TriRock San Diego Race Report – Exhibitor Addition

25 Sep

Many bloggers post race reports, I thought it might be interesting to my readers to hear about a race from the “other” side.  The view of one of the exhibitors.  You know the guy or gal sitting in a tent handing out samples or selling you t-shirts with cute saying.  I have been selling at expos all over California, Arizona and Nevada for 4 years now.  Some are great experiences and some are not.  Just like races, some are very well organized and some are just not (or cluster Fs as I like to say).

TriRock is an international races series that is owned by Competitor group that is known for its very popular Rock N Roll Race series.  If you have only been to the Rock n Roll expos, then you would be a little disappointed by the the Tri Rock expos.  They are much, much smaller which is GREAT for me!  Less competition, there was only TYR and the official merchandise there as apparel competition.

TriRock is also an outside event, which if you have good weather, is great!  It is much easier to load and unload if you can pull up to the spot.  At TriRock we could not drive up to the spot on the grass, but we could park along the road, which was very close to my spot.  When you have an event inside, you have to put everything on a hand truck and wheel it in, which takes a lot longer.  So set up was easy!

TriRock San Diego Tough Chik Tent

TriRock San Diego
Tough Chik Tent

Of course it is a total crap shoot when you have an outdoor expo, if you have bad weather, it can ruin your event.  Luckily in So Cal, we are usually blessed with nice weather and last weekend was no exception.

The event was 2 days, day 1 is packet pick up, from 10 – 6 and then on race day, 8-12.  Packet pick up is typically your big sales day and since packet pick up was on a Saturday, you can get traffic all day long and just not the lunch and after work rush.  This was also a good spot because we are set up in a very touristy part of San Diego, so I even got some sales off of visitors who had no idea the race was even going on.  BONUS!

Day one, Saturday, was a beautiful day and I had a nice stream of customers most of the day.  It can be hard to work by yourself, especially if you need to go to the bathroom!  Luckily I am like a camel, if you know what I mean, and the tent next to me kept an eye on the “store” while I made a pit stop.  So if you ever walk up to an un-manned tent at an expo, they might just have to take a nature break.  Please stick around, we will be back soon!

I love introducing new athletes to the brand and getting the opportunity to explain the benefits of my product in person.  It is very hard to show the quality and thought that goes into an article of clothes on-line.  I also love seeing the same women returning year after year, telling me what items the already own and what they want to add to their collection.  You don’t get this kind of feedback on-line.

It was a long day on my feet and only a apple here or handful of trail mix there, so I left pretty tired and hungry.  Since it was a 2-day event, I added the nylon “walls” to my tent.  The expo has overnight security and I have been very lucky to have never had an issue leaving my tent and product in the tent over-night.  Even so, I always hold my breathe the next morning, hoping that everything looks like it did when I left it.  I only had on instance when 3 of my grid walls were knocked over, but nothing was missing or damaged.  Just a mess.

Day 2 can start very early, sometimes we need to be there the same time the atheletes arrived due to road closures or parking issues.  This can be a very cold a lonely time, because no one is at the expo, the are at the start and/or racing.  We had a parking garage that we could enter without hitting any of the road closures, so I was able to arrive around 7:30, which is way more palatable than 5:30 when transition opened!

I have to admit that I was SO jealous of the racers.  I wanted to be out there in the mix.  It felt like years since the last time I strapped a timing chip around my ankle!  Then I did the math and it had been a month and a half!  HA!  I was jonesing to race.  During the race I had a few supporters stop by, wives who also race but were supporting their mates, families of first time races, etc.  But the big rush is when the main field finishes.  You get to see women who you sold a kit to the day before, race in it!

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Tough Chik Zoom Zoom Kit takes 1st!

You get to talk to women who didn’t want to buy the “I TRI” tee until they TRId and see how happy and relieved they are that they finished thier first TRI and I get to be apart of it.  You get see how one of your sayings makes to a cheer poster.

"Proud of our TRIATHAMOM"

“Proud of our TRIATHAMOM”

And you get to see your friends and teammates after they race and hear the triumps and tragedies that can occur during a race moring.  This is one of my favorite parts, the sweaty, salty hug after a race!

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My friend and teammate, Sara, post race!

Then once the awards are handed out, the beer is drunk and race numbers are peeled off, the crowd dwindles and we pack up.  I was so lucky that my husband drove to San Diego early Saturday AM to help me set up and then again on Sunday afternoon to help me load up.  It is so much quicker with 2 people.  I am a lucky lady!

Overall, TriRock is a great race to expo.  This year we were set up in a new grassy field that was much easier to access than years pass.  It was very organized and tons of port-a-potties.  The atheles were excited and energized.  We had great weather and little competition.  On the downside, TriRock is very expensive to exhibit at, just like it is to race.  On top of that we had to pay $15 per car to park on race day, although we did have free parking on packet pick-up.  I will most likely be back to TriRock if they don’t raise the pricing and if you are new to triathlon, this is a great first race!

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One Response to “TriRock San Diego Race Report – Exhibitor Addition”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Dark Side | Tough Chik - October 3, 2013

    […] out), I am playing catch up with training.  I broke my “6 months off of racing” after TriRock because I was so jealous inspired by all of the […]

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