This is one of my favorite weekends of the year! This weekend has been part of my routine since 2003! I ran my first marathon in 2003 and have run an event at this race 11 times. (I missed 2007 when I ran Chicago in its meltdown year!)
JetBlue Long Beach Marathon Expo
The JetBlue Long Beach Marathon weekend began on Friday, October 9, 2015 with the Health & Fitness Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center.
I love that orange and blue are now the colors of the JetBlue Long Beach Marathon with JetBlue as the new title sponsor. (I love orange and I’m a Chicago Bears fan!)
The expo was very well organized. Everyone entered the hall through the same doors, where bib pick-up is held.
I liked the new computer bib number look-up system! Type in your last name and there’s your number! You don’t need to look through pages and pages of names to find yours and it’s more green!
The information booth was available to answer any and all questions–course info, parking and all other logistics.
I picked up my 5k bib in one area and my half marathon bib down the way. The volunteers were very good about asking for everyone’s ID.
The shirt pick-up area was also easy to navigate.
After shirt pick-up, we went straight into the shop. There were many great options for gear–hoodies, tech shirts, cotton shirts and hats.
Once we exited the marathon branded shopping area, we went through each aisle to check out the gear, nutrition and races.
We also went to the Beach Bum booth! Participants who have participated for 3 or more consecutive years get to be part of the Beach Bum club, sponsored by Shock Top. Each year, you receive a different gift.
We checked in at the table and received a ticket. The color of the ticket corresponded to which Beach Bum year you are and the gear you get as a gift! This year, I received a grey t-shirt as a 7 year Beach Bum!
Beach Bum photo op! I love being a Beach Bum! You get extra gear and Shock Top beer in the beer garden!
I found race announcer extraordinaire, Rudy Novotny! He’s an icon in the running world and I love hearing his voice at races!
Rudy was hanging out at the JetBlue booth! JetBlue presence was everywhere and I think JetBlue coming on as a title sponsor will really elevate the marathon to another level.
JetBlue Long Beach Marathon VIP Reception
After the expo, my boyfriend and I headed to the VIP Reception at the Hyatt Regency.
I was lucky to be invited as an ambassador for the race.
I didn’t recognize my fellow ambassador, Charlotte! You know how everyone looks differently when they’re not in their running clothes! 🙂
The guests at the reception included the 26.2 volunteer club, legacy runners, sponsors and city council representatives.
Run Racing’s CEO, Bob Seagren, hosted the event.
Bob brought his Olympic torch to ceremoniously pass the torch from the former title sponsor, International City Bank to JetBlue.
Legacy runners! These amazing runners have run the marathon 30 years in a row! Every year,the marathon makes special gear for the legacy runners and they all received a cool-looking zippered long sleeve tech shirt.
Three of the six ambassadors were able to attend the reception. It has really awesome, getting to know Sarah and Charlotte throughout the ambassadorship and seeing them at other races. I love how running brings people together!
We also got to see Scot and Daryl, who ran the ambassador program and made sure we got what we needed to represent the race!
Thank you, Run Racing, for my entries and cool swag!
AREC Annual Membership Appreciation Party
We were very late to my running club’s annual membership appreciation party but we got to hang out for a bit. I haven’t missed this party since 2003, when I first joined AREC in March of that year! I did my part before and after the actual party so that was good. (I didn’t want to be a total slacker!)
I picked up my certificate and said as many hellos as I could. I wrote checks (as the club’s treasurer) and relished in the awesome energy of the party. This night is a special night for the club we celebrate the year and hand out awards.
I was in the Century Club this year, completing 332.6 miles in racing from last September 1, 2014 to August 31, 2015. I worked hard for these miles and treasure my certificate!
It was an awesome start to the Long Beach Marathon weekend! It was busy but I felt lots of runner love and positive energy. Next up, the Aquarium of the Pacific 5k!
Your path, your pace, Tam