Don’t stress the heck out at the Boston Marathon expo. I shared what I learned as a first-timer.
It’s hard to believe the Boston Marathon was only a week ago! It already seems like so long ago! I started to write a Boston Marathon weekend recap but it got really long, really fast, so I’m breaking this up into a few posts – the expo, the day before the race, pre-race fueling in Boston (without a kitchen!) and then race day.
In the days leading up to to the race, I had SO many questions since it was my first Boston Marathon and I couldn’t find all the nitty gritty details I wanted, so I hope these posts can help someone else in the future. (I found one post that explained how long everything took on race morning that was really valuable! A nervous runner likes details. Or at least I do. 😉 )
I also had some amazing tips from friends who’ve run Boston, as well as tips blog readers and Boston locals, and I want to pass that information along.
First up! Let’s talk about the Boston Marathon expo!
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I found it hard to balance enjoying the expo and soaking in the experience, without it draining my energy, physically and mentally. So many people told me to not spend too much time there since I shouldn’t be on my feet too much. But, I think I let that get in the way too much of enjoying the experience!
Tommy and my mom will both tell you that I was really stressed out and probably not very fun to be around. Oops. I think since this was my first Boston Marathon I was especially anxious about getting in and out, and next time I would be able to enjoy it a bit more.
We arrived in Boston on Saturday and after checking into the hotel and going to Whole Foods for some groceries, we met up with my mom who had flown in from Utah the day before. On Saturday afternoon, she took a race bus tour to see the course and LOVED it. (The tour was run by Marathon Tours, whom we used to book our hotel – I highly recommend.) It was SO fun to see her and also a little surreal to be meeting up in Boston.
All three of us then headed to the Boston Marathon expo, which was held at the Seaport World Trade Center in 2018. (Normally it’s closer to the race finish line in Back Bay but the usual location was booked by some other conference this year.)
In better weather, we probably would have walked there since it was only about a 30 minute walk from our hotel. But it was FREEZING, rainy and WINDY so we took an Uber instead.
The expo was extremely well organized. As you walked up, you were directed to different rooms depending on your bib number. There was only one person in front of me so I didn’t have to wait long to get my bib. After getting your bib, you head into the main expo area and that’s where you get your shirt and race gear bag.
After getting my gear bag, we headed straight to the main Adidas shopping section where you can buy the famed celebration jacket. It is tempting to buy everything. 🙂 I bought the celebration jacket, a hoodie and a coffee mug.
My mom wanted to walk around the expo some more, so I sat down and watched the Boston Marathon course video. They had some bleachers set up in front of a large movie screen and it was perfect for me to get off my feet while she explored. I definitely teared up watching the course preview!
We took a quick picture as we left the expo and then called an Uber. (I’m kicking myself for not getting a picture with my mom at the expo because I was so anxious to leave!) Unfortunately, it was hard to find our Uber even though we were in a designated area and it was REALLY cold at this point.
We had to walk a bit to get to a hotel where we knew an Uber would be able to find us. I was stressed, cold, hungry and grumpy – not a good combo!
I think the weather combined with my general race nerves put a bit of a damper on my expo experience. That, and my super uptightness. Next time I’ll hopefully feel better about the whole thing. And hopefully these tips help you not feel super stressed out like I was. And maybe a little pre-expo wine would help things as well.