Brooks had their Run Happy Island set up which is always a good time.
I was also impressed with their merch selection. But then again, I'm a sucker for anything that says NOLA (or Brooklyn). My sister bought me the teal race jacket and B got me the grey pullover hoodie (I wish they offered that one in women's cut, but it's cute either way) as early birthday presents. I also had to have the medal replica pin and magnet because that medal is definitely in my top 5 favorite medals of all time.
I did get to stop by The Sweaty Bands booth for a race specific headband, which they did not have but they did have a black and gold one that said "Run New Orleans"; good enough for me! My sister did admit this booth was also one of the main reasons she wanted to come to the expo. I got her a sweaty band for Christmas and now I think I've created a monster!
The new Heavy medals were also on display, further confirming my need to have them in my life. I'm so glad they've finally upgraded their medal ribbons, including on the heavy medals.
It was also really great getting to finally meet Karen!
We've run so many of the same races but our paths never crossed. Hopefully I get to see her again in Florida for Princess weekend.
On top of that, Rock-n-Roll introduced their new social app for this race weekend. I was a little confused as to where things were being shared, but it seems to be only within the app itself, unless you specifically chose either twitter or facebook, which is nice. The more hashtags you shared, the more badges you could earn. I know I'm a fan of searching race hashtags, whether participating live or virtual, and I like that this app collects those posts in one place. There seems to be some glitches (the app crashing when you try to upload photos) but I think it will be really great when they're cleared up.
Another new to me was the race information guide only being available digitally. I'm not a fan, specifically for this race. My family and I liked the convenience of the printed guide. Trying to explain to them where on the website to find the information they'd like to know is hard enough for me to find, much less for someone not familiar with race websites and/or The Rock-n-Roll brand. The last time I ran this race, my family really enjoyed reading up on it and I liked that they liked being involved, so not having it was kind of a bummer. If I'm on a regular race-cation, I like not having to use my data or phone's battery life to read the race information as well. Hopefully they bring them back.
Once we made our rounds through the expo, it was time to meet my parents for lunch; I was starving! We got to check roast beef po-boy and shrimp po-boy off the must-eat while I'm in town list.
After the delicious lunch, we took a quick ride on the streetcar. Normally, I'd prefer to keep the sightseeing/ time on my feet until after the race, but it was B's first time visiting and we had a limited amount of time to pack in a ton of things!
On the way back to my sister's we made our first of many stops for beignets. Then it was time to get ready for my brother's surprise 30th birthday party (he's birthday is a week after mine, but we wanted to have the party while B and I were in town).
No rest for the wicked!
Are you a fan of a printed race guide? Which Gu flavor would you choose?