THE LA MARATHON EXPERIENCE: EXPO-SED…
I love me a good expo and LA does it right. Something about being in the midst of thousands of my fellow runners that just gets me utterly pumped for the race to come. I think we just feed off of each other’s enthusiasm.
Then there’s that excited feeling when you’re handed your bib and finally knowing it’s for real… you’re running tomorrow.
Not to mention the reveal of the official race shirt. What color will it be (hopefully not white)? Will the design be cool or lame? And will it be cut to actually fit humans. For the record, LA’s 2014 grey shirt with bright orange logo (and good cut) gets a “thumbs up” from me. And remember, don’t wear that shirt until after tomorrow’s race!
And then you get to walk around the expo, doing the runner’s equivalent to “window shopping” as you see what new wares the vendors are pushing. I usually give one new product a try (as long as it’s not too pricey). My “what the hell” purchase today was the Klitch footwear clip, which is basically a glorified shoe clip for you gear bag, but could turn out to be very cool. And for $5 (expo price) I felt is was worth helping out a new company.
I got plenty of free samples (thank you Larabar, Cliff and others) and oodles of leaflets/coupons. I also stopped at the Asics booth to pick up an “I run This City” tech shirt. Certainly not a necessity, but really cool looking and something that will make it into the shirt rotation.
I also paused to take some fun photos (while taking some for other people) and to say “hello” to my running coach at the T2 booth and the gang at the ARC (A Runner’s Circle) booth.
And one other key aspect of the expo was upcoming races trying to entice you into registering early in exchange for discounts, no “sign-up fees” and an extra bit o’ swag. Since I’ve pretty much planned out my race schedule for the rest of this year, I used this opportunity to save some cash and sign up for a pair of races (The Ventura Half Marathon in September and the Santa Barbara Half Marathon in November). I also ended up with an extra pair of shirts in the process.
I also pitted two races against each other that run on the same date in December (12/14)… The Holiday Half Marathon (which I ran in Dec.) and the “Santa to the Sea” Half Marathon. Well, Santa To the Sea had a better pitch today (and a better price). It’s also the chance to try a new race (The Holiday Half is still a cool race; give it a look). I would have signed up for Santa To The Sea today, but I’m entered in a drawing for a free race and should I not win, they’re also offering a discount on Monday (yay, more money for souvenirs and more races).
So, after about an hour of casually wandering the floor I took a final look back and then headed out with two bags o’ swag… not a bad haul.
And now my runner’s OCD kicks into overdrive as I start the hardcore prep for tomorrow (running music mix, gear selection and packing, final carbo-load dinner).
Oh, and time to relax too before a good night’s sleep… yeah, right.