Day 744, April 6, travelled to Milan for my spring marathon. As usual, the day before is the expo day. The expo is the place where you pick up your bib number. That’s crucial. Without it, you cannot go to the starting line! And usually they don’t issue the numbers on the race day. You need it already before. Well, if it’s a smaller race, without an expo, you can get the number in the morning of the race. But Milan Marathon is a big event, huge even. Of course they needed an expo. The start was quite close to our hotel and easy to reach by metro. However, the expo, as often happens, was seemingly in the middle of nowhere. Had to change trains to actually get there. Finding the entrance was yet another challenge. Turned out it was highly organised: enter from one door, exit from another. We had to go round the building, basically. And of course, people were checked and searched. The Italians seem to take their security seriously. Considering the state the world is in, I’m not actually whining about it. Better safe than sorry, right? In some aspects, yes.
Once inside, we picked up all the important stuff: the bib numbers, T-shirts, and goody bags. There weren’t too many things to look at. Some other race organisers advertising their events. Some companies selling running gear and clothes. Some things we didn’t understand at all. It was hunger that drove us quickly through the expo. That thing ticking at the back of our necks: you need to carbo-load before the race! Sometimes, the expo would provide the runners with all the food they need. I remember Cardiff half-marathon expo in 2016, which was also a World Championships event. So-so different. In terms of food, I mean. So many stalls where you could try protein bars, energy snacks, whatever. Even energy gel dispensers, from which you could get all the carbs you needed for the rest of your life. Similarly to Milan, Cardiff had loads of events and talks about interesting topics. However, as hunger pushed us out of the expo, we didn’t even bother with reading the schedule.
Who is that “we”? Well, check the photo of the day below. Me and a fellow runner from my running club, Sparta.
1. Own and live in a house.
No serious runner should work one day before an important race. Nor did I.
2. Write AND publish a book.
Oh, but I did read and make some notes for a short story. I kind of even wrote the first draft of a story while on the plane. Yes, it was a travel day as well.
3. Win a major race.
Warm-up for the race. A light jog, some running drills, etc. That was the funny part actually. We both arrived to the hotel so early that the rooms weren’t ready. Ended up changing our clothes in huge toilets, going for a run, changing again, leaving our luggage to the hotel, and then going to the expo.