The Boston Marathon festivities kicked off with the Boston Marathon Expo.
I looove expos ... but my credit card doesn't! ;)
On Friday, April 12, my car was in the shop so my mom was my driver that day. ;) She picked me up from my final Weight Watchers meeting of the week at 12:20pm, we headed to grab a quick sandwich for lunch then she dropped me off at the Hynes Convention Center just before 2.
I figured the expo would be pretty empty at 2 since that is when it started.
BOY was I wrong.
I walked in the front door to meet my friend Sarah and her daughter Joanna - we were running the 5k together so she had to pick up her number too - and the line to enter the Expo wrapped down and around the corridor.
I was shocked. But, thankfully I had to get my 5k number first so the line to pick up my Marathon number was gone by the time I was done. :)
My 5k bib:
I had forgotten my BAA card with my Bib # on it to pick up my 5k bib so I had to wait in line to speak with Runner Services. I was so focused on remembering the necessary paperwork to pick up my Marathon Bib that I got lazy with the 5k info. Oops!
Thankfully the line was pretty short and the whole process was pretty painless.
Once, I had my bib I headed back out to meet Sarah so we could enter the Expo.
I had to keep this photo because I love the photo bum ... I mean photo bomb ... by the random gentleman.
There was a separate entrance for number pick-up so I headed to the right, while Sarah and the stroller headed into the Expo.
With over 27,000 runners participating in the 117th Boston Marathon, I should've expected long lines at the onset. I also should've known that it would be mainly people like me - local charity runners - getting the number pick-up out of the way early.
But once I walked down to my end of the pick-up area (22,000+ numbers), I saw that the longest line of them all had to be mine. The line for people with bibs 22,000-22,600 ... I was bib 22010. Yay - NOT! :P
I finally made it to the front, handed over my signed bib card and was handed my Boston Marathon bib.
Ahhh... it was such a surreal moment.
I was really going to be running in the Boston Marathon.
Still smile looking at this picture.
After securing the bib, it was time to pick up my official race shirt and head into the Expo. :)
It was awesome to walk into the Expo and see this right away:
I sure was All In For Boston.
The first place I had to stop was the New Balance booth. I was going to get a pair of the official Boston Marathon New Balance sneakers.
I mean hello, they glow in the dark! SOLD!
MINE! I got 'em. :)
Aren't they sweet?
Finally, Sarah and I connected at the New Balance booth and were able to walk around the Expo a little together before she had to get back to her car - damn running out of quarters.
Once Sarah left, I got myself to the front of the Expo and started with row 1 and did a run through the entire place. :)
The Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series booth was right at the front of the Expo. I showed them the Rock 'n' Roll bag I was wearing and they gave me a free water bottle! Score!
There were guys jumping on a trampoline in skis to demonstrated that their brand of headphones really didn't fall out of your ears. I mean that was some marketing genius there. Granted I cannot remember the name of the headphones so maybe it wasn't that good. Haha.
I turned my head to the right and there was the Brooks booth. These mannequins at the top of the booth actually moved their arms/legs to make it look like they were all running. Pretty cool.
After spotting markers and the large Boston Marathon banner, I knew I had to sign it.
I wrote: "Dani Holmes-Kirk in honor of my grandparents! Go Tedy's Team!!"
I made my way into the Addidas official merchandise section of the Expo. Ooohhh everything was blue and yellow and shiny!
It was just before walking in there with help from a season pro like Robin that I found out you didn't automatically get the Boston Marathon jacket, but rather you had to buy it.
I tried one on. I walked around holding it. I kept texting my wife and parents about it. Should I spend the $100 on it? Was it worth it? Could we swing it? I mean I had just bought the New Balance shoes.
But they all said to go for it. This could be the ONE time I run the Boston Marathon so I should have the jacket as a reminder.
(Who would've known how important it would be for me to have that jacket in the next week?)
I almost bought this little guy for my friend Ellie, who loves unicorns - but once I looked at the price tag I just sent her a pic instead. ;)
I loved the Marathon Sports signs all over the Expo.
I saw it and just kept telling myself that I would RUN every step of Heartbreak Hill on Marathon Monday! No matter what...
Once I had done a good once over of the Expo, I headed to the main booth I had to get to ... Sparkly Soul!
I have the honor of being a Sparkly Soul Ambassador, but since the company is based out of New York I have never met the two women behind the company ... until the Expo.
I knew Pamela would be there and we had tweeted/emailed so often it was like we already knew each other.
Sparkly Soul is a wonderful company created by Pamela's sister Dari (a marathon runner) and I am honored to be a small part of it.
Once I met Pamela, I had just one final thing on the Expo to-do list ... visit the KT Tape booth!
I had been experiencing some slight knee pain in the weeks leading up to the Marathon and didn't want to take any chances. KT Tape can be worn for up to a week and go through a shower without coming off. So I knew I could get it done Friday and it would still be in place for Sunday's 5k and Monday's Marathon.
The tape even matched my Saucony sneakers. :0)
It was about 4:30pm by the time I left the Expo and my mom was picking me up at 5pm (as a 30 year old rolls) so I had a beer at The Pour House across the street while I waited.
It was an amazing feeling being surrounded by so many talented runners both in the Expo and the bar after. I was getting super pumped for the rest of the weekend's festivities.
What is your favorite part of a race Expo?