I'm in Bethlehem, PA for the weekend to geek out on running at Runner's World's Half Marathon Festival. Located in the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem was once home to an enormous steel plant, the second largest producer of steel in America at one point. In 2011 part of the industrial complex was renovated into a modern convention hall, and the decaying blast furnaces now serve as a backdrop to various concerts and festivals. This is precisely where Runner's World hosts its annual running festival.
I made the trip north this morning, checked into my hotel, and headed over to the convention center. Saturday is given over to a 5k and a 10k in the morning, then seminars all afternoon, and a pasta dinner at night.
I spent an hour with Mark Remy of Remy's World and learned that he is even funnier in person than he is in his column.
Then I spent an hour with Bart Yasso and was reminded just how badass he is for all of the traveling and amazing races he's done over the years.
I read his book, My Life on the Run a few years ago, but figured now was as good a time as any to buy it and have him autograph it. And get a picture for good measure.
I also brought my bike and spent time riding around Bethlehem today (and God help me tomorrow because it is ridiculously hilly here), then returned at night to watch the comedic stylings of Liz Miele. And now I'm sitting in my hotel room, ready to turn in.
The race starts at 8am tomorrow morning.