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My recap of the Nike Women’s Marathon Half DC turned out quite long, so I’m going to break it up a bit.  Oh – and all of the pictures are iPhone pictures.  Some are better quality than others.

My last blog post had Ron and I driving to Pittsburgh to spend the night with my sister before all three of us headed to DC for the weekend. We hit construction getting out of Pittsburgh, which delayed us about an hour. Other than that, the drive was uneventful until we hit DC.

Bored in the car - stupid traffic!

Bored in the car – stupid traffic!

The race instructions had suggested that parking was limited in Georgetown where Nike’s version of an Expo, the “Expotique” was being held. Instead, they advised taking the metro to one of two stations that were still a 15-25 min walk away. But we were already in the car, and it was too early to check into the hotel. Finding a metro station to park at, figuring out the metro, and then walking to the expo sounded like more than I wanted to deal with, so we decided to take our chances on parking. We managed to find a garage on only our second try, but the traffic and confusing location of the expo had fried our nerves before we got there!

And then another problem presented itself. After several hours in the car… I had to use the restroom! We asked at the Nike info desk set up for the Expotique and were directed to a set of porta potties. I’m obviously not unfamiliar with porta potties, but it was a less than ideal situation.

Having that problem taken care of, we located the packet pick-up tent and started walking to the end of the line. And kept walking. And walking. When we finally found the end of the line, we could no longer see the tent.

THIS is the Packet Pickup Line?

THIS is the Packet Pickup Line?

Ahem. The Chicago Marathon registers 45,000 participants, and when I went to that expo, also the day before the race, I waited no more than 5 minutes to talk to someone to pick up my packet. For a race with “only” 15,000 participants, we waited in line for 45 MINUTES. I cannot fathom why it took so damn long to pick up a race number for this race. We didn’t even get shirts, they would come at the end of the race. End rant. For now.

So after waiting in the line that never ended, we hit up the Expotique. I had read some online reports about the race in San Francisco, so I kind of knew what to expect. Unlike a normal expo, this one had only a few “vendors” and nothing was really for sale. Mostly it was a giant branding opportunity for Nike. They did have places set up for Bare Minerals to give you a makeover and Paul Mitchell to do your hair. We also had a sign printed at the Luna section. I wanted it to say “My head is on fire, but my legs are fine. After all, they are mine”, lyrics from Fun’s “Carry On”, but it was too long, so I had to cut it.

Photo Op!  Hey Ron, take our picture please!

Photo Op! Hey Ron, take our picture please!

Signing my name on a giant wall.  I don't know the purpose... but pens were presented to do so!

Signing my name on a giant wall. I don’t know the purpose… but pens were presented to do so!

One disappointment. I had seen a tweet from Nuun that if you bought two tubes of Nuun you would get a “Run DC” water bottle. We did find a small section selling Nuun and Shot Blocks and a few other race essentials. I usually have Nuun on hand at home, so I bought two (discounted) tubes of Nuun, but alas, no water bottle.

Hey Ron, why'd you cut off the phrase?  We'd seen pictures of this flashing on the screen at the expo and wanted to find it.  Turns out, it was right behind the expo.

Hey Ron, why’d you cut off the phrase? We’d seen pictures of this flashing on the screen at the expo and wanted to find it. Turns out, it was right behind the expo.

With the Expotique thoroughly explored, we headed to Nike Georgetown. First, we found our names on the wall.

Names on the Wall

Names on the wall

Then we did some shopping. Nike releases a limited edition shoe for their races, and DC was no different. As much as I knew I didn’t NEED Tiffany Blue Nike shoes (I don’t run in Nikes), I WANTED them. Yes, I was practically begging Nike to take my money this weekend. Unfortunately, they sold out online almost immediately, and there were no more in stock in the store in my size. And as much as I want the shoes, I’m not going to pay double to triple the price on Ebay. And yes, I do realize what Nike did there… creating hype over a “limited edition” shoe to create buzz and therefore sales. What can I say. Sometimes I play into a company’s marketing even as I realize I’m doing it. Anyway, no shoes, but I did couple of things, a hat, a hooded shirt, and a tank.

In Georgetown, in front of part of the C&O Canal.

In Georgetown, in front of part of the C&O Canal.

We were finally shopped out for the day, so we headed to our hotel for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Race day essentials, ready to go.

Race day essentials, ready to go.

Next up, the race.

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