Monday, April 28, 2014

'Twas The Night Before Country Music Marathon...#RunCMM

It's time to Rock and Roll at the Expo!
     I made it to Nashville! Major drama along the way but I made it!!! My Mom and my sister are finally on their way too,  so fun times are about to happen. Yeah!  I met up with my Mom first and we headed into the city...Country Music Marathon Expo here we come!!

      Since this is my first experience with Rock n' Roll Series Events, I wanted to see it all! I hear nothing but great things about Rock n' Roll Series events so I was ready to check it out. I've been running for several years now and I try not to go overboard in buying impulse running gadgets that are most likely going to take up room on my closet floor.  My plan of attack was to get my packet and bib, look around for a cool commemorative t-shirt and then hit the rest of the vendors in order. If I wanted to buy something, I was going to think on it for just a few minutes and then maybe come back to it if I couldn't live without it.

     That's exactly what I did!

     First stop, enter the expo and pick up my packet. Okay, I had my Mom with me and we actually grabbed hers first but then I got mine. :)
     Lookie who was waiting at the door for me as I walked in....It's Shane Tallant! I love watching his shows on HGTV (Designed to Sell) and MusicCity411. I had to grab a quick pic. Mom had no idea who he was but I knew. ;) 

     The Expo was very organized...Packet pickup as soon as you enter, keep walking through to receive your shirt, keep going for gear back, goodies to fill your bags and keep walking through for the vendors. I liked this system. It felt like we were all moving in the same direction and not back tracking. So far, So good.
I spotted Shane Tallant from HGTV's Designed to Sell and MusicCity411.
Had to laugh when he introduced himself as "Shane" to me.
I'm like..."Yeah, I kinda knew that". :)

There were several people in line to get their packets but the lines moved pretty quickly.
Love that my bib has the official Hashtag on it!
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     One of the things that I was worried about was not having enough time at the Expo. I arrived on Friday after work and the Expo closed at 7pm so I had a couple of quality hours. The packet/shirt/gear pickup took all of about 10 minutes and from then on I shopped around at the vendor booths. There were tons of people there at this time and it seemed really crowded but it wasn't that bad. Even with the large crowds, the space was so large that I never felt cramped at all.

Fun photo backdrops everywhere!
     After we left the packet pick up area, we headed over to the Brooks Run Happy Island. Brooks was a major sponsor of the Country Music Marathon and I thought that this area was fabulous! There were lots of activities, games and shopping of course. I didn't buy a shirt (they were out of my size in the one that I wanted. Boo hooooo.) Loved the decor and the overall "happiness" of this area.

Brooks Run Happy Island

Left Entrance Wall to Run Happy Island.

Right Entrance Wall to Run Happy Island.

A giant Brooks shoe to ride and win prizes! How cool is that?!
Helpful volunteers on hand to help runners with their gait and purchasing new shoes.
How cute is this shirt?? Really soft too!
I ran into a friend of mine who was making a purchase at the Brooks booth
and look who I spotted....
It's my sis (AKA Country Music Marathon Cover girl! Love it!!)
Vendors inside the Expo
Spotted one of my favorite booths...Apera Bags. I own the Yoga tote and use it religiously.
In fact, this was the bag I brought with all of my running essentials for the weekend. Seriously, I love this bag.
York Sign Shop Booth
     I spotted this medal rack from the York Sign Shop Booth and was instantly drawn in. I love the "I Run This Town" rack and spoke with the owner and he told me that they can add custom pics to any rack. I had to get their info immediately. I've got a few ideas in mind to customize a @BamagirlRUNS medal rack. ;)

runDisney booth offering an Expo Registration Special!
     As always, I really enjoyed seeing the folks over at the runDisney booth. They were offering a registration special if you signed up for some of their events. I'll fill you in on a little secret too...(and this was not advertised),  they were able to make a few dreams come true for people that were wanting to register for sold out events. That's right, A few people were able to register for the sold out Dopey Challenge that day and when I was at the booth there were 6 slots available for the Minnie 10K! It was about to kill me not being able to post it all over the social media airwaves but I absolutely loved that they were able to do this for their guests!! Just another reason why I love the magic of Disney. :)

ProCompression Socks
     One of the booths that caught my eye was the ProCompression Socks booth. I've had my eye on these for a while and I love the bright colors! After running the hills of Nashville, It's safe to say that I will be making a purchase the next time I decide to run a race in Nashville!

Strolling along shopping and I ran into Rebekah and Misty...I've know these girls for what seems to be my whole life! Running with friends is always the best!
Met Katie K at the Expo...she's got a new line of fitness clothing for all types of women. Sizes run from small to 3XL. There's lots of smart features on her clothing too. She invented these clothes from a runner's point of view!
  We chatted for a while with friends and vendors, met up with my other friend Missy and before I knew it, it was time to go! I've never been at a Health and Fitness Expo at closing time and I hear that they don't play around but they really mean it. The expo closes at 7pm. Now get out!!!!!

     If I could change one thing, I would change that closing time. I know it probably works great for everyone working at the expo, but it really didn't give those of us coming after work a whole lot of time. Could we make it 8 or 9:00 pretty please???
It's time to go. And when I say time to go, I mean it. They Mean BUSINESS. 
     Couldn't leave without one last photo opp. Okay maybe two. :)
Grandmary and I have our numbers...Yippeeeee!!
Ready to run with my pal Missy!!
     Leaving the expo at 7pm and it was still gorgeous outside in Nashville, Tennessee! The weather was perfect and I really enjoyed seeing the new Nashville Music City Center for the first time.  It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Such a great addition to the city of Nashville! I love the way that they have built up the area surrounding the building as well. Lots of new restaurants, shops, parking etc. WTG Nashville!
The view as we left the Health and Fitness Expo...I spy the "Batman Building"!
The new Music City Center is located Right across the street from Bridgestone Arena.
Music City Center.
We walked about a block and came across The Johnny Cash Museum.
I heart Nashville for things like this. So Big-time yet so Quaint. 
I needed some new headgear to wear in the Marathon...I found just what I was looking for!
     Okay. Enough playing around. I had to get my grub on! I'm not kidding...I had not really eaten a lunch today and I knew that it was going to catch up with me. I was starving. We went by a couple of local places but the wait was ridiculously long so we settled for Joe's Crab Shack just off of Broadway. I have had the Shrimp Pasta Alfredo before and I knew that would be a great pre-race meal so we were seated quickly and began the feast!
Shrimp Pasta Alfredo.
The Neon Lights of Nashville!
     After a short two-block walk back to my car, I had to say good-night to Nashville! Off to my hotel to get some sleep and return bright and early tomorrow. This is the future home of the Start Line of the Race. I'm so excited that I may not sleep.....

     Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the Rock n' Roll Series Health and Fitness Expo and cannot wait to run another event. There were tons of vendors and lots of varieties of products. Still wish I would have gotten the shirt that I wanted but I'll get over it. (Just means that I'll have to run Nashville again ;) I have no doubt that I will love the actual race. Nashville is one of my favorite cities so I can't wait to experience it on foot!

     Stay tuned to the next post for race details....

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