Runner’s World 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

Half Marathon #22
State #16
12 in 2012 race #9


The race weekend didn’t really feel like a race weekend with all of the fun festivities the few days before. I got up around 6am for the usual bagel, nuun, bathroom, get dressed race routine. Amanda drove me, Robin, and Jess to the race so we didn’t have to take the shuttle. We left at 7am to make sure we had plenty of time to park. And we did, it took all of 15-20 minutes. We stayed warm in the car (temps in the 40s I think) and then went to a nearby hotel/mall/casino for “real” bathrooms. My stomach was not having any part of this race.  We waited till about 8:15 to head to the start and all went our separate ways-except for me and Jess. We had a plan to start together-if one felt better than the other, it was okay to go ahead.

me and Jess at the start

The race was somewhat small and there were no real corrals. Just pacers.  We lined up around the 2 hour mark.

at the start

Miles 1-8

The two miles were pretty crowded and I quickly wished we would’ve started further up-we spent that time passing people. There was a hill around mile 2, and I knew then and there that my asthma was going to be a problem.  The beginning miles of the course took us through downtown-lots of cheering and pretty scenery.

beginning of the course-through downtown

Around mile three, we ran into Tish from Runners World. Really cool to just chat it up during the race-she was amazed we could take pictures and run (yes, the life of a blogger).

Tish and Jess and the course
can kinda see the climb ahead. Jess snapped this one of me running up hill. Took off the arm sleeves around mile 4.

I think I lost Jess around mile 5. I just couldn’t hold on during the hills. And there were a lot of them.  The course was gorgeous-but I felt like I was trying so hard that I couldn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t get out of my own head.

The course ran through two beautiful neighborhoods with rolling hills and crappy streets (apparently streets up north don’t stay evenly paved because of the climate). I actually had to walk part of the steep hill into the first neighborhood. I hate that. I so wanted to be able to run the entire thing. I only walked a second or two, and I wasn’t the only one. But mentally, it sucked. The odd thing is, my ankle wasn’t really hurting. It was more my lungs and feeling tired.

took this in the car the day before because I knew I wouldn’t pull out my camera. This was the view on most of the run.

Miles 9-13.1

I knew after driving the course that the only “bad” hill left was around mile 10. I did my best to focus on my music, the scenes and the downhills. One of my favorite parts of the course was running through Moravian College. It was gorgeous! I love old cities-and Bethlehem has tons of old, historic looking homes and buildings.

one of the neighborhoods near Moravian College I think

The last hill at 10 sucked too. A few more seconds of walking. When I stopped, I literally thought to myself, Matt Long wouldn’t walk. I told myself “I will” run this thing. And I did. It sounds cheesy, but it worked.

We ran part of the finish with Bart on Friday so I knew we were close when I saw the steel stacks. Except I looked at my watch and we still had 2 miles left. It was almost a trick-we looped around the finish area for another mile.

Either I caught Scott or he caught me (from #runchat) and we both said the same thing: I am ready to be done.  This was one of the first races that I literally had nothing left to pick it up at the finish (Scott said the same thing) and everything felt like slow motion.

Official Results

Garmin Results

Post Race

Right after I finished I ran into my Fitfluential friends. Some fabulous PR’s and some race placings! Everyone seemed to have had a great race. We snapped a few post race pictures and grabbed the great post race food (clif bars, bananas, bagels, mini pretzels, gatorade, waters).

finish line area. the stacks in the background were really cool!
love these peeps!
Me and Kristin

I was talking to Harold and Amanda, and for some reason, I just lost it. I know I should be proud of my race.  I ran a sub 2-it was what I said I would’ve been happy to do. But I couldn’t/can’t help but think of what I would  be doing if I hadn’t sprained my ankle. I hate starting over.  Just a few months ago, this race wouldn’t have sucked mentally (or physically) for me. I know I will get past it. I know many reading this may think I sound ridiculous, but this is how I felt/feel. Amanda and Harold both made me feel better, and I know I have nowhere to go but up!

Back to the actual recap: We waited on a few others and headed back to the car where it was warm! By the time we got back to the hotel, I had just enough time to shower, pack and grab lunch before the shuttle came to take me to the airport.

Jess, Me, Amanda, Robin. Just a few reasons the weekend was so awesome!
Finally met Jill. She started the 12 in 2012 challenge that I am in.
My roomie for the weekend-reunited from HTC, Katie!

A pleasant surprise at the airport? One final conversation and pic with Shalane! She was on my flight home.




  • course (may be hilly and hard, but gorgeous!)
  • medal
  • running with the editors
  • post race
  • running with friends
  • course support-both volunteers and spectators

Not so Much:

  • if I had to be picky, the crowded start

The Bling:

The shirt is actually pretty good. The only downside is that I don’t think they said the shirts were going to be women’s cut shirts. Seeing as I am “blessed,” I usually need to order up. Somehow, someway this thing still fits. It’s a little short but I think it will be fine.

womens cut shirt-kinda short but surprisingly still fits

The Bling is awesome. The medal is actually a bottle opener. The lanyard is velcro’d together so that you can take the bottle opener part off. It’s also a nice lanyard-not a cheap ribbon. When I first saw the medal on twitter, I wasn’t sure if I would like it. But once I saw the steel stacks in person, it all made sense. The back even has the finish line arch on it.  Lots of little detail.


Final Thoughts:

I LOVED this race and everything about the weekend. I typically don’t like to repeat states and races, but this is one I would do again in a heart beat. If I were to do it over again, I would stay at the hotel right at the start/finish line. I would also come in a day or two earlier (or stay later)-and I would fly into Philly and drive. That way I could stop at Hershey and have a day to see the other things around Bethlehem. Apparently, Bethlehem is bigger than I thought-Peeps, Crayola, and Yuengling are all near by.  An Amish country trip would’ve been cool too. And somehow, we managed to miss the Moravian Book store.  If you want a challenge next year-do the hat trick (the 5K, 10K, and half marathon). If you want a great trip for running with seminars and lots of famous runners around you-do this race.  I definitely recommend this race for those looking to race the states too.


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  • You did great and should be proud of your accomplishment on a challenging course! It was so great to meet you and everyone else. Like you if I can be there again next year, it will be a race that I want to repeat, but I will be better prepared this time and train a little differently. Who knows maybe we will see each other again next year. 🙂

  • I hate that your time wasn’t what you had hoped for but I’m so impressed with how fast you are coming off the ankle injury. You got so many great pictures with sooo many different bloggers. It must have been nice to be there with so many people that you knew and/or got to know over the course of the weekend.

  • What a neat race! I agree about flying in to Philly and staying a few extra days. That airport is close to so many amazing places. When we went to DE/NJ, I wish we would have had time to stop at a few places too.
    Nice finish time. I think you have a lot to be proud of.

  • So sorry it wasn’t the race you were hoping for. I know that feeling and hate it. And I have definitely cried over it. I think it’s good to let the frustrations out so you can move on!:) But the good news is you had a fabulous weekend. And I have the same start line shirt!!! Love.

  • I just love you. I’m glad your ankle held up and I think your time is pretty darn amazing friend. Love all your pics on the course. 🙂 Shalane was supposed to be on my flight, but we all got delayed. Ha ha. Lucky you.
    Hugs! Can’t wait to hang out again!

  • Dude…you are faster with a nearly broken ankle than I am in peak form 😛 But I get it.

    (I keep adding something really tacky and tasteless and then deleting. Just wanted you to know that I am helping keep it classy here on your blog ;-). )

  • I didn’t realize that you were so upset after the race. I am sorry 🙁 I know you are not happy with your times right now, but you will go crazy if you keep comparing yourself to where you were before the injury. A 1:52 on basically no training is STELLAR. That tells me that you have gotten a TON stronger from all of the cross-training/pilates and that when you do start focusing on speed work and building your mileage…you are going to drop time FAST. You have to focus on where you are TODAY because that is the only reality that you have now. I absolutely am confident that you will be faster than you ever were very soon.

  • Awww, I hear you. I felt the same way after my last 5k. Eh, it is what it is.

    I LOL’ed at “blessed”.

    This race sounds like tons of fun. It’s going on The List.

  • I was so proud of you when you crossed in 1:52…yes it wasn’t a PR, but that close to an injury, 1:52 is a great time. It was so awesome hanging out with you this weekend. You are so fun to talk to and I think our running styles are very similar so I see some amazing times in your future. Good luck at Eugene and if you are ever up in the Boston area, please let me know!

  • Just found you through Robin… congrats on your race! I understand what it’s like to be disappointed, especially with so many other people getting their pr’s, but you still ran a strong race. Those hills would have gotten the best of me, too! So cool that you could be part of this weekend experience. It’s on my list for next year!

  • I so want to do this race next year. Oddly, I kind of dated a guy that went to Moravian! We met in DC when we were in high school and we still keep in touch. Obviously the long distance romance didn’t work. Now he is a big fancy attorney. 🙂
    The medal/bottle opener is super cool. Great bling!

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