alsoran runners Comrades EXPO

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This is a must for all Comrades runners!  Firstly, because you are required to register there, and secondly, because visiting the Expo helps you focus on what you are in Durban to do.  You are amongst fellow runners and supporters.

We usually stroll around the Expo for a bit, and then head for the food/drinks area where we make ourselves comfortable, drink some beer and just enjoy the vibe.  It is a great place to meet up with your club mates before the event.

The Expo is open from Thursday 26 May to Saturday 28 May 2011.  We have always opted to visit the Expo on the day it opens, which is the Thursday.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the only day we visit the Expo, but it is the day we choose to register.  Reason being, it is less crowded so it is easier to walk around and visit all the stalls.  Another reason being that the Comrades shop is still fully stocked so a great shopping opportunity.

Registration:

On arrival at the Expo we do registration first.  Don’t forget to bring along your confirmation postcard, ID and championchip!  At registration you will be given your race envelope, race goody bag and Comrades shirt.  It is a nice photo opportunity for novices (ie. taking a picture of novice handing over card and receiving race envelope and bag).  Before you leave the Expo please check the contents of your goody bag to ensure you have been given the correct race number.  If there is a problem you can have it sorted out.  Now that the business part of the visit has been completed, it’s time to visit the Comrades shop.

The Comrades Shop:

The Comrades shop is located just outside the registration area.  Here you can buy all manner of branded Comrades merchandise from clothing to wine and glasses.  They usually also have a nice selection of supporters gear as well as goodies for the kids.  Within the Comrades shop is a “Green Number” shop for Green Number merchandise.

What to buy?  What to buy?  I have loads of t-shirts, shirts and sweat shirts so I usually end up buying a Comrades towel each year.  They are great!  It may be a good idea to buy a cheap “throw away” top and cotton gloves as the start can sometimes be cold.

Embroidery:

Conveniently positioned just outside the Comrades shop is an embroidery kiosk where you can have your newly purchased Comrades gear personalized with your number and/or name.

Bus Tickets:

Should you require transport from Durban to the start in Pietermaritzburg on a down run, or vice versa on an up run, there is a bus service that takes runners to the start and brings them back after the race.   There is a ticket kiosk at the Expo where you can purchase your ticket.

Comrades History:

It is worth taking some time to browse through the Comrades History display area. Here you can view a pictorial history of the race as well as getting a look at the actual winner’s trophies.

Eating:

A word of caution! Be careful what you eat.  Rather stick to familiar foods.  One is often tempted with the selection of food stalls.  I have had a bad experience in the past and it was scary stuff!  This is prime time for “jippo guts” a.k.a gastro.

My daughters rave about the mini donuts that are on sale at the Expo!  Another popular stall is the Biltong shop.

Energy supplements:

There are many stalls offering one or other energy supplements and drinks.  Golden rule – stick to what you know – the tried and trusted stuff.  The worst thing you can do is start trying new stuff on race day.  There are NO MIRACLE PRODUCTS!  Stock up on anything that you may have forgotten to bring from home. 

Physio:

There is usually quite a large physio area where you can go and have a rub down for free.  Quite a handy service if you have spent 16 hours plus driving to Durban!

Be vigilant:

An unpleasant truth is that you must look after all your possessions.  There is a criminal element that target crowded Expos.  They do well at blending in with the crowd.  You do not want your final preparations marred by a negative experience.  Please take care!


All in all, visiting the Expo is the final step in your pre-race preparations.  Enjoy this positive experience knowing you are about to play your part in the world’s Greatest Ultra Marathon.  Enjoy!

Keywords: Comrades Expo, registration, Comrades shop, embroidery, Comrades history, physio
Internal Links: green number, energy supplements, transport
External links: Official Comrades Marathon website



Copyright Nikki Campbell 2009
alsoran@webafrica.org.za