Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Peachtree Road Race Expo

Abigail and I arrived at 2013 Peachtree Health and Fitness Expo at the Georgia World Congress Center a little after initial opening on Tuesday morning. Most large events are held here but there's a $10 parking fee, and I'm pleased that both Expos I have attended here have offered coupons for discounted parking. Once inside the Expo, there was a giant road carpet with each corral having individual diagonal booths on the left side of the "road". This made for very easy retrieval for packet pickup as there were two volunteers at each booth so lines moved very quickly. I picked up four different packets, for runners in four different corrals and it was quick and painless.

Once we picked up our race packets, you proceeded through a huge Reebok booth and then landed upon all the Peachtree Road Race merchandise from Atlanta Track Club. I had joined ATC to get pre-registration without having to enter the lottery for the Peachtree Road Race.  My race bib had an extra "ATC member" line on it and I was given an red ATC tech shirt. While chatting with some of the ATC volunteers,  The ATC also had tables set up for other race registrations and to sell previous race merchandise. One of my friends mentioned that the super cheap previous race merchandise would make excellent "throw away clothes" for future races, so I'll have to keep that in mind in the future.

Somehow we ended up walking through the Expo opposite than I think it was intended. The aisles were very spacious allowing me decent room to weave my stroller with Abigail in it around other Expo visitors. I wanted to get a good idea of all the different races and vendors at the Expo before I bought anything.  That is until I saw the NUUN booth. For those of you who are not yet aware of my love for NUUN, it's an electrolyte tablet that transforms your water into a flavored sports drink. The tube of 12 NUUN tablets normally retails aruond $6-7 and the Expo special was two NUUN tubes and a water bottle for $10 (a value of $17). I ended up purchasing 6 tubes of Watermelon since I haven't been able to find it locally!

After wandering the aisles, collecting free snacks along the way, I found a pair of running sunglasses and a white hat I was hoping to find a good deal on both at this Expo. Eventually, I finally found the runDisney booth. If you register for a race on site, you get a complimentary backpack. I am already registered for the Wine and Dine Half and will have accepted the Dopey Challenge as a St Jude Hero, but I wanted the backpack. Then I remember I still hadn't registered Matt and I for The Jingle Jungle 5K yet, score! Now we have two backpacks, and I know they will be used during future Disney and runDisney trips!

I found a vendor selling iPhone armbands that can fit my Otterbox Defender case. I was really hoping to find a better armband than what I've been using. I had been searching online and reading reviews but was hesitant because I wanted to touch and feel and try to shove my iPhone into it to really make sure it was going to work. I have since worn it for a few runs and have really liked it.

Of course I had a few unplanned purchases too. I bought two "Running Girl" tanks, they were 2 for $25. Another vendor was selling Feeture socks Buy One Get One and I got a free shirt with purchase. These are my favorite running socks but the price is a bit high (normal for quality running socks). I also made a $15 donation to The Waffle House Foundation and received a tech shirt (will be Matt's for softball practice because they only had Men's Large). I remember seeing runners pictured below in The Adaptive Learning Center photos as I was running The Georgia Half Marathon in March. I had posted on Twitter trying to learn more about the runners to no avail.

While I was wondering through Expo, Abigail got bored and took a snooze. Don't let that completely fool you though, she had plenty of fun getting freebies and taking a photo with the giant Olympic torch. She even got to play tennis! Many vendors must be used to families visiting their booths because Abigail acquired a lei, a tiara and she ate a couple chocolate dipped marshmallows.


I got to chat with US Olympian Jeff Galloway at his Phidippides Expo booth, and it was pretty amazing to see all his Peachtree Road Race shirts framed on he wall next to a photo of him winning the very first Peachtree Road Race and his trophy! All Peachtree finishers receive a t-shirt and this shirt will award you discounts and freebies throughout the city on race day.

Probably the craziest part of the Peachtree Road Race Expo, is I registered for not one, but TWO marathons. Maybe I was had gone a bit delirious after being at Expo for two days? After the WDW Marathon, I swore I would never do another, unless it was Disney again. Now here I am only 6 months after finishing a marathon, and now I find myself planning and researching training plans for THREE upcoming marathons. The first will be at the end of October, it's The Atlanta Marathon. The course looks amazing, running throughout the city! This marathon will be more for training than for time, so I can have two months before I run The Dopey Challenge to tweak any training. I also registered for 26.2 with Donna, which is held annually at the end of February in Jacksonville, FL. I will be running Donna with two of my amazing friends made from the WDW Marathon, Marcia and Linzie! Although we are all miles apart, I know we'll continue to encourage and support each other virtually during training. There will be much more talk about these marathons over the next few months, yikes!

-Do you like attending these type of Expo events?
-What is the best item you think you've ever purchased from an Expo?

1 comment:

Brandi Gilbert said...

I love registering for other races when I attend expo events! They have great freebies (like the Disney bag).

Random side note: See that mascot with Abigail (the GA Games Torch)?!? I did a community service project in college and I had to wear that and play basketball in it during halftime at the Georgia Tech basketball game. HAHA!