Friday, February 10, 2012

Rock n Roll St Pete Expo

Just got back. I left work around 11:30, drove down to Tropicana. While I thought the line would be heavier at noon (when they open) compared to 1pm....I knew parking would be easier. I was NOT about to pay the $15 Tropicana Fields parking fee. I was able to find free 2-hour parking on the close that I could see the entrance. True, I had to walk 5 minutes, but hey, thats ok with me :)

We had our bags checked (remember, its Tropicana Fields) around 11:50, and formed a line just outside the main gate entrance. They eventually opened the doors and then we formed another line down the concourse. The waivers were all over as well as a chart to identify your bib number. Even though the line was relatively short at that moment, you could tell that they expected it to be longer. When they eventually let the line go into the field, you had to wind around to the other gate, and even there was another huge stack of waivers and another list of bib numbers. But, we moved fast. There must have been 15 tables segregated by bib number, along with a payment line for those registering at the expo. Current price....drum roll...wait for it...wait for it...$125!

So, I go right into my line and I'm 2nd. Right now, I'm thinking this is way better than the Women's Half Marathon expo last November. Get my bib, shoe chip, zip tie, safety pins....and head to the swag booth. The swag bag is a large black drawstring bag with the logo on it in red. In it were some bandaids, some perform pain relieving gel, dole snacks, and the requisite papers. There was also a window cling by Garmin that says "Rocked 13.1" or "Rocked 26.2"...gotta love the flames, but I don't think I'll be running so fast that I cause enough friction to create flames!

Definition: swag = stuff we all get

So, now we have all of our required stuff...but we are still hearded into the expo (no other exit, of course. I know this doesn't surprise anyone, but it still surprises me that some places don't think we notice this "no exit but near the stuff that people are selling" method.

You enter the expo, and you are dropped into the middle of Brooks Wonderland.....they MUST be sponsors, right? Seriously, I think they must have HALF of the expo space! Nice stuff...but nothing really caught my on I go.

Note: the porta potties in the Brooks area are dressing rooms, not a location to pee....use the restrooms in the concourse.

Now, the Brooks 'store' is completely separate so you enter the "regular expo" entrance and that is what you expect to see.

So, what booths should you visit? High marks for 5-hour energy...touting its grape two handed to me! Also, St Anthony's/Baycare Health Systems is worth a visit....they gave flashy clip lights and pens and a little first aid kit...but also a large pouch holding a standard exercise band. Very nice.

Other stops by the center of the expo is the HUGE RNR booth. Really, its like a tent without a top. I registered for next year's race for $65 with their discount code of STPETE. Its on 2/10/13 for everyone's calendars!

I also stopped at FitNiche, which is the pacing group for this race. I grabbed the 2:15 white bib (to wear on the back of my shirt) while I wear my regular blue bib on the front. This white bib trumps whatever corral I was originally placed in. I just need to find the neon yellow singlets that the pacers will be wearing that morning.

So, I browsed a tad and left. Got back to my car by 12:30. All in all, a very productive trip! Kudos to the streamlined approach, as I definitely expected a crazy experience at lunchtime.


  1. Looks like you'll be running in the same pace as us (though we didn't join the group) - maybe I'll see you on the the course tomorrow!!

  2. Yeah! Hope you did fabulously!


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