Chicago Racecation Recap Part 1: Rock n Roll Chicago Expo

To save this from becoming a short book, I’m splitting my Racecation Recap into several parts, and starting with the one that will hit home with all my running and shopping readers: Rock n Roll Chicago Expo Review

Arrival

I will cover this in more depth in a separate post, but runWestin tested their new partnership with Rock n Roll races and put their Run Concierge finalists to the test. Within minutes of checking in, their team was awesome. I do not envy the team making decisions, but look forward to seeing one of them in their debut in Philly in September.

The Westin was crazy busy between conferences, weddings, runners, and the Braves, so my room wasn’t ready when I arrived. I was starving so I found a cute little place, Goddess & Grocer, a few blocks away and had this deliciousness: turkey BLT with avocado on gluten free bread (only bread with no dairy, but also perfect because less fiber) and one of my weaknesses honey mustard kettle chips.

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Expo

This is my second Rock n Roll Expo, and I have to say I was a little disappointed. The Brooks Run Happy team wasn’t there. Granted you could buy the great Brooks gear, which I did.

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Brooks top specially made for running in temps above 65. Extra light, extra wicking, all wonderful. Tested for my shakeout run.

But I couldn’t really test the Pure Cadence (I did try them, though, definitely will be adding to my shoe collection) and no Runaroni 😞

And I couldn’t find Honey Stingers anywhere there, so had to switch back to Clif Shot Blocs for the race (I know, my own fault for not packing any). I guess I’m a strange mix between male & female packer.

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There were some nice positives though:
It was big. There was plenty of walking room, even when there were booths with long waiting lines.

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Good variety of vendors. The usuals like Refuel, Garmin & runDisney were there. And some new ones, like an orange juice company, and Jamba Juice. But it also had a BIG selection of Sweaty Bands, with a good deal: buy 3 get a free Chicago band.

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And probably my favorite: a Bear Naked booth where they would pack you a full bag of granola of your choice. Don’t mind if I do!

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I also walked out with a few new pairs of compression socks. A night running neon yellow pair from CEP and peacock and mustard pair from 2XU. I’m excited to put them both to good use as I set my sights on Rock n Roll Philly in 8 weeks!

Overall the expo was good, not great, but I still walked out with my wallet crying a little bit.

What’s the best expo you’ve been to?
What is your must-visit vendor at expos?
Are you compression sock obsessed also?

14 thoughts on “Chicago Racecation Recap Part 1: Rock n Roll Chicago Expo

  1. Pingback: Rock n Roll Philly Expo Review & runWestin Run Concierge Debut | Run Stretch Go

  2. Those Brooks tanks are super cute! They’d be perfect for Florida. Umm fill up your own granola? Yes, please. That’s my favorite part of all health food stores (although quite dangerous)

    • I love the tank so much. It’s soft and a fun color. Th actual race shirt is nice, but is heavy & short sleeved. At this rate I won’t be wearing it until November.

      The granola was such a hit. It had the longest line, by far! And it travels well too.

  3. You are killing it with all of these RNR races! I love it.
    I am not a huge expo person. I know right? I guess that files me under “what is wrong with you?”

    • Thanks! They’re always so well organized, fun, and for big races the prices aren’t crazy if you register early enough.

      I don’t think you’re alone with not liking them. I definitely have moments when I want to curl up in a ball when they’re really busy and everyone is elbowing you, but the last couple have been in good locations so it doesn’t get too crowded.

    • Hmmm I don’t know if they do it in gluten free, but good call!

      Ad there will definitely be some good Sweaty Band pictures coming up. Next half is in 8 weeks πŸ™‚

  4. I love expos! It’s my land of impulse purchases and I LOVE it!
    1. I also have a love of Kettle chips but haven’t tried Honey Dijon…Salt and Vinegar are my current favorite
    2. I started packing for Chicago three days before we left…Gordon packed 1 hour before we left…
    3. Cute Sweaty Bands! I like that they have “special” ones you can only buy at expos
    4. I am not obsessed with my compression socks and am in need of more!

    Can’t wait to hear more about the race!

  5. That tank looks so great! I’ve never run a huge race so I havent experienced an expo like that but yumm granola.

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