I have been sharing my Disney Experience mostly on my other blog to try to keep this blog running-related as the name suggests. I definitely encourage you to check out the rest of my Disney Adventure as I write about it. So far you can read about the weeks leading up to disney, my flight over and my first time on the Magic Express, and an incredible tea experience at the Garden View Tea Room.
After I finished my tea I headed to the shuttle that would take me from the Grand Floridian to the Disney Princess Half Marathon Expo. It was time to get refocused on running and the reason why I came to Orlando. Unfortunately, I didn’t have too much time to explore everything that the expo offered, because I needed to make it back to the hotel in time for dinner.
It took about 35 minutes from the Grand Floridian to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Then it was even more walking just to get to the expo from the bus. I had my tea to fuel me along and I was making my way. Then I saw someone who looked familiar coming my way…. KERRY!!
Kerry and I have known each other since our Middle School days playing flue together. In High School we were both on the Color Guard, and finally in college we became Sigma Alpha Iota sisters! And if you didn’t notice, it was her birthday! Kerry is actually the reason why the Princess Half Marathon was on my radar. She has been running it for a few years and I always get envious of her pictures, even before I decided to try this running thing. It was really exciting to see her as we passed each other.
One of the common things asked is about the merchandise levels and the wait times at the expo. If this is something you are wondering about, I will share my experience. This was at approximately 4pm on Friday.
The first stop is to get your bib, don’t forget your waiver. (It is okay if you did they have stations where you can print yours if you left it.) When I was looking up mine a few weeks before the race I panicked when I couldn’t find it. I know I was registered and I even submitted proof of time! I went back and looked at my registration and saw I put the wrong birthday!! It was a few months and a few days off. I have no clue how it happened. I called the run disney help line and they told me I could just get it fixed at runner resolutions, it shouldn’t be an issue.
The issue was the runner resolutions line was pretty long and there were no lines for the actual bib pick up. So I took a chance. My age is the same with the incorrect birthday and I guess it didn’t matter, because I had no issues getting my bib and I saved some valuable time skipping runner resolutions. Keep in mind, when I say the line was pretty long, I probably would have gotten through in about 15minutes, it wasn’t nearly as long as I imagine it can be during other times in the expo.
Then the next step was to go upstairs and get my pre-purchased merchandise. I knew I had done a jacket preorder, but I surprised myself and also preordered the turves cup and ornament. I LOVE my preorder jacket, it is simple, black, and very comfy. People were complaining that the preorder jackets were too small, but I felt like they were sized appropriately. It isn’t loose and baggy, but most women fitted running clothes aren’t. This wasn’t an issue for me. I would suggest if you are in-between sizes and prefer a loose fit you might be happier going with the bigger size, but personally I had no issues with the fit.
Then it was time for the real expo to begin. I made my way to the expo and picked up my race shirt, it was BEAUTIFUL by the way!
The expo was confusing and a little overwhelming at first. I think this is because I knew I had a time limit though and so I was a little frantic at first. Once I had my bearings it was just another expo. I definitely missed some things, one of the women I was staying with had a course map and some other participant brochures that I totally missed. I think I also missed a different part of the expo too. Lesson learned: give yourself more than two hours at the expo.
The merchandise was fully stocked, with the exception of the Tervis water bottles. This missing merch probably saved me $30. Even though I had the preorder tumbler I am a sucker for all things Tervis.
I ended up getting a 13.1 run disney magnet, a 13.1 princess magnet, and an “I did it” shirt. It feels strange buying this before running the race, but I didn’t want to wait until after the race and find out they they were out of my size or just not selling them. I was annoyed that the I did it shirt came in two styles, a tech shirt with only a front design, or a cotton shirt with the race course on the back and the front design. I really wanted the tech shirt, but ultimately went for the one with the course on the back. I don’t understand why they didn’t just put the course on both. I almost got another shirt from the expo, but I talked myself out of it. Reminding myself that I need the money for food and it is only day 1.
I spent the rest of my time at the expo doing laps looking for anything unique. Everything I was seeing was the same things at other expos. Magnets, medal holders, KT tape, shoes, endurance supplements, the works. They did have Sparkle Skirts and a few other tempting items, but again…. I had to resist. I have another expo for Shamrock which will have many of the same items. I did get my picture with Jeff Galloway though! That was really neat!
I really enjoyed the expo, I wish I had more time (read more money) to spend there. I left feeling good about my purchases though and reminding myself that whatever I don’t already have I probably don’t need.