What a better way to kick off one of my favorite race weekends than with a race expo! As you may know, I really enjoy going to race expos. They are fantastic way to check out and buy running products, try samples, and just have a great time with friends and fellow runners.
We got to the expo shortly before the expo door opened. There was a pretty good line waiting for the doors to open but it wasn't too crowded when we got into the expo. With 60,000 runners participating plus July 3rd being a day off for many people since July 4th was on Saturday, it was obvious that day 2 of the expo would be quite popular. As you approached the entry to the expo, there was a place to recycle your order
When you first entered the expo area, there were stations set up for bib pick-up. When you registered for Peachtree Road Race, there was an option for expo pickup or have your packet mailed (for a fee). A majority of the people entering the expo were picking up their packet, so it was great to have them set up right when you walked in. Each station was setup for designated bib numbers (4,000 bibs per station). In order to collect your bib, you showed your confirmation (either printed or on your phone) along with a form of identification. The process moved very quickly and the volunteers were great!
After you passed through the bib pick-up area, you entered the Mizuno/official race merchandise area. There were some really great products including shirts/tanks, hats, and pint glasses for the race. All finishers receive the coveted Peachtree Road Race shirt (which the design is a secret until the first finishers receive them), however I wanted a singlet so I could wear it to the gym or on summer runs. Mizuno also had a really cool photo station which was one of my favorites of the expo for sure.
One of the best parts of race expos is seeing friends! I ran into multiple running friends while wandering around the expo. I also ran into a few readers/followers - hello if you are reading this! :) I always love running into people and meeting new friends at race weekends.
Of course I did a little bit of shopping at the expo! Becky and I stopped by and said hello to our friends at Sparkly Soul (and picked up a few new headbands). I also picked up a cute shirt from 73 Threads that celebrates the Peachtree Road Race.
After doing a little shopping, I headed over to the Atlanta Track Club booth. This year is the 2nd year of the Peachtree Cup which puts Team USA, Team Africa, Team Asia, and Team Europe head to head at Peachtree Road Race. Each team consists of 6 runners (3 male and 3 female) that will race for a combined time to see who is the fastest and earn the Peachtree Cup. Team USA was available from 11:00-12:30pm at the Atlanta Track Club booth for photographs and autographs that morning.
Knowing that Team USA featured Shalane Flanagan as captain, I was hoping that she would be at the booth but did not want to get my hopes up. Shalane is my favorite female runner hands down so I was really hoping to get to meet her. I got in line shortly before 11:00, and the line was pretty short. Shortly after 11:00 we entered the area where Team USA was. I was beyond excited to find out that Shalane was here!
The members of Team USA were all very kind and appreciative of everyone coming out to wish them luck tomorrow. I had them all sign a commemorative Peachtree Road Race shirt so I could have a keepsake of "that time I ran 'with' Shalane" (even though she finished well before I started).
After meeting Team USA, I finished up walking through the expo area. As part of my Atlanta Track Club Ambassador duties, I volunteered at the Atlanta Track Club booth for a few hours that afternoon. We signed up new members with a great promotion for 18 months of membership for the price of 12 months as well as registered runners for Triple Peach (Atlanta 10 Miler in October and Thanksgiving Day 1/2 Marathon after completing Peachtree Road Race in July).
While working at the booth, I got to meet some great people. It was interesting to hear different people's stories as to what Peachtree Road Race means to them and their story of getting to the start line tomorrow. I am really excited about the new members that joined as well as the existing members that stopped by - the Atlanta running community is growing every day and we are excited to have them join us!
Thank you to all of the wonderful vendors who attended the 2015 Peachtree Road Race expo and of course Atlanta Track Club for hosting such a wonderful event. The expo was definitely a great way to start the race weekend and get even more pumped for the race (if that is even possible).
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
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