As I write this post is it less than 24 hours until I am running London – AHH! On Thursday I headed up to London to the marathon expo to collect my bib, chip and goodies! This was my first running expo ever, as even when running large events like The Great North Run and Adidas Silverstone the race packs get posted to you, so I had no idea what to expect. I hadn’t even been to London Excel before!
My first challenge was actually finding the correct DLR platform. Luckily I noticed a young couple with marathon instructions in their hand and asked for help. It’s amazing how you can trust a complete stranger to help you out just because they are a fellow runner.
The expo was easily laid out so you can’t miss anything important. Even my little brother would be able to navigate it! As soon as you walk in you can’t go anywhere else except to collect your bib and reg pack, this is where everything started to feel real and the butterflies started back up again. I arrived at 10:30 so was seen right away and was through the New Balance tunnel before I knew it.
I had seen some of the New Balance merchandise online so knew what I wanted to pick up (I’m an online window shopper) as I didn’t want to waste time wandering around in case supplies were limited. Oh how wrong I was! As soon as I turned the corner there was a MASSIVE shop floor with all the goodies. I picked up the two things I was lusting after – Marathon Queen Tee & LDN Backpack – however because I was £60 down before I had even got to the exhibitors stalls I stopped looking at the warm track suit bottoms and gorgeous finishers jacket that I could have persuaded myself that I needed which would have put me back £200.
I only had one other stall I wanted to visit and that was OOFOS but before I could even walk past the second stand I was being pulled in by companies handing out free food, free gifts and taking photos. The whole thing was actually overwhelming to say the least, but I did my best, tried not to get anxious and got sucked up in the moment.
By the time I made it to the OOFOS stand I had bag full of gifts and discount vouchers. I was hoping to pick up the limited edition London 2018 flip-flops, however these turned out to be an online exclusive, so I stuck with purchasing a simple black pair. OOFOS may be expensive retailing at £43 for a pair of flip-flops but oh my god its like walking on clouds! Of course there is more science behind it than that – but if you feet swell up like mine after racing so you can’t wear shoes, these guys are a kit essential.
When I looked down at my watch I had been at the expo for over two hours, without any food and drink so I decided to head out; grab some food and water and head home. I was SO close to the exit before the Virgin Money team came running over offering me £5 to my charity, however there was just a small catch – I had to dance on stage for 4 minutes. In the spirit of fundraising I agreed and won my charity £5. I thanked the girls then noticed the whole exit was a chance to win more money for my Charity, so I headed up on the bowling alley somehow scored a strike and another £5 for Cardiomyopathy UK.
I was so nervous heading to the Expo alone but ended up really enjoying myself. If anyone had been with me I don’t think I would have got on stage and made a fool of myself, so I am glad I didn’t chicken out. Plus I even managed to get a glimpse of the Tony Robbins – Unleash You Power Within stage on my way back to the DLR.
If you are running tomorrow then GOOD LUCK and please remember to be safe – it’s going to be bloody hot!