I have to say, I've never seen or been to a triathlon like this before. Not even in my favorite city where I call home, and perhaps never again unless I come back here to participate sometime in the future (which I wouldn't mind doing again next year, if I could find a way to foot the bill).
How to Put on a Killer Expo
The race I'm talking about is the weekend-long London Triathlon. I was pleasantly surprised that the race was extremely well organized--everyone seemed friendly and talkative, the vendors were very helpful and offered wonderful deals and I loved how the race course ended directly inside the Expo.
How often do you attend an expo that is not well attended even the day before the event? In London's case, it was well attended as runners crossed the finish line -- smart, innovative, resourceful -- all traits of a savvy event and recreation planner.
What was Special?
Part of the run also took place inside the sparkling new Excel Arena. The ingenuity behind this plan was that it offered great views for the spectator and photo buff like me, and just in case I didn't get you the first time, I'll wait for you to pass by next time.
The setup and layout offered me the prime and rare opportunity to capture some heart warming candid shots with the athletes and family while I shopped for clothes and shoes nearby. I was truly impressed.
If this is what London is providing as a taste of things to come in athletics in the future, then we are in for a big treat for the Olympics in 2012.
Lots of embracing and kissing scenes at the finish line
After seeing a bunch of happy and ecstatic participants, family and friends, it was confirmed that coming to London to observe the event was totally well worth it.
My only regret was that I didn't get a chance to run. But I did take some notes for Cancun in Sept. And I am motivated to resume my training (when I get back in mid-Aug)
London is a great city of diversity and culture. It is also a booming sports megaplex that knows how to put on a world-class event and knows how to cheer for their athletes.