Marine Corps Marathon: The Expo

Things are getting real! I made it over to the D.C. Armory for the Marine Corps Marathon Expo last night. Other than a few wrong turns on the way to the expo that made it a much longer trip than it should have been, things went very smoothly.

The Marines have this one down to a science, so I was in and out of the tent to pick up my bib in just a few minutes. After going through another round of security (first one was to get into the tent to grab my bib) I made my way into the armory and it was time to explore!

I made Ian take some silly pictures of me when we first walked in.

expo2 expo1I cannot wait till I have The Iwo in my sights on Sunday and am getting my picture snapped in front of it with my finisher’s medal. Does anyone know how I could just fast forward to that part of things?!?

After that I picked up my shirt and for the first time of my three MCM’s I will actually wear this one and not just keep it as a souvenir. Don’t get me wrong, the bright red and mustard yellow cotton unisex mock turtle necks in the bin under my bed do hold a special place in my heart…they just don’t get worn very often (read ever). This year they unveiled newer technical long sleeve shirts that look a whole lot better and might actually get me to “rock the mock” as they like to say! Kudos to MCM on making this change!

expo4After grabbing my shirt, there were a handful of free samples you could grab before heading into the Brooks official merchandise area.

expo3The lines were really long so I didn’t end up getting anything, but I may try to find my way back there before it closes. My only complaint about the gear was the sheer amount of pink women’s MCM gear. I like pink as much as the next girl, but it doesn’t seem to fit with this race in my mind, and I also get frustrated when people think all you have to do to sell gear to women is slap some pink on it. Regardless there was still a lot of good stuff!

I also wanted to get a new pint glass for this year to go with the one I have from 2011, but didn’t see any. I very easily could have just missed them though. If you were there and saw them, let me know!

I wish I had more time to explore the booths, but we were there pretty close to closing time and hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so I moved through pretty quickly checking out all the different running gear and goodies. I did stop by the Clif Bar booth to pick up my 3:35 pace band!

All in all, it was a pretty great expo and I left feeling motivated and excited for race day!

Are you racing MCM? How was your expo experience? Are you a fan of large race expos?


11 thoughts on “Marine Corps Marathon: The Expo

    • Sure thing.

      You don’t have to sign up in advance. Here’s some info:, but you can also just stop by the Clif Bar booth. They have pace bracelets you can grab for free for different target finish times, and will also have pacers for a whole bunch of these times on the course. You can just line up near them at the start – the pacer is usually carrying some sort of sign with the target finish time – or try and link up with them at any point along the course.

      One word of caution I would say, in my experience they tend to go out a little bit fast, which if you line up with a group that is already a little too fast for you could result in a tough second half of the marathon. I really like them though for keeping me at an even pace over the beginning and it also gives you a you’re in it together group mentality with the others shooting for the same time.

      They can prob explain it better at the booth, but basically they say their pacer is set to either hit the target time or beat it by up to two minutes.

      Hope that’s helpful. Enjoy the expo and good luck tomorrow!!

    • That’s a bummer you had to wait so long. Being local I was lucky to go on Thursday night and not have to deal with lines to get in.

      Hope it doesn’t ruin your race experience though. This really is a special one! Good luck tomorrow!

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