- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, Other
- Road Race
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Sunday was the Half Marathon for the Runner’s World Festival. The weather was not in our favor as it had been for the 5K and 10K, it was around 40 degrees with some decent wind as well. Warming up for this race was crucial and having the parking lot areas nearby to warm up in was awesome. For more information about the expo please see my review of the 5K. The race started promptly at 8:00am.
The course did a quick loop around the block before heading to the Philip J. Fahy Memorial Bridge like the 5K and 10K. After crossing the bridge the course differed from the 10K and took us through a residential area down West Lehigh Street. Once we hit the third mile is when the course started to get pretty hilly. The climb lasted until just after mile 9, there were several flat sections between the hills but not many downhill just yet. We passed by Moravian College on our way to Monocacy Park. Throughout this part of the course there were residential areas, rural areas lined with trees, and businesses. Once we hit mile 9 the course took us back in the direction of the Fahy Bridge with a long decent down Center Street and Main Street. Once you hit the bridge it is all familiar territory as you head down Columbia Street towards Sands Casino for the final Mile.
The course was more difficult than I imagined with all the hills however I felt that the flat sections after the climbs offered a nice reprieve to catch your breath. To reiterate, though from miles 3-9 you are mostly running uphill it isn’t all in one straight shot. There were many breaks to keep you motivated.
The course had many aid stations stocked with water and Gatorade, and one aid station with gels. I found that some of the aid stations were hard to spot, ones with few volunteers at them. There were also several unofficial aid stations from residents with snacks and drinks which I thought was very nice of them. Since the course took us through many residential areas there seemed to always be some spectators cheering you on.
After the race they had bagels, bananas, nature valley bars, water bottles, and popcorn.
I did like that there was a special half marathon medal for the grand slam runners that had magnets for the other medals to connect to. It made it more rewarding to see all the medal combined after running all those races back to back.
Whether you’re running this race as a standalone or as part of a multi-distance category I think it was the best race of them all. It really showcased the different parts of the city and still provided a fun challenge.