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 4 of RWHalf & Festival: Half Marathon Day!

Recap:

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

Day 2, Part 1 – Run, Yoga & Food

Day 2, Part 2 – Kid’s Races!

Day 3 – 5k, 10k and Being with my Brother

I woke up at 12midnight to horrible rib pain.  I walked down the hotel hallways and bagged up some ice.  By 2am, it wasn’t any better and I decided to get up and get my racing kit ready and to keep moving. For some reason, laying down (in any position) was bothering my ribs. By now, walking was painful.  I guess the 5k hurt me more, than I realized.

At 2am, I discovered my Half Marathon bib was missing.  It was not in my Half Marathon gear bag, I had a different bag for the 5k.  For a few moments I was worried and then, I realized 1) My ribs are hurting way too bad, that will hinder my ability to breathe  2) the Bib is missing and should I make RW Public Relations jump through hoops to get me another bib.

My answer was:  not race the Half.  I knew in my heart of heart, that my rib issue would cause me more grief and I couldn’t risk it. I was very disappointed, as I felt I could redeem myself on this Half.

I got dressed (in my jeans & hoodie).  I waited until I knew the Bro was awake and I texted him the news. Naturally he was disappointed, but since he saw the damage of my BCW marathon falls in September, he felt I made the right choice.

I walked to the Sands Hotel & Casino and it was COLD! I was so glad I bought this hoodie at the Vegas airport.  While I am not a hoodie type of person, I was this weekend!

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Found Bro and we had a our FREEZING IN PA picture

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Bro’s same goal:  sub7 pace.  I think he had it in him, as this course had hills (his specialty).

Race Start:

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After the start, I made my way into the Casino outlet mall for some warm coffee. Around the 1:05 mark, I started to head to the Finish.  I was immediately passed by the Overall Winner and realized it was the same winner as the 10k.

It was great to watch the top group come in. A few of my fellow blogger-mates came in on the front pack.  One of our bloggers is an Olympic-trials qualifier!

I expected Bro to finish around 1:35 and then…in the distance, I could see him.  I looked at the clock and realized that a sub 1:30 was within his grasp. I started screaming and yelling to kick.

He crossed the finish in 1:29:## – another sub7 race! 

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He could not wait until the awards ceremony, as he had to get back to hotel. They would not give him a late check out, not even by an hour.

I waited and he earned 2nd in his AG!  3 awards in 3 races!  The man pulled off a Hat Trick!

I ran back to my hotel to get ready and leave for the airport.  In hand, was his 2nd place AG plaque.  I was determined to get it to him, soon.

Our original plans was to have the same flight home. But his connector to Philly was delayed and it messed us all up.  I came into Vegas sooner than he did.  Hubby and I went back to pick him up and to give him his plaque. A few days later, he came to my house and I was able to get photos with all his awards.  This is my favorite.

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This was such an exceptional weekend!  Many have asked if I like this better than my Heartbreak Hill Boston trip.  It’s like comparing apples to oranges. Different city, different people, different bloggers, different vibe.  I truly, truly enjoyed both and would go back to both or either of them, again and again.  If I lived closer, I would of registered for them, already.

Runner’s World hosts exceptional events. Racers giving it their all, no matter their finish times.  Even though I was there to work as a member of the blogging team, I had a blast, learned so much from the sponsors and other exhibitors.  It’s a memory that Bro and I will keep in our hearts for a long time.  I posted over 50 photos on my Instagram – go check them out @ladybug_runner

Every moment of this experience, was wonderful, so far.  I am so grateful for this opportunity that Runner’s World has given me.

*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 1: Arrival at RW’s Half Festival in Bethlehem, PA

For the second time, I was invited to be a part of a Runner’s World event, as an official blogger.  You may recall, I was a part of the RW HeartbreakHill Festival (Boston, MA) blogging team in June.

This past weekend, I participated in the Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival in Bethlehem, PA.  As an added bonus, my brother chose to fly into PA to be a registered racer for the hat trick!  I was excited to go to PA, as I have never been there.  I have several friends from PA and wanted to see a taste of what they knew, so well.

Arriving at the Philadelphia airport, my fellow bloggers, Dani, Matt, Katie F. & myself drove to our hotel in Bethlehem, PA.  Without traffic, it is typically 1.5 hours.  We hit traffic on the way to the hotel, but it gave us a chance to catch up with each other, since our Heartbreak Hill Festival in June.  Katie F. was my hotel roommate for the weekend.

Upon arriving at the hotel and after check-in, we were whisked away to Rodale Communications HQ, where we were warmly greeted by the staff.  Of course, I was asked (as a joke), “any cardboard boxes this time?”

That is a story that will forever follow me, won’t it? (insert joke)

 

After our wonderful dinner at the Rodale cafeteria, we were officially welcomed by Editor-in-Chief, David Willey and the Mayor of Running, Bart Yasso

 

From there, we were on our way to tour HQ.  This is the heartbeat of Runner’s World, I was very excited to see the office and it’s set up.

 

First, we stopped in the prayer/solitude room.  Bart Yasso had an official Native American name for it, but it escapes me at the moment.

 

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We were taken upstairs to see the art department and various office.  Of course, Bart’s office was a BIG hit with the blogger group.  His office is lined up with race memorabilia from all his decades of racing.

 

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Several stops in the Art Department to see the past, present & future issues in the works.

 

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Next up – the Social Media department.  Yea, my heart was happy to be here. RW does an excellent job in their social media department.

 

After floating through more offices and listening to what David and Bart had to say, we made our way outside (by now, it’s dark and rather nippy for this desert dweller.  Glad I bought a hoodie).

 

We roasted marshmallows and some of the bloggers ate s’mores.

 

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From HQ, we were bused back to our hotel.  Shortly after I arrived in my hotel room, Katie texted me to ask if I would come down to the hotel lounge for a bit.  Although, I am not a drinker – nor do I frequent bars, I was happy to come down and chat with the other bloggers for a bit.  Spent about an hour chatting with Kristin from Fit Bottomed Girls.  What a great person to chat with, I enjoyed her conversation very much.

Finally, my head and body were just too tired, I had to get to bed.  The next day was officially Day1 of our blogger duties & I had a feeling we were in for some big surprises.

I would like to introduce you to the blogging team.  Full of athletic talent, social media savvy and all around happy people.  Our pictures, made into two collages:

 

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Their blog/websites (in alpha order, by their first names)

Ali from Ali on the Run
Aliah from The Get Fit Diva
Beth from Shut Up And Run
Dani from Weight Off My Shoulders
Dick from Better Cheaper Slower
Doug from Rock Creek Runner
Jamie from From Couch To Ironwoman
Katie from Runs for Cookies
Katie from Ms Fit Runner
Kristen from Fit Bottomed Girls
Lauren from The Foodie Runner
Matt from No Meat Athlete
Presley from Run Pretty
Sarah from Picky Runner

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*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.