Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Great Lakes Multisport & Running Expo

Some Lurker in the Nineteen booth

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Great Lakes Multisport & Running Expo in Milwaukee, WI. Truth be told I had the choice of going to either San Diego this weekend or Milwaukee. I am glad that I chose Milwaukee - crazy as that choice seems.

Who knew that Milwaukee, WI, would be a hub of triathlon activity and enthusiasm on a cold January weekend in the middle of winter? Despite the chilly weather, thousands of triathletes showed up to check out new goods and great deals on a variety of triathlon and running gear from a wide range of manufacturers and retailers.

I was there working in partnership with The Endurance House, Nineteen's go-to dealer in Madison. Great people and a great shop. If you are a triathlete and you are ever in Madison stop by and see Jamie and Tara at the Endurance House. At the Expo Jamie brought their gait analysis system and people could get their gait tested and shoes recommended.

Running Away Multisport, our dealer in Chicago was also there promoting their series of running races and tris that they put on. They didn't bother with a booth - they just brought the truck! (see pic below)

There was lots to see and do at the Expo. They had this very cool team-time-trial with 6 members of team all hooked up to Computrainers and then they would all go all out for 20 minutes and the team that logged the most distance won. There was also an individual Time Trial on the Computrainers as well. There were runners running on Woodway treadmills, trying to "Run Around Wisconsin" over the weekend. I loath treadmills, but if I ever got one, I would break the bank and get a Woodway. They are the bomb! An amazing piece of machinary. So quiet. So smooth.

A wave of the ITT Competition

There was an Endless Pool to get swim stroke analysis or test a wetsuit in. Some shops were doing on-site bike fits as well. Essentially, everything for the triathlete was there.

What I found particularly encouraging was the number of new triathletes that I spoke to. People who had one year of triathlon under their belt with one or two races done or, this year is going to be their first year of doing a few races. The enthusiasm of these folks was infectious. Of course, they had all the newbie questions about wetsuits, but I made sure to emphasize the two absolutely key things - the zipper goes on the back, and make sure you get the best fitting wetsuit that you can( naturally this is where I put in the plug for Nineteen - as we are known for how well we fit people!) This bodes well for the triathlon business as we go forward. New triathletes need new shoes, bikes, wetsuits and races to go to. All good!

I spied Troy Jacobson of Spinerval fame walking the aisles, and we both had a laugh about having to choose Milwaukee over San Diego this weekend. It was good to catch up with Troy. However, Troy was honest that his amazing, and ever growing Spinerval series of indoor training DVD's sell better, the worse the winter is in a place. Makes sense. In that case, Wisconsin is a hot-spot for him! And he must kill-it in Canada!

If you live within two hours of Milwaukee and you are a triathlete, runner or cyclist - make sure you put this Expo on your list of things to do next year. It was a great event and not to be missed in the future.

I am back home for a week and then I am heading over to the UK to help with the launch of Nineteen wetsuits in the U.K. market at another Tri Expo over there.

The Running Away Multisport fun machine

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