There comes a time in a Disney runners life when one needs to venture away from the parks and visit another part of the Disney property. Yes, I said going somewhere away from the parks. Shocking, I know. This departure from the parks is a necessary step if you plan to run in any of the Disney races. And it isn’t all that painful either.
I made my way over to the Wide World of Sports recently to visit the Fit for a Princess expo during the Princess Half Marathon weekend. I needed to pick up my bib for the race and do a little shopping. I also planned on seeing my friend’s little girl in her first race on Saturday: the 100 meter diaper dash. I really enjoy spending time at expos looking at some of the latest and greatest race technology and seeing the fun running gear that you can buy.
This year’s expo was held over two days. I went first on Friday to do my shopping and to get my bib. I got there shortly after lunch and I was able to walk right in after stopping for a picture with Cinderella’s footmen. It was wonderful because there were no lines for the waivers, bib pickup, or race shirt pick up. I quickly got through all of my required steps, made a quick stop to listen to Jeff Galloway for a few minutes, and made my way out onto the expo floor.
I made a stop at the runDisney booth to get a sneak peek of the race medal. I briefly considered signing up for the Wine & Dine half marathon again, but the fee isn’t cheap so I decided to wait a little while before getting registered.
There were a several booths that I recognized from previous expos. This time I was in search of a 13.1 and a 26.2 bumper sticker. I found them at a booth that also had a few other things I needed, so I made sure to make one quick purchase there.
One of my favorite things is seeing what other new races are out there. There is a Rock ‘n Roll Marathon series and they seem to have a booth at every expo I’ve visited. There is also the Women’s Half Marathon series, which includes a stop in Fort Lauderdale. The Divas Half Marathon Series unfortunately conflicts with Wine & Dine Half Marathon weekend, so I have no plans in taking part in it in the immediate future. One advantage to visiting these booths during an expo is that you can usually get a discount. This year I didn’t take advantage of any discounts though.
My last stop on the first day of the expo was the Official Race Merchandise booth. This is a great place to get your souvenirs. And this year it was a great place to get a discount on Dooney and Bourke Princess bags. While everything I saw this year was nice, there wasn’t anything I had to get so I skipped the long lines.
When I returned on Saturday with some friends, the expo was incredibly crowded. This time I took some time to sit down and listen to some of the guest speakers while my friends shopped. There was a surprise at the runDisney booth too. Reality TV stars Jenna Marasco and Ethan Zohn, both former Survivor winners, were there taking pictures and signing autographs. They were also participating in the race on Sunday. Check out the interview on the Disney Parks Blog here.
The next time you’re in town during one of the runDisney events, I recommend taking a few minutes to make your way over to the expos. You might find something you need to get yourself started in your own training. Or you might even find yourself signing up for one of the Disney races!
Here is your friendly reminder that registration opens today, March 15, for the 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon. Head on over here to sign up today and join me and your other DDL friends in a race around the World!