Quite possibly my favorite part of running a race is going to the expo prior to, to pick up my packet and look at all different booths that have everything you can imagine. Clothing, shoes, accessories, headbands, upcoming races, and more. Hubby and I headed to the Tampa Convention Center this past Saturday morning to pick up our race goodies for the Gasparilla 8K and look around. We parked in a parking garage not far from the Convention Center. Of course I had to take a picture of downtown from the garage. I may have a little obsession with the panoramic feature on my iPhone.
Since race weekend was in full swing, we saw many of the 5K participants lined up and ready to go as we walked from the parking garage to the convention center.
We headed straight to pick up our packets when we got there and there wasn’t event a line. We were pretty happy about that. It was quick and painless and then we looked around for about an hour.
While I was there, I ran into blogging friend Jess from Cuban Running Crisis. It’s always fun to see friendly faces at these events. She was at the Take The First Step Club booth.
While we were there, I made sure to stop by the Bondi Band booth. After buying a few at the Rock N’ Roll Expo a couple weeks ago, I wanted a couple more. They are fantastic for keeping my hair out of my face and keeping the sweat out of my eyes. And who doesn’t love a fun saying on their headband. If you’re going to get out there and run, you may as well have a fun headband while doing it.
I also did something HUGE while at the expo… On Friday, I was drooling over the photo of the medal that was shared on Facebook for the Sarasota Half Marathon coming up on March 17. Facebook was all aflutter with the excitement over this beautiful medal… I love dolphins… And I love the blue and silver. I want!
(Source: Sarasota Half Marathon)
As soon as I saw the medal, I started thinking about joining in the fun. This race goes through my favorite part of Sarasota, around St. Armand’s Circle, and along the water. Add that to the medal, and I was having a hard time NOT signing up immediately. I mentioned it to hubby and of course he said to do it… I had also mentioned it on Facebook and my blogger friend Caroline, who was already signed up for it, mentioned that we could do it together.
So…. I thought about it all Friday night and decided that if I saw a booth for them at the Gasparilla Expo, I would sign up. I was so excited when I saw that they did have a booth. And before I knew it, I was signing up. I even saved $10! So, Sarasota Half Marathon, here I come! It will be my second half marathon of the year, for a total of 4. How crazy is it that by the end of the year, I will have a total of 6 half marathons under my belt. Who am I?! This now changes my personal challenge of #10in2013 to #11in2013!
I failed miserably at taking pictures of my Gasparilla race shirt, bib, and goodies because it was such a busy day. The Publix booth was great – they gave out boxes of pasta, a recipe, a cool towel, and a sunglass pouch. Also included in our race bags were 2 bottles (for each of us) of crunchy Biscoff Spread. Ever tried it? Very similar to Cookie Butter from Trader Joe’s and equally as evil. I made the mistake of opening a jar of it and I told hubby it needs to go away. The other 3 jars have to disappear as well – I do not need the temptation. I will confess that I already got rid of the open jar. It kept talking to me from the cabinet. So, I shut it up yesterday by dumping it down the drain. Sorry Biscoff Spread…. It was very nice of Gasparilla to give you to race participants, but you are just no good for me.
After the expo, we had lunch at Holy Hog BBQ in Tampa. Hubby had eaten there before and knew I would like it. He was right. Pulled pork, Carolina BBQ sauce, and coleslaw are high on my list of favorite foods. This did not disappoint. Good choice, honey!
After lunch, we headed home and I napped for a couple hours. I was exhausted to start with and we had the Daughtry concert coming up that night. Not to mention, we had to get up at 5am the next day for the Gasparilla 8K. So the nap was a great idea…
If you missed my post yesterday, here is my race recap for the Gasparilla 8K.
Do you enjoy going to race expos? What is your favorite part of going?