Note: I was given complimentary entry to the Runner's World Half Festival as an Influencer, but all thoughts are my own. Ain't nobody got time for lyin'!
When you get a call from Runner's World PR inviting you to head to Pennsylvania to hang out with amazing Influencers, run a bunch of miles, collect a ton of bling and take selfies with the creators of Altra Running, you clear your non-existent schedule and squeal with delight!
Before heading to the airport on Thursday, October 15, I had to knock out a quick treadmill run to keep my running streak (#WOMSStreak) alive! My good friend Nancy from Living The Dream was going to be parking at my house and traveling to PA with me. YAY New England bloggers! :)
What I found out on our way to the airport was that Nancy hadn't flown in over 5 years. Oh Nancy. Let me tell you this led to some serious entertainment for me. I made sure to give Nancy quick pointers so that she would look like a pro and no one else in line would want to harm her. :P
We made a quick pitstop for coffee and snacks before setting up shop at our gate. While waiting we figured out that we were diagonally across from each other. As we boarded, a nice lady let us switch seats so I could sit next to Nancy. YAY!
Let me tell you the two ladies who randomly sat next to each other chatted the ENTIRE plane ride. You are welcome ladies.
Once we landed we met up with Jen from Running With The Girls and Heather from Relentless Forward Commotion and started the 1.5 hour trek to Bethlehem, PA. We had a sweet car ready for us and it was great to just sit back and catch up. Heather used to live in Vermont so we were representing the New England. (Jen lives in Maine)
When we arrived at the Comfort Suited in Bethlehem, we were greeted by a few of the other Influencers. :) We quickly checked in and collected our sweet swag bags! I cannot thank the sponsors of the race enough.
After a quick change, we headed out for a social meeting of the Influencers... aka a quick drink! It was awesome to see so many faces I hadn't seen since the last RW Half weekend and some I was meeting for the first time IRL (in real life)!
We headed back to the Comfort Suites to pick up the rest of the Influencers and head to Runner's World Headquarters. I was lucky enough to be on this great adventure last year so this would be my second time seeing HQ.
For the second year, I would be trying to sneak a 2-3 page spread about Weight Off My Shoulders into the next issue of RW. *Fingers Crossed* Some day it will work!
RW Editors treated us to one sweet dinner spread...
... and my Boo Linzie from Sharp Endurance may have caught me charging!
Before embarking on the tour of RW, we were treated to a private shoe fitting by Altra Running founder Golden Harper.
Not sure if Golden is SUPER excited to see me again or super scared of the possibility of a lasting friendship with me. Thoughts? I was fitted for a pair of trail shoes since I do not have a pair and am still not totally sure how to properly trail run.
Then it was time for the tour led by the Bart Yasso!
After raiding Bart Yasso's office, scoping out the next issue of RW, crashing the RW social media area (sorry Hannah!), it was finally time to leave my mark on the offices.
Next mark will be a feature in RW. Right David Willey? *Hint, Hint*
But before we left, it was time for one more tradition: S'mores! This year however they featured Olympian and inspiration Deena Kastor and her family.
Mmmmm what an amazing treat!
After bidding farewell to Bart and the entire RW staff, it was time to head back to the hotel, grab a drink and rest up for Day 2 and the inaugural 3.8-mile trail run!