by Dan Soleau

 

The Sports and Fitness Expo is an integral part of the Boston Marathon experience.  Conveniently located at the Hynes Convention Center (where you will also be picking up your bib), it is runner heaven.  Vendor after vendor showing the latest and greatest products; specially created limited edition shirts, shoes and accessories; the Expo has every thing for every runner.

 

So how do you navigate the thousands and thousands of products, the hundreds of vendors, all asking you to spend your dollars on their stuff?

 

1 – Local advantage:  If you live locally, take advantage and go pick up your bib and visit the Expo on Friday.

 

2 – Have a game plan:  Look at the floor plan and the list of exhibitors in advance and see if there are specific companies you want to see.

 

3 – Prioritize:  If you know there is something specific you want to purchase, do that first.  Limited Edition Saucony Kinvaras will sell much more quickly than Vanilla Bean GU.

 

4 – Enjoy the crowd:  There will be LOTS of people at the Expo.  Remember – these people are just like you.  They’re here to browse, sample, shop, and most importantly, to run.  Appreciate the fact that we’re all in this together for the same reasons.

 

5 – Browse before you buy:  Nearly every vendor will have “Boston” specific merchandise, created especially for this year’s Marathon.  After tracking down your priority purchases, make the rounds and see what each exhibitor has before deciding what to buy.

 

6 – Get off your feet:  The floor at the Hynes Convention Center is concrete.  Standing and walking for too long will fatigue your legs.  Take breaks and sit when you have a chance.  Try to stay off your feet starting Sunday afternoon so they are fully rested for Monday morning.