Welcome to the 2014 Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Expo! This year was a vast improvement of the chaos that marked the opening day of the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon Expo.
Since I knew I’d stay longer than the 3 hours of free parking you are allotted at the Downtown Disney parking lot (and I knew I could park in the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure for free all day long), I parked in the Mickey and Friends lot. For the fun of it, I took the tram into Downtown Disney. I knew it would cost me a little time. However, I was still pretty early.
Last year, we waited outside in the heat. This year, we went downstairs to wait in air conditioning for the opening of the Expo. Already, I was liking this year vs. last year.
When I arrived, the lines had already been formed. This was the line to get inside for the official merchandise at a little before 11am. Yikes!
Last year, it was a free for all. This year, they kept us is small enough groups to keep things calm.
This was the line to get into the official merchandise area at around 11:30. Not too bad.
I loved the banners for the upcoming runDisney races!
They also played some of the runDisney videos while we waited from last year. Here’s Joey Fatone who ran the Dumbo Double Dare last year.
A peak in the official merchandise area while I was waiting to get in. See? No chaos. It was a completely different scene last year.
The merchandise itself made it hard to stay within my budget. However, some items were just not right for me. I loved this shirt. However, it was a long-sleeved shirt. In Southern California, I just don’t wear the long-sleeved shirts enough to justify buying it. If this shirt had been short-sleeved, I would have had a tough decision.
I almost purchased this one…
Check out the back…Run the Dream! That seemed to be a theme this year.
See what I mean?
This is what I ended up buying. I got the Dumbo Double Dare shirt. It’s not the “I Did It!” one because that one was grey and I don’t like grey. I also didn’t get the “I Did It!” Disneyland Half Marathon shirt. Why? They didn’t have my size. Ugh! The tough choice was between the shirt I purchased and the yellow Mickey Mouse one. At one point, I had the pins for the Coast to Coast (which I did buy), the Dumbo Double Dare, Disneyland Half Marathon, and Disneyland 10K. However, at $15 a piece, I needed to put the ones I’ve purchased previously back. Darn budgets! I did get the little medal for my Mickey Vinylmation to add to the one he has from the Walt Disney World Marathon. I got two magnets and the runDisney running hat (which I’m planning on wearing this weekend). I know that you’re not supposed to use anything new on race day. However, I have 2 hats just like this one. So, I don’t see that as a problem.
One thing that was kind of cool was meeting a reader of this blog while I was in the merchandise area. Alycia, it was good to meet you! I’m glad that you made it in time. Hopefully, you were able to purchase whatever you wished to purchase at the Expo.
Once the merchandise was purchased, it was time to go downstairs to get the race bibs for myself and my wife. The lines for the Dumbo Double Dare were the longest. However, the volunteers did a bang up job and got us through quickly and with lots of cheer!
I made my way back upstairs to get my race shirts. This is what they look like. Once again, I like the Disneyland 10K race shirt the best!
After that, it was time to head over to the runDisney booth to check out the latest medals.
I love the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon medal!
It’s a spinner. After the Dumbo Double Dare, this will be the next medal from runDisney that I’ll be earning. Can’t wait for November!
The week before Avengers, is the Wine and Dine. Here’s the front….
…and back. Pretty cool. No?
In October, a lot of runners will be earning the Tower of Terror 10 Miler medal. Pretty cool!
On Saturday, I’ll earn this one at the Disneyland 10K.
Sunday, I’ll earn this one for the Disneyland Half Marathon….
This one for completing the Dumbo Double Dare….
And this one for finishing the Walt Disney World Marathon in January in Florida and the Disneyland Half Marathon out here in California. Coast to Coast!
At the runDisney booth, I also got to chat with Jeff Galloway, the runDisney running guru whose run, walk, run method for long distance running has seen me through so many races. He’s even qualified for and ran in this year’s Boston Marathon using his method. You don’t have to run the entire distance to run fast. Jeff’s a super nice guy and is always so gracious with all those who want to chat.
After wandering around the Expo for a little while, it was time for lunch at the Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. Love this place!
Then, I headed back for some more time at the Expo. I stopped at the Angels Baseball Foundation booth…
I spun the wheel and won this Rally Monkey!
As I was waiting in line for the next picture, I saw Kimberly Markey, who writes Maker Mother Marathon Runner and runs all the runDisney races. I’ve highlighted her blog before. If you haven’t read Kim’s blog, you should. In addition to seeing Kim again, I met her friend Perfectly Goofy Gail. Both ladies are super cool people and big time runDisney fans.
Then, I got back in line to get this picture in one of the props, runDisney had set up.
I closed my time at the Expo posing for this free photo you can download. All you had to promise to do is include these hash tags…
#DisneylandHalf #Disneyland10K #DumboDoubleDare #Disneyland5K #runDisney
So, there, I’ve done that.
Then, it was time to head outside to see the set up. This is the finishing stretch of the races this weekend. Whenever we get here, it will be happy times.
It will be even happier when we get here.
I won’t be running the 5K, but they are all set up for the Disneyland 5K race.
Here’s the starting line for the races!
As you can see, they are all set up for the 5K. I’m sure the signage will change with each race.
The runners will see this as they approach the starting line. Although, it will not be nearly this sunny when we start our races. It was a fun day at the Disneyland Half Marathon Expo! The folks at runDisney make a lot of mistakes. However, they always seem to learn from them. I could have almost predicted that this year’s Expo would be better than last year’s chaos. I made sure to thank those who were working the Expo and let them know how much better this year was in comparison to last year. I was told that they kept hearing that from others as well. So, clearly I wasn’t alone in this assessment.
With the Expo out of the way, it’s time to start the races! I won’t be running until Saturday. I hope that those who ran in the Disneyland 5K had a wonderful race! I can’t wait for my turn! This afternoon, I’ll head back to the Disneyland Hotel to check in. It’s going to be a fun weekend! See you all on Monday!