If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know that I ran the Hat Trick at the Runner’s World Festival in Bethlehem, PA this weekend! The Hat Trick consisted of a 5K and 10K on Saturday, followed by the Half Marathon on Sunday for a total of 22.4 miles.
Because the weekend was so jam packed, I can’t recap it in one post so today I’m going to recap Day 1 – Travel to PA, the Hotel, the Expo and Dinner. Tomorrow I’ll recap the races (5k, 10k and dog races) from Day 2, Wednesday I’ll recap the seminars and the pasta dinner and then Thursday I’ll recap the Half Marathon!
Let’s get started, shall we? (*FYI – this post will have #allthephotos)
After getting home from Washington DC on Thursday night, I unpacked my suitcase and re-packed it full of running clothes. On Friday I worked a very hectic half day and then we hit the road for Bethlehem, PA. Luckily its only about a 2 1/2 hour drive. It’s nice when you can drive or take the train to a race instead of flying. I was able to take this photo from the back seat during the car ride – love the Fall colors!
|Look at the trees!|
We arrived in Bethlehem around 2:30 and we we able to check into the hotel. We stayed at the Hyatt Place Bethlehem. I cannot say enough great things about the hotel. The rooms were spacious, very friendly staff and it was located less than 2 miles from the race start line. They also provided a free shuttle which made getting to and from the races very convenient. Free hot breakfast from 5:30-9:30 am which consisted of oatmeal, bagels, toast, cereal, eggs, pancakes, waffles, french toast, sausage and a variety of juices and coffee. I didn’t indulge too much but the items I had were delicious. They also had ice cold infused water available in the lobby which was great because it helped me to stay hydrated all weekend. Also the floors were quiet so I was able to get uninterrupted sleep the nights before the races – awesome! The only issue is that their parking lot is across the street from the hotel but they do validate your parking ticket so you do not have to pay.
The packet pick-up and expo took place at ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. This was probably the most unique place I have seen for an expo.
Then of course it was time for a photo. I saw the Runner’s World Half and Festival Banner and figured it was screaming for a photo op with myself and my water bottle (have to stay hydrated!)
I love the huge blown up images of the different covers of Runner’s World – pretty inspiring images.
After walking a few yards, I saw the sign below directing us where to go for packet pick, shirt pick up, etc. After seeing this I already knew everything would be very organized.
|My mom and I with our bibs and
my dad as our bodyguard (LoL)
After feeling like “celebrities”, we checked out the book display. They had tons of books available. I was actually going to buy the new Meals on the Run Cookbook but then I got side tracked by emails. When I went back to the expo the next day it was sold out – boo :(. I’m actually thinking of asking for this for Christmas (I know, I know – too soon, but honestly it’s almost November – where did the time go?!)
They also had various book signings throughout the weekend as well. Unfortunately I was attending seminars during most of the book signings so I didn’t get to experience that part of the expo.
After checking out the books, we went upstairs one more level to the main expo floor to pick up our shirts. Everyone received a nice long sleeve tech t-shirt, but the Hat Trick members got a little extra “swag” – Balega “Runner’s World” socks and a Headsweats fleece hat. Unfortunately since I have a small head (I can wear children’s caps) the hat is way too big for me, but I love it so much I am going to find some way to wear it and not look silly 🙂
The Guide that you see pictured in the photo was very helpful. It basically had a breakdown of all the events for the weekend, information on parking, race rules, etc. This was the first race I’ve attended that provided something like this and I thought it was a very good idea, and definitely a collector’s items.
I also wanted to add that the race had an app as well (so cool right?!).
The app pretty much provided most of the information that was in the Guide. It was nice to have this handy especially on Saturday when I was waiting in-between seminars. For runners, it was a nice tool to see all your finish times from the races as well. I especially liked the Best of Bethlehem icon but I only wish I had more time to explore the city!
Finally it was time to hit up all the vendors at the expo. This was not a huge expo (like Rock ‘n’ Roll, NYC, Chicago, etc), but there were a few rows of vendors. I would estimate that there were around 20 vendors at the expo.
|I love Dr Cool! My knee wrap is amazing!|
|Altra Running – The main sponsor for the weekend|
|26.2 with Donna|
|Just Be Natural|
|See that Body Glide at the top?
Yeah I had to buy that since
I FORGOT my Body Glide at home – major FAIL!
|Wild Planet “Powered by Tuna”
This was the first time I saw a tuna vendor
at an expo. The smell was a little overpowering!
|I purchased these two shirts on sale from Janji. I’ve never
seen them at an expo and I was so happy to support.
One of the owners was at the expo and he was SUPER nice!
|I love the race shirt that came with my other
Hat Trick swag but I couldn’t pass on buying
this shirt and glass!
After going to all the vendors, we ventured outside to take a few more photos (sorry these are a little dark).
|I’m a Penn State Alum so I had to get a
photo of the Nittany Lion hanging out
on the bench 🙂
I didn’t do the Altra 3.8 Mile Trail Run but it took place on Friday as well. I heard the trail race was very hilly! I have never done any runs on trails so I didn’t want to do that race and risk getting injured, etc. There was also a Kid’s Race on Friday as well. I didn’t see the start but I did get a photo of the kids getting ready to warm up – so cute!
We left the expo a little after 5:00 p.m., went back to the hotel to drop off our stuff and then headed out on foot to dinner. We happily stumbled upon an Italian restaurant called Mama Nina Foccacheria. You guys…this food…it was SO GOOD! They offer free garlic rolls and house wine. We passed on the wine but the garlic rolls were good. Then we ordered spaghetti with sausage, pizza, mozzarella sticks and caesar salad. Everything was hot, fresh and yummy! The marinara sauce for the mozzarella sticks may very well be the best marinara sauce I’ve ever had. You could tell that everything was fresh and home made. I would definitely go back to this restaurant if I do this race next year!
Well that’s it for Part 1. Tomorrow I’ll discuss the 5K and 10K races, the seminars and the pasta dinner!