The London Marathon Expo

Being ill last week meant I’ve become a bit behind in my blog posts… So here’s a rather delayed recap of the Friday before the London Marathon (check out my recap if you haven’t already) and the marathon Expo.

The few days before were somewhat hectic. As the London Marathon doesn’t post your bib to you, you need to collect it (and you obviously cannot do this on race morning due to how huge the race is). As we didn’t do much for Mother’s Day, I asked my mum if she wanted to come with me to London on the Friday and I could treat her to a nice lunch out, and she could join me at the Expo as well (two birds and all that).

My mum enjoys supporting my running but rarely comes to watch as my parents have three dogs and leaving them all day on their own isn’t that fair (and it’s usually four dogs in total as Alfie joins them!). So coming to the Expo was a nice way for her to join in with the buzz.We got the train to London and headed straight for the Expo. As we changed tubes, you could start to see other fellow runners also on their way there. It reminded me of our journey to the Boston Expo last year as we just followed the other runners to the Excel.I got chatting to a really nice guy who was running his first marathon and raising money for an Alzheimer’s charity. I wish I’d gotten his name or bib number so I could know how he did. He was such a nice guy but very nervous. Also very cool as he worked for F1!It was fairly quiet (about 11am Friday) of which I was grateful for. Luckily I’ve never had to go to an expo when it’s rammed. For all the big ones I’ve done I’ve always gone on a less busy day. Obviously it can’t be helped sometimes, but it was nice to not have to queue for the  bib collection and to walk around the expo without it being too crowded.We tried lots of free samples of protein bars, oatie snacks, Clif bars and drinks (*cough* beer).We picked up lots of freebies and I purchased a few items from Adidas (the main sponsor). I was really surprised at how cheap the Adidas marathon jacket was. Both the Tokyo jacket (by ASICS) and the Adidas Boston jacket (full price – I actually bought it almost a year later in the sale) was over £100! So I was chuffed it was “only” £55 so treated myself to a singlet as well.I also got my face painted because I’m approximately eight years old.It was a great Expo. I spotted a few people I knew; one of the organisers from the Sports Tour International company who went on the Tokyo trip, the lovely Sarah and Dan from the Xempo kit stand and my friend Ade. Nice to see lots of friendly faces. There were a few areas you could queue to have your photo taken, such as with a big version of the medal or a large picture frame, but I really didn’t fancy queuing. I was happy enough with the photos I got!

We were in and out in an hour and hopped back on the tube to head to Covent Garden for some lunch. Originally we were going to go to Jamie’s Fifteen but we decided to spend more time around Covent Garden instead and find somewhere nice for food there. Jamie’s Fifteen is actually quite far out from everything. We decided on Monmouth Kitchen, which looked rather good from Trip Advisor and from general outside appearances.The hostess asked if she could look after our coats and bags for us but I said I’d hold on tightly to my Expo bag as it contained my London Marathon bib 😉 I also explained why I had face paint on…The food was delicious. It was tapas, so the portions were obviously very small. If I’m honest, as tasty as it was, it wasn’t my favourite. I have quite a big appetite so tiny little portions don’t quite feel as satisfying. However, I did enjoy it (the presentation and taste were amazing) and my mum really liked it.I had mini (TINY) chicken tacos, a selection of meats (sausage, Poussin, steak) and chicken lolly pops. For pudding we both got chocolate rolled in these crispy spring roll-style pancake things with coconut and passion fruit sorbet. Very tasty, but again very small portions.

We then did some shopping. I was keen to buy a new pair of leggings from Lululemon as a treat but realised the pair I wanted (the Align Pant) were high-waisted. I love the material as it’s so soft and super smooth, but I am really not a high-waisted person. The salesgirl tried her best, bless her, but I was not going to pay £90 for a pair of leggings I wasn’t in love with. Fail!

After more shops, we headed to Hotel Chocolat (my favourite chocolate shop) and my mum had their ice cream while I had a very indulgent salted caramel hot chocolate. The barista asked if I wanted chocolate cream on top. Did I want chocolate cream on top?? What a silly question!!There was a large bowl of chocolate chips on the counter and I asked the server what they were for and she explained that they got melted down to use for the hot chocolate. Good lord. And how did it taste? Like heaven blended up, served in a cup and topped with chocolate cream. Then we carried on shopping and milling about, fuelled sufficiently by copious amounts of sugar.My mum was going to get the train back home while I was going to meet my friend, who works in London, at Victoria Station to head to Brighton. Before this, we decided to have one last little snack…Some fro-yo from Snog of course. It was delicious, and the perfect end to such a lovely day!

What’s your favourite thing about a race expo?

What restaurants do you like in Covent Garden?

What style of leggings do you prefer?

8 Replies to “The London Marathon Expo”

  1. What a great idea to spend time with your mum like that.
    I had a Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate in Edinburgh and it was amazing- I don’t like the ones made with powder so when I saw they did it properly (eg just added milk to chocolate) we had to try one.
    I don’t like leggings with too high a waist, and also if they don’t have pockets then they are not very useful.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Winchester parkrunMy Profile

  2. You *only* spent an hour at the expo?!! I was there like all morning…although that means I ate far far far too many free samples!!!
    I’ve never had a Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate but cream in general on anything is just wrong!!! lol

      1. Totally agree that lunch sounds better!!! I ended up with free samples being my lunch….oops!

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