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)

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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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    Comments

    1. Good review friend. LOVE the picture of AJ and the signs!!!! Adorable.
      STUFT Mama recently posted..Runner’s World Recap Part Three- 5K and 10K RecapMy Profile

    2. Wow, what an amazing finish time!! You are amazing!! I also hope they repeat this event, no way I’m gonna miss it next year!
      Christine recently posted..Race Report: Atlantic City Half MarathonMy Profile

    3. It was great to finally meet you F2F!!! You are an amazing runner and those split times for the 10K prove it! I hope see you again at some other events.
      Harold recently posted..AVR – Week In Review #RWHalf the Main Story 10/21/12My Profile

    4. Looks so fun!!! I want to go to a running festival!! :)
      corrie anne recently posted..Breckenridge Bites: What We Ate!My Profile

    5. 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

    6. That is amazing you ran that fast after just having a baby (who is so so adorable by the way!). I’m so proud of you! It was so great meeting you!
      Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie recently posted..I Did It! My Runner’s World 5KMy Profile

    7. Michele, I know I already told you this, but I am so proud of you (and majorly inspired by you). So cool to meet you in real life!

      And look how you negative splitted the heck out of that race! I loved how you went around with your son in the stroller this weekend, it was great to have him be a part of the festivities :)
      Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner recently posted..Top 5 Runner’s World Festival MomentsMy Profile

    8. girl you are soooo amazing! i loved seeing you out there with the baby and then knocking everyone’s socks off at the race too :) I know it may not have been the perfect race to you, but I’m impressed
      Amanda @RunToTheFinish recently posted..Runner’s World Behind the ScenesMy Profile

    9. 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

    10. Your easy recovery miles are my fast miles… but I still am incredibly happy for you. Weekend sounded spectacular.
      Pavement Runner recently posted..FitFluential Dinner: Nike Women’s MarathonMy Profile

    11. So GLAD to FINALLY meet you Michelle and beyond impressed with your resilience and running ability. You are such an amazing runner, mother, person! So thankful we could connect!
      Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..Live Lean Challenge [Giveaway]My Profile

    12. 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

    13. 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

    14. Cutest cheer squad EVER! Congrats on a great race!!
      Krissy @ Shiawase Life recently posted..Team #runDisney Blog Topics: Favorite Disney ResortMy Profile

    15. Amazing 1 month post-baby race!! You’re an inspiration :)
      Mary recently posted..How Fall Changes my Running HabitsMy Profile

    16. 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!

    17. 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

    18. OK not only do you look amazing…you are killing it out there!!! Sounds like a super fun time!! I’m so glad you were able to do it!
      Fancy Nancy recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

    19. Welcome back to racing! You did awesome! Glad I found your blog through some of the other ladies who went too.:)
      Yo Momma Runs recently posted..Adios, ChicagoMy Profile

    20. What a fantastic weekend! So jealous that you all got to meet- I love Kristin and Katerine, and so many other lovely bloggers there. I hope they do it again next year too, I want to go!! :)
      Awesome job on your race, Michele. 4 weeks out from baby, that’s incredible!
      Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..Yoga for Runners: Earth Yoga Clothing GiveawayMy Profile

    21. Really?? That’s the first race that Runner’s World has organized? Crazy! It sounded like an absolutely amazing weekend and so fun that you got to hang out with Kristin! Great job on your race and I adore your cheering section :-)
      Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Going to BootcampMy Profile

    22. 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

    23. Damn!!! Awesome, lady!!
      Cat @ Breakfast to Bed recently posted..Sad Clown Robot HookerMy Profile

    24. 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

    25. Sounds fun. Congrats on getting back out there. Like I always say, you are amazing.
      Jen Correa @ Mom’s Gotta Run recently posted..Taper Week #1: In a NutShellMy Profile

    26. 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

    27. Wow that race looks so fun and your time was awesome. Good for you.
      What do you run in btw? Do you double up on sports bras or use a nursing sports bra or what? Nursing and running together is scaring me so much but I want to do both!
      Jackie@ MuscleUpMom recently posted..Two Weeks, Or, It’s Always a Good TimeMy 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

    28. I so loved following along from home, too.
      Miz recently posted..SOCIAL MEDIA EXHAUSTION.My Profile

    29. Sounds like you had an amazing time!!! I hope they do it next year too…because I would LOVE to run this one!!!
      Mindy @ Road Runner Girl recently posted..The Weekly Chase…Back at It!!!My Profile

    30. love love love those signs!
      Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean recently posted..Bean Bytes #11My Profile

    31. Sounds like an amazing weekend! Congrats on your comeback race!
      Jess recently posted..Say it, Do it! {Too fast for a taper}My Profile

    32. I really hope they continue too! I didn’t get to run this year, but would do it next year
      Ali recently posted..October Bulu BoxMy Profile

    Pings

    1. [...] My last 10k was 4 weeks ago and I ran a 48:20 (at 4 weeks postpartum) – a 7:47 pace.  Taking 6+ min off in 8 weeks may sound crazy, but I think it’s different when you are postpartum.  I have run the required 10k time before – but it was in December (right before I got pregnant).  I spent the next 9 months pregnant and am only 8 weeks postpartum – so I’m still on the road to returning to where I was. Runner's World 10k [...]

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