I didn't need to see Hal at the Chicago expo this year, so there was no great hurry to get there super early. It was open Friday and Saturday until 6pm. We had driven to Chicago and parked at the hotel (free parking!), then walked a half mile to the Nike store and took a free bus to the expo. The bus was super convenient and saved us a lot of $ and headache. I wish they offered the same service to/from the race on Sunday.
It was massive, yet there were very few things we actually wanted to see. I picked up my number, which was super organized. I had to show my id and booklet, which was scanned, then I was directed to the appropriate number. By the time I got there, the volunteer had my packet in his hands. Super fast and easy.
Then it was time to pick up my shirt. I ordered a large and paid for it way back in April. They had more than enough time to order the shirts according to what people ordered. I was there approximately 2 hours before closing and they were all out of women's larges. Huh???? I ordered a large in April so it should have been sitting there with my name on it! Evidently the shirts ran small this year and the shirt exchange raided ALL the shirts. THAT'S NOT HOW A SHIRT EXCHANGE WORKS!!!!! There is supposed to be a small number of extra shirts that can be exchanged as a convenience, and if they run out, that's too bad. You don't ever take the shirts from registered participants who haven't shown up yet!!!!! It's a good thing the shirt is so hideous or I would have been irate. They offered me a women's small - do I look like I wear a small??? Or a men's small. NOT HAPPY ABOUT THIS!!!!! The design is ugly. Did they forget to design the shirt until the last possible second or something? It's unfortunate because last year's had a great design and fits great so I wear it often and proudly. This piece of crap will get tossed in the basket of race stuff I never wear.
Then we looked at the race gear. I would have been happy to spend a lot of $ on a jacket, but there was absolutely nothing I liked. For the prices they charged, I'll wait for someone to buy everything at the outlet store and post it on eBay. Or not. The selection was not good.
We did stop for a minute to take a photo like last year, and the guy working that booth gave me the absolute best thing from the expo - two bandanas that match the background of the display.
The expo had free pace bands for 4:30 and 4:40, but I wanted a 4:35 band. I took the 4:40 but made my own pacing chart before bed :)
Nancy and her husband were in town for the race as well and we all mentioned meeting up for dinner, but after the expo Bill and I wanted something quick that wasn't super noisy. I wasn't particularly hungry, but I made myself eat anyway. Then back to the hotel for an early night and dreams of running....not so much. I slept terribly :(