I’m back from collecting my race-pack at the Palazzo Dei Congressi and managed to meet up with Laura, a new friend whom I got to know through twitter. Like me, this will be her first marathon and we are both excited and nervous for this Sunday.
Considering the previous years when I went to the expo, and how crowded it was, I decided to go on a weekday during work hours in the hopes that it won’t be too claustrophobic. I reached there at about 3pm and while there were already quite a significant amount of people inside, it was still tolerable.
Getting the race-pack was a simple matter. It was relatively empty when I reached there, that I could just go to the booth without queueing up and handed the validation form printout and showed my identification. There, I got a folder with my bib and the race information.
(I just noticed that I’m categorised under Italian again)
Then I headed over to another booth to choose the size and to collect the t-shirt and the backpack.
I think that the sizes run much bigger and I’m stunned to see that I was delegated an X-small when I’d normally wear a M. I was also quite surprised to see that it was white and red. When the one I read on the Maratona di Roma facebook page some months back, it was supposed to be green. When did they change it? I don’t really fancy the design and the cutting but I guess I’d still wear it for the event anyway.
Compared to the huge backpack we got at Roma Ostia, the inside of the Maratona di Roma race-pack is surprisingly small and quite bare-boned. Apart from a pack of dry pasta, I didn’t see anything else edible inside. I was hoping that there will be an energy gel or a small energy bar that I could pack during the event itself.
I tried to pack in a clean towel, a fresh set of clothes and my fold-able mat and it was already quite stuffed. I’m sure there are other things that I’d like to add in later so I guess I’d have to play a game of tetris in the evening.
While getting the race-pack was a simple affair, it was what came after was the headache inducing part. Visitors had to go through a maze of display booths. There is no way to do any short-cuts as there are barriers everywhere and there will always be someone watching you, which is annoying if you’re in a rush but for me, I feel more claustrophobia with the thousands of people in one place and the blaring sound system.
While the barricades is something that I’m still not fond of, this time round I guess I’m seeing with a runner’s eyes, so I saw with a new perspective, a lot of different interesting things being sold and displayed there.
There were magnetic buttons that you could use instead of using a safety pin which prevents you from making holes on your shirts. They look something like this and were so strong that it wasn’t easy for me to detach them.
I also saw a running belt, made of neoprene that I really liked. It came in a myriad of colours and there were slots where you could slip your fuel and a special hook for hanging your racing bib.
I was transfixed at a stand where there was a machine that scans your feet, check your gait and advices you the type of shoes you could get.
Laura and I even managed to spot our names among the thousands of names on the huge banner and the display set. It may not be much, but it was quite thrilling to see. Even though I was not, I felt like I was in the big league.
But as interesting as the fair was, I’m not convinced that the items being sold are more competitive here. From what I saw, a lot of the items were sold at regular store price : I saw compression socks being sold at about 35 euro and energy gels priced at about 7 euro each. That’s kind of pricey to me. But the nice thing is that some of the booths gave away gifts with every purchase.
Nevertheless, I think I’ll do some last minute shopping at decathlon on Saturday.
(Funny guy we spotted pretending to be all tired)
With the walk I did at the expo, it was more than enough mileage for me to cross out the last training. While I didn’t manage to hit all of my training days, I’ve jogged about 501 km in total the past 16 weeks and it’s now just one day to go to the actual marathon. I should be prepared right?
Except that I don’t feel ready and I’m not sure how well I will get through this. But my mantra has always been to just do baby steps, a little bit at a time and I hope to reach the finishing line at 6 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds 🙂
So wish me all the best for Sunday! I think I can do this! 🙂 #rinazdoes42km!