#RWHalf Festival Part 3: Five & Dime

Want to run a 5k? Sure! Want to run a 10k? Absolutely!

Want to run them on the same day? Umm... sure thing!

Hello Five & Dime. :)

Apparently Runner's World Half & Festival was more than just getting together with bloggers and checking out Bethlehem, PA - there was going to be running involved. :P

If you want to catch up on the first two days at the #RWHalf, check out these posts: Day 1 and Day 2.

(Note: Runner’s World did sponsor my participation in the RW Half & Festival, but all comments are my own – ain’t nobody got time for lyin’!)

Once again the alarms were blaring at 6am so that Presley (my roomie) and I could hit up the Comfort Suites free breakfast area/the Comfort Suites bar/where the karaoke magic happened before heading to the race. I opted for an english muffin with butter.

We met up with Matt and Doug at 7 so we could head down to the races. Thankfully the Start area was less than a mile for our hotel so we had an easy warm-up walk before running. We recanted the amazing karaoke fun and came up with our game plan for the actual races. We planned on running both together. No matter the pace we would stick together and have fun. This would be my first time having three people to run with and make sure to capture in my mind-run selfies.

The weather was chilly, but I was happy to show off my Runfellow t-shirt! Representin' Somerville baby!

We stretched and loosened up with a little pre-race dancing... Taylor Swift "Shake It Off" anyone?

The crowd was pumped up and ready to run. We were ready for a fun run!

I also opted to bring my pink sparkly microphone prop from the previous day's Amazing Shakeout Run to interview some fellow runners along the course.

We crossed the line and were off.

As we made our way through Mile One, I heard the other runners discussing the upcoming hills along the course. Oops should've looked at a course map pre-race. Eh we like surprises. :P

And my fellow participants weren't kidding about the inclines. I was really happy to not be fighting for a PR that day.

Mile 1: 10:34

There was a sweet DJ along the course mixing some tunes, as well as other local high school bands, polka music and more. They were setting us up to dance our way through the race.

Mile 2: 9:32

Without even knowing it we were picking our pace up and approached negative splits.

I started interviewing Presley and Doug to get their thoughts on the race.

We made our way back towards the Start line and I wasn't sure what the path back would be. It was become the final stretch for all three races.

We ran parallel to the Finish Line before taking a loop around the block, which brought us right past the Casino.

Mile 3: 9:00

We used the last 0.1 to come up with our Finish Line photo pose. We opted for using something Altra Running founder Golden Harper taught us to correct our posture during a run - think of reaching towards the Sun!

Unfortunately I didn't get a good photo of it, but I heard it was a hit with the Altra team.

Final Time: 30:29

With one race down and one to go it was time to refuel with water and a banana. The 5k began at 8am with the 10k to follow at 9:30. This left ample time to hit up the restrooms and catch up with friends between races.

Hey sexy bloggers!

Sarah from SparklyRunner

After catching up and refueling it was 9:17am and time to head back to the Start Line for Round 2. We rocked some more sweet dance moves to loosen up and it was GO time.

The 10k started the same way as the 5k, but thankfully avoided one of the bigger hills from the beginning of the 5k by sending us left to cover more ground. Since the race announcer did remind us the 10k would be double the 5k. Oh right.

As we made our way through the first couple of miles, we fell into a nice running groove. It was interesting to run with Doug and Matt who are two mainly ultra marathon trail runners, while Presley and I mainly stick to road racing. It was nice to hear about their racing experiences in ultras compared to those on the road. The more laid back style seems to be the biggest.

Mile 1: 9:59 Mile 2: 9:55 Mile 3: 9:40

We made it through half of the race before someone - Presley - needed a bathroom break. Once she hopped in the port-o-potty we all decided to stop. I don't think I have ever taken the time to have a bathroom break during the 10k, but the quick break was nice.

We were making sure to utilize all the water stops and powerade when available.

After tackling yet another short climb we headed into Bethlehem's historic residential district, where the streets are tree-lined, flat, and wide.

And that is where we saw Editor-In-Chief David Willey running with participants. I saw him running back and forth with runners that I wondered how many miles he was actually logging during the races.

Of course I asked him for a selfie...

His response: "Sure I've already done 10 so far this race." :)

Then the group HAD to be included.

Thanks to David for letting those "bloggers" be selfies #11 and #12.

Mile 4: 10:31 (port-o-potty stop mile)

The crowds were out in full force with handmade signs and tons of high-fives. I would like to say I was 5-for-5 with high fives. Yeah little kids like my style. Haha.

As we wrapped through the Bethlehem neighborhoods, the quaintness of the town really started to show through on that Saturday. The vibrant Fall colors were gorgeous to run through.

All parts of the town were out to cheer on the runners, local churches singing, Lululemon employees out with their witty signs, local high school teams manning the water stops. It was a great vibe.

I need to thank these three for making this race fun and for dealing with my "Guys get over there and take a picture" requests over and over again.

Mile 5: 9:12

During the final mile, we caught up with marathoner and comedian Liz Miele, who would be performing that night before the pasta dinner. It was great to chat with her before her set. We were also hoping it would get us into the act. *Fingers Crossed*

Runner's World gave her a STAFF shirt to wear, which led to many runners to believe she was a writer for Runner's World rather than a comedian. Haha.

Mile 6: 9:04

With yet another Finish Line on the horizon, we needed a game plan. This time we would go for a jumping Finish Line photo. Again I didn't get a good shot of it, but will tell you all it was EPIC.

Runner's World website did a great way describing the Finish Line:

The finish lies under a flaming arch in the shadow of the massive Bethlehem Steel blast furnaces, the first of which went into operation in 1863. From these massive structures, the rail lines that traverse our nation, the Navy ships that fought in both World Wars and countless steel I-beams that serve as the skeletons of many of our nation's iconic skyscrapers were born.

Final Time: 1:1:11

And the Five & Dime was ours!!!

Overall they were beautiful courses with some climbs/hills. I loved the energy of the crowd and the eclectic music along the route. I do wish the time between races was a tad shorter. I know you need to leave ample time for everyone to finish the 5k, but it was tough to have almost an hour between races.

Thank you to Doug, Matt and Presley for keeping me laughing the entire time and reminding me how much fun running with friends can be.

After the races, we stopped by the Expo one more time to snap another Runner's World cover so you could actually see my phone at the top - the previous one was blocked by the title.

We went back to the hotel to clean up and grab some lunch before Matt deserted us to avoid the half spend time with his wife for their anniversary.


Next Up: #RWHalf Festival Part 4: A Saturday Night In Bethlehem, PA!