Yesterday, we drove 2 hrs up to Birmingham to go to the National Running Show. This was the first one that's been held and I think it takes a lot of courage to try something new and the organisers should be applauded. There was a lot they got right and a lot they can improve for 2019. Here are some thoughts. What they got right * Excellent speakers. Jo Pavey, Kelly Holmes plus a number of well-known speakers from social media. * Lots of people came. Probably the majority were hobby joggers (of which I am definitely one), there were fewer speedy looking people, but it was a decent mix. * Sign language interpreters for the presentations. Excellent move. * Free tickets via UKRunChat * Some strength training/yoga type things in the middle with sessions held throughout the day. What they can improve * The room was too small. It was crowded. They could have doubled the space (although clearly they had no idea for this first year). Some stands were so cramped I just didn't bother looking. Stands needed to be bigger and less densely packed in. * Not many opportunties to buy stuff. Big expos I've been to in the US had loads of big stands selling discounted clothing, there were very very few of these yesterday. I was surprised at how little opportunity there was to spend money. * Gait analysis booked up in a heartbeat. You needed to be there at opening to get a slot. * The Run Cafe was tiny * Surprising lack of brands there. Only Hoka and Saucony. No fitbit/garmin/suunto. Only Up and Running, no other running stores. * Kelly Holmes was on at 9am until 10am. Lots of people travelled to the show and most people arrived at 10-ish (including us) meaning we missed their big star. That was a shame. On the whole, I'm not sure it was worth driving 4 hours in the driving rain and then the snow but it was a good day out on a day when otherwise I would have sat indoors being fed up! Next year they have Paula Radcliffe and I know I'll be going to see her speak.