February 12, 2011


As soon as I finish this blog, I'm hitting the road:  tomorrow is the Mercedes Marathon... woohoo!  And as a bonus, since the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans is also tomorrow, I got to hit up their expo as well.  I figure the RNR marathon is likely to be somewhat larger and this way I won't have to carry anything back from Bham.

My computer is being stupid.  This is what you get for a map.
In case you can't tell, A is New Orleans & B is Birmingham.
How do I approach expos?  It's all about the samples & the gels.  As a poor grad student, I can't afford to be constantly buying new running clothes.  I would love to, but I would also love a new car, a new bike, a new... well...  You get the idea.  So I stick to the gels.  Why?  I know I need them for training & races, and they are always (in my experience) cheaper at the expos than at any stores.  I usually buy a big box of 24 (that you can mix & match, discounted for $20) which gets me through for a while.

So that was my plan: Get in, get gels, get out.  And let's just say, I was successful.  Perhaps a bit too successful. I walked away with a 24 pack of Gu and a 24 pack of Carb Boom.  I'd never seen Carb Boom before but they were handing out samples & I liked it.  That's more than I can say about most other energy sources.  I'll let you know more once I get to try them out on a run.

The other goal of expos:  samples.  If I'm still hungry when I leave, I consider that a fail.  What did I get to try?
  • Muscle Milk (coffee & vanilla)
  • Gu Chomps (the new Peach Tea flavor)
  • Snickers Protein something or other (Didn't pay attention to the name.  I refuse to actually buy an endurance product made by a candy company, but I tried 2 flavors.  They were ok.)
  • Carb Boom energy gels
  • Fortune cookies from PF Changs (with running "fortunes")
Well, that's all for now.  Good luck to everyone running the Mardi Gras Marathon this weekend!  I'll definitely be thinking about all of you!

(Ooops.  Sorry to anyone who had to read this in large print.  Should be fixed now.)


  1. Smart strategy! Glad you came home all stocked up. Are you running it also?

  2. PerformanceBike has powerbar brand gels buy 1 get 1 every once in a while - means 48 for about $25 - I stock up.

    I loaded up on the samples !!!

  3. Never heard of boom - interesting - will be looking that up.

    Good luck tomorrow. Hope you have a GREAT time and a whole lot of fun!!!!!! Can't wait to hear (read) all about it!!!!!

  4. hope it went well and you didn't get lost in the white space on your drive over ;)

  5. You're so smart! Grabbing all the freebies possible is the best strategy for expos, as long as you aren't annoying about it. I can't stand when I see people grab arms full of stuff over and over again, sometimes it's just rude, you know?? But most often I take advantage when I can, as long as there is plenty for everyone.

    Good luck tomorrow!!!