Because heading to a race expo to pick up your packet and bib should be an enjoyable experience.
Race expos can be exciting or overwhelming or a chore depending on how you look at it (all of the above?). Ideally it is a fun part of race weekend that contributes to the memories. Here are some reminders on what to check off the list when you are hitting up a race expo (no matter the race distance).
Make sure you have any fuel you need for the race. There are always booths with gels and chews if you forgot to pack yours.
Pro tip: If you have a sensitive stomach, check to see what fuel and hydration they are serving at the race. Also, check where the aid stations are located on the race course. If it’s not a something that will sit well with you. you’ll have to bring along a water bottle or fuel belt.
Check out any local races being advertised; you can often score a discount if you sign up at a race expo. Same goes for gear; save on shipping costs and take advantage of better prices.
Walk a little!
Enjoy it—but not too much. Don’t make the mistake of walking a lot and staying on your feet the day before the race. Make one lap around the expo and then go relax and rest your legs.
There is just something about race expos—the energy, the anticipation, the music, the gear—all of it can really pump you up and get you ready for race day. Let the energy to work for you and get you excited (but not nervous; this is supposed to be fun remember?).
Pro tip: Take pictures. Race morning is often rushed and you’ll take pics at the finish, but the expo is a good place to take pictures and take advantage of any fun photo opportunities like a fake finish line or mascot.
Get the facts!
There is usually an information booth and/or maps and flyers with everything you need to know. Double check it and note the start time, parking and shuttle information, finish location (if it’s different from start), race hashtags, post-race family meeting areas and any other information you need. Make sure your family, friends, running partners, etc. know where you’ll be if you are planning on meeting up.
Good luck at your next race (expo)!