runDisney Princess Half Expo 2015

I love race expos! So much gear! So many familiar faces! It gets me so pumped for the race itself. runDisney expos in particular are a lot of fun because I get to see blends from online in the happiest place around. It was quite the unusually chilly day when we went on Thursday afternoon, but it didn’t dampen my excitement! It had been a year since I had been to a runDisney expo and I couldn’t wait to get inside.

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We first headed to pick up my race packet/bib.

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There was no line to get my bib, so it was easy and quick.

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I knew there was a free photo somewhere if you follow runDisney on Instagram, and I found it after I got my bib. Fun!

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After I took my picture we headed out to the red carpet to go over to get my shirt and see the vendors.

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I got my shirt and went over to the official merchandise. I ended up with a cute wine glass and my usual “I did it shirt” that I get at every runDisney race.

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About that time I ran into two of my friends, Kristen and Karen!

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after some chatting I went to find my buddy Michelle at the Running Skirts booth. I love Michelle! She trained me when I used to work for Running Skirts, and we had some super fun times together. I had to pick up a last minute addition to my race costume, and then headed off to find more friends.

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As we walked away I ran into my favorite male race announcer, Rudy! We chatted about the baby (everyone was so sweet to ask about Emma Kate!) and I found out he would be announcing the LA marathon I am running soon!

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I also bumped into Dani

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and went looking for Bobbi at the Raw Threads booth.

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After making the rounds at some of the other booths, I went to check out the new runDisney New Balance shoes in person.

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If I’m being totally honest, I’m not a big fan. Don’t get me wrong, the pairing of the two brands is genius, but I am more of a fan of my beautiful Minnie Mouse shoes and Cinderella shoes than the more bland black and white version. I was hoping for a fun princess shoe to be released for this race, or even another fab 5 character. Maybe later in the year!

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We were pretty tired from our travel day and had an early dinner at California Grill, so we decided to head out.

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As I was standing at the top of the stairs taking the above picture, I saw a familiar face go by. It was Danni from the Biggest Loser! I knew she would be there but when I said “hi Danni!” as she walked by, I don’t think she expected it. She stopped and said hello and I told her I cheered for her to win her season from the beginning and asked if she would take a selfie with me. She was super sweet and I wished her luck with the race!

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It was a great way to close out the expo seeing her. We had a great time and it got me excited for the half marathon.

QOTD: have you ever met a celeb at a race or expo?

runDisney Princess Half Marathon Expo 2014

I had high hopes for this year’s expo after a bit of a mess in 2013. Last year, the expo was held at Coronado Springs Resort, and I don’t think anyone anticipated that it wasn’t enough space. This year however, things went very smoothly, good job runDisney!

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We arrived after lunch, so the expo had already been open about four hours. I think the first “wave” of people had left, because I did not find it that crowded.

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There were free yogurt cups being given out outside, the perfect snack for some shopping stamina!

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We walked the royal red carpet up to the expo doors, and were ready to shop!

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Our plan was to go to the official merchandise first since it sold out so quickly last year. Then we would go get our packets, the shop the expo floor.

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I was happy to see most things were still ins tock, the only thing I did not get that I wanted was a glass slipper sweaty band. Oh well, at least I got my I Did it shirt!

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Across the way we went to get our bibs. We all got in the 5k line, then I had to go downstairs to get my Glass Slipper bib and shirts. That’s when I realized I didn’t have a coast to coast band. I had emailed runDisney to tell them I did NOT want coast to coast at Tink because I wanted the pink one at Princess (they had sent out an email to everyone doing both and asked us to respond with our preference.) Obviously, my email was not received or got lost, because there was no record of my name.

I went to runner relations, and the guy working tried to tell me I would need to go visit the info booth the morning of the half marathon. I didn’t like being passed off to someone else, and didn’t want to worry for the next three days if they were going to give me my wristband or not the morning of the race, nor did I want to be stressed about it at 4:00 in the morning on race day. I asked the guy if there was really nothing he could do, even showing a picture from my phone of me posing with my ONE medal after Tinkerbell, and he reluctantly agreed to give me the wristband. Whew.

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About this time, Bobby was in line for us to get our picture from runDisney for following them on Instagram. I think it came out cute, they always do a good job with the backdrops!

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We headed BACK to the expo floor, and I saw these guys.

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We got our 5k shirts and my mom’s 10k shirt, and then I made my rounds saying hi to friends working at booths, chatting with other runners and readers, and just having a great time! Jen texted me and said she saw someone post these pins on Instagram, so I headed over to the runDisney booth to get my own! LOVE this idea!

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Soon we had to leave to go get ready for dinner, but I could have stayed much longer!

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I couldn’t pass up a picture with the Glass Slipper sign as we headed to the parking lot.

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Look how cute my mom and dad are! My dad would be getting his first runDisney medal the next morning.

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I loved this expo and thought runDisney did a great job of correcting the issues of last year. I still thought some of the merchandise was lacking in quality, but I feel like I’m beating a dead horse with that one. It’s selling out, right? The signage was great, the volunteers were very helpful, and aside form the coast to coast hiccup, we had no issues. Hooray! Until the next race…

QOTD: DO you like to “get in and get out” at expos or stay for awhile?

For more information on registering for a runDisney race, visit runDisney.com

Tinkerbell Expo 2014

I was really excited about going to California for the runDisney Tinkerbell half marathon weekend, it was my first one! Not only that, but my mom had never been to Disneyland, ever, so I couldn’t wait to show her around. The first thing we did after check in and grabbing some lunch was head to the expo. We were staying at the Grand Californian, and mom was impressed at how convenient the expo was for those staying on property.

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Unfortunately, there was quite a long line just to get into the official merchandise area, we waited about 20 minutes or so. However, I was glad it was at least organized unlike at Dumbo back in August.

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There was a lot of official merchandise to choose from, but sadly the sizing of the shirts was way off. The “I Did It” tech shirt was very boxy and SO short compared to the Dopey I did it shirt I got not even a week before. Sizing inconsistency bums me out. I was able to get what I wanted (coffee mug, sweaty band, etc.) and my mom bought me this adorable shirt:

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I loved that lots of items said “flutter to the finish” and thought that was a very cute slogan.

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We paid for our merchandise and did a little walking around so I could visit with some friends working various booths before heading downstairs to get bibs. We headed back outside and down the ramp to packet pick up.

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Mom got her 5k bib, there were hardly any lines down here.

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We had to go back into the expo to get the t-shirt for the race, and then bib the expo farewell. We would end up coming back on Saturday to walk around some more and say hi to some friends, but it was time to go rest before our 5k the next morning!

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This being my first Tink, I have no previous expo to compare it with except the one for the Disneyland half marathon which was a nightmare. This one had a lot more volunteers, and they even had tape on the floor making little lines so you knew where to stand while you waited to go into the official merchandise area. They only let in so many at a time, which definitely helped with the flow of things. Also, there was plenty of merchandise out, we weren’t waiting for more to constantly come out like at the Disneyland half expo. They were not out of any merchandise that I am aware of (we were there about an hour after opening) and we had an overall positive experience!

QOTD: Do you buy official race merchandise at races?

Want to learn more about runDisney races? visit rundisney.com for details, dates, and runner information.

Expo Time Again!

It’s runDisney expo day! I love it. So much excitement surrounding the race weekend, and everyone is PUMPED UP! Check out my expo recap from last year here.  I am pretty tired from the meet up (recap to come!) But still excited about the race tomorrow night.

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Today we will be going to magic Kingdom for a bit before heading to the Wine and Dine expo after lunch. Then tomorrow it’s rest, lunch at Earl of Sandwich, and nap, then RACE! (Check out my race tips if you missed them).

Sunday we plan to sleep in after the race and post-race party, then head to EPCOT to bid farewell to the food and wine festival. Then we are meeting up with some friends before heading to ESPN to watch the Saints play Sunday night football. Monday is our last full day and we will head to Hollywood Studios and hopefully see the Osborne lights at some point (other than running through them at the race).

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I can’t wait to reveal my race costume tomorrow, it’s going to be fun! If you see me at the expo today or at the race or party, be sure to say HI, I would love to chat! I get sad when people say they saw me but didn’t want to bother me etc. PLEASE say hello! Have a great day everyone!

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about a race expo?