First and foremost, thank you guys so much for your sweet comments and emails in response to my breakup post. I am so thankful for you all and your words left me reassured that I am making the right choice.
Now, back to talking about the marathon.
On Saturday, as soon as I woke up, I headed over to the Berlin Marathon Expo to pick up my bib and check out the merchandise and booths. I’d heard from many that the expo would be huge, crowded and difficult to navigate as it takes place in an old airport. Instead of hopping in a cab or using public transportation I headed over to the expo on foot, enjoying a 3 mile shake out run along the way. I always do an easy run the day before a half marathon or marathon, especially when I’ve spent time on a plane or in a car. It’s a great way to loosen up my legs and body. I even ran by Checkpoint Charlie on my way to the expo!
I arrived at 8:55, just five minutes before the doors opened, to find over 200 people crowded outside.
As soon as the doors open the herd of people rushed inside, flowing through the multiple hallways and gate areas, out onto the tarmac and through a terminal before arriving in the very back where the bib pick-up area was housed. Luckily there were arrows and signs which made it easy to find.
They checked to ensure everyone had their marathon participant certificate either printed out or on the free iPhone application so I was relieved that I remembered to print mine before leaving the hotel that morning. They split the start number pickup by women and men, whereas at most races it seems to be either alphabetical or by your race number. In addition, this race gives you many options when registering. For example, you could sign up for a 15 minute massage, a pasta dinner and whether or not you wanted a technical race shirt. I opted yes for the race shirt though many people waited until arriving to choose their shirt as the Berlin Marathon offered 4 or 5 different styles. Note, the entry fee is cheaper than most, especially the marathon majors, in part due to not including the t-shirt.
I felt a huge wave of relief pass after I had the bib in hand. I spent the next thirty minutes exploring the booths, taking fun pictures, checking out the gear, and buying a few Berlin Marathon items. It was definitely just as large and overwhelming, with over 50 brands represented between the three large rooms and tarmac space. There was even a beer garden and car display, very on equity for Germany!
I found a few things at the New Balance booth which have been added to my fall and winter running gear wish list. Otherwise, I only ended up spending money on two items – a Berlin Marathon pint glass and the pink Nike long-sleeve technical t-shirt which I’m sporting in the below picture. It even features a cute Berlin marathon logo.
Key things to know about the Berlin Marathon expo:
- Go as early as possible.
- Make sure to bring your marathon race confirmation either on your phone via the application or printed.
- Bring an ID in case needed.
- Due to the large space it takes time to navigate, especially when crowded.
- Not all the booths accept credit cards.
- Go through the swag bag before shopping as this year a few brands had discount coupons in the bag.
- There are a TON of booths so take a look online before to figure out which ones you want to see unless you have unlimited time.
Have a great night! I’ll be back tomorrow with my Berlin Marathon race recap!