Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Walt Disney World Marathon 2013 Expo!

I am finally getting around to writing my recaps from the runDisney Marathon weekend! I thought I would start from the beginning...from the time we arrived, to the expo, and the night before the race.

We left for Disney on Friday afternoon around 1:00. One of the girls I was traveling with had to work that morning so we waited on her to leave. I was a little sad about this because I was so excited and wanted to get to Disney as soon as possible! I also wanted to get to the expo before everything sold out but leaving this late made that impossible. It takes about 8 hours to get to Disney from where I live so after bathroom, gas, and dinner stops we finally arrived in Disney around 10 pm!


Seeing the entrance sign was the best thing I had seen in forever!!!! I LOVE Disney!!! We were staying at Disney's All Star Music Resort. I've always stayed at All Star Sports so I was excited about seeing the layout of Music.


While we waited in line to check in (yes check in was still busy at 10:00 at night!!!) I looked around a bit and discovered the runDisney transportation sign. I love that Disney provides transportation to and from every event!


Finally we got checked in and we headed to our room. We were all super tired and excited to wake up and go to the expo in the morning! Since there were 5 of us we got a suite to stay in. The best part about the suite...there were two bathrooms!!! 

Everything in Disney is usually pretty magical...until we opened the door to our room. There was a wadded up wash cloth on the floor, one of the bathrooms had hair in the tub, and when we opened up one of the sleepers you could tell the sheets had been slept in and not changed. Gross!!! Come on Disney! This is NOT the way to start off our magical weekend!!! We of course called the front desk and they brought us new sheets and promised to clean our room in the morning...they offered to clean it that night but it was late and we were all so tired. 

It wouldn't be Disney if the towels weren't shaped like Mickey Mouse! :-)


After a good night's rest, we woke up in the morning and headed to the food court for breakfast. I decided to go ahead and start carbing up for the race. I had one of the best things in the world...a Mickey shaped waffle and bacon!!!


After breakfast we got on the bus and headed to the ESPN Wide World of Sports where the expo was! As expected, Disney had it all organized perfectly. Luckily we got there right when it opened and didn't have to wait in line at all. We stopped for a quick picture before heading inside the HP Field House to get our race bibs. We were super excited that we would be running on that baseball field during the race!


When we got inside the packet pickup area I walked right up to my designated line and handed them my signed waiver. They gave me my bib and bag check number. I then walked over and made sure the B-tag was working on my bib. I was in Corral D but my friends were in Corral E. I decided I would go back to their corral on race morning so that we could all start together.


New Balance was there taking pictures of everyone! We had so much fun with this one!!!



After getting our bibs we had to walk to another building to get our shirts and bag check bags.


Then it was race expo time! Let the shopping begin!!!



The first place you enter at the expo is the runDisney official merchandise area. This is what I was most excited about! I knew I wanted the "I Did It" shirt for the marathon for sure. But....most of the official merchandise was sold out! Only a few items remained and it was really hard to find the size that you needed. And the "I Did It" shirt was totally sold out! I was so disappointed!!! Disney really needs to make sure they have enough merchandise if they are going to have an expo open for 3 days! I did find a couple of runDisney shirts that I liked but they didn't have anything about the marathon on them...which is what I wanted.

We then proceeded into the expo area and who did I see at the runDisney booth? Jeff Galloway!!! He invented the "run-walk-run" training program that so many people follow. I couldn't wait to meet him! He was super nice! He genuinely seemed interested in what everyone was talking to him about. I was lucky enough to tell him a little about my blog, get a picture with him, and he even signed my race bib for me!

Yeah you can tell I don't meet famous people very often! Do I look starstruck?? :-)



After doing a little more shopping (had to stop at Raw Threads, Running Skirts, and Sweaty Bands), Angela and I saw another photo opp! Luckily she likes to take pictures as much as I do so we stood in line for this one. I was a little leery of touching the medal before the race (no way was I going to put it around my neck) so we decided to just hold it. I really hoped I was smiling like this at the finish line the next day!!!


Some of my purchases at the expo! I like the runDisney shirts...just wish they said marathon on them somewhere. And the other shirt came from Raw Threads...I LOVE their bamboo shirts!!!


Even though I was upset about the official merchandise selling out, runDisney puts on the BEST expos! They are by far my favorite out of any other races!

We finished up our shopping and then met up with the rest of our friends for lunch. We decided to stay there and eat at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill. It was a quick service restaurant so the food was just ok. I'm glad we ate there though because I got a text from Kat from Sneakers and Fingerpaints that she was headed back to the expo. We were able to find each other easily! She is even more beautiful in person!!! I wish we'd had more time to hang out.


After lunch, most of the girls went back to the hotel because Sally wasn't feeling good (her husband had the flu back home and she was afraid she was coming down with it too). Angela and I decided to stay and get one more photo opp that we had wanted. We couldn't wait to get our hands on this gorgeous medal the next day!!!


Then Angela and I headed to Downtown Disney for some shopping. I promised Hayden and Sawyer I would bring them home a souvenir. The Lego Store was definitely on the agenda for Hayden! And since both my boys are Avengers fans I just had to take a picture for them in front of this Hulk made out of Legos!


I found a Woody doll that Sawyer had been wanting for a long time in Once Upon a Toy! And while we were there....I met Erin from A Storybook Life! She was soooo sweet and we could have talked forever!!!


Our friends decided to meet us at Downtown Disney for dinner. We had recommendations from a friend to try Wolfgang Puck Express. They had wood-fired pizzas so I was a happy girl! I could keep my tradition of pizza the night before a race! And the pizza was one of the best ever!!! So good!!!


We walked around Downtown Disney a little more and then headed to catch the bus back to the resort. We had an early wake-up call of 3 AM so we wanted to get as much sleep as possible.

As tradition...a picture of all my race gear the night before the race!


I was ready! Marathon number 2 was about to be reality!!! Stay tuned....

QOTD: What is one of your pre-race traditions?

Registration for the Disneyland Half Marathon opens today! I really really want to do the Dumbo Double Dare but don't know if I can fit it in my budget. 

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