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spectators’ guide

Fitness Expo draws Marathon runners and more

Just a few blocks away from the Marathon finish line, the Hynes Convention Center will host the 37th annual John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo as a part of Marathon Weekend. What began as a seminar for sports medicine in 1977 has evolved into a showcase of marathon-related presentations, products, and services — along with the official place for runners to get their race number.

“But it isn’t just for runners,” said Dusty Rhodes, president of Conventures and founder of the Expo. “It’s for anyone who appreciates fitness.”

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Starting Friday, up to 80,000 fitness enthusiasts will spend three days exploring over 200 exhibits. Visitors will find an array of goods and gear. Last year, the Expo sold $75.8 million of products, meaning that each shopper spent an average of $200.

The Expo expects to draw people from all over the country, many of whom wish to pay homage to the victims of last year’s tragedy.

“For those out-of-state people, it’s going to be their first time back,” said Rhodes. “They will want a moment of respect.”

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The Expo plans to host a seminar on the events of last year, a talk by Dr. Lyle Micheli titled “Finish Line Physician’s Perspective.” Micheli introduced the Sports Medicine division at the Boston Children’s Hospital in 1974, and has volunteered in the main medical tent at the Marathon every year since.

The Expo will show a variety of videos about the events surrounding last year’s race, and there will be a wall for attendees to sign.

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