I love the swag bag.

I'm here in Philly, having made my train, hopped the Metro to the Convention Center, then made my way to my hotel.

But back to the convention center: Most fun part of the day was wandering around Convention Hall C for an hour after picking up my number for tomorrow. You've got your gear, your kids area, your snacks, your gear -- at a discount, of course! -- and more.

The last time I was in the this room, it was for the Philadelphia Flower Show. Or a snack food convention (very cool; highly recommend attending one some day). But this was right in my wheelhouse.

After picking up my number, I made my way down to T-shirt central, where I snagged this year's shirt -- a very tasteful maroon long-sleeve number -- packaged in a black bag with assorted other items. Haven't even gone through it all yet, but noticed a pair of gloves (could come in handy; supposed to be in the low 40s at race start) and a pouch to hold important stuff.

From there, it was through the official Philadelphia Marathon gear center, everything from hats to shirts to mugs to more, more, more.

Then it was just time to wander. To see Bill Rodgers and Bart Yasso signing books at one table. To see an giant inflatable Geico gecko (at least, that's what it looked like) in another corner. Where shoes were on discount, and the fine folk at the Vemma nutritional supplement did their best to get people to try their stuff ("It's the best thing you can put into your body," one of the employees could be overheard saying. "Dr. Oz takes this EVERY day." ... well, if Dr. Oz does it... uh, no thanks. Not putting anything new into my body this close to race day, even if it'll make you run a world-record time; maybe Monday.)

Now I'm safely at the hotel, looking forward to a Team In Training pasta party in a couple of hours. Time to carb load...

Locations