The Running Event – Austin 2015   Leave a comment

Back in December, I had the fortune to get to go to something called The Running Event. It’s basically a gigantic trade show for retailers showcasing all the vendors you could ever imagine jam-packed into one giant convention center hall. It was GIIIIIIIIGANTIC! And a little bit overwhelming. It literally took 2 days to meander through all of the exhibits and booths, and even then, we were scrambling to get through it all. This is where you got to see all of the new gear, tech stuff, clothing, shoes, water bottles, nutrition for miiiiiiiiiiiles, you name it. It was here. Everyone was trying to get a foot hold in the retail market in the states.

How did I get to go in to this expo if I’m not a retailer? Luck, really. And a little networking (which I’m pretty talented at, tbh.) My friend and I worked the 5k that morning, where we handed out about 83749187 little packs of Power Bar Gels to runners from all over the world. We got there late (bad planning on my part) and had to scramble to get our asses in gear to hand stuff out. It was about 300 degrees below zero, but running around to get everything set up got us all nice and toasty. (Not really, we were still freezing our asses off.) Once the 5k started, we had the first opportunity to kinda look around at things being offered for free. Really nice Nathan water bottles. Free tech tee shirts. Nutrition. ANd this was just the people who were out at the 5k… I had no idea what we were in for when we actually got to the convention center. I was told to bring any leftover gels to the convention center, then work for a couple of hours at the Power Bar booth. Sure, no problem. We had to do a leeeeeettle finagling to get both of us in the door (which is where having connections and networks help a ton), but in we were. As we stepped through the doors into the exhibit hall, my friend’s and my jaw dropped. This was a fucking candy store for runners. All of the big players in the running world were there: Mizuno, Brooks, Nathan, Ultimate Direction, … The list goes on and on and on. There were also start-ups, little companies, entrepreneurs, foreign clothing companies. So we wandered over to the PowerBar booth and settled in for an easy 3-4 hour shift.

Once released from our duties, we started wandering the hall. Up and down the aisles, past beautiful tech clothing, various forms of self-care and massage therapy tools, socks, every kind of bar and gel and chew and sports drink imaginable, shoes, headphones, bras, are you starting to get the picture? Insanity. Sheer insanity. The thing is that most of these booths were giving out samples. Just giving shit away. That first day, I think I ended up with about $300 worth of shit. I got a new style of sports bra called a SheFit, a pair of these KICKASS leggings by Liquido, a little ball called the Oh Ball that’s used to work out the knots of your plantar fascia, a couple of shirts… Shit, I forgot what else. I met the people who made the sling that I was wearing (sure, it’s a really high quality sling, but I certainly wasn’t happy about needing it…) Anyway, we had only gone through about 1/8 of what was there before we both had to leave and head back to the real world where you actually have to pay money for things.

We decided to head back the next day, and I started talking to people and randomly offering myself up as a product tester / gear whore. I mean, if people are going to GIVE me shit, I feel like I need to give back to them. Also, it turns out, when you run into things like the Balega socks booth, and you are SUPER OVERLY ENTHUSIASTIC ABOUT HOW FUCKING AMAZING THEIR SOCKS ARE (seriously, these are the best socks in existence!!), they invite you to be an ambassador for their brand. Uh, SURE! I’d be happy to stand on a mountain top and talk about your products!! Anyway, my little jaunt through the RUnning Event proved to be quite beneficial for me. This blog is really just a warning to those of you out in Blog Land that I will be doing some product reviews on here, too. Again, if people are going to be giving me free shit, the least I can do is sit down and test that shit and put out some honest info about how that shit worked. I’ve spent the past month testing out some of that free shit, so yeah. Be prepared for a few honest product reviews in the days ahead.

Posted January 29, 2016 by CC in Uncategorized

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