Runner’s World Half Marathon–my surreal weekend

RWstacks 300x300 Runners World Half Marathon  my surreal weekend

A few scenes from an amazing weekend with Runner’s World half marathon

The Runner’s World Half Marathon weekend–how to fit it all in to one post? I’m not a fan of long, wordy posts. Or of posts meted out over three and four different days for one event. But honestly, this is one time that I’ve got to break some of my own rules. This was a weekend that exceeded expectations.

IMG 1955 300x223 Runners World Half Marathon  my surreal weekend

Hanging with fellow FitFluential ambassadors was a big part of the fun

Thursday night involved dinner at Runner’s World headquarters. The magazine shuttled us over from our hotel and when we stepped off the bus, we were warmly greeted by all of the magazine’s familiar names and faces: Bart Yasso, David Willey, Tish Hamilton, and Jen Van Allen among them. During dinner? Amby Burfoot himself pulled up a chair next to me. Like I said–surreal. The staff couldn’t have been nicer and Bart even gave us a tour through the RW offices, which included a sneak peak of the upcoming cover shot.

Friday started early but we had lots of amazing things to cram into our morning. We began with a three-mile shake-out run led by Bart through downtown Bethlehem. From there it was breakfast, followed by presentations from Altra Zero Drop shoes and its parent company, Icon Health & Fitness, which also owns brands such as NordicTrack, Pro-Form, and FreeMotion. Altra Zero Drop outfitted everyone in new shoes and shared its tips for better/more natural running. The talk was led by one of the company’s founders, Golden Harper, who just happens to have set a record at the age of 12 for running a 2:45 marathon (yes, you read that right). The back story on Altra is fascinating and one worth reading–as someone who already bought the natural running KoolAid, I loved what they had to say.

After our time with Altra and Icon, it was on to our own personal FitFluential bloggers’ session with Shalane Flanagan. We spent 30 minutes with her, picking her brain on everything from nutrition to training to the psychology of digging deep. She was incredibly “human” and open to all of our questions, photos and autograph seeking.

We finished up the morning with a bit of social media and Runner’s World Challenge chat with the editors, then it was on to lunch, again provided by the magazine. Friday afternoon we were free to hit the expo, where sponsors like Running Skirts, the Stick, and Nissan all had fantastic swag waiting for us. We spent Saturday taking IMG 1912 224x300 Runners World Half Marathon  my surreal weekendin great sessions from Runner’s World and hitting up the #RunChat tweet-up. Lots of the FitFluential ambassadors also did the 5k and 10k (several of whom took home hardware) as part of the hat trick of races going on over the weekend.

I was pretty toasted by Saturday night from all the activity, and I hadn’t even gotten to my half marathon yet. But I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything–I’m still not quite sure it was all real (although I think Mr. Zippy, who held down the fort for three days, will tell you it was). I am incredibly grateful to FitFluential, Runner’s World, and Icon Health & Fitness for the amazing time. Ask me to come back again next year and the answer will be YES!

And now, what I don’t want to say but will–part two tomorrow, the race itself.

Many, many thanks to FitFluential and Runner’s World for this amazing opportunity–David Tratner, especially, for all of his hard work and dedication. 

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  1. What an amazing opportunity. Sounds like a fantastic time!
    Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb recently posted..Buzz: Liebster Blog AwardMy Profile

  2. Sounds like an incredible weekend so far – even without the half marathon. It’s great where writing a blog has led to for you.
    Char recently posted..My Bad And My B.A.D.My Profile

  3. Its an amazing kind of marathon…I really want to join also…Hope everythng will fine…
    Kathrin recently posted..tinnitus treatmentMy Profile

  4. Wow! That’s AWESOME you got to meet such amazing runners!!! Sounds like an absolutely wonderful time and a really special opportunity :)
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..G. River Run 10k & CIM Training Week 11My Profile

  5. I LOOOVED following along at home through pics and status updates, too.
    Miz recently posted..SOCIAL MEDIA EXHAUSTION.My Profile

  6. What an incredible opportunity! I can’t wait to hear about your race tomorrow. :)
    Rachel recently posted..Long Runnin’ and I Never Want to See Maple AgainMy Profile

  7. So cool! Wish I could’ve made it. And 2:45 at age 12? What????? He was destined to be in the running industry!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..The Running Facts of LifeMy Profile

  8. It sounds like you all had an awesome time! Congratulations on the opportunity and I hope your races went well!
    Erik recently posted..Racing Weekend Recap!My Profile

  9. Toni @runninglovingliving says:

    Sounds like an awesome weekend!! I love reading all the recaps!
    Toni @runninglovingliving recently posted..Monday MotivationMy Profile

  10. Amanda it was so great meeting you this weekend! It was an awesome weekend and meeting so many great people like you was the highlight of it all. Thank you for motivating me over that last 1/4 :-)
    HAROLD recently posted..AVR – Week In Review #RWHalf the Main Story 10/21/12My Profile

  11. Wow, sounds like an amazing experience!
    lisa @ early morning run recently posted..Blueberry Fig SmoothieMy Profile

  12. I have always enjoyed how to the point your posts are and here you were able to summarize our weekend so quickly and right on. I wish I knew how to be less wordy. Loved meeting you this weekend and had so much fun. I was so excited to get home last night but will miss my little Runners World vacation.
    Robin recently posted..You Have to Slow Down to Get FasterMy Profile

  13. What an awesome weekend! Looks like you had an awesome couple of days :)
    Heather@Just a Colorado Gal recently posted..The Perfect RunMy Profile

  14. Sounds like a great weekend!
    abbi recently posted..Cursed October RunningMy Profile

  15. Right on! That one will go down in the books for sure!
    Fueled by Spite recently posted..Moving Right AlongMy Profile

  16. Sounds like an amazing weekend!
    Jess recently posted..Say it, Do it! {Too fast for a taper}My Profile

  17. I’m so disappointed we missed out on this weekend — hopefully we’ll get a chance next year!
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..1000 Mile Goals: 11 Weeks LeftMy Profile

  18. So excited for you! You have my dream gig. Writing, running…ahhh. And, hey, snappy pink stripe oiselle tee in that last pix…think I may have worn the same one yesterday. :)
    Rachelle recently posted..Every Mother Counts Solidarity RunMy Profile

  19. Wow- that honestly sounds like a dream weekend, from Tish to Amby and Bart and Shalane to touring Runners World and everything in between!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..Running with the Kenyans – a book reviewMy Profile

  20. It was so nice to meet you, Amanda!!! Go Oiselle!!
    Tracy @ The Runners Palate recently posted..RW Blogger Event Recap {Part One}My Profile

  21. YAY! SO SO SO glad we finally got to meet. Although to be honest, I feel like I have known you forever – you are exactly as you come across in your blog…
    Can’t wait to hear how your race on Sunday went =)
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Race Recap / Review: Runner’s World Half Marathon & Festival Weekend 10kMy Profile

  22. Sounds like a great experience!
    Robin recently posted..Marathon #8 is Done!My Profile

  23. sounds so awesome! Sounds like heaven to any running nerd!! Glad you had that opportunity!
    Kristy (@KristyH5) recently posted..Weekly Log – Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones… But I’m Not Getting an X-RayMy Profile

  24. Sounds amazing! I can’t wait to read more- sounds like a runners perfect weekend!
    Middleaged Runner recently posted..MDI Marathon, a lengthy racap of a lengthy race!My Profile

  25. Wow, this does sound too good to be true (and I saw your race results!!! Awesome job).
    Shut Up and Run recently posted..He Depresses MeMy Profile

  26. So excited for you! It sounds like it was a stellar weekend.
    LisaM@RunWiki recently posted..Classroom Halloween Treats for under $1.00 eachMy Profile

  27. It looked like the weekend was perfect- glad that you had fun. I am only a little jealous about all of the cool people you got to hang out with. :-)
    Tasha @ Healthy Diva recently posted..FarmgirlfitMy Profile

  28. What a fantastic opportunity! You certainly made the most of it. Looking forward to your race report.
    Johann recently posted..Golden Gate Challenge and InspirationMy Profile

  29. That’s really cool! Are Amby and Bart Y. really as cool in person as they seem?
    Adrienne recently posted..Whatever It TakesMy Profile

  30. Surreal is a good word for it– so many incredible experiences crammed into one weekend! Assuming we’re back in the northeast next year, I am crossing my fingers that I can be there. Although, do you think they’ll make it such a big weekend event the second year? In any case, I’m so glad you got to do this!
    Laura recently posted..Yoga for Runners: Earth Yoga Clothing GiveawayMy Profile

  31. How do you not just stare at some of those people completely starstruck and unable to speak? What a collection of running heroes! The weekend sounds awesome. Like the race just was icing on the cake. Can’t wait to read “the rest of the story”.
    Christina recently posted..Powering ThroughMy Profile

  32. It was so great to meet you this weekend!!! Love your recap! :)
    Katie recently posted..Runner’s World Day 2: A Blogger’s Dream Come TrueMy Profile

  33. seriously I feel like no matter what we say it doesn’t fully capture the event!
    Amanda @RunToTheFinish recently posted..One Weekend…Three Races; Runner’s World Hat TrickMy Profile

  34. wow it looks like you had a blast! what great opportunity!
    Danielle @ Itsaharleyyylife recently posted..30 Minute ChallengeMy Profile

  35. That is so awesome!!
    shelly recently posted..Ecco Biom Running Shoe ReviewMy Profile

  36. Sounds like heaps of fun, how exciting!!
    Heather recently posted.."I don’t exaggerate – I just remember big." PFTWMy Profile

  37. Sounds like an awesome weekend Amanda. How awesome it would be to meet speakers and other FitFluential ambassadors.

  38. I am SO glad you got to do this! What an awesome experience. Love the pics and the “wordy” post. :)
    Erin Henderson recently posted..In a New York state of mindMy Profile

  39. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this post! What a dream come true. I’d love to meet Bart Yasso; I loved his book. And to see the RW behind-the-scenes would be so neat! I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, and this experience is definitely worthy of a wordy post. :)
    Kate @ Run with Kate recently posted..Proud Mama, 20 Miles + RnR LA HalfMy Profile

  40. So cool! Trying not to be uber jealous :-)
    Missy recently posted..I feel blessedMy Profile

  41. SUCH A GREAT WEEKEND! Can’t wait to hear about the race! All of the tweets and instagrams had me green with envy!
    Krysten recently posted..Motivation Monday – Back to RealityMy Profile

  42. Sounds like such a fantastic experience! So glad you had such a good time!
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Monday Morning in Bullet PointsMy Profile

  43. How fun!! :)
    Sounds like you had a great race too, can’t wait to hear about it!
    Jill recently posted..ChicagoMy Profile

  44. It was so great meeting you!! This weekend was incredible beyond words, I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to go and meet all you wonderful ladies, and Harold.

  45. It would be great if you can at some time take all the information you learned and put into future blog posts. I am sure you had an amazing time. Thanks for sharing. Outrun the Weather. lol
    Kenley Jones recently posted..Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half MarathonMy Profile

  46. Wow, what an amazing weekend. Sounds like something I could only dream about, and you got to experience it! Thanks for sharing all about it. So cool!
    Beth @ Miles and Trials recently posted..SPIbelt GiveawayMy Profile

  47. going to do my best and summarize like you. LOVED meeting you and getting to hang out all weekend.

  48. I am seriously green with envy over this entire weekend. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE, but alas work got in the way. DARN responsibilities ;)

    It looks like it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so happy you all got to experience such a wonderful event.
    Charlotte recently posted..Austin Marathon Training Week 2My Profile

  49. SO HAPPY FOR YOU! So are you, Bart and Shalane all BFFs now?
    Pavement Runner recently posted..FitFluential Dinner: Nike Women’s MarathonMy Profile

  50. That sounds like so much fun! I’d love to meet Shalane!! She seems super awesome!!

  51. i felt like i was there with all the IG pics. and i am proud to know all you ladies, amazing group of athletes and runners!
    lindsay recently posted..All Hale to KaleMy Profile

  52. sounds like the perfect running weekend
    happy for you
    Caroline recently posted..ONE THOUSANDMy Profile

  53. I’m not one to spend days recapping an event either but this one just requires it. You’re so right! It definitely exceeded my expectations as well. It was so good seeing you again too!
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..#RWHalf: Rolling Out the Red CarpetMy Profile

  54. It was so good to finally meet you this past weekend. I hope the next race we both do we’ll have a little more time to talk! Thanks so much for coming to the #runchat meetup!
    David H. recently posted..Dress rehearsal successMy Profile

  55. That sounds wonderful, and your post was not too wordy–it was the perfect length and gave us all the flavor of what sounds like an amazing weekend.
    Terzah recently posted..Race Report: Detroit International Half-MarathonMy Profile

  56. I really like what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll.
    Derek recently posted..DerekMy Profile

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