Did someone say “pre-race expo”? Or did you mean to say “more running gear”? Or even better, “more free stuff”? On Friday, I did all of the above as I explored the Rock ‘n Roll Montreal Marathon pre-race expo. Earlier I wrote about expo goals of getting as much free stuff as I could find. Let’s see how I fared, shall we?
The expo was scheduled to open at 1100am but we weren’t let in until 1120am. There were many numbered aisles arranged for an efficient bib pickup and we quickly moved onto our shirt and bag pickup. The shirt itself was a nice Brooks tech shirt but it is a bright neon green which I would best describe as being a very “visible” colour.
An event guide covered all the race details including public transportation routes, detailed finish area maps, race day preparation checklist, and bios of the bands who would be playing on the course – I will now know who these people are for during the 10 seconds that I pass them. We then proceeded into the main expo area where the hunt for free running gear begins!
First up was the official race merchandise area hosted by Brooks where there was a great selection of souvenir apparel and accessories. Upon pulling myself away from the gear, I headed to the “Brooks Calvacade of Run Happy Curiosities.” This was by far the funnest area of the expo where there were carnival games, a water lizard show (you had to be there), and a prize booth area where we picked up… wait for it… a FREE shirt! Well, it was my wife who “won” the free shirt – all I got was a bandana, but one out of two isn’t bad.
Continuing on, we headed to the Sports Experts area where they had 20% off everything. Saucony and Adidas gear were part of the discount which included their latest offerings. My favourite deal, however, was a custom printed North Face VaporWick shirt for $20. You see, I just love these VaporWick shirts – if you’ve ever worn one, it’s so comfortable that you feel like you’re wearing next to nothing. The custom print is a nice graphic of a running shoe tread incorporating Montreal landmarks – definitely my favourite souvenir thus far and even a race day shirt candidate!
The rest of the expo included the usual assortment of food samples (yogurt, fruit drinks) and a number of vendors with decent deals on clothing averaging 30-40% off. There were compression socks, running sunglasses and you could get hooked up with some kinesiology tape to help strengthen those hurting areas. All in all it was fun expo with a balance of fun games, shirts, food samples and some decent deals – there was even a nice photo booth to cap things off.