Friday, October 29, 2010

2010 Nike Women's Marathon Expotique Review.

I am going to break up the 2010 Nike Women's Marathon Expotique review and the Event review into 2 sections.  The Expotique review is a bit long, similar to bigger Expos.

This post will be about the Expotique.

I went to pick up my packet late Thursday afternoon/early evening at Union Square.
"I Run to Be" was this year's slogan.
Big Turnout.
A lot more folks showed up on Thursday compared to last year.  The line was 2 blocks going in waiting for the Expotique to open.  And, as I got closer to the front of the line, more folks got in line that it was again 2 blocks long getting in.

Once inside the tent, it was very obvious the venue was too small for the number of folks who had shown up.  It was chaotic.  There were lines everywhere, and it was difficult at times to figure out what the lines were for and where the lines were going.

The "Hiccups."
1.  Missed station.  My packet pickup was anything but smooth.  I missed a station only to be sent back from a further station.

2. Wrong directions.  Someone with credentials on gave me a wrong set of directions.

Fortunately, I came across and recognized Aileen, who has worked some of the Nike events.  She led me passed a "No Entry" point to get the item I had missed.  Without her, I would have been forced to exit, reenter and (gulp) start in the back of a horrendous line.

Thank you very, very much, Aileen.

2.  Technical Difficulties.  A rep was trying to gift me a free Power Song for being a Nike+ member.  He tried one terminal, but it wasn't working.  We eventually had to go to another terminal.

The Nibbles.
Just for Thursday, appetizers and wine were provided by Safeway.  The food line was also long.  ID checks and 1 drink ticket were handed out before folks entered the Expotique.

My favorite was the Safeway Smoothie.  The free smoothies were a daily offering.
Safeway Smoothie area.  I lost count of how many I had.

Gatorade drinks were also on hand with the following samples:
1.  Gatorade Endurance - listed as on course drink
2.  Gatorade Prime - the pre-event drink
3.  Gatorade Recovery

Samples from Luna Bar were also available.

The Activities.
There were many activities, ranging from massages, customizing Nike ID products to previewing the course.

My favorites were the following:
1.  Video Gait Analysis.  You can see what shoes you belong in.
You can also see just how off you are.
2.  JetBlue Course Preview area.
Where's them hills?
3.  Nike Women's Marathon Facebook App.
You can message your FB friends when you cross certain points during the event.  No folks, I was not texting away while wogging along during the event.
Raffle Prizes.
Just for Thursday.  Nice prizes from sponsors, including Cole Haan and Safeway.  I didn't win.

Elite Nike Athletes.
Legendary runner, Joan Benoit Samuelson, made appearances over the course of the Expotique.  In 1984 when the Women's Marathon was first introduced in the Olympics, she won the Gold Medal.  She is considered a pioneer in women's athletics.
Joan Benoit Samuelson addresses the audience.
Shannon Rowbury also made appearances over the course of the Expotique.  In 2008, she competed in the Women's 1500 m in the Beijing Olympics.  In 2009, she won the Bronze Medal in the Women's 1500 m in the IAAF World Championships in Athletics.
Shannon Rowbury with a fireman in tux during the raffle.
No Selling Allowed.
Odd as it sounds, the Power Balance folks were there with their wristbands.  They were free to sign up folks for their newsletters and free to talk to and demo with those at the Expotique.  But, one of their reps said Nike is very strict and that there would be no selling, disappointing some attendees.

Runner's Supplies Available
In year's past, folks were literally running around town looking for gels and runner essentials because the Expotique and Niketown San Francisco didn't sell them.  This year, they can stop running around town.
Gels, Shot Bloks and Body Glide were among the items sold at the Runner Essentials booth.
Niketown San Francisco.
A wide range of event apparel was sold by the nearby Niketown San Francisco.
Niketown San Francisco.
Names Wall.
During the time of the Nike Women's Marathon, there's a list of names of those participating in the marathon and half marathon just outside Niketown San Francisco.

This year I was lucky my name, "Mae Lee," was fairly easy to find.
"Names Wall" outside Niketown San Francisco.
A poster of the "Names Wall" was sold by Niketown San Francisco.  It cost $10 with proceeds benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the official charity of the Nike Women's Marathon.

Photo Booth
There was also a photo booth inside Niketown.  Fortunately, when I got there, there wasn't much of a line.

Beware of the POM Line Nazi.
I had a problem with one of the sample stations at the Expotique and was fortunate I didn't get injured.

The POM station was offering free samples of their product.  I saw some folks helping themselves to bottles of their product from a bin near an aisle.  I tried to help myself at one point.  But, when I opened the lid and was about to reach into the bin, one of their reps pushed down the lid, closing it.  She then said, "The entrance is 5 feet away."

She didn't say anything further to me but then said to one of her fellow reps, "We shouldn't have that bin near the aisle."

Fortunately, my hand and arm wasn't trapped and I wasn't injured by the actions of the POM rep.  But, seriously, beware of any POM samplers you see.  Someone isn't there in the interest of your personal safety.

What I thought of the Expotique?
The many activities are fun when the lines aren't long.

When they are long, it's no fun.

Just so long as they keep the Safeway Smoothie section, I am a happy tortoise.

I'll try to post my 2010 Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon review tomorrow.

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