it was mostly small group settings so I just had Ryan in the stroller…he ended up sleeping most of the time and when he was hungry, I’d find a little corner or area to nurse him. The race was short (only ~50 min) and so I nursed him in the car before it started and then again in the car after it was over. It was about 2 hours in between feedings which is pretty much what he’s been doing!! Part of the reason I didn’t decide to do the half was b/c I knew that it would require more time away from him and I didn’t want him to go that long w/o eating! We are going to try to give him the bottle this week – which will solve so many of these issues !! Then all I will have to do is pump and Paul can feed him =)
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Race Recap / Review: Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival Weekend 10kMy Profile

    6. Great Job on the 10K! I think it’s so funny how you think 6K runners is “small” haha I’ve run races with only 50 or so people! Seems like overall it was a great event put on by Runners World- thanks for the review!

    7. i was in such awe of you ladies. I didn’t care about the famous runners there, it was this group of amazing women that was awesome to see! you did amazing, but i had not doubt you would! what a great bday too.
      lindsay recently posted..Thou Shalt’sMy Profile

    8. Congrats on an awesome race! You have amazing things in your future and I can’t wait to hear about your race plans for next year :) I would love to do the Runner’s World races next year too.
      Steph recently posted..Marathon FearsMy Profile

    9. This race weekend sounded amazing! To meet all the senior editors and staff of Runner’s World…ahh that would be so awesome. Plus an opportunity to run with Shalane?! I hope I can participate next year. Congrats on your first race back!
      Erin recently posted..Winter Plans: Running for FunMy Profile

    10. I’m so glad you were able to make it to Bethlehem and that I finally got to meet you! You are off to an amazing start with that 10k a mere 4 weeks postpartum! It was an amazing weekend and there was just SO much incredible stuff going all on so many levels. I definitely want to come back too, even if just for the races–they put together a great event.
      misszippy1 recently posted..Runner’s World Half Marathon–my surreal weekendMy Profile

      • Hi Jackie!!! =) Thanks so much! I’m definitely happy with my time!
        Depends on how I’m feeling / how far I’m going to be gone…on Saturday, I wore two sports bras b/c I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be away from Ryan…If I am home and plan to only be gone 45 min or so, I can usually get away with one, supportive one. But I wanted to be safe on Sat so I wore two. The most comfortable and supportive ones are ones that are like 1 size small – they are snug but they do the job =)
        nycrunningmama recently posted..Race Recap / Review: Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival Weekend 10kMy Profile