My #RWHalf Thank You’s

As my last blog post for the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival, I would like to focus on who made this event what is is for me and countless others.

Laura Beachy & David Tratner –  The incredible PR team of Runner’s World. They pull out all the stops to make this event and exceptional one for the bloggers and any other person in attendance.  Through their constant exhaustion and I am sure stress, they were kind, gracious and most importantly, professional.

To my fellow bloggers –  I joined a team of 15+ other bloggers (mostly from the East or MidWest, I believe).  I enjoyed hearing about your blogging and athletic stories. I hope our paths cross, again soon.

Katie Foster – my hotel roommate.  It takes a special person to room with ole me. And she did. 

Bart Yasso – The Mayor of Running. What can I say about you, that has not been said before?  We are blessed to have you in our lives.

To the sponsors –  Your generosity was overwhelming. Thank you for all you gave and offered us.  I look forward to working with you in the near future.

To Runner’s World staff and Editors – what an amazing group of people you are!  Thank you for your hospitality and always going above and beyond to make each and every person feel special.

Finally, my brother, Kirk Buckley – you sacrificed so much to be with me this weekend, just so you could experience a little of my work/blogging world.  I am so proud of you and I am glad we had this weekend together. 

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Day 2, Part 2 – Runner’s World Kid’s Races

Onto the Kid’s Races!  The night was so special, I felt it needed it’s own blog post.

Recap of the last two posts:

 

Day 1 – Arrival Day and Rodale/Runner’s World HQ Tour

Day 2, Part 1 – Run, Yoga & Food

 

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After a full day with my blog-mates with a energetic shake-out run, food, yoga and more food, Katie (Runs for Cookies) and I hung around the race location to watch the kiddos to officially kick-off the weekend festival.

 

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My hair had a mind of it’s own during this trip and where was I looking?  Can we just call this trip a bad hair and bad camera time for Charlene? 

The first race was the iddy biddies for a quarter mile.  Bart Yasso led the way on the lead bike.

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The excitement was in the air and the crowd went crazy.  RW allows the parents to run with their children, which is a good thing. For those children running solo, they were directed into a Finish Line area where the parents could pick them up.  A wonderful safety feature is a parent cannot pick up a child without a matching tag, similar to gear check.

Next up were the 7-8 years old, they ran a half mile.  Again, Bart on the lead bike

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Next up were the oldest kids – 9-10 years old, I believe. They were to run a mile. Well!  The lead runner, a boy almost ran past Bart Yasso and clocked in a 5 minute mile.  Geez, kid!  (Somehow I missed a picture, sorry)

The Runner’s World festival had officially begun!  I am glad Katie recommended to stay, it was a great way to start the race weekend.

Afterwards, we set out to find some dinner.  It wasn’t an easy thing to do (since I am GF) but we found a local pizza place, Sotto.  Katie loved her pizza and I had a caprese salad.

Back to the hotel room to prepare for the first day of racing and seeing my brother!  I couldn’t wait to share this experience with him!

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Every moment of this experience, was wonderful, so far.  I am so grateful for this opportunity that Runner’s World has given me.  I look forward to sharing the next few days with you in upcoming blog posts.

*Disclaimer:   I was an invited guest blogger to the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in Bethlehem, PA.  The views, reviews and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the organizers nor sponsors or any other company/individual affiliated with the event.

 


Day 2: Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival | Run, Yoga & Food

Onward onto #RWHalf Day 2. In case you missed it, here is my Day 1 recap

After a nice night’s sleep, Katie F. and I set out to our first official day as bloggers.  This is the day the real work began for the bloggers.  Time to report into social media and share with others on what is happening!  As a RW blogger, we were there to report to our followers and test out new products.  For me, it has nothing to do with products or how many freebies I can get in my luggage, but the overall experience of posting on social media and sharing with you, what I experience.  I would come, even without all the perks and freebies.

We met in our hotel lobby and was quickly escorted to the back side to be met up with by Cindy Lynch of Running Skirts.  For the 3rd year in a row, they were a sponsor of this event.  I have known Cindy for awhile and it’s always a pleasure to see her at an event.  While both of us have a West Coast connection, it’s fun to see each other in non-West Coast locations, too.

Our first activity was “The Great Shake Out Run”.  We were paired up into groups with other bloggers and 1-2 Altra staff.  Of course, I was paired up with fast people and with my body in it’s recovery phase from my marathon falls, this was going to be interesting!

Cindy instructed us, we were to run to bags of clothes, put them on (including the goofy accessories) and tag our next team member.  Of course, my clothing consisted of a pink running skirt and wings.  I think it was a conspiracy. 

After our costume leg of the race, we were given clues on our next location.  Off we ran to St Lukes Hospital (a race sponsor) for a group selfie (per the instructions).

After the hospital, we were off to an Irish Pub and another group selfie.

THEN…off to Sands Casino for a photo in front of the yellow corvette on the casino floor.

And finally back to ArtQuest for a crossword puzzle and to the finish. We came in a very close second.  The run was suppose to be an easy pace, so I wore my long sleeved tech shirt from Running Shirts (perk from the RW Heartbreak Hill festival in Boston) and my Brooks jacket. Big mistake.  I over heated, quite quickly and eventually took off the costume, too (thank goodness).

After arriving at ArtQuest at the Steel Stacks, we had a wonderful breakfast of fruits, berries, yogurt parfait and more. Thank you, Altra Running for providing our breakfast.  It hit the spot!

While enjoying breakfast, I couldn’t help by sit in awe of the Steel Stacks.  The history buff, that I am, my mind wandered in what the production plant was like in it’s glory. The people, the action, the sounds.  I am still day dreaming.

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IMG_20141017_085257  After breakfast we were given the opportunity to hear from some great speakers.  Budd Coates, Runner’s World coach shared his knowledge of proper breathing techniques.  As a person who suffers from exercise induced asthma, this is a great topic. He provided additional information for us to try out on our next run.  He is author of the book, “Run On Air”.  I cannot wait to dig into it, time for a refresher.

 

IMG_20141017_091315 Golden Harper – the founder of Altra Running.  Not only did he share his personal athletic story, he also shared his Altra story.  More than the “this is our technology and why our shoes are better than anyone else” type of story.  His philosophy of a foot-shaped shoe resonated with me.  I typically wear men’s shoes, they are wider in the toe box.

The more I heard from him, the more I knew I was going to be an Altra Running fan. I had the ONEs, but I wanted him to tell me if they were the right shoe and fit for me.  After the Altra presentation by Golden and his business partner, David – I asked Golden if my current ONEs were the right shoes for me and my goals (Marathon training and racing).  He said he designed ONEs to be a marathon shoe, but it is perfect for racing flats, too.  BINGO!  He refitted me and put me into a women’s size.  Within one minute, I could feel the difference and I was giddy inside.

IMG_20141017_102701 I joined my fellow bloggers at the iFit presentation with Kristin.  You may have noticed I have posted/tweeted a series of photos regarding my new iFit band.  (I will be writing a product review and hosting a giveaway, in the very near future.  The Prize?  A $130 iFit wristband.  Yep! The real deal.)

After the iFit presentation, we were onto our Yoga and Relaxation session.  We walked over to the Steel Stacks visitors center and was warmly greeted by our Instructor.

We were given a collection of yoga equipment.  A yoga mat, bag, block, band, foam roller & foam stick.  I was glad I brought a larger suitcase for my travels!

 

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The Instructor was wonderful and very helpful to show us how to use each item.  Since I am not a fan of traditional yoga, this was all new to me.  I tried to keep it light and not too hard, as I had a 5k and Half to race. The stretching felt great and much needed for my body.

IMG_20141017_133924  Afterwards, we had lunch with wonderful food from the Runner’s World Cookbook.  I love how they take care of us and ensure there are vegan and gluten free options.  And guess who sits by me?  Editor, Joanna Golub.  My dorm-mate from Boston.  It was so good to catch up with her!  (can I take a worse picture?  The humidity is getting to my hair, can you tell?  haha)

Our first speaker was Elizabeth Comeau from the new women-focused, women-inspired website, Zelle.

IMG_20141017_124713 From the moment she opened her mouth, I thought, “I like her!”  She was real, she was mature enough to realize what women wanted to be successful with their running careers.

IMG_20141017_125600 Our next speaker was, Sean MacMillen from Team Red, White & Blue.  He shared his story of horrific PTSD and how running saved his life.  Since I am a big supporter of TRWB, I was thrilled to hear his story.  He was another person who was real, mature and had the right focus in life.

After our last session, we were released for the day.  I had my back pack and the yoga bag, I needed to drop it off at the hotel. Luckily, the hotel is less than a mile away.

Myself, Katie and a few others made our way back to the hotel and did a quick freshen up before we headed back to the expo.  The expo was at the ArtQuest building (where we spent our morning).

Up a few flights of stairs to pick up the shirts and other race goodies.  Back down the other side to enter the expo.  While the expo was smaller in comparison to most, I was thrilled to see a small expo.  It’s no secret that I do not like expo’s and have not liked them since Day 1.  I loved the smallness of this expo as you see one expo, you have seen them all, right?

 

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As I did in Boston, my focus was to meet the sponsors and thank them for their generosity and supporting the event.  This has become a highlight for me! I have a chance to spend one on one time with each sponsor and get to know them & their company focus.  This is my type of networking & socialization.

I took pictures of the sponsor booths who were kind enough to chat with me about their products or events, I had so much fun chatting with them!

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After the expo visit, Katie and I met up and she made a great suggestion to stay for the Kid’s Run.  In Boston, I missed the kids run’s and I cannot remember why I did.  This time, I wanted to see the Kid’s and share with you what I experienced.

That’s the next blog post. There will be a Day 2, part 2 blog:  Kids races.  They deserve a dedicated blog post, don’t you think. Wait until you see the pictures…they are adorable!

Every moment of this experience, was wonderful, so far.  I am so grateful for this opportunity that Runner’s World has given me.  I look forward to sharing the next few days with you in upcoming blog posts.

*Disclaimer:   I was an invited guest blogger to the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in Bethlehem, PA.  The views, reviews and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the organizers nor sponsors or any other company/individual affiliated with the event.