Like a lot of big races, the Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon/Half Marathon experience began with their health and fitness expo, held at the San Diego Convention Center. This is the same place that hosts Comic Con each summer. I decided to take last Friday off from work so I could get down and enjoy all the expo had to offer. The drive to San Diego went off way better than expected. A mere 2 and a half hours later, I had arrived!
Welcome to the Expo!
I’ve got to hand it to the folks who put the Rock n Roll Marathon Series Expo’s together. Their floor plan is well laid out.
Right through the doors and they have the red carpet laid out for you as you make your way to check in.
Since I arrived early, checking in was a breeze. There weren’t too many people looking to check in. I walked right up and didn’t have to wait to get my race bibs. Since I was running both the 5K and the Half Marathon, I had to go to two different places to check in. Both had no line to wait in. So, it was easy.
I love the signage they had up!
On the other side of these signs…
was the race shirt pick up. Again, I went to two different locations to get my two shirts. In both locations, I didn’t have to wait in a line.
Once I got my bib and shirts, the next place the path took me to was the official race merchandise area.
Life’s a beach when you Rock n Roll in San Diego!
Brooks is one of the major sponsors of the Rock n Roll Marathon Series. They had a fun area called the Run Happy Island.
Instead of bull riding, they had shoe riding.
This was a fun thing. You ran in place on these mats. There was this little runner person who was running up the volcano. The faster you ran in place, the faster the runner person went up the volcano. It was a race.
The other activity you could do was get a free gait test. You’d run or walk on the treadmills and get a free analysis.
At Island Customs, you could get a the card in this picture. You take it over to a merchandise counter and you will get one of a few items. I got this bag!
The official merchandise was pretty good. I even ended up purchasing this long sleeved shirt.
I really liked the logo. Making this purchase marked a first for me. It was the first time I purchased any official race merchandise of a non runDisney race. At the runDisney races, I get my cast member discount which helps out in being able to afford those purchases. At Rock n Roll, I get no discounts. So, I had to be selective.
After making my purchase, I went out to check out the Expo floor. I has seen an announcement that Meb was going to be at one booth to for autographs and photos. While I was looking, I heard an announcement that he was going to be at the Powerbar booth at 2pm. That was about an hour from the time I arrived. So, I went out to look around some more.
My next booth to check out was the runDisne booth. This is the first time I’ve been to an Expo that runDisney had a booth at.
I had hoped that they might be displaying the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend medals for this coming summer. No such luck. A friend of mine would later tell me that they were supposed to have them for this expo. A last minute problem kept the medals from being there.
At least I got this runDisney bag at the booth!
After the runDisney booth, I headed back to the Powerbar booth to await Meb’s arrival. There was 2 couples who decided to start the line to wait for Meb and I hopped in. Before we knew it, the 2014 Boston Marathon champ made his way to the booth!
There were only a couple people ahead of me in line. So, I knew I’d get to meet Meb! Score! First one of the Powerbar volunteers took this picture!
A little more than a week before the Expo, I purchased Meb for Mortals to see if there was any golden nuggets I could glean in training for the Chicago Marathon. I made sure to have the book to be autographed.
As Meb signed the book, I got to tell him that I was using it to help me through training for the Chicago Marathon. So, he asked me if Chicago would be my first full marathon. When I told him that it would be my third, he raised his fist for a fist bump. Yep. Not only did I meet Meb, get a picture with Meb, and Meb’s autograph, but I got a fist bump from Meb! How cool is that?! My Expo had been made and it was only the first part of the day!
At 3pm, Meb was at the main stage for a Q & A. Here is a video I shot of the first 16 minutes.
It was a fun Q & A. We learned that Meb had his second date with his wife less than 8 hours after winning the silver medal at the Athens Olympics in the Marathon. I guess there was something that he wanted to give her and was only allowed to have it for 8 hours. So, he caught the next flight from Athens to Tampa (where is wife lived at the time) and had the date at the Olive Garden. We also learned that he eats spaghetti and meatballs the night before every race he has run in since 9th grade.
After listening to Meb talk, I made my way to the Rock n Roll Marathon Series booth.
If you’re not familiar with this series, let me introduce you to their “heavy metal series.” If you run more than one Rock n Roll half marathon or marathon in the same calendar year, you qualify for some extra bling!
They had all the extra medals on display. So, if you run 2 races, you could get the double beat…3 races, the rock trio…
4 races, the groupie…5 races, roadie…
6 races, the six string…7 races, stairway to seven….
8 races, the eight track….9 races, headliner “9”…
10 races…11 races…
The last two medals were more like trophies.
I mean…seriously? There are big medals and then there are ridiculous sized medals. The last two seem unnecessarily large.
To make it easier to afford so many races, they have the Tour Pass. These passes do make the races more affordable. For example, the Tour Pass 3-Pack is like paying for 2 half marathons and getting one for free. It’s a great deal!
At the Rock n Roll Marathon Series, I met up with Linzie and Brian from the We Run Social crew along with others. It was cool to see them again and meet some new people as well! I got to hang with them for a few hours. Sorry there are no pictures.
After dinner, we headed back to the expo. Since the expo was going to close soon, I needed to head back to the Rock n Roll Marathon Series booth to sign up for some races. They had this amazing deal going. I should have read the part where these prices are available through June 5th for next year’s Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon/Half Marathon. But, I mean, $50 for a half marathon? $59 for a full marathon? These prices are insanely inexpensive!
I couldn’t resist and signed up for the 2016 Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon! I also signed up for this year’s Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon. By signing up at the Expo, I got $15 off the RnR LA Half Marathon….and I got a t-shirt for signing up at the Expo! They were out of the RnR LA shirts. So, I got a shirt for the RnR Las Vegas instead. Hey…a discounted price and free t-shirt? What a deal!
Did I mention how much I love the signs at Expos?
Although i didn’t take advantage of this for the RnR San Diego, the RnR Marathon series has you covered if you forgot to bring music with you. Just download the iHeart Radio App and you can listen to the Rock n Roll Marathon Series Radio for your run.
Anyways, as I was finishing up with everything, I kept hearing the announcement that the expo was closing for the day. So, it was time to head off and check into my hotel. This was a seriously fun way to start my Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon experience!