I could make the Runner’s World Half & Festival race weekend recap really quick by saying it was EPIC and so much more than I could ever have dreamed. Period. Done.
I used Alaska Airlines miles for this trip and because of how many/few I had, I needed to make a choice between a long layover on the way TO Pennsylvania or on the way home. For me, it was simple. I wanted non-stop on the way home so I could squeeze every last moment of fun out of this adventure. I’m glad I did it this way, but it meant arriving in Atlanta around midnight and not flying out until 7:30 the next morning. Not enough time to leave, so I camped out. Almost.
The Sub 30 Club was raising money for St Luke’s, which is the official charity of RWF, by putting on a Virtual Race Series to match up with RWF race options. For me, I won’t “double dip”, meaning run a virtual at the same time as a regular race. Just my preference. I wanted that Virtual medal though, and I wanted to do my part in donating, so I signed up for the 5k. The races had to be done between Thursday and Monday…so the Atlanta Airport was my venue. The first .3 or so miles were done with my backpack on and pulling my suitcase. In my sandals. No lockers to stash my stuff, so I headed to the far end of the D Concourse, left my bags unattended (but within sight) and started my laps. I lost count (I used MapMyRun & Charity Miles to track total distance), but I think it was 37 laps between D49 & the coffee shop. I do not recommend this. Especially in those sandals.
There was one security guard that was doing his own laps of the area…on his Segway, that thought I was crazy but was super friendly. Once I’d finished he let me know the other end of the concourse was a little warmer (I swear it was barely 50°). I tried to nap, but honestly, there’s just too much action going on so I ended up just waiting for 6am to come around so I could get a GIANT coffee.
That croissant was cold and dry, but the coffee was devine. My “flatties” (running friends not able to go to RWF plus the original “Flat Bart” Yasso) kept me company until I boarded. Once I did…sleep was no problem.
My girlfriend, Lynn, picked me up in Philadelphia and passed no judgement at my incoherent sentences, lack of responses to questions asked, and practically held my hand to get me to Bethlehem (1hr 23min drive) and into our hotel room. She fluffed my pillow in the split second of time before my head hit it and I was out for an hour long power nap, before waking up to meet a couple other Slumber Party girls (there were six of us total) and heading out for food. We needed sustenance – we had a race to run in two hours!
The Altra 3.8 Mile Trail Race was a bit more technical than I was expecting, or it could have been the fuzzy brain I had, so I went a little slower than I had wanted to. I had gone into this weekend thinking that of all the races, this is the one I was most looking forward to, and I would go easy on the rest. Oh, those <gosh darned> hills! I run them at home, really I do! Clearly though, not enough. By the time I saw Ted Spiker,
(founder of the Sub 30 Club) at about the last mile, I was ready to be done. Nope, another big hill, but leading up to it was the last Slumber Partier, Laurie, clapping and shouting encouragement! This is new for me and took a while to process. I created the <gosh darned> hill and made the turn toward the finish, pushing as hard as I could.There were dozens of “Subbers” at the finish, cheering for each other. I didn’t have a Sub 30 shirt on so I was a bit incognito, and I was ok with that. Hello, strangers! I’m okay in small groups but big groups make me want to curl up in a corner and rock back & forth. I DID manage to go up to Dara and say hi, but you would too, because she just exudes awesome (and her pink hair is like a beacon of happiness).
With the trail run behind us, the Slumber Party crew headed back for showers before meeting up with the whole group at Steel Stacks, a great bar with live music & a hockey rink. Here I got to meet one of my first “Subber friends”, Larry, who I felt like I’d already known for years. (I also met Larry’s amazing wife, Amy, and truly wish we lived closer, even after only getting to spend snippets of time together the whole weekend. “all the good feelz”). And then, in walked Sandra and my weekend was pretty much made. She’s my push-up buddy for the 20,000 push-up challenge for 2015, and we help keep each other accountable. Her posts have gotten my sorry butt out of bed at 11pm to get mine done for the day (including just now).
Friday wrap up – we ate dinner, we drank a beer, we unveiled the new Sub 30 flags for people to carry during races, we went back to the room and I got a great nights sleep. Win!!!
Part 2 (aka Saturday), coming soon!