The excitement for a race flows when you receive your race number. It solidifies, that soon, very soon, all of your training will come into play. Whether your goal is to PR, to finish, to have fun, that goal will be tested before you know it. On race day when you pin on the number, you then know that it is game on. The number tells the spectators to cheer for you, it can be your bus pass, it is more than your entry into the race. The number empowers you to push yourself harder than in training, it allows you to run like you never have before.
How you receive your race number usually falls into a couple options. For smaller races it usually is drop off your form, get a number. Sometimes the number will come in the mail. But for marathons and half marathons usually you get to partake in the Race Expo. Ahh, the race expo, every expo is different, but has that same energy, that same excitement. I’ve seen online expos, pre-race expos, and post-race expos. Each one is exciting and brings a new element to the thought of Race Expo.
The one online expo, was mainly just a printout of coupons for an online race event. Not much to report there, but it still brought about an excitement for World Run Day.
The Pre-Race Expo is the norm for Marathons and Half Marathons. It gives you a chance to pick up your race number, shirt, “goody” bag, & buy some last minute supplies. It can be handy if you have traveled to the race city, but by all means not the best way to pick up supplies, since some expos only have supplies related to their sponsors. I have seen expos that have only a few vendors to the huge expo that was at the PF Changs Rock N Roll Marathon Expo.
You will typically see at least a few brochures for other races at an expo. It is a good place to pick up some intel on future races. Sometimes there are some good giveaways at the expo, trial products, drawings, and discounted goods. Just being able to walk around and see alot of running relating products in one place is a great site. Alot of times, there will be stuff that you have never seen before, and some that you will never see again.
The after race expo is good to see products and get samples of items. You have already run your race and you need to kill time before the festivities. The only Post-Race Expo that I have been to was the Bolder Boulder 10K. Most race packets for the BB10K are mailed to the participants or nearby running stores, this allows people to pick up their packets locally. So there isn’t a Pre-race expo to attend. The post-race expo for the BB10K is a pretty large party with all types of samples. Usually you will need a couple race bags to carry away all of your “booty”.
So, there you have it, the power of the race number and the excitement of the race expo. These two things set the stage for many races and raise the excitement for the upcoming trial. So, get out there and sign up for a race so that you too can feel the raw power that the number can give you!