The Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon experience began with a health expo, like many other races. Since I had decided to take the train to the race, and the Expo was near the start line, I decided to make the Expo a test run of using public transportation. After all, I’m not a morning person and didn’t want anything to get me stressed on race morning. Plus, I hear it said all the time to never do something new on race day. So, with that, I set out on the Gold line towards Union Station.
I thought it might be a 15 minute walk from my apartment to the train station. It turned out to only take around 10 minutes! However, the machine where I paid for, what I thought was going to be an all day ticket, gave me problems and I missed the first train. Oh well, the second one was only around 5 minutes later.
With the train at the station, it was time to begin my public transportation journey to the Expo!
I really enjoyed letting someone else do the driving! It took around 20 minutes to reach Union Station in Los Angeles where I would leave the Gold Line and venture to the Purple Line.
Union Station is used in a lot of Hollywood productions. Their wait area is really cool!
Since I’ve not travelled this route before, I did get a little turned around at the station. I forgot that the Purple Line and the Red Line took the same route for where I needed to go before turning different directions a few stops later. So, I had to ask a worker at the station to point me to the Purple Line. His directions lead me to this…
The Red Line was all the signs said and no mention of the Purple Line. However, the above sign is where I needed to go. Glad to have had this problem on a day where my arrival time didn’t matter. I got on the Red Line and was on it for 3 stops. Then, I decided to take the Expo Line for one stop to put me right at the Los Angeles Convention Center. There was a choice I could have made to walk from where the Red/Purple Line dropped me off. However, I just wanted to see how quick it would be to take the third train. Plus, I arrived at the train in time to catch the same train as many USC Trojans fans were taking to get to the Los Angeles Memorial Colosseum for the USC-Utah football game. It was fun to be around many fellow Trojan fans! I so wished I was going to the game.
Anyways, I made it to the Los Angeles Convention Center and then looked for signs to point me to the Expo…
Pretty easy to find. Right? The signs pointed me here…
After picking up the latest Competitor magazine and the program for the Expo, I was off to get my bib.
It was the easiest bib pick-up ever! No line at all!
This was on the opposite side of the bib pick up area. I loved the signs!
From there, it was off to get the official race shirt and then on to the official merchandise area. While I don’t have a picture of the merch area, it was very spacious. I’m guessing that Brooks is one of the official sponsors of the race because they had their gear intermixed with the official merchandise. Although I didn’t purchase anything, there were a few tempting items…
I really liked this shirt and almost ended up buying it.
The glassware was also tempting. However, I thought that, since I didn’t purchase any glassware at the runDisney events, I wouldn’t do so at this one. After the merch area, the first large booth was for Team Refuel.
One of their reps talked me into taping a short video about why I like chocolate milk after my long runs and hard workouts. I was told that my video would be under consideration to become a sponsored runner. With the possibility of some free race entries, I thought, why not. After all, I do drink chocolate milk after really hard workouts and my long runs. So, it was something that I did use. I will be notified around November 8th if my video is selected to move onto the next round. If that happens, I will be talking up the video here and anywhere else I can to get selected. So, time will tell. Also, I got to take this fun picture…
Also, I got this towel, which was used to hide my Nike swoosh in the video…
Another large booth at the expo was from Jamba Juice. They had a spin the wheel for free things from them. I won some lip balm…not too exciting.
Most of the booths were pretty small compared with other Expo’s I’ve been to. There were booths for various running related products, food, and of course other races. The race booths are fun because you get to see the bling their finishers will get. The Rock n Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon have some cool medals…
Of course, the Rock n Roll Marathon Series has some other medals for those that complete more than one race in the series in the same year. Next year, I may just have to do two Rock n Roll races to get one of these…
After reading some race reports, I’m seriously considering signing up for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon (or maybe the full) in San Diego next year and come back for the Los Angeles half again.
After hanging out at the Expo for around an hour, it was time for lunch. On the way to LA Live to eat, I noticed that the statues in front of Staples Center had no one around them. If you’ve ever been to an event at Staples Center, you know that this never happens. So, I took advantage of the opportunity to snap a few fun pics before eating.
Chick Hern is the legendary Lakers broadcaster. I grew up listening to Chick call the games. When he passed away, I learned exactly how influential he was to the world of basketball. He coined many phrases that are still used. The phrase “slam dunk” was coined by Chick and is now common language. I’ll never forget meeting him as a kid when I went to my first Lakers playoff game. My dad and I sat right behind the press section at the Fabulous Forum. He was super nice to me and my dad and very gracious.
So, I asked for some pre-race advice.
Magic Johnson will always be “Mr. Laker” to me. He’s been my favorite basketball player of all time. Many will debate over who the greatest basketball player was. To me, Magic wins the debate hands down. I feel honored to have watched him play so many games. The “Showtime” Lakers of the 1980’s were so much fun to watch!
Before my time, Jerry West dominated basketball. Jerry is simply “the Logo” to all of us out here. Why? Because the silhouette you see in the NBA logo is of him.
I loved the signs in the LA Live area as well!
And the ad for my race…
As I was at LA Live, they were setting up the stage for the concert that would happen after the race. Once I got this picture, it was time to eat lunch at Lawry’s. I originally planned on eating at the ESPN Zone. However, when I arrived, I saw that it was no longer at LA Live. Oh well. After lunch, I got a few more pics before heading home…
If only I were that fast, I could say…DON’T BLINK.
Yep. Me and Kobe…LEGENDS. Well, the next day would be legendary for me.
Instead of taking three trains to get back, I decided to walk to the Metro Station and bypass one train. On the way there, I saw this. I couldn’t help but think…”hmm. Maybe I could get a quick workout after the half marathon before getting on the train to go home.” Not gonna happen.
There are some seriously great places to take pictures at Union Station.
See what I mean?
I could have spent a lot more time exploring. However, there were some chores to do before going to bed. So, off to the Gold Line I went.
The Expo was fun! Here was some of the swag we got. I thought the Subaru thunder sticks were very unique for a race swag gear. There was also a lot of other ads for upcoming races which I didn’t include in this picture. The race shirt was also really cool!
As I said…I love blue!
I really liked this Expo because it wasn’t as crowded as the last few Expo’s I’ve been to. I liked the layout of the various booths and the flow of the room for the most part. Although, some of the exhibitor booths seemed a little small to me, I wasn’t too put off by it. Both the Expo for the Long Beach International City Bank Marathon and this race both has huge areas for the official merchandise. When they figure out the runDisney race expo’s at Disneyland, they might want to consider doing the same. One feature in the Expo I forgot to mention was at the official Rock n Roll Marathon series booth. They had a video playing of the half marathon course that was shot by car. I wish I could find that video somewhere. However, it did a great job at preparing me for what was in store for me the next day.