Each October, the city of Bethlehem transforms into a runner's paradise as Runner's World, centralized in nearby Emmaus, brings its annual Half & Festival weekend to the Christmas City. This year, the event will be held October 20 - 22.
There's a ton to see and do even if you aren't quite ready to take on the half marathon. Check out additional races including a 5k and 10k, plus a number of family-friendly races. If you want to shop for the latest gear, head to the Expo inside the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks. Or perhaps you prefer to watch from the sidelines - the electricity of these athletes is contagious! Read on for highlights across this year's Half & Festival weekend.
If you’re a fan of Runner’s World’s longtime Chief Running Officer Bart Yasso—and who isn’t?—you already know that he’s retiring in December. He’s also coming out with a second book, Race Everything: How to Conquer Any Race at Any Distance in Any Environment and Have Fun Doing It — and it’ll be available at his book-release party on Friday, October 20, four days before it goes on sale to the general public. Join Bart and his Runner’s World colleagues at 6 p.m. to kick off his final Runner’s World Half & Festival weekend with drinks, snacks, mingling, and book-signings.
Saturday the focus is in on family. Check out this schedule: 5K race at 8 a.m., 10K race at 9:30 a.m., kids races (with distances from a quarter to a full mile) at noon, and the one-mile dog run at 2 p.m. Kids (up to age 12) and dogs race for free, and there’s plenty to do during downtime: designing signs to cheer on the rest of the family, enjoying live entertainment, or shopping the expo. And that’s all before the classes, seminars, and pasta dinners that take place in the afternoon and evening.
In keeping with that family feel, the First Family of American distance running Ryan and Sara Hall, and their four daughters, will also be joining in on races, taking part in seminars, and hanging out with runners like you. You may recognize Ryan for his appearances in two Olympic Marathons and his American half marathon record. Sara continues to run professionally, now focusing on the marathon after many years of success in cross-country and on the track. Hana (17), Mia (13), Jasmine (9), and Lily (6) aren’t setting national records quite yet, but they'll be participating in events throughout the weekend.
Join Runner's World for one or for all this year. Details are available at RWHALF.com.