The Connection Runners + [weather]

Kalamazoo Expo & Course Tour

And Kalamazoo Race Weekend rolled on today with a visit to the Expo and a tour of the course by car.

While I normally love race expos as they get me excited to get out on the road, this one had me feeling a little claustrophobic and anxious. Since this is the inaugural Kzoo Marathon, the expo was rather small and was set up in the ground floor of the Radisson in downtown Kalamazoo. We met up with our friend Matt, who's also running the race, and headed over.

The Radisson is gorgeous, but with two weddings receptions also going on this afternoon, I don't know if it was the right venue as things were pretty crowded.

I know expos are usually a bit crazy, but this one was just hard to move around in. I hope that, for future Kzoo expos, that the venue is changed to something a bit larger.

On the other hand, packet pickup with a breeze, and Kevin and I snagged our bibs and race swag (tech tee, drawstring bag) in less than 5 minutes.

I like the tech t-shirts. No fuss, no muss.

We also perused the course map again, and even though we've run a marathon before, the map still looked scarily huge.

Grabbing a copy of the official Marathon info newspaper, we wised up on parking, shuttle services, and aid station availabilities before heading to lunch.

We snagged lunch at a local brewpub downtown, and then trekked back to the car for a course tour. On the way, we saw this cool homemade banner that welcomed runners to Kalamazoo:

We began our course tour at the start line (duh) where we snapped a few pics.

The whole tour took us almost an hour, as the course takes quite a few turns in the 26 miles. Plus, it's rather hilly, hillier than what I expected.

There are also a few questionable stretches (industrial parks, some sketchy neighborhoods), but there are enough pretty sections (Bronson Boulevard, WMU Campus) to balance it all out. Overall, a good and somewhat challenging course.

Tonight's agenda: pasta dinner (yeah, we go that clich├ęd route for a pre-race meal. It works), water & G2, taking it easy on the couch. Weather's holding tight for us, too: 48 at race start, and an overall high of 67 with sun. Nice!

See you all tomorrow (from the couch with icepacks galore) for the race recap!

Here We Go!

What do you love or not love about race expos?