Usually I fold any coverage of a marathon expo into the marathon post itself, but since the NYC Marathon Expo is not your typical expo, I thought it deserved its own (brief) post.
The expo opened yesterday and is open 10-8 today and 9-5 on Saturday at the Javits Convention Center (11th Ave and 35th Street). It’s free and open to the public so even if you’re not running the marathon, feel free to stop by!
I went first thing Thursday morning when it opened, expecting to avoid the crowds – but there were already a lot of people there! Luckily there was zero wait at either the bib or t-shirt pickup. Unlike at some other large marathons, there was no scanning or checking of the bib after you picked it up. Just past the bib pickup there’s an area to try on the marathon shirt to make sure you get the right size. I ended up getting a women’s large instead of XL since the large was baggy enough for me.
While the bib and t-shirt areas were relatively empty, the New Balance store (the largest shopping area and the one you’re basically forced to walk through to get to the “main” expo area) was surprisingly crowded with medium long lines already forming. I rushed through that area since it was unpleasantly tight and was quickly rewarded by a relatively empty main expo area.
After buying the one shirt I “allowed” myself to buy (the New Balance NYC “arms up” shirt I’ve had my eye on for weeks now), I wandered the rest of the expo looking for bondi-band style headbands (surprisingly not available), picking up some Gingerade Gus for the race, and buying more things I wasn’t “allowed” (sunglasses, anti-fog cream, another shirt). I picked up a few free things but avoided the food samples since I didn’t want tummy troubles before the race (some sort of egg white protein drink? no thank you!). I also checked out the course strategy lecture (held every hour on the hour!) for tips on how to run the race. In a nutshell – don’t go out to fast, don’t get swept up by the excitement of the crowds, and only let yourself open up after mile 20.
Tonight in Central Park near the finish line they’ll have opening ceremony events including the parade of nations at 5:30 and fireworks afterwards (at a runner-friendly time of 6:30!). See you on the course!
Do you enjoy visiting expos or do you try to get in and out as quickly as possible? What’s been your favorite free giveaway from an expo? Did you buy any Halloween candy on sale? Share in the comments!