01 November, 2011

Marine Corps Marathon Expo & Weekend

Helllooooooo!!!  I'm back and I survived! :)  It wasn't the most amazing showing in terms of my finish time but I did finish and now have some amazing bling hanging on my wall. 

I haven't had a chance to upload my photos from the race yet so for now I'm going to talk about the rest of the weekend, including the expo and some of our sightseeing.  The race recap will hopefully go up tomorrow. It was a great weekend despite the crazy weather, and my friends and I had a fun time wandering DC.

My car of 4 started our trek down at around 9:30pm Thursday after I got out of class and did some last minute packing of things I realized I forgot.  Didn't get to our hotel until about 1:30am or 2am and immediately went to bed for our early wake up call.  6am came WAY too quickly but we were excited since we had a tour of the White House scheduled for 8:30am.

We got a little 'lost' on the way to the hotel at 1am...but saw this!
Met up with our other 2 friends that were also part of my cheering crew and we got in line to go through security.  We thought we were all free and clear until our one friend got stopped for having the wrong birthday on the information I sent.  Uhoh.  I SWEAR I sent in the correct birthday for her!  Luckily they ran her information one more time and they let her through the line after about 15 minutes.

No photos or bags were allowed during the tour so the only thing I had with me was my iPhone.  Only cell phones, wallets, and keys were allowed on the tour.  However, right before we stepped into the White House, a furry friend jumped out of the door so I quickly snapped a photo!  Who is that, you ask?  It's Bo, the Obama's dog! :)  He was walking without a leash with an 'assistant'.  Not sure of the person's official title, haha!  Don't think I was violating any secret service rules so I'll post the photo. :)  Pretty sure that's the closest I'll ever get to an Obama. 


The tour of the White House was pretty cool.  It was a self guided tour but there was Secret Service in each of the rooms that would answer any and every question you had.  We were really impressed with how much detail they actually knew about the rooms that they were in.  We were only allowed to see about 8-10 rooms, plus the stairs leading up to the family's private residence but it was definitely interesting.  If you're interested in taking a tour though, make sure you plan WAY ahead!  You have to email your Congressman 6 months prior to your trip to get approved.  Then you don't find out until 2 weeks before your trip.  So glad it worked out for us! 

After our tour was over, we all quickly headed over to Old Ebbit's Grill for breakfast.  I've been there before for lunch and knew it had a lot of history to it and my friends would enjoy it.  Our server was also running the marathon and the food was fabulous.  I couldn't resist getting a bloody mary...they have some of the best I've ever had!  Made sure to drink a ton of water though to keep me hydrated! 

After breakfast, the gang split up.  Christina and I headed over to the Expo while the rest either went sightseeing or went back to the hotel to nap.  The expo is usually when my nerves hit their all time high (other than race morning).  It just makes everything seem so real!

The first stop when we got to the Armory was the outside tent to pickup our bibs.  The place was buzzing with excitement and I quickly found my bib area and was glad to see there was no line!  The Marine quickly found my bib and handed me my information.

Bib PickUp!
Starting to FREAK OUT!
The 2011 MCM Guide
AHH!  It's REAL!!!

After picking up my bib and the MCM newspaper, we followed the crowds into the actual expo.  The expo was HUGE!!  Definitely bigger than any of the Disney ones, plus I felt that it was slightly more spread out.  First headed over to pick up the official race shirt, which was the traditional long sleeve mock turtlenecks.  Unfortunately I hate mock turtlenecks but this will definitely be kept in the collection and not donated.  The front left chest had the USMC Eagle Globe and Anchor logo, the one sleeve said 'Marines', and the back also had a huge Eagle Globe and Anchor logo.  Definitely some heavy duty shirts! 

After the shirt pickup, I went directly to the official Brooks merchandise and proceeded to spend a fortune.  I didn't intend to buy so much but I loved the womens jacket, and one of the guys shirts was nice, plus the MCM capri tights, and a pint glass.  Um yeah...I went a little overboard.  When the girl rang me up, she congratulated me on spending enough to get special private access to the Brooks VIP Portapottie... YAY!! :) Heated, running water, and candy... I wasn't complaining much.  My credit card, on the other hand though, is.  

We then started slowly wandering all of the vendors and trying to take it all in.  One of the first booths we stumbled upon was the Athens Marathon!  This race is definitely on my bucket list so I poked around and tried to ask some questions.  The one woman working the booth spoke little English, and my Greek marathon vocabulary is pretty non-existent so I waited until the other gentleman there finished up with another runner.  I talked to him a little bit about how to register and asked if I had to do an organized tour (I know Jeff Galloway runs a group tour to Athens every year).  He suggested I do the tour, but then after finding out that I have family there, he agreed that I should just register online when the time comes and plan all of my own transportation and stuff myself.  So yeah...not too much new information but it was cool. I will say I think the medal is kinda dinky for being the original marathon but...oh well. 

After that booth, we continued to just wander around.  I bought a shirt at the Raw Threads booth that said "Live Run Marathons".  I have another shirt from them from Disney and I LOVE it so every time I see them at an expo I definitely stop on by to see what new items they have.  Other than that, I bought a few more pairs of Balega socks, and we also stopped by the GE area to get our body composition calculated, as well as bone density.  Pretty interesting, although I'm not sure how accurate it is!  Also bought a cheap pair of throw away gloves since it was SO freakin cold! 

While wandering, we ran into the Marine Corps Band, and the marathon mascot, Miles!

Serenading an older woman with "Isn't She Lovely"
Miles and I
Sadly not this time... one day!

Everything at the expo was completely organized, but I guess that should be expected, considering this is a Marine production.  After getting our shopping fix in (over 2 hours later!), we headed back to the hotel to relax a bit.

The next day was pretty uneventful, and the weather was miserable!  Rain turned to snow and it was SO COLD!  We ended up going to the Air & Space Museum, lunch at Capital Grille, took a tour of the US Capitol, saw the Postal Museum, and then carb loaded at Famous Luigi's...which shouldn't be so famous. Meh.  Then I called it a night to get my stuff ready in preparation for race day!!

Race recap hopefully tomorrow! :)


  1. This is already really exciting! I always love your recaps, so I can't wait to read all about this one!

  2. Same - love reading your recaps!! I can't wait to hear about the race.

  3. Lindsay (@linzertort)November 1, 2011 at 8:31 PM

    I'm so excited to read your recap!

  4. Great recap so far. Can't wait to hear about the race!

  5. I had the same experience at the Brooks merchandise area last year, lol. Then the VIP potties broke on race morning. :(

  6. @FF...thank ya! :)



    @Amanda...thank you :)

    @Jen..omg they broke?! Unfortunately I was running so late to the start that I barely had time to enjoy them. :(