Friday, March 24, 2017

Tokyo Marathon 2017: Day 2 Part 2 - Race Kit Collection and Expo

Day 2 in Tokyo will be broken up into two posts because I believe the race expo deserves a post of its own as do my adventures in Shinjuku and Odaiba. This post covers the Tokyo Marathon 2017 Race Kit collection and Expo which was held at its annual venue at Tokyo Big Sight on Odaiba.

After my morning adventures in Shinjuku, I took the JR Yamanote line which connects to the JR Saikyo line to Odaiba. Upon reaching the Kokusai Tenjijo station, it wasn't hard to figure out which the way to Tokyo Big Sight with so many runners heading in the same direction. On top of that, there were tons of volunteers and signs stationed around to show the way.

Abbott World Major Marathon Exhibition
In true Japanese style, race kit collection was organised and fast. The race organisers had sent the runners their collection papers two weeks ago and with my assigned numbers, I quickly found my assigned counter and collected my bib and race pack.
Coloured and numbered for efficiency.
The next step was to verify my timing chip was working and to collect my race shirt, all of which took less than 5 minutes.
Found my number!
I headed into the expo next and was blown away by how massive it was. I was only on the first floor and there was still a floor to be explored below but boy, I could tell it was going to be fun. There was a Tokyo Marathon and Abbott World Marathon Majors exhibition, displaying the many medals of the WMM series and the Sixth Star finisher. There was even a wall with the 2017 Tokyo Marathoner names on it but due to the crazy crowd, I couldn't find mine.
Tokyo Marathon Route!
Tokyo Marathon main sponsors took up the space here and were practically showering visitors with freebies. And then, there was the official Tokyo Marathon merchandise booth where I spent the a chunk of my budget on rice crackers and bib pins.
Official merchandises
Spot my wish?

This year, main sponsor Asics really upped their game with wide colourful series of Tokyo Marathon event shirts and merchandises. Sizes were flying off the racks for the shirts and the locals being small in size obviously went for the XS and S. Luckily I was fat and had the option of M or L to choose from. I later heard that those sizes were sold out as well towards the evening.
Lelong lelong!
 Asics also offered a free special service for runners where they can set up an account with them online, submit their targeted time and/or pace and have it printed out as a wristband to wear during the marathon. 

5:30 goal!
Asics also had a limited edition running shoe for the event but it was too narrow for my fat bunion-residing feet. I actually breathed a sigh of relief when it didn't fit because the price of 18,000yen (almost RM800) was way beyond my budget. Also, I found the same shoes being sold in Kuala Lumpur for RM649.
Asics why you so narrow and expensive!
I spent a good two hours on the lower floor of the marathon expo and it was runner's haven. Shoes, sports gears, hydration bags, gels, compression wear and so on. I almost wept in joy.  I came across the Brooks limited edition Tokyo Koi version of the Launch 4 and though by fate, they had my size and it was well within my budget. Based on the sign, there were only 28 pairs available at the Expo, 200 in the whole world and with a quick exchange of cash, I walked away with a brand new pair of Launch 4 and a big smile on my face.
Never mind, I buy Brooks
Needless to say by the end of my adventure in the expo, I left with both hands full and a new pair of running shoes. Had I more time, I would have ended up spending the whole evening there and blew the rest of my travel shopping budget in one single day.
Hm, next run perhaps?
Tokyo Marathon Expo tips 
1. Go for the expo on the first two days to avoid the crowds and to get the best goodies.
2. Don't keep away the marathon bag given with the bib. You can get more freebies with that.
3. Take your time to go through the booths. There are plenty of free stuff.
4. Join in on the activities and photo taking sessions at the booths.
5. Bring a lot of money.
6. For those running in a cold country for the first time, you can buy your running gloves, ponchos and buff at the expo.
7. Not everything is cheap at the expo. Think with your head, not with your feet.
8. Eat before going in. It'll be a while before you get to the food stalls outside the marathon expo.
9. Bring a big backpack or a roller bag for your race kit, goodies, freebies and souvenirs.
10. Enjoy yourself! Soak in the Japanese hospitality and efficiency at the expo and take your time.

Spoils of war.
Read my Tokyo Marathon posts:
Day 1 - Flying with ANA
Day 1 (part 2) - Checked into Shiba Inu AirBnB
Day 2 (part 1) - Things to do in Shinjuku and Odaiba
Day 2 (part 2) - Race Kit Collection and Expo 

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