I went down to the Surf City Expo. It was a typical expo; nothing special. For such a big race, they had plenty of volunteers, so the waiting wasn't bad. I was a little disappointed for a few different reasons.
- Not much free stuff:* They didn't put anything in the bags. On one hand, I don't have to worry about going through a ton of advertising when I get home (often weeks later). On the other hand, there are no samples of Gu Chomps, Larabars or anything else. You had to go from booth to booth and hardly anyone was giving anything for free. Even the official drink, Vitalyte, was selling samples. I actually drink Vitalyte and enjoy it. They are serving the fruit punch flavor during the race, which I haven't tried. I'll be carrying my citrus flavored Vitalyte tomorrow.
- No super interesting booths: Either I have seen it all or there wasn't much there. I have only been going to these things for a couple of years, so I'm pretty sure it wasn't that extensive. They made it easy not to look at the merchandise. At the RNR, you had to walk through logo'd stuff, which was pretty smart (if not a pain). I didn't see anything I had to have.
- Not the best information: The bag they gave us was kind of like a grocery bag. It is exactly the same size and shape as the Trader Joe's bag I use for grocery shopping. It's cool, but it definitely wouldn't work for a drop bag. I went to ask about drop bags and nobody could tell me anything. I am still a bit of a marathon newbie. I have only run the San Diego Rock-n-Roll marathon and they provided a drop bag with a tag that you zip-tie on. The lady at the booth said I had to use my own bag and label it. I asked her how. She didn't know. I asked someone else if they would have tags there or if I have to come up with something on my own. That person didn't know either.
- I asked about the wave starts for the marathon. She referred to the back of the map, which shows waves for the half marathon. I asked about the marathon. She said that there would be an arbitrary time and everyone faster than that time would be in wave one and slower than that time in wave two. Really? I know I'll be able to figure it out in the morning, but they can't figure it out ahead of time? I had to put my estimated time when I registered. There are much fewer runners in the marathon, so I know more effort needs to be put into organizing the half marathoners, but I feel uninformed.
Despite a lackluster expo, I am really excited. I got plenty of sleep last night, so I am good to go. I am sure I will wake up constantly tonight checking to make sure I don't sleep through my alarm. Par for the course.
*Of course there was a shirt, which I like quite a bit. It is long-sleeve and v-neck with a cool logo.