This has included Dean Karnazes, John "the Penguin" Bingham and this year Bart Yasso.
All of the invited speakers have been really nice and such a treat to meet.
It is neat to meet running legends. And of course during the fun run we can ask all sorts of questions. I like to ask questions because that is how I learn how to improve my running experience.
This was my first time arriving super early for the EXPO in hopes of being the first person online. The gentleman in the middle, Syd, was first, but I was top 5. This is the first and only time I would be in the first 10,000 of runners in this event!
I had alot of fun arriving early because I got to meet and chat with this group of hard core runners.
My friend Dane R, was at the EXPO signing his book, "See Dane Run". I got a signed copy for a friend who will get it this christmas.
Dane is really nice and I have run into him during numerous marathons as well as seeing him at a variety of presentations and book signings. In fact a few years ago I was fortunate enough to have Dane come to give a presentation to the FDA Statisticians and CBER personnel.
At the EXPO I saw many friends. I was really thrilled to see my friend Amanda who is in the Air Force. She and I have run numerous marathons during the past 5 years.
In fact at the Lower Potomac Marathon I think we ran at least 13 miles together, several years ago we ran most of the Washington Birthday Marathon and we ran many miles of the Bob Potts Marathon the weekend after my mom passed away.
Amanda is always so nice and it was a treat to run into her at the Marathon EXPO!
The mascots for the marathon are so cute, so clearly I needed a pre-race picture with them. In this picture you can see Me with Molly. Molly is cool, because she emulates "girl power".
This year will be my 6th Marine Corps Marathon (MCM). This marathon was my first marathon back in 2004. Since then I have run over 50 marathons, 10 fifty milers, 5 50 kms and of course five 100 milers.
It has been a great journey!
Oddly enough my first 50 endurance events had the first 26.2 miles in perfect weather. Morerecently this statistic has been ruined by more rainy events then perfect weather days.
Luckily MCM this weekend is looking to be near perfect with highs in the mid-60's and sunny. Even better my upcoming 100 miler, Javelina Jundred 100 in just one week is also predicted to be pretty good weather with mid-80's and sunny.
I am very excited about running the marathon and know I will have a great time. I may be running with Imelda who paced me at Umstead in 2008 with my sister Cindy as well as crewed for me at JFK50 in 2007. Imelda and I have run together before at Reston's Fall into Winter in 2007. We had lots of fun running together for that 10 km, so I know our paces match well.
Yesterday started my pre-MCM marathon ritual of running the Thursday night Fun Run at Fleet Feet Gaithersburg. Fleet Feet hosted a book signing and presentation by Bart Yasso which was a real treat. I have read his book but it is fun to hear about other runners experiences and he has had many adventures. After this it should go without saying that we headed to Brusters for half price banana split night with Gilligan.
This morning I took off for packet pick up at the convention center. Because there was a "super sized" goody bag for the first person in line, I decided to head to the EXPO early. Alas the first folks on line arrived at 3:30, which is hard core! I arrived before the building was open but had to wait until metro opened (sadly there was no way I was going to drive to DC at hours of the night/morning). Hanging out while waiting was nice because I was able to meet a bunch of other runners who clearly were very excited about running. By being 5th person on line, I also had a GREAT place to watch the opening ceremonies which made this early start well worth it.
At the EXPO I was fortunate enough to run into my friend Amanda from the GWBirthday, Bob Potts, Lower Potomac, B&A Trail marathon and many other local events. I also saw my friend Dane of See Dane Run Fame. We caught up briefly and it was great to see that he is recovering very well from his late summer accident. I am looking forward to seeing Dane many times next March when he will be lapping me multiple times at Umstead 100.
Walking through the EXPO I was also able to purchase a bunch of last minute items I need for JJ100 next weekend. Having realized that I will be running in a warm and sunny climate I needed to get a visor and a second handheld waterbottle. I think I am now set for the race and now just need to pack my bags. That is what I am going to start right now because I now have less than 5 days to pack, one of which I will be running a marathon...eek!!!