Running Like Rocky
On Sunday, I ran the Philadelphia Half Marathon. The course is basically a running tour of Philly and follows some of Rocky's course. Runners start at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then run by City Hall, Independence Hall, the Schuylkill River and end back at by the Rocky steps (though not at the top of them). Here are the promotional products that were there to inspire your running programs. Plus, a list of what was missing so you can sell those goods next year.
WHAT WAS THERE:
I love that the bib says my name in big, bold letters. People cheered "Go Colleen!" as I ran past and it was a great pick-me-up, especially around mile 10 when I high-fived someone dressed as Luigi (Mario was busy saving princesses or something).
Don't be fooled by the 26.2, I ran the half. I just have the full shirt. What I love about the shirt: the warm gray color, long-sleeved style and soft wicking material. What I don’t: The princess seams made the shirt much shorter than my other running tops. Many women wore it during the race so this was definitely not the general consensus. For me it was a lesson to ask for a men's XS in the future. Princess seams or not, having the course emblazoned on the back was a neat touch that not many races use.
The drawstring bag boasts a mesh back, zippered pocket on the back, and clean and durable print. The green hue stands out from other more neutral bags. Many runners used the bags to pack their race gear for the day, which can be checked before starting the race. Using the drawstring bags from the event provided extra exposure for the brand, but no worries for the runners if the bags were to be ruined while they ran.
The Mylar blanket (aka space blanket) made my run feel more official than the Rock 'n' Roll Half. A runner wrapped in the space blanket seems like a standard post-marathon/half marathon image, like a "You made it!" gesture. It was also necessary because as soon as I stopped moving, the 40-degree weather hit me and I needed the extra layer.
While lacking in glitter (unfortunately), the medal did have an interesting oval shape and an imprinted ribbon, which the Rock 'n' Roll Half did not. The slogans "Redefine Possible" and "BEST:TIME of Your Life" stand out against the red and black backdrops.
Around 3,000 runners from the canceled NYC marathon competed in the Philadelphia race. Most wore the orange shirts from the New York race, which encouraged cheers in the crowd for the Sandy-impacted runners.
WHAT WAS MISSING:
Proper Signage at the Expo
They had signs saying "Shirt Pick-up," but not for bags or bibs. Some signs were handwritten. I would not be surprised if Hurricane Sandy had an impact on getting these signs finished on time, but something to think of for the future anyway.
Free Samples in Race Bags
One of the event sponsors was Clif Bar for its shot energy gels and shot bloks, but runners did not receive samples in the bags. I think it was a missed opportunity to market their brand, especially since competitor Gatorade had a booth at the Expo and was likely giving out samples.
An Imprinted Shirt for Me
Whenever I compete in races, I think of good ideas for things to wear to the next run I do. Inevitably, I either forget or don't have time to cobble together my imprinted shirt before race day. My current dream look is a bright pink tech shirt that says, "Who run the world? Girls!" That song always makes me feel powerful and it was on repeat in my head as I ran. If anyone wants to volunteer to create that, I won't object. I'll shop around at the PPAI Expo to find the best shirt for my next run.