Friday, January 25, 2019

Chevron Houston Marathon EXPO Recap

This was the fifth year we've participated in the Chevron Houston Marathon & Aramco Half Marathon race, and thus, the fifth time we've gone to packet pickup at the expo.  We thought we knew what to expect, having done this so many times.  They made one change this year - you could only pick up one other packet in addition to your own.  That was made clear in every single email and notification that the race committee sent out, as well as being prominently posted on their Facebook page.  More about that in a minute.  Diane and I drove down to Houston on Friday to do packet pickup and walk through the expo, but we were off to a rocky start:
WHAT THE HECK???  We arrived at the expo just after it opened, entered the room where packet pickup was, and came to a dead stop.
We were in this line - hadn't even made it to the mass of people shown in the first picture.  Karen and Jimmy were in that mass of people, and were texting us saying they hadn't moved since they arrived.
Meanwhile, we could see the stations where you get the race bibs, and it was a strange sight because they were not busy at all.
 
 Nobody was getting their bibs.
 
 Fake smiles, wondering how long we were going to be there.

Apparently the marathon committee decided to go with a new system this year.  Previously, we would walk up to the booth that corresponded with our bib numbers (which we had received in an email earlier in the week), show our proof of registration and ID, and get our packets.  This year, they decided to make this a two-step process, which was dumb because the old way worked fine.  But guess what?  The new computer program wasn't working.  People were getting agitated, and some were having to leave because they'd come on their lunch hour and burned it up standing in a non-moving line.  Eventually a committee person announced that they were rebooting the computers...and that did nothing.  Finally they announced that they would use the old system for scanning proof of registration.  The line started moving, we made it out to the floor where we could choose our line for scanning, and Diane found one that was short and moving along nicely.

But then, our line stopped.  There was a man, let's call him Mr. Irate, who was yelling at the poor worker because he'd brought a stack of signed releases and wanted to pick up packets for a lot of people, which wasn't allowed this year and seriously, you could not have missed that notice, it was everywhere.  She wasn't budging and he was yelling and calling for a supervisor and wouldn't leave, even when she directed him over to the help booth.  The worker processed his two registrations and then reached around to take the paper from the person behind Mr. Irate, who then cut back in line in front of Diane.  He told her that she was going to have to wait because he wasn't going anywhere, and I'll be damned if Diane didn't tell him NO SIR WE ALL HAVE BEEN WAITING OUR TURN AND YOU AREN'T FOLLOWING THE RULES, and wedged herself in front of him, which meant he was in front of me.  She paused for a second and then pulled me over to her saying AND SHE'S WITH ME.  You guys, Diane is the most polite person you will ever meet - I have never seen her do something like this, but I was so impressed!  And proud.  She stood up to that jerk, even though she was shaking on the inside - but she didn't let that show and Mr. Irate didn't say another word to her.  

So we got through that area, giving sympathy to the poor worker who was taking the brunt of Mr. Irate, got our bibs (I was picking up Jeff's), and left that room to go to the expo.  Our first stop was at the Sketchers booth, where the official marathon/half marathon merchandise was available for purchase.  I had just started looking at the marathon shirts for Jeff when I realized that Mr. Irate was right next to me, trying to grab every shirt that I was looking at.  I didn't give him the satisfaction of acknowledging that he was there; instead, I chatted with other shoppers as we were looking at the shirts.  I had to laugh, though, because with him being there so soon meant that he had not been allowed to pick up any other bibs and was evicted from packet pickup; it felt like justice had been served.  And now, on to the actual expo...

One of the items I bought was the official race poster - I really loved the artwork - and we found the artist near the Sketcher's booth, so I asked her to sign the poster.  The original painting is behind her; she said that it would be auctioned off at some point and the proceeds would go to one of the marathon's charities, which was cool.  I also bought a shirt with the design on it for Jeff but then I ended up taking it because I decided too late that I'd like one and they sold out on Friday:
Shirt - it's so pretty!
 
Artist Janavi Folmsbee.
 
Karen, Diane, and I left our Renegade stamp on the half marathon wall...
 
Diane got to spend some time with her runner boyfriend, Meb Keflezighi.  He signed a shirt and a picture for her and we watched as she swooned.  I think Meb is to her what Will Ferrell is to me, although she's actually gotten to meet her man!
 
 This was on day two of the expo - the bone spur on the top of my foot was hurting from wearing shoes for so long the previous day, and I wanted to try this pain relief cream.  They didn't give out samples so I wasn't going to bother, but the woman at the booth said she'd apply it so basically I got a free foot rub out of the deal.  I'm laughing because Jeff and Diane and Karen were standing there laughing at me.  The lotion did help with the pain, at least temporarily, but it was expensive and had an ingredient that I was unsure of using (hemp oil), so I didn't buy it.
 
I did, however, buy new socks!  Expo deal - buy three, get one free - and the price was actually better than what these sell for at our local running store.
 
I also indulged in new Sweaty Bands.  They had some great deals and markdowns and I love having some fresh headbands to choose from when I run and workout.  Between the shirt, socks, and Sweaty Bands, I spent my Christmas money, which made buying everything even more fun!
 
The woman at the 2Toms booth was very generous with samples - both Jeff and I use this to prevent chafing on long runs.

Back of one of the shirts I bought for Jeff.

The expo seems to be getting smaller each year, which is a shame - yes, you can buy most of this stuff online, but it's nice to get to see it in person.  Still, despite a strange start, we had a lot of fun there.

Have a great weekend!

17 comments:

  1. What is wrong with people these days? Oh, right, we have a POTUS who acts like this, so why can't everyone else? Ugh. Glad you didn't let him get under your skin.

    That shirt is beautiful!

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    1. I suspect you are correct, sadly, with regards to "leadership" showing how to act.

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  2. Mr. irate and people like him annoy me so much!!! Yay to Diane for standing up for what is right!!!

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  3. I admire Diane for standing up to that bully.

    Yay for all the loot you got at the expo.

    Have a great weekend!

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    1. That was one of my better loot hauls, mostly because it's stuff we use rather than a bunch of assorted crap that gets tossed later.

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  4. Ugh, Mr Irate WTF!!!! Go Diane for standing up to him!

    That poster is gorgeous! Oh, and you mentioning charity reminded me I wanted to comment on the recap post about how I never thought about volunteers cleaning up throwaways between corrals. It's interesting to learn more about the race as a spectator, right?

    I LOVE MEB. And I love the photo of your foot massage. You kill me. It makes me so happy to read about all the fun and shenanigans you Renegades have! <3

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    1. Sorry for the extra comment! My brain is not working. I was going to ask your thought on Hemp Oil. We were giving it to Data in his last days. We still have it left over (we ended up with the human grade one).

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    2. Seeing the other side of a race as a spectator was actually very interesting - there's a ton of stuff that goes on that runners never see!

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  5. Why do people who don't follow the rules get mad when they aren't allowed to NOT follow the rules??? Mr Irate sounds like he needs an ego-check. What a jerk. I hope he felt like an ass after he cooled down and thought about his behavior. Hopefully Diane's comment put him in his place!! Good for her - sometimes you just have to put politeness to the side when the situation warrants a tougher stance!

    That artwork for the shirts is really cool!! I'd hand that on my wall any day. Very pretty!

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    1. Or alternatively, I would HANG that on my wall. Sheesh.

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    2. Hang, hand - gotta love catching the typo after you hit publish (I do that ALL THE TIME).

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  6. Wow, good for Diane for standing up to Mr. Irate. And for pulling you in front of him too! She got a good reward, getting to sit next to her dream man :) Boy I would have gotten so irritated that the lines were so long and not moving! haha, but I wouldn't have acted like Mr. Irate :)

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    1. Exactly! No need to get so irate when there is a problem that everyone is dealing with!

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  7. I do not understand why there is always at least one jerk who thinks the rules don’t apply to them. Good for Diane putting him in his place!

    You tell Diane if she and I and Meb are all in the same room she’s gonna have to fight me though. Pretty sure I’ve loved him longer ;)

    Hooray for new socks!

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  8. Good for Diane. She rocks.

    I like going to Expos but most of the halfs I run don't have them or are very small.

    But there's NYC next Nov!!!!!!!!!!

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  9. What a dick that guy is. I'm so glad no one gave in because it only encourages asshole behavior. I need to try headbands again - they just pop off of me. Maybe my head is shaped funny or my hair is slippery. That's why I wear hats instead.

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