One of my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions was to start running more and to run a half marathon. After looking at race medals on Pinterest one night Cameron and I came across the Big Bang Medal Series for the Space Coast Half Marathon in Cocoa Beach, FL. It is a 5 year series with 2 special medals; 1 after completing 3 races and then another after finishing all 5. And let’s be honest, since I was just getting back into running the better the bling the more motivated I was to sign up and train. After showing Cameron the medals it was a no brainer that we were signing up for the 2014 Space Coast Half Marathon for our first half marathon (or so we thought at the time) and bonus points that we had 9 months to train for it.
Fast forward 9 months and 2 long runs later (yes I only said 2,) Cameron and I were driving to Cocoa Beach for our 2nd half marathon. We decided to head down on Friday to enjoy a long weekend and maybe do a little shopping. We left early Friday morning hoping to make it to the Running Zone to pick up our race packet so we wouldn’t have to bother with the expo the following day. Sadly we got distracted and decided to do a little Black Friday shopping around Jacksonville and St. Augustine outlets before continuing on our journey. We made it to Melbourne around 7pm that night and decided to eat dinner at Cheddar’s before heading to the hotel for some much needed relaxation.
This year it was being held at the Radisson in Cape Canaveral which was moved from Kennedy Space Center from previous years. I knew going into this expo that it wouldn’t be as awesome as the Disney expo but I have to say I wasn’t impressed at all and I just wanted out of there! I had heard that the expo previous years were small and congested and this one was “supposed” to be better, but this one didn’t seem like it could have been much better. It would have been nice first of all if there were signs directing you where to go for the expo. We ended up walking around lost in the hotel before stumbling upon the lobby to ask for directions.
We made it to the convention area and thought on first glance that it wasn’t bad and should be a breeze, but boy were we wrong. The packet pickup was simple and I applaud them for that, it only took Cameron and I about 2 minutes to get our packets and be on our way through the rest of the expo. We passed the booth to make sure our timing tag was working properly and then made our way to the race shirts. Apparently there was an issue with certain sizes of shirts not coming in and runners were given the option to grab another size or wait a month until the shipment came in. Unfortunately I was in this group because I ordered a Woman’s Small and had to take a unisex Small instead. I think it fits fine so I can’t complain, however because we were given an option to switch sizes that meant later in the day they would run out and others wouldn’t get their shirt until a later date.
We then made our way to the official Space Coast Half Marathon merchandise area and all I kept thinking about was getting a shirt and getting out. Because the room for the expo was rather small, the merchandise area was shoved into a tiny corner so the line for checking out was merged with those individuals trying to look which created a huge traffic jam. They didn’t have too many options to choose from, but then again I have to remind myself this is my second race and I can’t compare everything to my Disney experience. After we made our purchase we decided to make our way to the photo op area to view the rest of the medals of the series.
I really hope next year they move the expo yet again to another location, or at least set up the room differently. If you went to this race what were your thoughts on the expo? Was it really better than previous years?