I love a race expo, in particular a marathon expo. London, New York, Boston, Chicago…I’ve spent a small fortune at all of them buying race stash, new running kit, trying out the latest and greatest running paraphernalia.
So, I was excited about what lay ahead at the Tokyo marathon expo.
We arrived at the Tokyo Big Sight at 7pm, basically straight from my flight, to pick up my bib. You don’t need to bring the print out of your QR code and bib number as long as you have it downloaded. You do, however, need your passport or drivers licence as ID. You’ll also have a photo of you taken with your bib – unclear on whether that is for security or to ensure people don’t run with fake bibs/give other people your bib. Maybe both.
Only runners are allowed in that section, but you can meet up with non-runners on the other side of bib collection.
I also had one other item of race-admin, and that was to register as a Six Star Finisher! I had previously had to email my bib numbers and finishing times from all of the other races and so was just confirming that I would be there on Sunday to collect my medal, and gave a predicted finishing time (randomly I gave 3.45 but had NO idea if that was going to be realistic!)
Then we went shopping…
Forewarning, the expo is LOUD.
And unsurprisingly everything is in Japanese, there were very few stalls with any English. We did find an English route map with info for runners and spectators. The upstairs is all the big non-sports sponsors of the race, like BMW and the official merchandise shop. I was surprised that there wasn’t kit in the official store. Instead there were items like giant route map cookies, washi tape, towels and mugs. (really regret not buying one of the mugs to have in the hospital with me!)
Downstairs was where the good stuff was, including the huge Asics store. I was able to choose a couple of items from the store, including some snazzy new trainers that are apparently designed for sub 3 hour marathoners (lol) but would be great for speed workouts. One thing I was disappointed in was the Tokyo Kit from Asics – a lot of it was sold out already, and they didn’t have any tank tops, only t-shirts. I did find a jacket that I liked with a small Tokyo Marathon logo on it.
After the Asics shop, we looked around at the other stalls, but surprisingly I couldn’t find anything else I wanted to buy (aside from some really pretty Saucony floral trainers, which I did stop myself purchasing because there wouldn’t be enough space in my suitcase!)
So overall review of the Tokyo Marathon expo… it’s really organised when collecting your bib, with a LOT of security. The rest is rather chaotic, loud and overwhelming. And it is nothing on the scale of the other Marathon Majors.
Here’s a little video taster of what the expo is like… having issues with my GoPro footage from the actual race, but I hope to have the video up by the end of the week, fingers crossed!