So I made it from Boston to NY, got my number and all that. I think after trying out Greyhound, Megabus and Bolt bus, I highly recommend Bolt Bus over the others. Paying 10 bucks more is worth it. Although I still miss Fung Wah (may they rest in peace until they return, please return). While on the bus, I got their wifi to work and decided to play around with the ING app.
We made a 15 minute stop for lunch and bathroom.
Sadly our stop was at a Burger King. I’m more of a McDonalds type of girl (they have more bathrooms, look cleaner and better food options), but I was hungry and didn’t feel like eating the healthy yogurt and fruit I dragged onto the bus with me. Instead I ordered the veggie burger which is the only edible thing off the BK’s menu in my opinion.
I don’t know what I did while I was on the bus besides a ton of fidgeting to the dismay of my window seat neighbor, but before I knew it, 4 hours later, I saw the skyline. My heart still skips a beat each time I see the skyline as I return home. That dreamy state ends when I get off the bus, see the crowds, trucks, and way too much general traffic. I guess it’s hard to be as romantic about NYC when you grew up here before it became the hipster paradise it is today.
My dad waited around the city for two hours for me! But then he waited some more as I walked over to the expo. Aren’t father’s the best? Who else will drive, wait and pick you up, just to take you home?
Luckily bolt bus drops you off about 3 blocks from the NYC Marathon expo. So if you’re coming from Boston, it’s one of the best options for the NYC Marathon expo.
Now, I’m no expert on the expo since I was there for just a little under an hour, but I did learn a bit.
Besides all else, like with everything else in NYC, pack your patience! There will be lines. They test your marathon skills with a marathon of queuing before all else. More lines than I’ve ever had at any other race expo. Although, the only other large marathon expo I can compare this to is Boston. But who knows how much queuing I’ll be doing in 2014 after the Boston Bombers have basically turned all runners, and their families into terrorist suspects for all future events.
You start with security –
If you don’t bring a purse or bag with you, you can bypass through an express line but it will be hard to see because we’re not really all too great at queuing in an organized line. If you do have a bag don’t freak out, all the security guards want to do is see the bottom of your purse. They don’t care about our water bottle or tampons.
Next order of line after security is to enter the expo. If you’re not there to pick up a number, don’t get on it. You don’t need to and can just enter the expo where people are exiting. If you are picking up a number, you will need to have a registration card printed or PDF saved on your phone or email. You can do that by logging in to your NYRR account. If you forgot your password, don’t worry, they set it quickly.
If you don’t have your NYC registration card with your or on your phone. You will be directed after this line to a new line. They will sort it out for you, but it will be another wait you will have.
I loved seeing all the Welcome signs in all the different languages!
Now you have smaller lines to get your number. If you didn’t select your transportation, there’s a line for that too and they will give you a ferry sticker. I asked what happens if I miss my ferry, she said you could get on any of them, but if I get on a ferry later than 6AM she can’t guarantee I’ll get to start on time for 9:40 (In my head, I’m going are you fucking kidding me NYRR). I thanked her and moved onto my next line.
This line was to scan my number to go pick up my shirts. The scanning line was short. However, the shirt pick up line was a few minutes because everyone is trying on their shirt and switching sizes. The wait was similar to Boston.
Finally, you got your number, ferry time sticker, shirt and you are ready to explore the expo.
It will be packed no matter what time you go. This is NYC, everything is more packed anywhere, anytime.
I walked around quickly through the expo, because my dad was being a great dad and waiting for me. I wanted to pick up some NYC Marathon arm sleeves or gloves that I saw online. Until I saw them in person and realized that they’re not tech but cotton. Sorry Asics, I love some of your products, but I wasn’t impressed with your NYC Marathon accessory selection. I’m spoiled now and expect higher quality. If you are still looking for arm warmers, check out the Saucony area. There’s only cost a little extra and they’re tech, soft and nice!
I also wanted to look for a new handheld, since my current one is dying. However, it was packed and there were many baby carriages and I decided I rather do my shopping online.
One highlight was stopping by the Vega table. They gave me some awesome samples of their plant based protein products. I saw a couple of protein bar tastings but nothing you could take home with you.
Then again, I walked through all the exhibits in about 10 minutes so maybe I missed something good?
These are the goods I left the expo with. Highlights are Vega Sport. I also got a nice race calendar book from Running USA. The chia shots are awesome if you’re traveling and want to have them in your oatmeal. Why Dove only gave out Men’s deodorant in my swag bag was a little meh. I don’t want to smell like a dude thank you very much! Somehow Tony always wins when it comes to my race day swag.
And best part of my Friday?
Chinese take out from my local place where I used to live in Brooklyn. It might have been half a decade since I’ve had good Chinese take out! Yum yum yum!
Do you like going to race expos?
Do you ever buy anything there?
What’s your favorite race expo?