Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon Expo

April 27, 2012

Girls covered in dry mud handing out information on a mud race at an expo
Some fun muddy people at the expo

I sped through this expo as my dad circled the block a few times. Cars. They ruin everything/make some things better.

Either way, with 18,000 runners doing this race, he understandably didn’t want to do the whole parking thing. So he circled the building while I did a very quick circle of the expo.

The first thing I saw was the set-up for a pasta dinner, which I think is a brilliant idea – having the dinner in the same place as the expo. It couldn’t be easier than that.

As I wound through the path of booths, I camp upon a set-up about the benefits of beef.

I don’t hear a lot of good stuff about red meat, but here were people at a running expo, giving away activity books full of good messages about beef. They also had free signs available so you could write encouraging words to your runner, with the message on the bottom – “powered by beef.”

Next up, there was a booth for a mud race called “Run the Gauntlet.” The people giving out flyers were dressed up in dried mud. They stood out from other vendors, brought us right into the experience of the day, and made it look fun. Brilliant idea, y’all.

Speaking of “y’all,” Kentucky accents rock.

Ohio tourism had a booth set up. I spun a wheel and won a free pass to Zoombezi Bay. Yee haw! It doesn’t open ‘til the summer, so I probably won’t be around the Midwest. Still cool.

benefits of beef at the Kentucky Derby Half Marathon expo
a blurry picture of the beef booth

I make a quick dash out of the expo, fighting through the large crowd. Then I jump in the car.

(Thank goodness after my pretty recent crazy weekend of actually driving… you know, in an actual car, I’m back to being the passenger. I love when I’m in the Midwest and my dad lovingly takes the incredibly un-fun job of driving. He’s awesome.)

As we go up to Cincinnati (where we’re staying, ‘cause my grandma lives there), I go through my bag of goodies from the expo.

I pull out a gift card for $500 to a new online retailer. What? Are you serious? $500?

I’m reading all the fine print about how they’re giving money to help get the word out. Neither my dad nor I really believes this can be true with no catch, so I jump on my iPhone and check out the website.

Turns out, you have to pay 9% in real money. I guess that’s no so bad… if you wanted anything on the website. But, as far as we could tell, they only sold sunglasses and watches (and not sunglasses that covered huge parts of your face or watches that tracked your running for you). Oh well. We keep looking through the bag.

“At least we got $10 off at Dick’s Sporting Goods!” (reads fine print) “Oh, but it doesn’t apply to Brooks shoes!”

At this point my dad hilariously makes fun of my “bag of disappointment.” Tell me about it, right?

We laughed and laughed, and before you knew it, we were at my grandma’s house. Dinner. Sleep. Kentucky Derby Half Marathon coming up tomorrow!

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