For my expo top 10 picks please click here.
As many people are no doubt aware, EventCity is Manchester will be home to the Run Bike and Swim expo for the next three days. I’ll be blogging live from the event, updating this page as I go, letting you know what to expect from the weekend. I’ll also be letting you know my top running finds.
Overall the expo was heavily favoured towards cycling and triathlons. There are some interesting stalls for running there but it pales in significance when compared to the amount of the expo dedicated to all things bikes. There was only a couple of clothing companies, a hand full of race organisers and no shoe companies at all.
All stands that I talked to took card payments but there is a cash machine at the entrance. There’s also quite a few toilets and a couple of places to sit to eat and drink. There’s three presentation stages but I didn’t really pay much attention to them to be honest. Tomorrow and Sunday has quite a few talks happening, including Jo pavey.
8:14am – Dog crazy, knows I’m going out.
8:59am -Waiting for the train. Separate issue really but love that Warrington Central has installed them ramp things that make it easy to get your bike up and down the stairs.
9:50am – If you want to travel by train it’s about a 20 minute walk from Humphrey Park. Ignore Google maps though when it tells you to cross in the middle of no where. Carry on to the subway at the junction.
10:10am – Having a catch up and a stroll around with Keith. Place is massive.
10:20am – Running Memories are here with their medal displays. Free delivery if you order from the expo saving you £4.50. Really like the little personal displays for individual races which are £7.49. Can pre- order for future races, speak to Richard he’s very nice. (P.s. Oulton Park medal is even better in person, will be doing that next year). Cards and PayPal accepted. http://www.running-memories.co.uk/#&panel1-1
10:39am – Talked to the lovely Phil and Michael at Flipbelt. Got to try on a belt, love them. So comfortable and it doesn’t move. Have a try, take a selfie and share it and you could win your own belt. More details coming later. There’s no expo discount so it’s still £25 but you save on p&p plus you get to try them on for size and run around. Can pay by card. http://theflipbelt.co.uk/
11:20am – Lovely cup of tea and beacon butty with some great company. Most stalls and the cafe take cards.
11:50am – Really impressed with Unilite. Really great head torches and there’s a discount of between 10 and 20% on retail prices depending on the model. The best ones are the ones that can be turned on and offer by a quick hand swipe thanks to the sensor (good for bottom challange people like me). The Sensor head lights are £25 or £30 depending on amount of power. http://www.uni-lite.com/
10:08am – The lovely Salaine at Less Bounce just shared her lovely products with me. Am loving the pants, crop tops and vest, beautiful colour combinations. Yes they’re base layers but no reason not to be pretty. Prices start from £12 for the pants which are stretch comfy fit and wicker. You can negotiate a discount if you’re buying a few of the base layer products.
I was in pretty colour heaven and then I found the Shock Absorber bra with a built in heart monitor strap. New to the UK, they’re compatible with most heart rate monitors. I tried on one and love it. They’re normally £40 on the website but there’s £5 off at the expo. Will be testing it out at Trimpell 20. http://www.lessbounce.com/
12:25am – Spent some time with the very entertains guys at CEP. Loving the new colour socks they have available at the expo and really like the new no show socks. Designed with the same CEP technology but contained with a small cute sock that’s not meant to be seen for once. £13.50 which is quite a good price for a CEP product. http://shop.cepsports.co.uk/
They’re also trying to trend #besuperior. Can get your photo taken in their thrown and then get tweeting it.
12:40am – Starting to flag a little so good time to head over to High 5. There’s tasting stations with all their products including the gels and you can buy a bottle and get it filled all day with High 5 for £2. Product prices are pretty much the same as Wiggle so not losing anything buy buying them here plus they have the fulll range of flavours. The race box is £5 which is ok but not really cheaper than going else where. Really like the caramel sports bar but not sure I could eat it during a race. http://highfive.co.uk/
ashmei that I won before the expo. Beautiful products that are 100% natural. They look and feel amazing. Fell in love with a running jacket but at £100 will have to win the lottery first but is amazing quality. Maybe next Christmas. They’re also the only people I’ve seen who actually do their compression socks in both calf and foot size. They do take cards though if you’re looking for a spurge. I’ll let you know how I get on with the socks. http://www.ashmei.com/
16:42 – Technology failed me. EventCity eats phone battery I’m sure so had to visit The Melville for a pint and to charge my phone (the lovely barmaid personally led me to where the sockets are and had a nice chat with some jolly old men). I had to resort to pen and paper (the horror) so will add everything else now.
Before my phone went black I visited the 2Toms stand (named after two blokes called Tom). I met Adam who showed me the wonders of blister shield, rub the powder into your hand and it literally repels water (I tested to make sure it was just water) and the powder stayed in place. It creates a barrier between your clothes and skin to prevent friction. We then moved on to sports shield, a very thin and light product that prevents chafing. I had to applied to two fingers and there still no friction when you rub them together even hours later. You can also apply it directly to your clothes. The last 2Toms product that impressed me was the stinkfree sports detergent. I’ve been looking for sports specific washing detergent for a while. I got samples of all three products so I’ll let you know how I got on after Trimpell 20 on Sunday. http://www.2toms.com/
The next stop was Always Aim High. I’d heard of them before but I’d aways thought that they only did Tri events. Turns out they also do three road races each year, including Rugby Half Marathon on 12th July, Snowdonia Trail Marathon which has sold out this year and the Anglesey Half Msrathon which will next take place in March 2016. I quite like the idea of doing the Anglesey Half next year. If you sign up for any of the races at the expo you can save 10%. They also have sweets (!!) and free High 5 sample packs. They’re doing a great completion each day of the expo, sign up to the expo and you could win a massive pile of goodies including a pair of Solomon trainers. The daily prize is worth £100 but there’s a grand prize valued at £1,500. I told them my theory about maybe getting more women if they show the medal beforehand, they seemed pretty interested. http://alwaysaimhighevents.com/
The Dunns River Nurishment stand has a competition too but you have to work a little harder. You need to cycle 1k on their bike, using guess work. The closest person wins £150 worth of vouchers. I got 1.4k so not even close but I did get to try their drinks. Both Strawberry and Vanilla are delicious, I’m not keen on chocolate. There’s a bit of a discount on the drinks with 1 for £1.50 or £2.50 for two. They retail at around £2. It’s a great after run drink because it replenishes vitamins and minerals. You’ll need them after cycling the 1k. http://www.nurishment.co.uk/
|image owned by M Crehan|
If you love running and you love comics then you really need to talk to Matthew Crehan. He’s created a graphical novel called The Art of Running; The Steve Profontaine Story. It’s released on the 30th May for £12.99 but you can pre-order it from the expo for £10. Matthew told me about growing up around running and athletic, his mother is an Olympic Athlete and his father a coach, he is very passionate about running and it comes across in the beautiful art work. He’s also responsible for the return of the Alf Tupper comic strip in Athletics Weekly magazine. http://www.steveprefontaine-comic.com/
I had a quick talk with UK Run Chat who told me about their move outside of the virtual world. They’ve got a range of products now and they’re having four training weekends across the country. Check out the website for details http://www.ukrunchat.co.uk/.
Physio.co.uk are certainly one to go and see. They’re a long established company who provide a running biomechanics service for runners. It helps with injuries or to get rid of niggles and reduces your risk injury. You can watch slow mo video analysis of some of the sessions they’ve conducted and it’s amazing to see running form issues slowed down. A full assessment is normally £150 but you get a third off the price if you attend the expo. They’re also doing taster sessions that take around 20 minutes. You get to watch your video and get feedback. http://physio.co.uk/
|Image owned by zaazee.co.uk|
Zaazee are another company that I’ve seen online but the photos don’t do the clothes justice. They look more like workout than running clothes online but the material used is actually really light and moves easy. It’s soft too touch too and is made from stretchy supportive material called Supplex. I really love the vest tops especially the cross over detail. They’re £38 but there’s a 10% discount at the expo. There’s some very pretty capris pants too from £50 to £70 http://zaazee.co.uk/
I’m not a triathlete and I don’t think I’m ever going to be but I spotted a very pretty pink box do i had to find out what it was. The Triathlonxox is a lockable storage container for triathlons that can rest on your bike for easy access and has a space for everything you could possible need, including a specific section for your wetsuit and other wet stuff with drainage points. There’s no discount on the actual box at its normal price of £99.99 but would normally pay an extra £10 for delivery. The box had also been filled with a few freebies for you too. http://www.triathlonbox.co.uk/
Great Run (had to resist writing BUPa, it’s Morrisons now of course) are giving a free Great Run Puma t-shirt for anyone who registers for one of their races at the expo. They also have a pongo game that can win you some great prizes. I scored zero! Thanks to Rob who took and sent me this photo after my phone died. http://www.greatrun.org/
I hate beetroot, like seriously hate it, but I tried the Beet It juice and energy bar and they actually tasted pretty good. I was already to hate them and really wasn’t looking forward to trying them. RRP is usually around £2 but cases of 15 shot drinks or bars are £15. Amazon are charging £23 for the same so that’s quite a reduction. I might consider giving them a try in future, don’t want to change my current routines yet until after Brighton. http://www.beet-it.com/.
|Image owned by fatladattheback.com|
I pretty much avoided the cycle and tri products most of the day but oned company caught my eye just before I was ready to head for the door. I saw a very nice cycle top at Fat lads at the back, a company that aims to create cycle clothing that fits everyone rather than just the super thin. The clothes are very well designed and have great colour combinations but they’re still very technical. The really really great news is that in April they’re going to launch a men’s running line with women’s clothing following after. Can’t wait to see what they come up with and hope I get to wear some of it. http://fatladattheback.com/
For my expo top 10 picks please click here.