If I would’ve had to give the Boston Marathon Expo a review right after I left, I would have said it was pretty bad. Then I had to let it all sink in, and I realize that it was pretty amazing. The only thing that I really, strongly disliked was the crowds. I don’t like to sweat just walking around. I heard so many say that it hasn’t been like that in the past. Maybe it was squeezing 10,000 more runners and families into the convention center, I don’t know, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it had something to do with it.
My family and I rode the train into town and I immediately was drawn to the finish line in the distance. I immediately choked up, got a picture, and went into the expo.
Getting my race bib was the easy peasy lemon squeezy. I got my marathon shirt. Surreal. Keep calm. Don’t go crazy here with emotions. So I shoved them deep down, and we went to the Adidas section that had all the official race garb. Total mayhem.
I didn’t want to buy my own race jacket, so my husband took our loot and stood in a long windy line for almost 30 minutes. I was irritated because I had this grandiose idea of what it was going to be like and my imagination did not meet reality. So my family left to walk around and grab lunch, and I walked around the expo by myself. There wasn’t room for me to walk around with anyone. I was hot, sweaty, and realized that I had 1) forgotten my Hal Higdon book and 2) forgotten to put deodorant on. Turns out that Hal was on his break the three times I walked by his booth, so #1 was irrelevant, but #2 was becoming an issue. I kept my arms down.
I wandered up on Kathrine Switzer’s booth and there was only two people in line to meet her. OMG. Seriously, a really cool moment. She chatted me up and I was surprised at how much she talked and how friendly she was. I thanked her for breaking the barrier for women to run marathons. I bought her book and had her autograph it, then I just HAD to buy one of her shirts with “fearless” on it since my mantra is “no fear”. How ironic. I can’t wait to read her book.
I was so lucky to meet a small group of “Boston Bound Bloggers” who have forged a friendship via Facebook. The five of us chatted and hope to meet up at Athlete’s Village before the race. What a great bunch of ladies and I’ll discuss their blogs at another time!
I then stalked Hal Higdon’s booth a few more times, looked for a shirt for my husband, and then happened upon Dean Karnazes. Holy crap, it was him in real life!! I was really done with the expo at that point and hadn’t eaten for almost four hours, so instead of waiting in line, I got this picture. Professional job if I don’t say so myself.
My husband told me they were by Fenway and I needed to eat, so I walked over there and was surprised at how close it was to the convention center. I was surprised at how small it seemed, but it was so cool to just see it in person. We went to the Bleacher Bar so I could grab some grub, and I didn’t understand why they asked me to please not take pictures. Why would I take a picture in a bar? OHHHHHH, that’s why. When we walked through, I realized you could see in the inside of Fenway and the game that was going on at the time, right from inside the bar. Wow. So I wolfed down a sandwich and a glass of water and we headed out of Boston to beat the Fenway crowds. But not before we grabbed our new Boston Red Sox gear….
What a day. Amazing to see those people. Amazing to be surrounded by so many other runners, those running for charity, those running for someone else, those running to win, those running for the sheer joy of it. No fear? Well, I have to admit I’m getting pretty nervous about the race in just a few short hours. Less than two days now. It’s carb up time. It’s mental preparedness time. I’ve been visualizing and discussing things with myself for a few weeks now, but this is it. This is go time.