Packet pickup is the night before. They do an amazing job with this considering the 50,000 registered racers. There was no line when I picked up my packet, you then walk over across the strips to confirm your name matches your bib and your timing strip. Piece of cake.
I love the Bloomsday Expo. You walk out of registration in the expo and it is both incredible and intimidating all at once. The room is filled with booth ranging from protein bars, to massage tables, to other races' booths, to kinisio tape. My fav booth was the same one as last year, Run Pretty Far, and bought three shirts to add to the one I bought last year. Seriously, love them.
The one thing you should know going into Bloomsday is that when you have 50,000 people and most of them place themselves in their color groups, you will not be fast, you will not PR, instead you will be dodging and weaving around everyone slower than you that registered faster than you. That being said, I prepped like I would for any 7.5 mile run... I drank water and tried to get some sleep.
My Beloved Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3's, seriously still just loving these shoes
A Brooks running jacket Bill bought me at the Expo the day before, which I am seriously in love with
The Under Armour Shirt Bill's mom bought me last year for birthday, that I love to run in
Drymax Hyper Thin Mini Socks
Random running capris
Random cotton sports bra (this turned out to be a huge mistake and I actually have a huge sore to remind me to pay attention to my next bra selection)
And of course my phone, armband and Bill's Bose Earbuds
That all nicely fit into my OGIO Backpack (totally couldn't bring it to the course)
As I mentioned earlier, you cannot run this race as a non-elite runner (did not qualify in) and get too serious about it. 50,000 people are difficult to get around... I could not even begin to run until about mile 2, but even that was just to swerve in and out of all the walkers. Finished around 1:20 and on my Garmin almost a full additional .5 mile further. Interesting.
Tons of amazing volunteers, medical areas were everywhere (an ambulance was actually at the top of Doomsday hill when I got there!), tons and tons of water (especially considering it was a 12k), the crowd as always was incredible (there was no time that there were not kids giving you high-5's, people with signs or people lounged out in their yards), bands were everywhere (I had my earbuds in, so who knows how they actually sounded), and post race as always was as streamline as it could possibly be. I met up with Bill, his mom and the kiddos following the race, we didn't hang around in the park.
Totally plan to do this again and again!