Runners in the second annual Fort Smith Marathon will have at least 15 vendors to visit during the event’s first sports and nutrition exposition held the day before the big event. The Fort Smith Marathon Expo is set for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 13 in the Riverfront Park Events Building 121, Riverfront Drive. The Valentine’s Day race starts at 8 a.m. downtown. Daniel Goh, marathon expo organizer, said the pre-race event created by volunteers allows runners a chance to pick up T-shirts and race packets as well as do a little last-minute shopping. In addition to Feet Fleet in Fayetteville, Mile Junkie Gear of Oklahoma will offer running-related products for sale at the expo.“It kind of helps us get everyone in one place to get the information they need,” Fort Smith Marathon Director Samantha Cole said. “It’s kind of like a mini-mall for running stuff.” The expo will also give runners a chance to pick up course maps and learn more about Fort Smith and talk to locals about good places to eat or go shopping. Many of the racers are from out of town, Cole pointed out. As of Thursday, there were 650 runners registered.Vendor applications are being accepted until Thursday, Goh said. There was only one booth space available Tuesday afternoon.In addition to shopping a mini-Fleet Feet running store being brought down from Fayetteville, runners and their supporters will have a chance to learn more about organic vegetable juices from Carrot Dirt, essential oils from Organic Oils and how nutrition plays into running performance with Sparks Nutrition Counseling Center.Maggie Chamberlain, sports nutritionist with
Sparks Nutrition Counseling Center in Fort Smith, said that not all runners understand just how important a high-protein diet and other appropriate nutrition is. As a running consultant, Chamberlain is able to provide detailed nutrition plans that factor in a person’s weight and activity level.Chamberlain, who held a runners class in the fall, is scheduling another for the spring and offers private consultation for runners.Brock Hime, marketing specialist for Fleet Feet in Fayetteville, said the two Fleet Feet booths at the marathon expo will offer many things that can be found in the store, from shoes, socks and other apparel to nutrition items and even some BodyGlide to help prevent chafing. They will also have some injury prevention rollers and “spiky balls” for plantar fascia treatment, Hime said. With no dedicated running store in Fort Smith, many runners in the Fort Smith area drive to Fayetteville’s Fleet Feet store, Hime said.Phat Tire Bike Shop, which has a new location in Fort Smith on Rogers Avenue, will also be at the expo to offer like-minded sportsters the latest news on two wheelers. Other vendors signed up for booths at the Fort Smith Marathon Expo include STEP Parenting, Sheep Dog Impact Association, Western Arkansas Runners, Bar Bell Fitness, Health Depot, Advocare, Russ VegasHalf, and Hogeye Marathon. Goh said a goal of the expo was to offer a variety of vendors space.
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