Deep breath. Ready to recap a weekend that I just know I will never manage to recap to the level it deserves? I guess I will just start from the beginning and hopefully cover it all adequately. We have to roll the time back to Thursday night. Let’s get this party started!
Thursday night, Runner’s World Magazine rolled out the red carpet for us and welcomed us into their “home”. That’s right. The first thing I do after tossing my stuff in my hotel room? Head over to the Runner’s World headquarters to hang out in person with the editors, marketing directors, social media reps, and other staff from Runner’s World. Talk about a sweet welcome!
After arriving and a few quick hellos all around, editor-in-chief David Willey and the head man himself (“Chief Running Officer”), Bart Yasso, greeted us.
You could tell from their welcome alone that this weekend would be one of fun and purely enjoying running and the community it inspires. Both David and Bart joined the rest of the staff in leading us into the dining area for a BBQ style dinner.
The food was delicious, but didn’t even come close to stealing the spotlight of the evening. Having the chance to hang out with blog friends old and new while simultaneously hyperventilating rubbing elbows with the likes of David, Bart, many other editors and inspirational folk doesn’t come every day, my friends.The most amazing part though was that every single member of the staff showed such a high level of kindness and actually seemed happy to have us there. They really are one big, happy family it seems and it makes me want to read their magazine even more.
After dinner, we all had the chance to get personally fitted by the experts from Altra Zero Drop shoes. I have anxiously wanted to try these out. They are a fairly new shoe company but have already captured a LOT of attention for the quality they present and their focus on creating a shoe that works with the foot in a natural way while still providing more cushion and protection than pure “minimalist” shoes. Sounds right up my alley for what I’ve been looking for in a shoe. I will have more to share about them in a future post, but I suggest going ahead and giving them a look now on their website (linked above).
Once we all received our new kicks, it was time for the highlight of the evening – a grand tour of the offices! We were able to have a behind the scenes look from many of the workers at the magazine.
We saw everything from the story board wall where editing is done to Bart Yasso’s office to some of the fun things the office receives (like giant chocolate eggs with shoes inside).
Eventually the night wound down with some s’mores roasting before our days of travel all caught up to us. We loaded it back up onto the shuttle ready for an early morning.
As it turns out, those editors and Bart Yasso just couldn’t get enough of us crazy #FitFluential crew. They practically begged for us to come hang with them on Friday morning and all go for a run together.
Okay, maybe it was more the other way around but still. We got to run with Bart and the editors. We didn’t even care that it was raining and we would all get wet before a jam packed day. We wanted more time with these crazy awesome people we had met the night before!
The really neat part about the run was Bart acted as a tour guide of Bethlehem and clued us in to a lot of interesting facts about the history of the Smoke Stacks where the race was held, the town itself, and lots of hilarious anecdotes (that guy is a character!). We also had the chance to run parts of the course before the races to get an idea of what to expect. I could have stayed out there for 30 miles instead of just the 3 we all ran together. A great way to start the morning!
After the run, we were treated to a delicious breakfast of bagels, fresh fruit, and coffee while also getting outfitted in some new FreeMotion performance apparel that is part of the ICON fitness and health brands. I picked out a new shirt and jacket. I mean, how cute is this jacket???
ICON does more than offer luxurious (that’s how I describe it…I feel like I’m in 1000 thread count Egyptian cotton sheets in their stuff…seriously) fitness gear through FreeMotion Performance Apparel. They are also the name behind the brands you may know – NordicTrack, ProForm, Gold’s Gym branded products, iFit technology, and – the sponsor of the Runner’s World Half – Altra Zero Drop footwear.
We spent a couple of hours hearing all about ICON and their promotion of health and fitness to many. You would think that would be a long time to sit and listen, but it passed in a flash because they provided so much great information. So much, in fact, that I plan on using it in future posts and topic ideas over the next few weeks. I learned a LOT during those 2 hours!
The iFit technology itself is SO cool! iFit is a web tool meant to motivate your fitness and healthy lifestyle. They have so many different ways to use it and are coming out with even more (like a new personal fitness tracker!). With iFit you can access your account on your mobile device and use it to track your workouts. You can access it on your computer to log your workouts and goals. You can access it on iFit compatible fitness equipment and compete against your previous performance, virtually race against others, and even get personalized workouts set to the equipment from high class trainers, including Jillian Michaels. You can do a virtual program that adjusts the treadmill’s settings to mimic the actual experience of working out on one of your favorite routes or in places across the country with National Geographic video footage.
Well, I think I need to wrap up today’s post by now. Would you believe that isn’t even half of the weekend so far? Crazy, huh?! Stay tuned for more tomorrow!
Your Turn – Have you ever heard of iFit, FreeMotion, or Altra before? Who is an inspiration that you would love to meet in person someday?
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.