It’s Tuesday and of course that means it’s Tuesdays on the Run! Today we want to know how you handle expo purchases. Are you strategic about when you arrive to avoid the crowds (or maybe to get first pick of a cool race branded item)? Do you just go when you have a chance and get in and out? Are you there to spend money or not interested in the items? Or are you one of those who has had their butt saved by an expo when something got left at home or lost by the airlines or the weather changed? Patty, Marcia, and I want to know!
I live in the land of the big expo. Rock ‘n’ Roll DC, Army 10 Miler, and the Marine Corps Marathon all have lots of vendors and lots to look at. It’s been a while since I’ve been to ATM, but both RNR and MCM have huge sections of cool branded stuff from Brooks. (And if you spend enough money you get to use the VIP bathroom on race day!) I don’t usually buy anything special from races, but I could not resist buying myself a jacket this year at MCM, mostly because I never bought myself anything the first time I ran and I really wish I had.
I’ve got kind of a split personality when it comes to expos though. It totally depends on my mood and how long the lines are. Some times, I’m in, I’m out, I don’t stop at a single vendor. Sometimes I buy so much stuff that it’s hard to carry it all home. At RNR one year, I bought a pair of Altras, a pair of new sunglasses, a hat, and one of my favorite running shirts.
But you know what my favorite part of these big expos is? When I get the opportunity to volunteer. I LOVE meeting all the runners and hearing their stories. I got to volunteer for ZOOMA one year at RNR DC and for Brooks another year, also at RNR DC. (And if you are an official volunteer, many vendors will give you a discount on your purchases.)
But I’m not one to NEED a big expo or really even care if there’s an expo. They can be fun, but it’s definitely not something I look at when considering races. And I’ve only ever bought Gu as a “crap, I forgot…” item at an expo – and never actually used it. (I’ve also never gotten my picture taken at an expo with the cool backdrops, except at ZOOMA where I was hanging out with the other ambassadors.)
How about you? Tell me your expo purchase habits!