Thursday, April 14, 2011

More Finds at the Boston Marathon Expo

Who's ready to do more than pick up their packet when they arrive in Beantown this weekend for the 115th Boston Marathon? Me! As I mentioned earlier, I'm trying to whisk those thoughts of "Am I going to finish?" and "How much are those hills going to hurt?" out of my mind by focusing on one of the race weekend's events that I love: shopping the expo.

Now I'm not a shopper by any means--I usually browse online more than anything--but there's something about this marathon expo that gets me excited to stroll the aisles and make some purchases. It's like a runner's Christmas between the gear stamped with the BAA insignia, Boston-specific items, new releases I've eyed online, and runner celebrity sightings. But I didn't get to finish my list when I first started sharing details yesterday. Whether you're going to Boston to run Monday's race or you're just along for the ride (and moral support), you'll want to add these brands to your bunch to check out:

ASICS. Head over to this booth at noon on Saturday to meet Ryan Hall, who'll be signing autographs. But plan to arrive early--I remember a line stretching around the expo space when he was there in 2008. And if you're in the market for gear, you'll find the ASICS spring collection, some Boston printed shirts and plenty of footwear. I have my eyes out for the Noosa shoe, meant for the Australian triathlon market originally and now making its stateside debut.

Saucony. While some runners are hooked on the Kinvaras (I have friends raving about them), Saucony will also be displaying its even lighter weighted Hattori shoe from its minimalist collection. Or if you're on the look-out for something that shouts Boston, check out the event specific tees they created for this year too.

Need a new watch that does it all--track your heart-rate, calorie count, mileage and pace? Check out the booths for Garmin, Polar and Timex, all of whom have a collection of devices to help you maximize performance, improve fitness and track all the stats from your run. I can pore over these for hours, especially Polar's fitness models that I've eyed for all of my gym workouts that I think are more detrimental than beneficial.

A few more stops on my list include New Balance, Runner's World, and tracking down Josh Cox over the weekend. New Balance is amping up the excellence this weekend (more to come on that), Runner's World is hosting everything from shake-out runs to seminars (check their Boston site or Bart Yasso's tweets for more details), and Josh Cox shared via Facebook that he'll be leading a nutrition seminar on Saturday and Sunday with Powerbar among other things. And stay tuned for more info from Adidas and New Balance, plus a Kara Goucher sighting at Niketown on Saturday. At least if I'm more nervous than excited for the race, I can get excited about the events surrounding it.

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