I have spent about 20 hours of the past 2 days walking around downtown Boston. It is an athletes’ paradise right now. The first thing you notice is the official race gear that EVERYBODY is wearing. My wallet started to twitch a little bit, and I knew I had to go find where all this wonderfulness was coming from. (if you dont know me, I am a sucker for gear. any kind of outdoor sport gear)
I entered the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston Street. This inexplicably enormous building was the home of the marathon expo. Every brand imaginable was there (with the exception of Nike… not sure why), plus random food brands. Adidas lead the show with the largest show floor space. They had thousands of the BAA track jackets, with this years neon orange and light blue color, and various other t shirts, sweaters, hoodies, and other apparel (and shoes!) as well. After my wallet was done crying, I was the proud owner of one of the track jackets, joining the status quo of the rest of the city (seriously- everybody has one.)
Other brands there were my favorite shoes, Saucony, which I made sure to check out. They had a cool poster of all the statistics of this years race that they were giving out.
North Face, Brooks, Asics, Hoka, Altra, Powerbar, Gu, Yurbuds, New Balance, Timex, and literally at least a hundred more brands were present. I spent a few hours checking everything out. I got a free shirt from Yurbuds that says Boston Strong by giving a testimony of why I “Never Stop”. I mentioned MS Run the US for my reason. (check it out and donate above! We are curing Multiple Sclerosis by running!)
I also got a poster from adidas that says “we all run Boston” and has EVERY runners name printed on it in itty bitty text.
Sam Adams had a booth with an exceptionally long line, with free Boston Lager at the front of it. I think they probably followed closely behind adidas with total volume of visitors.
As I walked around, I noticed a familiar face. I did a double take, dismissed the thought, and then did a triple take to actually confirm that it WAS Dean Karnazes, one of the worlds foremost ultra runners. He was doing signatures and meeting people. I wasted no time hopping in line. I recently read Ultramarathon Man, his book. It was a great book, and full of inspiration. I was cut off by his body guard since he needed to leave.
fast forward to the next day:
I made sure to get there early and was THEEE first person in line to see Dean. Being a bit of a fan, I made sure to wear my North Face and Oakley gear since he is sponsored by them, and Oakley helps support me in MS Run the US. I figured I might as well look like the pros when I meet them.
Dean was a genuine guy. He shook my hand for a while, called me by name, and made me feel welcome to his presence. I told him about how inspiring the relay story is in his book, where he runs over 200 miles non stop to raise money for a girls surgery, and carries her across the finish line. I told him about MS Run the US and our efforts to raise money to better peoples lives as well. He signed a poster for our team, and one for me as well. I got lots of pictures with him as we talked; his crew had my dslr and snapped away the whole time.
To top things off, I met Bart Yasso and Bill Rodgers as well. Again, some great guys. I don’t know as much about them but the experience was equally cool.
I bought a racing singlet from Saucony. Another free shirt from New Balance for writing why I love Boston, got a few free oval stickers (we all know my car needs more :p) and some food giveaways. The pork samples were so tasty!
I saw a Red Sox game last night with my friend Joel. It was a great time, and my first MLB game. I basically stuffed my face with popcorn the whole time, and froze due to my lack of ability to pack accoring to the weather. (no gloves, no hats, no winter jacket) But, chilliness aside, we had an excellent experience. The game was almost sold out, and the team scored some points, getting the crowd fired up.
I wore my headlamp to the game and I had more people ask why I was wearing it than you would believe. If I got a dollar for every time I got asked “why are you wearing a head lamp” or “ya like it brighter in here?” (it wasnt even turned on!) I would probably be moving to CO and opening my own sports store by now. I ran to the game, and was running home. It was dark. I am dressed in all running gear, wearing my Runner Passport. I have on the memorial scarf. Is it not obvious why I have a headlamp on?
Tomorrow I will make one more trip to the expo to have my name embroidered for free on my New Balance “Because Our Hearts Kept On Running” shirt.
Oh- went to Trader Joes for the first time. It’s a neat grocery store, and they have great baked goods. I love the breads there.
Boston Marathon starts in 38ish hours. Wish me luck! I’m feeling a huge PR coming up.
Best to all-