Having never been to a proper race expo before, I was mildly excited about attending the Paris marathon expo on Friday morning. But also mildly concerned. This is because it is necessary to have a medical certificate signed by your doctor in order to receive your race number. Even though I had printed off the template provided by the Paris marathon website, and even though my two running companions, Rhona and Naomi, were desperately clutching their exact replicas, we couldn’t fully relax until we had them handed over and accepted. It is this unnecessary fear that allowed me to forget about the cold morning as we waited in line for the expo to open at 10:
Everything was really organized when we got in, and after getting the medical certificate stamped as ‘accepted’, we went on to collect our race bibs:
Despite being in a city renowned for its style, I couldn’t be bothered styling my freshly cut hair, and opted for the ‘I decided 45 minutes extra in bed with wet hair straight out of the shower trumps effort’ was a far more appropriate look for a serious athlete. You know, since we were meant to be conserving energy and such.
After picking up our bib numbers, it was time to fail to exercise some self restraint when it came to buying stuff. Lots of stuff. Despite planning on ‘just browsing’, there were so many stalls, and I ended up leaving the expo with a memento Paris marathon shirt, some sweet purple compression sleeves, and some new super pretentious shoes that even come with a card so you can register them. Really. I did like the colours, though, and Rhona swears by the ones she was given to test (which are a less fabulous off-white):
The other cool thing about the expo was the Good Luck wall, where runners were invited to leave inspirational messages/their names/etc. I was a little overcome with emotion when I spotted a runner from Albury, Australia, as that’s the little town my mum is from, and where my grandparents live (and also where I was visiting when I had taken up running again in December 2011).
Considering one of my main goals for Paris was to run the whole way, no matter how much I was hurting, this simple message really meant a lot. That didn’t stop me from being an immature asshole when I signed the wall, in anticipation of the ‘P’tit Dej’ 5k Breakfast Run the following day…
There were kids around, so at least I had the decency not to actually swear, I guess. Anyway, travelling with two highly patriotic Scots meant that I had to really step up my game to represent! Obviously, I took this to mean ‘be the most obnoxious American abroad you can be’.
After the expo, we had some lunch, relaxed a little, had some dinner, and then took a walk to let our food settle a bit, and to take in the Eiffel Tower light show at 9pm:
After a quick stop at Naomi’s mum and dad’s Paris flat, I headed back to my hotel for a reasonably early night.