2024 Adirondack Sports and Fitness Summer Expo on March 16th and 17th at the Saratoga Springs City Center

by John Parisella

John Parisella and Carol Reardon at the ADK Sports and Fitness Expo. Photo courtesy of Darryl Caron

The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club (HMRRC) participated in the Adirondack Sports and Fitness  Summer Expo on St. Patrick’s weekend. This twice-yearly event included a wide range of vendors and organizations (approximately 200). These organizations represented the travel, recreation, running and racing, biking, triathlon, boating, hiking, health, home and pet  industries from all over New York State. New York State and county travel and leisure  organizations such as Travel and Tourism (I Love New York) and the NYS Canal Corporation were also represented with large booths, including a working canal lock!

HMRRC was represented by Club President Ravi Chauhan, son Div Chauhan, Club Administrator Carol Burns and myself (John Parisella). The goal was to increase awareness of the HMRRC mission,  educational programs, races, and opportunities for leadership and volunteering. Thousands of  Expo visitors streamed through the many aisles over the course of the two-day event. Our club booth was located in a very good position right in the middle of the Saratoga Springs City Center. Visitors  who stopped by the HMRRC booth were sometimes familiar with the Club but many visitors did not know the actual Club’s mission. (Do you?)  We signed-up 20 individuals to become club members while at the Expo.

As a frequent volunteer for the Club, I thoroughly enjoy speaking with anyone who’s interested  and telling them some of the club’s history. Carol and I enjoy informing visitors about the scholarship  program and the HMRRC Just Run program. Many of the visitors, some of whom had never  been Club members, also recounted their history of participating in the Mohawk Hudson River (MHR) Half Marathon, the MHR Marathon, the Stockade-Athon, the Winter Series and Winter Marathon, or the Runnin’ of  the Green.

Most visitors stopping to speak at the booth didn’t know about the HMRRC and we had  plenty of Club schedules and brochures available to give out, in addition to a photo slideshow  depicting the Workforce Team Challenge and the Just Run Program. We also had the very enjoyable  Mohawk Hudson River Marathon and Half Marathon promotional video available for visitors to watch. (Have  you seen it?)

We spoke with many visitors who described themselves as ‘not runners’. This created an opportunity for us to  ask if they enjoyed volunteering where we subsequently went into a very brief ‘spiel’ about the wide ranging  leadership and volunteer opportunities available within the club. (Do you know about the club’s volunteer opportunities?)

The Club was able to provide a large number of leftover race shirts, pint glasses and lunch  bags as gifts to anyone that may have wanted one. Many Expo visitors also received a Workforce  Team Challenge lunch bag in which to collect Expo materials at the door.

HMRRC’s participation in this event helps raise public awareness of the Club’s  overall mission, our specific programs, current and historical races, and it increases good will toward  the Club. It is great fun and, in my opinion, well worth the time. If you would like to represent the  club at future Adirondack Sports and Fitness Expos or other similar events, then please reach out to a committee member. I would encourage you to give this volunteer opportunity a try or try one of the many opportunities that the club has to offer.

Become an event volunteer.

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