March 21, 2013

Shamrock Recap 1/2: The Expo

I was really looking forward to the Shamrock expo for a few reasons.  I love an expo at the Virginia Beach Convention Center because it's spacious, easy parking and generally an enjoyable place to be.  I also was very much looking forward to their speaker series, a new part of the expo this year.

I headed down to Virginia Beach mid/late morning-ish and easily found a parking space at the convention center.  I headed inside and snapped a few pics.
Very festive!
I was easily able to get my bib and packet.  Every runner was given a string backpack, race booklet, bib and pins.  Next stop was grabbing my shirt.  Again, no lines - score!
Shamrock swag!
After the obvious reason I was at the expo, it was time for fun - shopping and speakers!  I figured I had ample time so a map was unnecessary and I happily wandered among the booths.  I stopped at Sparkle Skirts to say hi to Leah and met some fab girls who also know our friend Allie - so fun!  Their booth was very busy, so I figured I had better be on my way.  I headed to Nuun and tested every flavor...and some multiple times and decided to purchase Citrus Fruit and Strawberry Lemonade-yum!  And I got a free water bottle - an expo promo with the purchase of two tubes.  Not that I necessarily needed another water bottle, but I love free things!


And then, I realized I had missed my first stop - Raw Threads to check out their shirts.  I had seem some super cute green St. Patty's Day themed shirts on their Facebook page that intrigued me so I had to check them out.  I ended up not liking the green shirts as much as I expected and picked up a cute half marathon shirt instead.  I chatted with the girls at the booth about Disney races.  Apparently many people were confused by the 39.3 magnets and princess-themed merchandise. Their loss.

I perused many other booths selling all kinds of things - headbands, earbuds, nutrition, race entries...the works.  And before I knew it, it was speaker time.  

I planned to see Joe Muldowney speak at noon on making each day a personal best.  He had some great anecdotes for the group and I really enjoyed his presentation.  He talked about the importance of good running shoes, keeping a running log and being realistic about training and race goals.  He spoke of his best race in the early 1980s - the Boston Marathon where he ran his fastest marathon, a 2:22.  Smoking fast!  He said that as he turned for the finish, the crowd really roared and he enjoyed the enthusiasm for his finish.  He later learned that the roars were most likely for Joan Benoit as she went on to break the world record in that race.  Bummer!  He provided great wisdom to savor for my race on Sunday.  
"It's as simple as going as hard as you can for as long as you can...
don't over think it"
Next up was Bart Yasso, the main event, if you will!  It was standing room only and I was lucky to be able to find an open seat.  
Bart shared some awesome tales of running around the globe...literally!  East Africa, Death Valley, Antarctica, Europe. He spoke of his favorite race experience - the Kilimanjaro Marathon in East Africa.  When he ran it, he was not only the tallest participant, but the only non-East African.  When he finished, at about 2:40, the finish chute was already gone and he caught glimpses of his competitors hooting it up in a local pub, celebrating their races.  Crazy, huh?!  I can't imagine being last in a marathon with a 2:40 time!  One of the most powerful things he shared was to never lose sight of what we're able to do culturally with running.  
I wish the photo on the screen had come out...this was one of his Africa photos.
His parting words for us included discussions on the running community.  He encouraged us to remember that everyone is some one's mentor.  So true, right?!  Remarking on Sundays races, he instructed us to 'think of the acceptable and community when you're out there tomorrow'.  Very inspiring.  I ate up every minute of his presentation.  

And soon enough, it was nearly 2:00 and high time that I headed home to relax.  I took a few parting shots, filled with enthusiasm and excitement for what lay ahead on Sunday. 
I heart Shamrock!
  Oh yea...I couldn't forget a final shot of my expo swag...pretty sweet, huh?

What are you favorite parts of an expo?  Shopping?  Speakers?  Grabbing your bib and getting the heck out?

{Christine}

14 comments:

  1. I like checking out all the merchandise and running "stuff" at expos, unfortunately the Disney expos are usually so packed I end up getting frustrated and leaving without really seeing everything.

    I also really need to make a point of seeing more at the speaker series...I bet they are so interesting and I never end up staying! It's hard at Disney when they're just so much else to do outside of the expo!

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    1. Me too...I normally blow out of the Disney expos for "more fun" things haha. I enjoyed spending time at this one.

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  2. Someone had fun at the Expo! Would love to run this race one year!

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    1. It's a really good race, Lisa - definitely keep it on your list!

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  3. I've never had the opportunity to hear the speakers. Always say I will, then I get sucked in by all the pretty shiny running things...

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    1. I've learned the speakers can be the best part. Merchandise is merchandise...the opportunity to hear running legends speak is unique.

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  4. Love the swag! So wish I could have heard Bart speak at the RW Challenge that I took part in for Goofy Challenge but I was feeling too awful to head up to expo. I really do need to get his book!

    I love just browsing the booths and checking out everything as well as hoping to run into some friends along the way.

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    1. Bart is awesome - funny and very interesting. Great speaker!

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  5. I'm all about the shopping. I've even been known to attend expos when I'm not registered for the race!

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    1. LOL that's awesome! One of my girlfriends contemplated going with me for the shopping.

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  6. Thanks for your expo recap and telling us about Bart! Love what he said that everyone is someone's mentor~ So very true....
    Love your new shirt from Raw Threads and that PINK hat is adorable!
    You inspire me always....

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    1. You are too sweet Melissa! Really loved what they both had to say...and I'm glad I took notes on my phone so I have it available for on the spot motivation!

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  7. Loved the recap! I've only recently been to my first expo. It wasn't that big (no speakers that I know of) but I had a blast. I loved all the energy in the place and what could be more fun than looking at and shopping for running stuff!!

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    1. Yes, the expos are great energy and awesome to get you pumped for race day!

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