I flew into San Francisco Friday afternoon. All flights in and out of San Francisco were delayed that afternoon so I got in a little later than planned. I would say that my plane was probably 75% full of folks heading down for the race, including the TNT group from Calgary. TK met me at the airport and we hopped BART into town. We were staying at the Hotel California which was just three blocks away from Union Square. A great location, and the place was really nice. I would definitely stay there again. We checked in quickly then wandered down to the Expotique.
A man from Ghirardelli chocolates was right outside giving away free samples so I happily grabbed a square. Yum…I love free chocolate. We first went to grab our packets and right away I had an issue with mine. The bib number and chip were registered to me, but the sticker on the front had the wrong name and number. I was hoping to have my name on my bib, not someone else’s, not to mention that my sticker shows that I paid my $10 to catch a bus from the finish line back to Union Square. We fine my name (on another bib entirely), peal the sticker off and tape it back on to my bib. After all this commotion I didn’t bother to get my own chip registered, I just went with the one in the packet. TK and I opted to skip looking around the expo and head over to Niketown for some gear shopping. Boy howdy this place was busy… After waiting in line to get into the store we were finally among the throng of women, all clamoring to buy race merchandise in whatever sizes were left. At first it seemed like the selection wasn’t too terrific, but I noticed after going to Niketown over several times that weekend that they would find new items to put out. Case in point – I was hoping to buy a race jacket but none were out on Friday. When I was back on Saturday afternoon the jackets were out, but by then I had given enough money to the Nike corporation that I didn’t get one. Anyhow….I found a few race items I liked, stood in the ridiculous line to pay for them, and then I spent enough money that I got a free plastic frame to display my race bib in. Glad my bib has my name on it now! Afterwards we went outside where Nike had a huge wall with all of the participants’ names on it.
We found ours, and by that time our friend Suz had arrived so we wandered back to the expo to meet her. After she got her packet we finally had a chance to check the rest of the expo out. You could get your iPod engraved for free, and 24 Hour Fitness were doing Nike+ trials. You could also get massages, manicures and foot rubs. The lines for everything were crazy so I didn’t take advantage of anything. I did see Sarah – amazing triathlete and formerly on Amazing Race – wandering around the expo. She’s currently in an ad campaign for Nike and she ran the half marathon. Afterwards it was time to head down to Cioppino’s at Pier 45 for a terrific dinner, then a good night’s sleep.