I’m picking up the RW recap with part two… find part one here if you missed it!
After running dozens of races, you know a well organized race when you spot one. And the Runner’s World Hat Trick- 5k, 10k and Half marathon were hands down the smoothest race experience I’ve ever had.
- There were warm buildings with bathrooms that were open!! at the start line
- Gear check was right by the finish line and ran extremely smoothly- I used it all 3 times and never had more than a 1-2 minute wait
- There were clear pace signs at the start of each race to ensure everyone lined up appropriately
- The course was well marked, with plenty of volunteers, water stations, and some motivating Runner’s World official cheering signs
- The Expo was right next to the start and finish lines and had plenty of parking.
I could go on, but let’s move to the races…
The 5k was 8am Saturday and the 10k began at 9:30am.
Our hotel had a decent breakfast available. I had plain oatmeal with a banana and a bit of peanut butter both mornings and felt good.
I’ve never run back to back races before, and especially never with a trail race thrown in the day before on a hilly course so I had no idea what my body was going to think of this “grand slam” plan to run all four races.
I decided to run the 5k relatively hard, the 10k moderately hard, and the half fairly easy- if my legs agreed. Allie and I did a slow mile warm up as she was also planning to run the 5k hard.
The 5k course only had a few small inclines. They label it as “flat and fast” but the first bridge was a bit of a climb. Bart Yasso said he considers them “blueberries” on a pancake course… it’s all relative, of course, but I think my splits tell the story: 6:55, 6:33, 6:31. 5k result: 20:59 and 3rd in age group.
In between races, Allie, Susan and I grabbed our gear check bags to put some warm clothes on. I had a kids ClifZ bar in my bag and ate that with an hour to digest it before the 10k. It settled well in my stomach and worked… I know you’re not supposed to try anything new on race day, but I generally have a pretty iron stomach.
As the 10k start time approached we ventured back out into the cold. It was in the high 30s/ low 40s… perfect running weather but absolutely freezing otherwise!
The 10k felt so much easier. It was much hillier than the 5k, but I started conservatively and it felt good not to be huffing and puffing.
I picked up the pace for the second half and was surprised how good I felt. I held a 7:00 minute pace for the final 3 miles which felt great compared to the 5k pace. I wasn’t near a pr but I was really happy with my results: 45:30 and 2nd in my age group.
Post race, we were ready to eat! I ate half of a cinnamon raisin bagel at the finish line and we walked back to the hotel to shower and get warm. Each of my 3 post-race hot showers were amazing!! I forgot how much I dislike being cold!
After running through Main Street in Bethlehem on the scenic 10k and admiring how cute it was we headed there for lunch. We had lunch at the Brew Works, including a sampler pack of the local beer. I’d take wine over beer any day but I can make an exception for local beer.
We spent the afternoon at the expo, getting “magazine” pics and stocking up on fuel and extra throwaways for the half marathon.
And got to hang out with Nancy, who I’ve followed in the blog-o-sphere for many years!
We crashed for a few hours with our feet up in the afternoon and then joined everyone for the pasta dinner.
I rarely sign up for a race-hosted pasta dinner but this one was delicious! A giant salad with avocado dressing and a variety of pastas with 3 sauce options: Chicken bolognese, pesto and a vodka sauce. They also had roasted veggies and an amazing garlic bread, plus a beautiful fruit tart for dessert.
My quads were feeling fatigued by the evening so Susan and I stopped at Erika’s room to roll out our tight spots before the morning.
Then it was off to bed for one more early morning…!
Favorite pre-race meal?
How often do you use the stick or foam roller?