2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo

Marine Corps Marathon – Race Expo

Last night after work Barry and I traveled up to the DC area for the Marine Corps Marathon weekend. It’s finally here!! I’m like a kid at Christmas.

When I got to the Marine Corps Marathon Expo, I was like a kid turned loose in a toy store at Christmastime. Except my toy store was the Brooks Official Merchandise shop….

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

This morning I trekked into DC with Barry and my dad to pick up my bib at the race expo. I have read nightmarish accounts of people’s experiences while attending the expo in years past. So we decided the best game plan was to arrive close to opening (10 AM) this morning. We ended up getting there a little after 11 AM and found street parking next to the DC Armory.

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo

There was a line to get through security and inside the Armory, but we didn’t actually have to wait in it. We were able to tag along with my dad through the military ID entrance, which had a separate security check. So no line! Once inside, we were directed downstairs to pick up my bib.

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo

They had numerous booths that were each specific to a range of bibs. Again, I encountered no lines as I picked up my bib. With bib and packet in hand, we headed back upstairs to pick up my shirt and tackle the rest of the expo.

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo

Getting my shirt and official check bag (a clear Brooks bag) was also a breeze. Then we headed into the Brooks official merchandise section, where I left with my wallet considerably lighter. The checkout line looked intimidating, but it moved quickly. All in all, I’d say it took 30 minutes total from the time we parked at the Armory to the time I checked out with my new official race loot.

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo
Yes, I ended up with a VIP porta potty pass. Although that was not my intention.

Once all of the important things were acquired, we began wandering through the expo. We didn’t stop at every booth, but we did walk through the whole thing. I picked up a few freebies (water bottle, stress reliever ball, a pen, etc.) and even won a box of brown rice! That’s a first for me at an expo. It was pretty crowded, but it wasn’t awful to walk through.

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo

By far my favorite spot at the expo was the Northwest Battle Buddies booth, a non-profit organization that provides service dogs for veterans with PTSD. They had a bunch of service dogs with them at the expo. The dogs were amazingly well-trained, of course. The lady we spoke with at the booth offered to let me get my picture with the dogs. The only caveat was that I couldn’t touch or pet them, since they were technically working. My favorite was the Rottweiler pictured on the right below!

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo

As we were heading out of the expo, a group of Marines walking around with instruments started playing. That was really neat to see, too!

2014 Marine Corps Marathon Expo

Later on in the afternoon I went for a test run after my dad helped me perform “surgery” on my Hokas to glue the heel back on**. Thank y’all for all of your input yesterday! We went with the super glue option and the good news is they seemed to be just fine. I think I’ll still give Barry or my Dad my older pair of shoes to carry, just in case.

PicMonkey Collage1

I had an easy 5 miles on the schedule, but I chose to just do an easy 3 miles. It just felt right, and I felt like it balanced out well after walking around for a bit at the expo earlier in the day. My legs felt great, and I finished the run feeling like I hadn’t even run.

Tomorrow morning my Dad and I are going to go drive most of the course. Then I’ll probably do a short run somewhere in the vicinity of the finish line. One more day!!!

What type of race expo is your favorite? I prefer a smaller expo, because they’re not as overwhelming. But a large one like MCM is fun every now and then.

**Hoka Update: I actually spoke with a Hoka rep at the MCM expo today. At first he offered me a replacement pair of shoes on the spot but I didn’t want new shoes for race day. So he gave me a free hat instead and told me to contact customer service! 

12 thoughts on “Marine Corps Marathon – Race Expo”

  1. Oh that Rottweiler! I want him! (David does not like me watching animal videos on the internets for some reason?) So glad that the shoe issue appears to be resolved. And look at all your gear! My approach to expos is get in and then get back out asap. Too many temptations! BUt I think MCM is a big enough race that it justifies a few goodies! And winning brown rice = good.

    1. I know!! I have a thing for big dogs, and he was so handsome! I wonder why David doesn’t like you watching animal videos, haha.

      Usually I don’t buy anything at the expo, but I typically at least walk through them. This is the first time I’ve ever spent money on official race merchandise.

    1. There’s definitely electricity in the air at the large expos. But the smaller ones are less hectic, and therefore I don’t get stressed out because there’s no crowd. Thank you for the well wishes!!

  2. One more day one more day!! I’m glad the surgery on your shoes seemed to work! 🙂 I’m jealous of your Brooks loot – it’s all so cute!!! What part of NOVA does your dad live in??

  3. That expo looks amazing! I’ve never been to a huge one. Our Bix race is about 15-20,000 runners I think and that’s the biggest around here. I want to go to the Chicago Marathon one of these years…maybe next year? The dogs are SO cool. That rottie is gorgeous! I love their square heads.

    So smart to have Barry & your dad w/ the old shoes. Will you have your cell phone with so you can call them for delivery if need be?

    1. Are you going to go to Chicago as a spectator, or do you have marathon plans? :)I think it would be so much fun to go spectate a big race someday (like Boston, Chicago, or New York). I did have my cell phone with me on the race course, although it was in the pocket on the back of my hydration pack. But I certainly could have gotten in touch with them if I had needed to. Luckily the shoes held up!

  4. Cute dogs!<3

    I love a big expo. So far I've only been to 2 race expos though. Berlin half marathon has the best expo ever, it was huge, yet organized and not confusing or anything. Lots of cool stuff and helpfull people 🙂 after that I thought all expos were like that. Then I has the Oslo half marathon, which was such a small sad place.. Mostly because I was expecting it would be somewhat similar to what Berlin had, I think. I guess bigger races means bigger expos 🙂 can't wait to see how the expo for Florence marathon is, especially because they're sponsored by Asics hahah (finally one of my fave brands!) 😀

    I hope your shoes will last the entire race! Smart of you to have a plan 2 🙂

    I wish you all the best of luck! Can't wait to hear about how the race was 😀 Have fun!

    1. The Berlin Marathon is on my international race wish list 🙂 Sounds like they have a great expo! I bet the expo for the Florence Marathon will be awesome! Thank you for the well wishes!!

  5. I always went to the MCM Expo on Friday morning to avoid the crowds. It’s one of the few marathon expos that I ever really spent a lot of time at (that, and Boston of course).

    So glad you and Roger fixed your shoes, and they seemed to be fine. It’s great that the Hoka rep offered to replace them.

    1. That’s what we did, too, because I heard/read horror stories of the MCM expo on Saturday. It wasn’t awful getting inside, but it was definitely crowded walking through all of the booths.

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