Friday, March 1, 2013

Princess Half Marathon Weekend 2013 Part 2 (The Expo)

On Saturday morning Jeff and I were both up bright and early! I got a text from the amazing Liz that she was heading over from Boardwalk on the boat. I went down to meet her getting off the boat and since we had time before the Expo, we went back up to the villa. The night before Jeff wasn't sure if he was going to go with me or not to get my stuff but since he was awake he decided to come with us.

We went down to the bus area (at Beach Club the race buses picked up in the same place that the park buses do). They had 2 people out there helping to direct people to the right buses. One was from Disney and the other from Mears since Disney contracts with them for all the race transportation. This means that the buses are like the ones from MCO on the Magical Express. They have seats and there is even a small bathroom in the back in case a Princess over hydrates!

The expo buses were not scheduled to start running until 8:30am and we were down there early so we got to see the families getting back from the Royal 5K and the kids runners heading to the kids races at Epcot. It was very cute!!!

Here we are waiting for the bus! Just after 8:30am the bus finally showed up! We had to stop at the Boardwalk on the way to the Expo and by the time we got there the line to get in was CRAZY. It started at the conference center at Coronado Springs and wrapped along all the sidewalks over to the main building!

The Expo did not open until 9am and I thought we were early. I guess not. It turns out buses from the other resorts actually started going before ours did which makes me a little sad but it was no big deal in the end. We got in pretty quick once the doors opened.

I was so excited to get inside. I have never run a race that had an Expo and everything I had heard about Disney Expos had me really geeked. One negative was that somewhere in the planning phase someone realized that the Expo could not be held at Wide World of Sports like usual because the Braves were opening Spring Training there (as luck would have it, they opened against the Tigers' but we did not get in early enough on Friday). So because of this the Expo was moved to Coronado Springs. Since it is a resort conference center it meant they would not allow anyone to arrive by cab or by car. You had to take the bus. It also meant the space was smaller than usual. From the reports I heard, Friday was a complete disaster as they got used to the new space. By Saturday things seemed to be better.

I was able to get this picture as we entered! Jeff and I went right to pick up our race stuff. First stop was to get my bib. While in line I got to talk to a Perfect Princess. She had run all five of the Princess races. Turns out her bib number was right by mine so I was right there when she was presented with her sash and her tiara. I think it is neat that Disney does something special for the legacy runners. They also got a medal with a different colored ribbon!

After I got my bib and race retreat and Jeff got his ChEar stuff, it was time to hear over to see the rest of the Expo! The shirt line went pretty fast since I got a small. It seemed that there was a longer line for the larger sizes and a HUGE line for people who were hoping to trade for a different size. After this we headed to the runDisney official merchandise area. Now this area was a COMPLETE mess. It was not very big and there was a huge line to get into the area and another one to pay. Luckily I had prepurchased my Dooney bag so I was able to go in the exit line. Jeff and I looked around a little but Liz had already got an "I Did It" shirt for me on Friday and I decided instead of getting everything Princess I wanted to get some Disneyland Half stuff, some Dumbo stuff and maybe something Coast 2 Coast. I do kind of regret not getting the black tech jacket but that is OK.

I had a few stops I had to do while at the Expo. The first one was I really wanted to see Jeff Galloway. Actually I really wanted to meet him but he was speaking to the group when we were there. Jeff was able to get this picture for me over the crowd!

From there I went to the Team Sparkle booth to try and get the special edition shirts. They had released two but by the time I got there they had already sold out of the long sleeved one. They did still have the one I really wanted that was "Running Happily Ever After" in pink! It is so soft. I also got bracelets for Bria and Jordan since they had been so sweet and helpful at work the last couple of weeks.

Next it was the rawthreads booth for the Fly Thirteen point one shirt for the Martian Half in April. I thought Jeff was going to pass out when he realized that one shirt was $45. Now I will admit I was slightly shocked but I really wanted it to got with my Purple SparkleSkirt! We tried to get in to the SparkleShirt booth to say hi to Leah but it was PACKED completely and I knew I was not going to get another skirt this weekend. Our last stop was Marathonfoto. Jeff knows I love pictures so he talked me into getting the prepurchase gift certificate they were offering. It will let me download all my race pictures plus the two videos for a 35% savings!

On the way out we did stop at the Princess wall and we were able to find my name on the wall! It was so much fun to see my name there. We went out and jumped right on the bus back to the resort. This time we had to go to the Swan, Dolphin and Yacht Club before getting dropped out. Once we got into the room I unpacked all my goodies!

From Disney I got a bag with a bunch of stuff! It has a really nice pink draw string bag, a Princess button, a temporary tattoo, my gear check bag for the next morning, a commemorative picture I picked up from Lasting Commemoratives and a program! I guess most bags also had a bracelet but mine did not and I did not get to check until I was back in the room and I was not going to go back! The race T-shirt was awesome! It is a tech shirt and woman's cut so it fits so nicely.

Now I also bought a few things! In addition to this I also got the Limited Edition Princess Half Marathon pin for the weekend!!

I really loved the purse. It is even cuter in person than it is in the picture. My only complaint is that the long strap is super long so since I am really short it just doesn't work but as a hand held I am happy, just can't wear it as a crossbody like I had planned.

It was about this time that I noticed that something was left on the table when we were gone. My mom and sister had arranged to have this runner's bag delivered. Inside there were 2 bottles of Poweraid (blue and red my favorites), 2 bottles of water, 4 protein bars, dried fruit, nuts, pretzels and gummy sours. Oh, there was also an awesome Disney water bottle. I can't wait to use it at work. It is perfect.  It was so sweet and meant so much to me. I cannot even begin to tell how supportive they have been of me from the very beginning! My mom not only kept the kids so we could go but she has been my biggest cheerleader (as I have mentioned she has been with me at all my races except this one) and my sister has been just as great. Actually everyone has been wonderful. My Dad and Cindy were so encouraging and it would not even be possible to mention everyone but I am going to try as I go through my experience.

Now that we were done with the race stuff and ready for race day, it was time to do some Disney time!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a blast! I didn't know there was a pre-purchase price for MarathonFoto. Sounds like I need to pay attention better!! :)

    Glad you had a great time and maybe we can catch up at Disneyland.