I think I fell in love with running all over again this weekend.
Runner’s World invited about a dozen “influencers” – running bloggers from all over the country to experience the Runner’s World Races and Festival in Bethlehem, PA.
It all began Thursday evening with a dinner and tour of Runner’s World Headquarters. We joined RW editors for burgers, pasta salad and desserts and then Bart Yasso took us on a tour of the offices, including his own office.
We heard from David Willey (Editorin-Chief), Amby Burfoot on his new book coming out, and met Deena Kastor.
Post tour, we got fitted for shoes with Altra Running’s founders, Golden and Bryan.
Early Friday morning, Altra staff met us at the site of the trail run to give us a quick peek at it on a walk/jog through the woods.
Altra founder Golden (and record holding 2:45 marathoner as a 12 year old!!) shared his story growing up as the kid of a professional runner and working in a running store since age 9. Do you know the main reason runners go to a specialty running store for shoes? Injuries!
To help people feel better, he and his dad were constantly tampering with shoes – telling them to loosen the ties by the toes, and eventually de-glueing the base, taking out the layer that added height, gluing the cushioning back on and having people run more naturally. And interestingly enough, they found that people began to feel better. And then word spread like wildfire and everyone wanted these “modified” shoes that they were not *technically* selling.
So Golden, his cousin and his best friend took the leap and started the business out of a basement 4 years ago. It’s pretty astounding that they are now in the top ten selling shoes!
His story alone convinced me to give the shoes a go- but not this weekend. I need to ease into them slowly, like you would with any minimalist shoe to prevent injury.
Golden also held a clinic on proper running form that I found really valuable. I’ll save more details on that for another post.
We had an amazing lunch with recipes from the Runner’s World cookbook (which I can’t wait to use!) and I totally lucked out to have Deena Kastor join my table. She was completely humble and down to earth as she shared stories of her daughter, her training, and her master’s record at the Chicago marathon last weekend.
She gave a talk to our whole group on the power of positive thinking- words that resonate with me in the teaching I do with health coaching as well.
After a little down time, we all showed up at 3pm for the trail race.
I was relieved to hear Golden and other trail runners call this run “technical” because it was NOT easy! It was extremely rocky and hilly. My eyes did not come off the ground once. I kept repeating “quick feet, quick feet” to ensure that I didn’t trip or roll an ankle.
Somehow I came out unscathed and even managed 3rd in my age group! Rock star Allie came in 3rd overall and 1st in her age group.
I can appreciate trail running and the attraction of running off road, but it was tough. Of course, afterwards we had the runner’s high of completing the challenge and I will likely be back to run it next year…
Our group went out for pizza and then my roommate, Susan, and I tried to get to bed in good time for our early morning. The 5k and 10k were up next… to be continued tomorrow…
Have you run a trail race or run in Altras?
Have you seen Bart Yasso at a race? He really is as friendly as everyone says, and was more than willing to pose through the dozens of “Barties” all weekend. 🙂