Monday, January 17, 2011

Rock and Roll Arizona Marathon Expo

More often than not, each run serves a purpose.  They could be grand and holistic like "loose weight" or "look more like Matt Damon...naked" "Run a 3:10 marathon".  Or, they could be much more utilitarian - like "I just ate an entire box of cookies, better go for a run" or "go pick up your car you left at your in-laws after your brother in law's 30th birthday party."  (You know - just....examples)

So, yesterday morning I headed out for what turned out to be a 13 mile run.  I allowed myself to slow down a touch because I had been on my feet the entire day before and I had been out late at my brother in laws 30th birthday party.  So, I managed a 13.1 mile run in 1:42:00.

The reason I was so tired (other than being out so late) was that I had volunteered at the Rock and Roll Arizona Expo they day before.  Since I am a mega-huge Brooks shoe fan, I got hooked up with them and was able to hang out with other shoe fans for the entire day.  It was exhausting, I lost my voice, and my legs still hurt, but it was a BLAST.  The nervous excitement of all of the runners was infectious.

The Brooks booth carnival show.  Surprisingly entertaining.....the first 5 times you heard it.

The interesting thing about volunteering at a (very large) expo was that you got to do whatever you wanted to do see a little bit behind the scenes.  I was there on Saturday a full 30 to 45 minutes before the expo started and the silence was deafening.  Absent was the dull roar of people roaming the isles of booths or random medial cream and foot roller companies trying to get you within arms reach to shove free samples at you.

Packet pick up, 30 minutes before the expo start.  
I can already hear people bitching about being in the wrong coral

Only 2 hours later - it was like Wal-mart was having a sale on toilet paper and florescent green nail  polish

I didn't really mention this a lot because I was her guest, but RunningLaur is basically a big deal and was invited to interview Meb. The winner of the New York City Marathon, Meb?  2000 Olympic silver medalist Meb? I'm going to post our interview in detail later in the week but I can say that Meb is just as genuine as you would think he would be (very) and that I am taller than him.  So there is that - which is nice.

After the interview, I decided that I would take a long lunch break from handing out free T-Shirts and see what free loot the expo had to offer.  Ok....ok....  Honestly?  I saw people walking through the Brooks booth with wine in their hands and I wanted to see what the deal was.

Jamoosh would be proud - no MGD 64 for me.
No comment if there was any drunken heckling of the Miller girls

Success!!  I was able to sweet talk my way into TWO free samples
As you can see, I was excited

Although, I wasn't able to weasel my way into buying a bottle of the wine.  The PF Changs marathon logo on the side was similar to a stained glass (not a sticker) and VERY cool - but no amount of eye batting or white teeth flashing could get me a bottle.  Can you believe that!?

Wine in hand, I continued to (now a bit wobbly) walk the isles.  One of the best things about doing so many of the Rock and Roll races is that I've started to see some familiar faces.  It is always awesome to see friends that I've either ran with or chatted up at previous expos.  Of course that also means that, after 3 or 4 races, Lara Bar free sample girls know that you're NOT grabbing 2 handfuls of samples for "your other friends who are in the bathroom".

I ran into John, who was running the half and reads my blog.  Check him out on his twitter account!

Last year James ran ALL (14?) of the Rock and Roll races

Sarah Stanley who is a pro mega-endurance athlete, mega-philanthropist, and mega-nice gal

Oh, and Kara Goucher who is just mega hot
(she gets blown up to large size)

ChicRunner who was working one of the booths as part of her race promoting job

Finally, there is THIS GUY.  Speechless.  Simply, speechless. He not only walked around the expo in this outfit, but also ran the entire race with it on as well (I saw him on the news).  I actually took this picture secretly while chatting with ChicRunner.
If you look closely, you can see all of his......"muscles"
Either that or he keeps his wallet in the the middle

Finally, do you ever wonder who the people are behind the large corporate twitter accounts?  I usually assume they are one of two things: 
2. Computer nerds that drink lots of Mt Dew and live in their mom's basement

However, I know of a few people who are the women behind the twitter accounts (all women so far), and it all instances they are neither robots nor computer nerds.  Who knew!?  While I had met her before, I chatted up Maya the voice behind the @RunRocknRoll twitter account.  Check her out on twitter for tons of sweet deals on compeditor races or check her out on facebook (where I just posted a ridiculous picture of myself).

Maya from competitor and myself
Kara just happened to be in the background

Oh, and I guess someone told me that people actually ran a race today? 25,000 finishers for the full and the half?  Huh, how about that.  Congrats to all of the finishers!


C2Iowa said...

Too cool.

Meeting Meb - now that is outstanding.

Andrew Opala said...

Awesome ... to echo what @C2Iowa said: you got two free glasses of wine!

Laurie said...

Meb? Awesome!
Wine? Awesome!

Jamoosh said...

I can only assume you ahve seen Matt Damon naked.

Um, good for you?

Runners Fuel said...

Sounds like an awesome day!

Emz said...

ahhh yes, the "jesus Lizard" was really sumthin'.

Saw you but man. you. were. busy. I got a bandana. was so aiming for the t-shirt. [ohhhhh ya, and my PR]. we are not talking about the later just yet. but I did freaking want that shirt.

YAY for MEB!

Chris K said...

I can tell Kara Goucher likes me by the way she ignores me. It's so obvious.

Nicole said...

Working an expo seems like it would be hectic, but your recap actually looks fun. I'm looking forward to that interview.

Adrienne said...

Very cool. And cooler that running laur got to interview meb. Fun times.

Lily on the Road said...

Awesome job, I feel like I was there but without the wine and the "man muscle errrr wallet".

When I was there a few years ago we went super, duper early to the expo which was great. Luckily we beat our way through the throngs on the way out and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at the hotel pool...

yes, we Canadians are a hearty lot...

Rose said...

Holy CRAP. That is a MUSCLE suit.

I want one. I would wear it all the time, man.

Detroit Runner said...

I met Meb as well. Great down to earth guy.

Dash said...

haha, great expo report. There are so many good things, I wouldn't even know where to start. I'll just give a thumbs up to all the M's; Muscle Suit w/Muscles in the Middle, Meb, Merlot, Matt Damon Naked, Miller GD, Mega Endurance Athletes, Mega Hot Kara, Maya, Master Racers Adam.

Nej said...

Wow....that muscle suit sure"interesting?"

Wine, behind the scenes, hanging out with cool people....sounds like a rockin' good time!

Angie Bee said...

awesome! I have worked several expos but nothing like that :)
Glad you had a good time and thanks for sharing!

Pat said...

Hey, I was at the expo saturday around 10 am. Loved the Brooks section. Didn't win a stuffed shoe, however. That makes twice we've missed each other. At the Twin Cities and Now RnR AZ.

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

Race Expos are soooo fun! I want to meet Meb.

Pam said...

I NEED one of those muscles suits! LMAO

Emily said...

I loved the Arizona RnR expo last year. I stole so much great shit. I mean, took what was rightfully mine. And you met Meb? Bombtastically awesome.

The Sean said...

Cool stuff, Adam. I bet Meb can't stop talking to his friends about "how Boring that guy with the blog" was.

Jess said...

Wow, sounds like an awesome expo!

Kittee I am a Runner! :) said...

I also met Meb in Vegas at the Rock n Roll Marathon in December. I was able to talk to him for about 20 minutes. I was surprised I wasn't speechless. He is a very genuine guy. Love all the free wine at the Rock N Roll Expots. Bring it on..

Al's CL Reviews said...

This expo looked so cool.
Albeit crowded.