Every runDisney race starts off with a Health & Fitness Expo the day before the first race. The Inaugural Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend was no different. Anyone who is plugged into the runDisney network knows that you absolutely have to be there day 1 before it opens to have the best selection of official runDisney merchandise for that particular race. They do not sell the race specific merchandise anywhere else and the quantities of merchandise is limited. So, you have to be there right at the beginning.
In previous expo’s, they’ve had the early arrival people line up on the lower level of the Disneyland Hotel Convention Center. This time, we were directed into a room that was up stairs. Guess what I found when I arrived? They were playing Empire Strikes Back on the screen in the front of the room! They started out with the original Star Wars (A New Hope) and had moved along to Empire Strikes Back by the time I arrived. How cool was that? I hope the folks at runDisney do the same for this year’s Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. Everyone around me loved the idea as well!
Another tradition in the runDisney races is that they tend to open the Expo’s earlier than advertised. This race was no exception. We moved into the main exhibit hall for the Expo and got into another line for the official runDisney merchandise.
Race announcer, Rudy, came by while we were waiting to keep the mood positive!
The signs that runDisney has designed for the Expo’s are always fun!
That’s mine! The Star Wars Rebel Challenge!
By the time you get here, it’s time to get excited! You’re almost inside!
The first place I headed was the area with the “I Did It” shirts were located. Here’s what the men’s version of the Half Marathon “I Did It” shirt.
The Star Wars Half Marathon hat was tempting. However, the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon hat was the same color. So, I skipped it.
The glassware made my decisions tough. I really liked these glasses.
However, I chose this one instead.
This jacket was also tempting. However, I decided to be responsible and not spend the dollars on this.
Plus, I actually liked the women’s version better. That was the case with a lot of items I saw. The women definitely get the better choices.
If this was a men’s shirt, I would have totally purchased it.
I would have loved a shirt with the “May the Course Be With You” message on it. However, this women’s shirt was the only one with that message.
Here’s what I ended up with. The race shirts are on the top row of shirts. So, technically, they don’t count.
I got these magnets…
and the Rebel Challenge hat.
Run Disney is not the only booth with Disney themed merchandise. The folks at Champion Athletics also had some fun items I wish I knew about before spending so much money at the runDisney booth.
Raw Threads had some really fun shirts as well..
The next one is my favorite!
This is usually me for races.
Then, there was this one as a close second favorite.
At the runDisney booth, there were the hanging medals for the upcoming races. Here are the Princess Half Marathon medals.
Do you want to run a 5K?
This one would have been really cool to get. Many of the people who ran the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend did get this one.
Behind the runDisney booth, they had the free instagram photo.
You could choose either the dark side of the force or the light side. I chose the dark side because the Death Star was too cool to pass up.
Then, I headed over to the New Balance booth to check out the newest runDisney New Balance shoes. I’m not a big fan of the shoes, but loved the display! The demand for the 2015 version is not very high. I did not make any advanced reservations. However, while I was in the booth, they kept trying to sell me the shoes. I think that wouldn’t have happened last year.
I do love this sign!
Over at Lasting Commemoratives, they were selling this poster. I totally should have purchased this one.
Sierra Nevada Corporation was the major sponsor for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. I loved their space shuttle display!
Really cool display!
I left the Expo to check out the finish line area. As usual, this was already set up for the 5K!
You can’t pass up such an easy picture!
Normally at the Disneyland Expo’s, I’ll head over to the Earl of Sandwich for lunch. However, I now have a Main Gate pass. So, I went to Disney California Adventure and had lunch at Flo’s V-8 Cafe instead!
I had some really great ribs!
Then, I wandered around DCA for a bit. Frozen has taken over the Hollywood Land!
I need to get to this show sometime! While it’s sad to me that the Muppet 3-D show is no longer here, I understand that some attractions will get shut down.
On the way out of DCA, I saw Oswald the Lucky Rabbit! It was the first time I’ve seen him walking around. So, I got in line for a picture!
Then, I headed back to the Expo for one final go around. On the way, I was Goofy hanging out!
Then, it was one final selfie!
You may have noticed that I haven’t picked up my race bib yet. Well, since my wife now has to pick up her own and I can’t get it for her, we both went back on Friday to get that taken care of. Run Disney always has cool logos on the entry carpet to where you get your race bib!
For this race, they also had a cool thing on the carpet for your way out! May the Course be with You! I will say that getting my race bib was a breeze. They have a new system in place for the race challenges. Gone are the days of wrist bands that you have to wear for several days. They now take your picture with your race bib.
After we got our bibs, we were up to the main Expo floor to get our race shirts. I love that runDisney makes this feel like a red carpet event!
The area gets pretty crowded because everyone wants a picture with the banner for their race(s).
Then, it was time to head on inside!
One fun thing for Brooke and I was that two of our friends were volunteering at the place where they hand out the race shirts on Friday. So, we got to see them!
I had fun at the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Health & Fitness Expo! The crowds were pretty light compared with other runDisney races. That was a good thing. I do wish that runDisney would invest a little more effort in their men’s shirts at the official merchandise booth. Maybe that’s a good thing, though. It makes it easier to cut items from my purchase list….saving me money! I said this before and I’ll say it again…there are only two reasons to be at the Expo from the very beginning. First, if you’re running the 5K race, you need to get your bib. So, you need to be there on Day 1. Second, is if you want the best selection of official runDisney race merchandise. I went back to the runDisney booth in the afternoon and saw a noticeable difference in the amount of items to choose from. On Day 2 of the expo, the crowds were much lighter.
Did you go to the Star Wars Half Marathon Health & Fitness Expo? If so, what did you think? What did you think of the runDisney New Balance shoes for 2015?