If you follow me on social media, you likely saw an influx of orange from my accounts at the end of last week because I was one of twenty BibRave Pros selected to attend the first TRE Influencer Day at The Running Event in Austin, TX! The Running Event is "the premier conference and trade show for running retailers". I didn't really know what I was getting into before I left. It was CRA-ZY.
I was a little nervous heading into TRE because I am NOT good at networking. But my theme of 2018 was to pursue the uncomfortable, and applying to attend this was in line with that theme. Like everything else that I did outside of my comfort zone this year, I was not disappointed!
Thursday November 29
I had a 4:30 alarm to make it to my flight out of Milwaukee. I am completely out of routine of waking up early so I didn't sleep at all the night before since I was nervous I would miss the alarm. I made it out of bed, donned my BibRave orange and got to the airport. As you can see in the photo below, taken during my layover in Kansas City, I was SLEEEEPY.
|TRE Roomies in the Uber!|
|Lunch time for the Pros!|
I had to send my kids a pic of how cool their mom was, ha ha ha.
We got to the Hilton shortly before 5:30 PM for our first event: The Zwift Run! Zwift held a reception for us where they demonstrated their foot pod technology. If you are a cyclist, you may have used this technology before. They had two amazing Woodway treadmills set up in front of a big screen where four pre-selected Bib-Rave Pros ran and showed us all how it worked. It made me excited to go back home and try out my Zwift pod (you can see it on my shoe in the scooter picture above) on my treadmill. The Zwift team were on hand to answer any questions. They also gave us beer and cheese so I was pumped about that.
During this reception we also got the mother of all swag bags!
I mean, we were warned that our swag bags would be epic, but I don't think any of us were expecting this level of craziness!! In the coming weeks, I will be writing more about everything we got in more detail! Thank you thank you THANK YOU to the brands that provided us with stuff: Brooks, Addaday, Vooray, Altra, Handful, Arcanum, Nuun, CEP Compression, Zwift, Vuori, and Incrediwear.
After the Zwift Reception, we headed to get BBQ. YAAAAAAASSSSS. Give me all the brisket.
After the BBQ, we headed to the Brooks Party. Several other people who arrived early to the party with us told us that this party always gets crazy. It was really quiet at first so we grabbed a beer and chatted. And then Des Linden showed up. FOR REAL. At first I was hesitant to grab a photo with her, but I asked her agent if she was annoyed by this and he said to go ahead and get in there and so I did. I felt like a GIANT next to her. In this pic, I am crouching down and am still a head taller than her! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
Prior to getting to the party, my roommates and I thought we would stay about an hour. But then the band started and we were dancing and so we left around 11. I WAS SO SO TIRED. I crashed in my bed.
Friday November 30
Our alarms went off at 5:30 for another jam-packed day. We had to get back to the convention center hotel for a BibRave Pro group run. Our hotel was located about 0.8 miles from the convention center. Once we arrived to the convention center, we were told that Ram Racing, the group that puts on those Hot Chocolate runs, had arranged for a photographer to take photos of our group run. Larry was so fun and scooted around Austin popping up to take photos of us. It was a little challenging to keep our big group together but Larry got some great shots!
After the group run, we somehow had to get back to our hotel, showered, and back to the convention center in less than an hour. My roommate and I took motorized scooters and mid-scooter ride I discovered that my "go" button was broken. I should have gotten off the scooter, but I didn't want to be late to our tour, and we were SO close to the hotel. Unfortunately, I ended up flying off the scooter and landing on my side. ARGH. I had some minor road rash and I know now that I ended up fracturing my rib from that fall. Anyways, we ended up ditching the scooters and running to the hotel, quickly showering and I ran back to the convention center. I made it there just as they were opening the doors for our tour.
From 8:30-11:30, we visited the booths of the brands that provided us swag. This was really fun because we were able to hear about the motivation behind starting the company, see future products that were slated to be released to the public next year, and ask questions. Every single brand was super engaging and nice to us. Incrediwear even had Olympian Manteo Mitchell at their booth!
|TIRED eyes for me!|
After our tours were done, we were free to roam the exhibit hall until it closed at 1 PM. AND YOU KNOW I was there until the doors closed. I scored a lot more free stuff, mostly food items, and had fun learning about some new-to-me products.
I think it would be SO FUN to be able to go to the full conference and hear the speakers, etc.
A group of us grabbed some lunch after the expo and then it was time to head back to pack our bags.
I boarded my flight to Houston at 6 PM. After a short layover in Houston, I was en route to Milwaukee and home in my bed by midnight. WOWSA. I may still be trying to catch up on sleep from this trip, but it was so worth it. Thank you to BibRave, The Running Event, and all of our amazing swag sponsors. I had a blast!