Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Runner's World Half and Festival! Race review of the 5 and dime!

Hi Everyone!

A festival of running?! Sounds good to me!

Here to review the Runner's World Half Marathon Festival. The five and dime! (5k + 10k)

Runner's World Magazine is based out of Emmaus, Pa. Their annual running festival is hosted in nearby Bethlehem, Pa.

The festival offer's a bit for everyone. Multiple distances and events to choose from (3.8 Altra, 5k, 10k, and/or half marathon), seminars, and family events such as a kids run and even a dog run.

The start and end of the race is held at the Bethlehem Steel Stacks. Very cool architecture/scenery from the orig Bethlehem Steel Works. Looks like it could be scenery for a movie. oh wait, it has been. Michael Bay used the scenery for one of  Transformers 2's battle scenes!

Parking: a couple huge lots by the race. But you are forewarned that you cannot leave until the last runner from the 10k has passed by. There is also a shuttle service to other large lots if you don't plan on staying until the end.

Before the race, if its' cold out, you can stay warm indoors for a few min over at the ArtsQuest Center. There may be a line, but there are indoor facilities if needed.

As it gets closer to race time, as you approach the starting line, there is a DJ/MC getting everyone amped up. Already feels like a party.

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The 5k kicks off from the Steel stacks. Short distance through a nearby neighborhood/ business district. Up a ramp, across a bridge, around a building (payrow plaza), and back. Back from the bridge there's a slight incline up a nearby highway, around the ArtsQuest Center and to the finish line. Bethlehem has some hills. The 5k is not that bad. Has a couple slight inclines, unless you pushed it too hard for before the last incline, it may be rough. 

At the finish line there's a party to celebrate. Huge crowd cheering you on through the finish. post race there is water, bananas, protein bars, and pretzels. (also available post 10k) Don't celebrate too hard if you are doing the 10k in a few minutes.

My 5k race: since I was also doing the 10k, wasn't sure if I was going to pace for a 15k, or go all out for the 5k. First few minutes were pretty exciting. Alright, doing a 5k pace. Pushed a bit hard, but not too hard. Enjoyed the 5k and was ready for the next challenge!

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The 10k. It has a few hills. :) Basically every other street has an incline of some sort. Pace yourself! A few points of interest: The race start's and ends at the Steel Stacks. The Lehigh River, you'll pass by the river twice, beautiful view of the river from the bridge. You'll pass through business districts, neighborhoods, people cheering you on throughout. The end of W Broad Street, which has quaint shops and the historic Bethlehem Hotel. You'll also pass by churches, cemeteries, and a park before heading back.

My race: I may have pushed it slightly harder than planned for the 5k, but did not regret it for the 10k. Between races, I hydrated and stretched a bit. The weather was perfect for a hill day. Definitely prefer cool air on any run that may be a challenge. The first mile was smooth, but once the hills set in, got into rhythm for them and maintained where I wanted to be. Probably pushed it slightly harder than I should have for marathon training, but no regrets. yet. :) Once the results have been released, I'll be sure to claim them on Athlinks! Love having all of my race results in one place!

Aid: adequate water and Gatorade throughout the course. 

Expo/packet pick-up: bib pickup was a breeze. Able to pickup on race day! Also able to pick up my shirt and check out the expo post race! Notable stands such as Altra, Balega, and AfterShokz! Various other stands as well.

Shirt: Grey long sleeve Poly/rayon blend.It's very comfy! Almost a heather cotton, but softer with a slight tech feel. The front of the shirt has the Runner's World Half & Festival presented by Altra. On the back, has the factory building outline with a gear behind it. All of the distances are listed. Bethlehem, Pa. Sponsors Altra and Balega. 
Socks: If you were doing the 5 and dime, you also got socks! Grey with fluorescent green. "Runner's World" and "Balega" written on the top front/back.
Medals: Flat square in a diamond angle with the Distance, Date, "Runner's World Half and Festival" logo, and "Altra" sponsor. If you did all four races for the grand slam, there is a magnet that connects all four! (Beer not included) Had to check out a nearby brewery to celebrate. Lost Tavern Brewing. Definitely recommend! 
Photos: how about free pics?! Yay! Much nicer than those expensive pics you keep getting emails to buy. They tagged me in about 8 photos on 
Management: Runner's World know's how to put on a race. Who would of thought that?! lol... A great experience for all distances and skill sets. I do have a slight criticism for the 10k. Before the race starts, there are flags for your expected pace, but there wasn't a pause between corral start times. Basically a constant walk to the start line and then go, congestion after the starting line for a bit. It did clear up and was able to get into a groove, wouldn't hold this against them. 

Overall: The race, scenery, and festival are a blast. I will definitely be coming back to this race to do at least one if not all four. 

Did I mention this was a festival? Had to meet up with some of my running buddies! Met up with team BibRave, a couple of my buddies from work, and the #RWRunStreak group! The races were great, and meeting up and cheering everyone on made it even better! The running community is so supportive and awesome! 
Sites and social:

If you do any races, please remember to review them on ! Your opinions help other runners decide what races to run!  Follow me on BibRave: Joe G 


  1. Such a fun festival! Glad you came out :-)

    1. It was a blast, will definitely be an annual run. Great seeing you!


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