Runner's World Unveils First Hometown Half Marathon & Running Festival
October 19-21 weekend event offers 5K, 10K and centerpiece half-marathon road races
Posted Thursday, 1 March, 2012
From Ryan Lamppa, Running USA
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - (February 29, 2012) - Runner's World, recognized as the worldwide authority on running information and known for its passionate fan base, is once again poised to engage its consumers where they live and run. The Runner's World Half Marathon and Running Festival will be held Oct. 19-21 in Bethlehem, Pa., marking the first time the magazine will host and operate its own road race and festival.
The centerpiece of the weekend is the half-marathon at 8:30am on Sunday, Oct. 21. The 13.1-mile course will take runners from the beautifully refurbished steel mills of Bethlehem Steel through the historic neighborhoods of the Pennsylvania city, just miles from Runner's World's parent company Rodale Inc.'s corporate headquarters.
Race signups are open at www.RWHalf.com or www.runnersworld.com and information will also be available on Twitter by following @RWHalf.
The schedule for Oct. 20 features a 5K race at 8:00am, a 10K race at 9:30am and a kids run at 11:30am. The running-themed Festival gets underway Oct. 19 with a health & fitness expo, and is centered at ArtsQuest SteelStacks Campus on the grounds of what once housed Bethlehem Steel. The weekend-long Festival will feature live music, running-themed speakers and seminars, movies and special events for participants.
"Runner's World is the most meaningful brand in running, and it's exciting to branch out in a big way into road-racing, which continues to grow at a record pace," said David Willey, Runner's World's Editor-in-Chief and General Manager of Rodale's Active Living Group. "We've learned through our innovative Runner's World Challenge program that our readers want to train for races with the editors of their favorite magazine and then run the races with us, too. We've made that personal connection with them in Richmond, San Francisco, Big Sur, Chicago and Philadelphia, and we're really looking forward to welcoming our readers to Bethlehem, where we live, work and train. It's going to be a fun, family-like atmosphere."
"As a city we are honored that Runner's World and Rodale have chosen Bethlehem for the 2012 Runner's World Half Marathon and Running Festival," said Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan. "It will be a world class event at a world class venue. We look forward to welcoming runners from around the world to showcase Bethlehem, and fill our hotels and restaurants. This event will have an enormous positive economic impact to the region."
After a banner year in which Runner's World saw performance increases across the board, posting records in ad revenues and digital traffic, an uptick in paid circulation, which is counter to the industry trend, and steep gains in social media, the next natural extension of the brand is creating a running event from the ground up.
"The time is right in this market for the Runner's World Half Marathon and Running Festival," said Chris Lambiase, Publisher of Runner's World and Rodale Inc. Group Publisher. "Runner's World attracts an audience of vital, affluent, healthy consumers whom sponsors want to reach in the pages of the magazine, through our digital and social channels, and now on the ground at an event that will reflect the brand every step of the way."
Visit www.RWHalf.com for more information or to register.