Well hello there!
This is the first time writing as an official MARATHONER. Wha?!
Let’s start recapping!
I took off work on Friday so I could relax and get things done before we took the 4 hour trek to Champaign-Urbana (Chambana, as the locals call it). I packed my suitcases, a cooler of perishable food, and a bag of non-perishable food. These included snacks and things for dinner on Friday night (chicken and pasta – yum!).
I realized that C and I have always brought our own food to all of the big races we’ve done. This is because of two things – first, it’s way cheaper than going out (and probably way less stressful) and second, I can control what we’re eating which is always important for food allergies. Also, we’ve never stayed at a hotel. We use a service called AirBnB and we’ve had phenomenal luck with it. Basically, the service allows people who have spare rooms to rent them out for cheap (~$50-$60/night). This way, we don’t have people coming home at 2am next door and it’s far cheaper than a hotel with much nicer amenities. We’re also using AirBnB for our trip this summer. I highly recommend it.
Anyways, at around 1:30, I picked up C from campus and we started the drive to Illinois. I had only been to C-U a couple of times before for Illinois Basketball games, so I was stoked to see campus during the daytime.
The expo was held in the Activities and Recreation Center (aka: their gym). The facility was GORGEOUS and fairly new. I was super impressed. Especially with the organization and sheer amount of people there.
The goody bag pick up was extremely well organized. There were different sections by race and by gender for the full and half marathons. Again, super impressed with the organization and speediness of volunteers. For participants in the full and half marathons, part of your goody bag was an official draw string backpack that you had to use for gear check.
There was a TON of people here and the energy was buzzing. While there were a lot of vendors, there wasn’t that much free swag available in the booths or in the bags.
After we left the expo, we headed to our residence for the night, made dinner and hit the sack. I’ll be sharing the race day recap with you tomorrow as part of Marathon Mondays!
What is the best expo you’ve ever been to?