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Runners grab tags, treats and trinkets

Bloomsday Sunday is for racing.

Trade show Friday is for eating, shopping and massages.

Runners were lined up to spin for salad dressing, pita chips and rice.

They were flaying away at Nordstrom Rack goods like lost mall crawlers.

The smaller ones were tossing basketballs at an inflatable rim.

And there were stacks and stacks of shoes.

Joel Warwick of Sport Town said the 400 boxes of Asics and New Balance footwear will shrink by as much as 80 during the trade show’s two days.

Most are too rigid to be worn Sunday, he said, but a soft shoe like the Nimbus will allow runners to float around the Bloomsday course without discomfort.

“A lot of people can get away with it,” Warwick said.

He said walkers should not wear walking shoes for the race; they flex differently, and the running shoes promote an easier stride.

Tim Hayes was promoting “Miracle MSM,” or methylsulponylmethane, a substance that when massaged into the skin relaxes the tissue and makes it more flexible, he said.

For more conventional therapy, runners could sample coffee with 154 antioxidants, and more than 200 phytonutrients. Who knew?

They could buy jewelry at À La Sha – “beautiful” – or pick up free HoopFest posters.

If organizers are correct, more than 50,000 runners, or their surrogates, will pour around and through the displays, dispensing cash and eating doughnuts as they go.

It was all new to Vince and Lafern Janson, of Deer Park.

Lafern is not running, and Vince said back problems and other aches had discouraged him in the past. But with a few successful 5K walks as encouragement, he said he was ready to join their son and daughter-in-law on the course Sunday.

Both said they were impressed by how nice everybody was as Vince worked his way through the registration process.

Tags: Bloomsday