After arriving in California late Wednesday night, it probably goes without saying that we were pumped to get the weekend started! Momma K and I woke up bright and early to register for the runDisney New Balance virtual queue to reserve our new runDisney shoes at the expo. After getting our appointment time locked in, we went out to get our mile in for day 466 of our run-streak and grabbed a quick bite to eat. We quickly got showered and met up with my friend Kathleen to head over to the expo.
If you have ever been to a runDisney expo, you know that the official race merchandise tends to be the most sought after items of the expo. Lines start to form to enter the expo hours before the expo opens so we made sure to get there early. We arrived to the Disneyland Hotel shortly after 8:00 where we were greeted by Cast Members who directed us to the waiting area for the expo. We were given colored wristbands upon entering which signified when we entered line to help line-jumping.
We had about 1:15 to spend in line, so obviously it turned into a "expo line party." It was great to meet up with friends from around the country that were all here for the same reason this weekend. Even though we only see each other periodically, it is like we just saw each other last week when we are reunited.
The line quickly grew and before the expo opened, the line was quite lengthy. Thank you runDisney for allowing us to enter the expo 30 minutes earlier than scheduled and keeping everyone so organized. After the expo chaos of Dumbo 2013, runDisney has really stepped up the expo line organization. When it was time to start letting us into the expo, they had everyone sit down on the ground (to avoid people just rushing the doors), then row by row they escorted us into the expo hall and to the merchandise area where we were queued up to go in. They only allowed so many people into the shopping area at a time which was great because you were actually able to shop without jumping over people and mass chaos all around. Huge kudos to runDisney!
It was finally our turn to go inside and shop! Thanks to the Disney Parks Blog preview last week, I already had an idea of what items I was wanting, however in true Disney style there were some surprise items as well. Every was very well organized and there was plenty of room to move around and shop.
After getting our race merchandise, we headed over to the New Balance booth for our appointment to get our 2015 runDisney shoes. I love how New Balance has started making the virtual queue for runners only the first day of the expo to allow them the opportunity to purchase first then open it to the public the remaining days.
We got in and out pretty quickly. The New Balance team was awesome to work with and Momma K and I are both loving our new runDisney kicks! Momma K got the Tink shoes and I got Tink and the newly release Donald Ducks.
Now it was time to make our way through the rest of the expo. My first stop was obviously to say hello to the wonderful ladies at Sparkly Soul! They released a special collection for the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo which I was super excited to get my hands on. You may have seen them on me over the weekend, but you will want to check them out. Of course I had to stop by and visit with the wonderful Jeff Galloway while I was there a well. I could seriously talk to him for hours about his run-walk method and how it was empowered so many people to start their running journey as well as experienced runners getting faster.
There were some other great vendors like KT Tape and PRO Compression which I of course had to stop by to say hello and pick up some goodies. Surprisingly, the expo wasn't overly crowded for it being the first day of the expo. There was room to move around on the expo floor and lines were moving rather quickly. One of my favorite freebies of the expo was the runDisney pictures. We didn't get to do these on Thursday, so we did them when we went back on Friday with Becky. Aren't they adorable though!?!?
Our final stop was bib pick up. If you read my expo survival tips last week, you know that I always preach to do this last. Your bib is not going anywhere. They cannot sell out of them so why do it first (unless you don't plan to shop). Everything in bib pickup went very smoothly. The longest wait was to pickup our 10th Anniversary Party wristbands but even that went pretty quickly. The volunteers were all very upbeat which always makes for a great experience.
After picking up your bib(s), you head back into the main expo hall to pick-up your race shirts. This process is super organized and size swaps is easy as well. I was very happy with the shirt designs for 2015, but more on that later. :)
Each year runDisney has continued to improve the format and organization of the Disneyland 1/2 Marathon Weekend expo. I wish there were a few more running focused vendors with different products, but overall I would call it a success. Thank you runDisney for making the kick-start to my 2015 Disneyland 1/2 Marathon weekend so great!
I love to run and most importantly I love to have FUN while I run....I am the "Funner Runner"
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