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The Runner’s World Half and Festival Experience Part 1

Imagine spending a whole weekend surrounded by people that share your passion, excitement and enthusiasm for running. I had the wonderful opportunity to do just that at the Runner’s World Half and Festival and it was as amazing as it sounds. I kept thinking the event was like the Oscars of the running world. The pinnacle event for runners. Instead of a red carpet we had a running course. Instead of gowns and tuxedos we had Oakley tights and Free Motion jackets and tops. Instead of high heels we had running shoes. Instead of actors we had amazingly talented runners, authors and Olympic athletes. You get the idea.

There is so much to share about the whole experience. It was tough deciding where to begin. So, why not begin with one of the most memorable parts of the whole event, the people I had the honor and privilege to meet! People that came together with one thing in common, running.

My roommates, Tina of Best Body Fitness, Lindsey of Itz Linz, and Larisa of Zero to Twenty Six Point Two. We have already started talking about getting together again.

Inspiring author of The Long Run, Matt Long.

Yes! That’s me with running icon, author and Chief Running Officer of Runner’s World Magazine, Bart Yasso.

Ambry Burfoot, Runner’s World Editor At Large and author of The Runner’s Guide to the Meaning of Life. RIght after this photo was taken I immediately texted my husband. “Guess who I’m sitting next to!!”

Meeting Amanda Louden, mom, runner, coach and writer of Miss Zippy, was a delight.

Laura Beachy, Runner’s World PR Coordinator and our leader extraordinaire for the weekend. She has an unbelievable amount of energy!

No, you’re not seeing things. That’s Shalane Flanagan! Only an Olympic marathoner!

Harold of A Veteran Runnah and Fitfluential Ambassador.

Jenelle, the voice behind Mile Twenty Eight.

Fitfluential Ambassadors. Amazing runners, talented writers and an all around great group of people.

Meet random runner girl, Octavia. She came up to me after the 10K and gave me a big hug and thank you. She said I paced her the entire race and she PRd by 7 minutes! The pride in her accomplishment was priceless!

Meet Katie of Katie Runs This. She has a determination that is unstoppable!

Have you ever heard of the ultramarathon man? That’s him…as if you didn’t know. My husband and Dean Karnazes are the inspiration behind me becoming a runner. I read Dean’s book, Ultramarathon Man and then met him at a small race in southern California. After that I decided if he can do what he does I have no excuse not to at least try. I signed up for my first race, The Grape Stomp Half Marathon!

I met up with Erin after the 10K. She is the blogger of Girl Gone Veggie.

Meet the author of the just released Big Book of Marathon and Half Marathon Training and accomplished runner, Jennifer Van Allen. You might also recognize her name as the manager of the Runner’s World Challenge.

This is only a glimpse of the wonderful people I met over the weekend. And it was a pleasure meeting them all!

Without a doubt, if I had to pick one thing that stood out more than anything else about the whole weekend it would be the people. People that came together to celebrate running.

Stay tuned. More on the Runner’s World Half Marathon and Festival!A close second to the people is the Hat Trick!

Given the opportunity who would you most like to meet running or otherwise?

Disclaimer: I participated in the Runner’s World Half & Festival weekend as a FitFluential Ambassador. I received a free entry to the race and participation in the events. All opinions expressed are my own.


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  1. Wow, looks like such a great experience!! So much fun to be surrounded by people with the same passions, challenges and triumphs. I loved seeing you with all these great people. Can’t wait to hear more about your weekend!

  2. Every single recap that I read from this past weekend is so amazing. You got to meet so many amazing people and it looks like it was so so so much fun. Congratulations and hurry up with Part II, I can’t get enough.

  3. Wow, reading this gave me goose bumps! What a fantatstic weekend!!

  4. Great post! I loved running Hood to Coast for the same reason. The people were amazing!!! So glad you a great time. I think If I could meet more bloggers, I’d love to meet Christine from Live Love Surf.

  5. Insanely jealous of all this blogger love! I realllllly wanted to go but had to say no, unfortunately. Living it out vicariously through all you ladies 🙂

  6. Looks like an awesome event and a really fun meet and greet for you.

    I am loving the new blog design Jill – I had quit reading your blog because it took so long for my computer to load your page…new design is sleek and quick. Hurray. I can follow you again.

  7. Love this! I think that’s the part I most wanted to be there for– meeting all the amazing blogging friends I’ve made in real life! So glad you had such an incredible weekend!

  8. Wow, sounds like an amazing weekend! Also, I am with you in I feel it’s always the people that truly make an experience unforgettable!

  9. Jill great post, like you I believe that the people I got to meet was the most important part of the weekend!!! You were so GREAT and so was everyone else. Like I have said before, it was a great weekend and one that I will treasure the memories of for the rest of my life. 🙂

  10. Aww..this seems like it was an awesome weekend. Love all the photos and have to ask since I’m a Shalane Flanagan fan, how is she in person? I can never tell from photos and interviews. And Love Octavia’s story that was so sweet. Well done for you! And thatnks for the photos via Instagram. We loved staying updated thru them! 🙂

  11. I think this might be my favorite post of the group so far–because you nailed it. The people were the best part. It was such a pleasure to meet so many like-minded, fun, inspiring people. We are indeed a lucky bunch!

    (and can you send me that picture of us?)

  12. trying to decide if there is anyone left I just must meet in the running world…I’d really like to get more time to talk to Kara Goucher and actually run along side dean!

  13. I’m so bummed to have missed this fabulous weekend! I will live vicariously through everyone’s posts. SIgh. I’ve been lucky enough to have met most of the running glitteratti shown. I’d love to meet Katherine Switzer one day.

  14. How amazing you helped a girl PR by so much! It was so great meeting you! The people were definitely the best part of the event, everyone was so encouraging and inspirational. It has been the motivation I need to really get into running even more!

  15. Wow!! What an amazing event! I hope I one day attend! And to meet so many amazing athletes must have been a dream! Congrats on an amazing time!

  16. The people were definitely the BEST!!! It was so so so great meeting you and hanging out. It really was a great crew and fun weekend.

    PS – How SWEET of that one chick! That must have felt so awesome to hear.

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