It’s been a frigid winter, and the area just got pounded yet again with over a foot of snow in some areas. Surely, no one has thought about going for a long bike ride or competing in a triathlon lately.
And that’s just the way Matt Reece wants it.
Reece is one of the managing members of the Endurance Sports Expo, presented by Competitor. The 5th annual Expo takes place this weekend, February 22-23, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks.
The Endurance Sports Expo (ESE) is a premier preseason event where endurance athletes (cyclists, runners and triathletes) can meet manufacturers, retailers, race directors, clubs, nonprofit organizations and coaches. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn, experience, demo and buy products and services in time to gear up for spring.
“After the winter we’ve had locally, it’s safe to say that most area endurance athletes might’ve fallen behind a bit in their training,” says Reece. “So this is the perfect time for the event. They come out, and maybe they see a training partner or an old coach—and it’s just that kick start they need to get back into preparation.”
Of course, that’s not entirely accurate—some people are extremely devoted to their craft and train year-round for the marathons, triathlons and bike rides they’ll embark upon in the spring, summer and fall. You’ll meet a few of those athletes at the Expo—but Reece’s goal is to make sure you meet plenty of ‘casual’ competitors as well.
“The goal is to draw not just the elite athletes—we want to have a nice mix of things. We want the guy who does monthly triathlons, but we also want the guy who’s thinking about starting to run, or who hasn’t been on the bike in 10 years.”
Reece runs the event with Chip Homeier. The duo has steadily grown the ESE, with some 200+ exhibitors scheduled for this weekend’s event. The exhibitors focus primarily on running, cycling or triathlons. Another exciting feature of the ESE is Endurance University—over 30 hours of educational programming provided by regional and national coaches and experts in their fields. The courses range from “Ask the Expert”-type seminars, to “Yoga for Cyclists”. Some are a bit more specialized, as Reece explains.
“We have one class on Open Water Swimming,” he says. “Some people train for triathlons by swimming at their local pool, in a lane—a quiet environment. Then they get out into that open water, and there’s all this commotion, people kicking water in their faces—this class talks about the importance of preparing for the obstacles you’ll meet in that environment.”
Reece emphasized the work that goes into ensuring an equal mix of vendors, sponsors, educational opportunities and other areas of interest at the event. “There will be people there who are just looking for a good deal,” he says. “That’s fine, but we want to provide something for everyone. So if we get a certain number of people in one field, we’ll decide that is ‘full’ and focus on filling the next area of interest.”
Reece says he feels lucky to be able to access so many vendors and professionals in each field.
Tickets for the Endurance Sports Expo are available now for $7 per day, or $10 for a weekend pass. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Visit www.endurancesportsexpo.com for further details.
Read more Sports Doc for Sports Medicine and Fitness.