Friday, January 05, 2007

1 day, 14 hours - the Marathon Expo

This morning we drove out to Disney to pick up my race packet and number at the Marathon Expo. We tried to get there early to beat the rush and I think we succeeded. There really were no lines at all to pick up my race stuff.

I didn't get pics of the Expo (forgot to bring camera) but here are a couple of pics. One shows some of the stuff I picked up to include the race shirt (wicking long sleeve - I love these), race number, Sharkies, and Cliff Shots. Cliff is a sponsor of the race and is organizing the pace groups, so I grabbed info on the 5:30 pace group which I may join up with. The pace group items came with a bib to pin on back as well as a wrist band with the split times for a 5:30 finish. The 5:30 pace crew will be taking walking breaks about every 6 minutes, which fits in well with the way I trained. My breaks were less frequent - but more frequent breaks will work well with the expected weather conditions.

I have also defaced my bright orange race shirt with my name - hoping for a little personalized encouragement along the way.

The expo is probably typical for marathons. When you enter the building you report to the line with your race number (provided in the package mailed out a couple of months ago). There, after presenting picture ID, they give you your race number, champion chip, and verify that you signed the waiver not to sue anyone if you get hurt. Then they send you downstairs to the expo floor to get your bag of goodies and tshirt. On the way out of the first area, you scan your champion chip on a computer to verify that your name comes up in the computer. In the corner was a countdown clock - just 43 hours to marathon start!

On the expo floor there were lots of vendors with running clothes, shoes, gear, etc. There was also an area for people to make signs for their racing family members. Too many cool things to spend money on. I had planned to buy my gels there, but they had already run out!!!! Fortunately I knew where the local running store was and was able to swing by for the needed gels.

We only spent about an hour at the expo, which is good since I probably would have spent more money there if I stayed longer.

One item I wanted to get at the expo was a larger pouch to hook onto my fuel belt large enough for a camera. They told me they sold out already! So I am going to skip bringing one (who knows, I may find another option before Sun). I will have my trusty crew keep a camera handy for mid race and post race pics. Also, instead of bringing my iPod Mini along, I have loaded up my husband's iPod Nano - lighter weight and smaller - to stash in the small pouch I was able to procure. On the iPod, I have a selection of "marathon" music, including a playlist called "marathon pick me up" with specific songs to encourage. I also have a few podcasts including this week's Phedippedations as well as the "Shouts of Encouragement" edition produced for the WWH marathon - figured they may come in handy as well.

Family spectator plan: Given the crowds, we figured there would only be time for my family to meet me once along the race course and then at the finish. Although the Magic Kingdom's Main Street is a cool place, it is relatively early in the race (around mile 10). So they are going to try to meet me in Animal Kingdom around mile 16.5. To view from inside the park you need to buy a day ticket, but since we are annual passholders, this is not a problem - hopefully this will mean a smaller crowd. I figure this would be a good place for some encouragement. It will also allow them to sleep in a little before moving out to meet me, probably in the 3.5 hour range, or around 9:30 am. They should be equipped with a camera as well as some Cliff shots.

Today I have been diligently hydrating...and had a bowl of spaghetti! Tomorrow will be a little more carb loading, although I want to bring my own food instead of eating out. I am feeling great!!!

This may be my last post before the race. Tomorrow early afternoon we will leave and and check into the Dolphin hotel to rest and relax with a book by the pool. After the race we plan to go out and celebrate!!! So the next post may be late Sun or early Monday with initial race results!

Thanks to everyone for their good wishes and support! I will be taking you all along with me!


Anonymous said...

Chris: Here's wishing you the VERY BEST of luck at won't need the good luck, because I KNOW you're going to do GREAT, but alot of us are going to be rooting for you and sending your our positive vibes!

Enjoy this incredible experience, and know that at the finish line you will be a completely different person than you are this hour: you will be, forevermore: a marathoner!!


- Steve Runner

Adam said...

I too must wish you the very best and will be running with you in spirit tomorrow. I can't wait to read all about the details in your amazing and inspirational blog. YOU GO SHOW EM WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF GIRL!


Susan said...

Wow - I feel like I'm there! GOOD LUCK! You have been an inspiration to me and continue to be so. I will be thinking of you!!!!

IrishBlue said...

Good luck Chris! It's going to be a great experience and you've earned enjoy it!