4 Things to Expect at a Race Expo

Now that I live so close to Houston, I’m determined to take advantage of all the experiences that come with proximity to a large city. While I sat out the races this year, I still wanted to go to the Houston Marathon race expo. As a relatively new runner, I had never been to a large race expo. And it was a lot of fun. Here’s what to expect if you’re going to your first race expo anytime soon.

A Lot of Walking

Dress comfortably. At a race expo, you’ll be walking around a lot. There are a lot of booths to see, and sometimes even equipment to try or exercise class demonstrations. I wore my Athleta Metro leggings (they look like pants, really, because they have back pockets), Reebok Skyscape Runarounds, and a t-shirt.

Plenty of Things to Try

In addition to all the eRace expo exercise demonstrationnergy gel/energy bar/superfood samples that are laid out (and it goes without saying that if you’re racing in 24 hours, don’t put anything new into your body), there will be some non-edibles. At the Houston Marathon race expo, I sampled pain cream and a multivitamin pack. I tried some Clif Shot Blocks and Clif energy puree (that I didn’t really like). I also hopped on my old friend, the Octane Zero Runner, for a quick jaunt. I didn’t participate in the exercise demonstrations, but while I was at the expo, I did see some sort of dance class involving aerobic steps (like the kind from step aerobics – and yes, I do remember those, because I am old.)

A Whole Lot of Shopping

Every single running store in the area, it seems, set up a booth at the race expo to sell shoes, clearance apparel, socks, and assorted gear like running belts, water bottles, and GUs in every imaginable flavor. There were booths dedicated to witty t-shirts and bumper stickers, and a Dick’s Sporting Goods booth that was giving away pace band tattoos. My favorite booth was selling Lululemon products and offering custom silk-screening.

Info on Your Next Race

If I was undecided on my next race going in to the race expo, I would have had no qualms about my options upon leaving. Options ranged from destination races like the Marine Corps Marathon to a half marathon through California wine country.

You can also expect a lot of chaos and a lot of fun. I had a great time, and I’m ready to go next year – but to pick up my bib.

What race expos have you gone to? Which was your favorite?