The Star Wars Half Marathon Expo Was Out of this Galaxy Awesome!

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It’s hard to believe that the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend has come and gone…at least the light side of the force Star Wars Half Marathon. Every runDisney race weekend begins with an Expo. Here’s what went down at the Expo from my point of view…

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My Expo experience started before I even left the house. I was up at 5:45am to make sure I was awake and prepared to sign up with the New Balance Virtual queue. The night before the Expo, my wife and I headed off to the local New Balance store to make sure (a) the Vazee shoes felt good on Brooke’s feet and (b) the correct size. She was really excited about the Ariel shoe. So, I had to make sure I got in to buy them. Once I signed up and saw that my estimated time was 10:30, I knew I had to get to the Expo even earlier. So, I was quickly out the door and off to Disneyland!

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I had very little traffic heading down to the OC…thank you Waze app! As I walked to the waiting area, I had to grab this picture. It will never be this vacant. So, I had to get a picture of the entrance.

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Just like last year, they were playing the original Star Wars Trilogy for us while we waited! Yay!

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I made it in for the last part of Episode IV: A New Hope!

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I also got to see the first part of Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. This scene cracks me up. Why? When the special edition of Star Wars came out in the theaters, I went to see all the movies with friends. As we got to this scene, as Leia kisses Luke, this old couple behind us made me laugh. The woman said, “Oh that’s so sick.” Her husband (I’m assuming) comforted her by reminding her, “They don’t know yet.” Of course they were talking about Luke and Leia being brother and sister. In Empire Strikes Back, we didn’t know that they were related.

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Much like other Expo’s I’ve been to, runDisney opened their official merchandise area early. So, before I knew it, I was off to wait my turn in line.

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Lately, they’ve had an artist in the official merchandise area who would do some drawings related to the race weekend for purchase.

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The wait to get in didn’t seem to take that long.

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Once inside, I looked first for the race jacket. This one looked too much like the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon jacket for my liking. So, I passed on making a purchase.

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The ladies version of the race jacket was much more to my liking. I loved the color much better. However, it was still obviously a ladies jacket and I’m a guy.

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They had this hoodie that was just alright. I wasn’t overjoyed with it. So, I passed again.

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Here’s the ladies version of the hoodie. Not too bad. Again, I’m not a fan of the grey.

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I really liked this Rebel Challenge shirt. It was the first thing I picked up. Ultimately, though, I passed on this item.

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They had a similar shirt to the Rebel Challenge one in a different color. I preferred the blue.

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Instead, I went with this grey Rebel Challenge tech shirt. I’m not a big grey shirt fan. But, this one worked for me.

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However, I liked the grey better than the orange. I don’t know why, but I’m not a big fan of wearing orange.

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I also loved this Star Wars Half Marathon shirt. It was generic to the weekend. But, I loved it.

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This shirt was another tempting option. This is the front and back. You know, it could easily be confused with a race shirt. That is, until you read the sponsors on the back.

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Here’s the ladies version of the same shirt.

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This is another shirt I would have purchased if it was in a different color. Earlier this week, I saw an add for something similar to this in black. Oh well. It made it easy to chose to pass.

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Like always, the ladies had much more to choose from than the guys.

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The hat for the Rebel Challenge reminded me too much of last year’s. So, it was an easy pass.

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These guys were also a little tempting.

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So, how cool is this? They have some shirts that are not “on theme” for this race weekend.

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And this one too!

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The glassware was a little tempting to me as well. Honestly, I could have purchased much more than I did.

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Ultimately, here is what I purchased…

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The shirts. I only purchased 3 of them. The bottom two are a front and back. I went with the “I Did It!” shirt for the half marathon because I liked it better than the Rebel Challenge shirt.

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Here’s the rest. I love, love, love the slingback pack. It was a splurge as it cost as much as a jacket. However, I know I’ll use it more than anything else I purchased.

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These pins were way too cool to pass up!

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After the stop at the official merchandise, I was off to the New Balance booth for my 10:30am time. Here are the 2016 runDisney New Balance shoes!

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I’ve got to give props to the New Balance associate who helped me. Even though I was pretty certain of the size of the Mickey shoe for me, he still brought out the next size up and gave me the recommendation to try on the wide width of the shoe. Turns out, the wide width shoe felt better than the narrow width. Both would have worked. However, I was glad I had the choice!

 

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I absolutely love my new runDisney New Balance Mickey shoes!

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Hey Mickey!

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After getting shoes for my wife and myself, it was off to get my race bib. On the way out, however, I stopped by to see the newest runDisney race medals. That Tie-Fighter 10K medal for the Star Wars Dark Side 10K is too awesome for words! The Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon medal is also looking much better than the Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon medal. However, I do prefer the Rebel Challenge medal to the Dark Side Challenge Medal.

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The next runDisney race weekend is the Princess Half Marathon Weekend at Walt Disney World. Here are the medals. Missing is the Princess Half Marathon Medal. Not sure why.

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My wife is pretty bummed that she can’t get the Princess 5K medal.

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Here are the 2016 Tinker Bell Half Marathon medals. I must say that I’m a little unimpressed with the Tinker Bell Half Marathon medal. It’s the 5th Anniversary of this race and I expect something more.

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After checking out the medals, it was off to the downstairs area to get my race bib! I love the carpet leading downstairs. It’s always themed to the race!

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I descended down for packet pick up…

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I took a few pics down here to give you guys who haven’t been to a runDisney race at Disneyland an idea of this part of the experience. If you didn’t print out your race waiver, you’d stop by this table to print that out.

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The line for the Star Wars 5K was pretty long as you’d expect. After all, the 5K race was the next morning. So, you had to get your bib on day 1 of the expo or not be able to race.

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The line for the Rebel Challenge wasn’t too bad.

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Right behind the Rebel Challenge bib pick up is where you have to go for a picture. They use the picture to make sure you finish both the 10K and the Half Marathon to get your Rebel Challenge medal.

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Also, on the bottom floor, you can go to the Travel Agent package table and the Charities tables.

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Then, it was back upstairs to head into the official entrance!

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If you love one of the banners, take a selfie with it!

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Once inside, I was off to get my race shirts.

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Here are the shirts for this year’s Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend. Of course, I didn’t get the Star Wars 5K shirt because I wasn’t running that race.

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So, after getting all the things I needed to get, it was time to walk the rest of the Expo floor. There were lots of fun Star Wars themed items that runners would enjoy.

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The Lasting Commemoratives posters for the weekend weren’t all that impressive.

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However, their medal displays were so amazing it made me wish I hadn’t already spent so much money. This frame is my absolute favorite of the bunch!

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This one is my second favorite….

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Fourth fav…

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Lastly, was this one. All of the frames were awesome. However, they were too much money for my wallet.

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Since I couldn’t afford the cool frames, it was nice to see the freebies!

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And you can’t forget the free Instagram photo. It was all fun! Of course, the Expo was filled with a lot of the usual players at a runDisney Expo. By noon, I was Expo’d out.

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So, I headed off to Disneyland for lunch. When I arrived, the Dapper Dans and the Disneyland Band were performing at the Train Station with the Fab 5!

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After much deliberation, I decided to eat lunch at the Golden Horseshoe Saloon. I haven’t eaten there in a while. So, I though…why not? My timing was perfect. As I was eating, the new little show they have started up. It’s not as good as Billy Hill and the Hillbillies. However, it was still a fun show.

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After lunch, since the line was only 10 minutes, I took a ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean to see Captain Jack Sparrow.

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Then, I headed over to the Star Wars Launch Bay. I mean, I was already in the Star Wars mood.

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As I walked around, the line to meet Boba Fett wasn’t very long. So, it seemed like the best way to end my Expo day was to meet Boba.

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Of course, there was only one thing left to do. I finished my training with one last 3 mile run back home. It was a great day! At the end, I was super ready to take on the Star Wars Rebel Challenge!

 

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Posted in Star Wars Half Marathon
9 comments on “The Star Wars Half Marathon Expo Was Out of this Galaxy Awesome!
  1. usabaker says:

    Nice post; I think I’ll be running the Dumbo challenge in Sept. so I can get the coast to coast medal. Whats parking like race day? any parking tips? thanks.

    • gloucks7 says:

      I’m planning on running Dumbo as well! Parking in the Mickey and Friends lot was super easy for me. Although, I arrived around 4am for the 5:30am starts. If you plan on spending the day at the theme parks after the races or at least sticking round until around noon, you’ll be fine on the exit. The closures can cause a lot of traffic leaving the structure shortly after the races.

  2. Nicole Chin says:

    Thanks for the recap of expo and merch! I went Thursday, but did the race bib stuff first and pre-ordered merch and then the other merchandise line. I ended up waiting 90+ minutes though to get in. Do you recommend doing the merch first?

    • gloucks7 says:

      If you really want the best selection of race merchandise, you need to do that first. I know that some races out there can run out of race shirts. Run Disney isn’t like that. They will have the size you requested no matter when you get your bib and shirt. They will run out of sizes of shirts and clothing at the official runDisney merchandise area. If you don’t need official merchandise, then it doesn’t matter the order you choose. Run Disney has greatly improved how they handle their Expo’s at the Disneyland Resort. My first time going to an Expo where I wanted the merchandise was the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon. That was a nightmare of an expo. It was complete madness and unorganized. Disney cast members bringing out new merchandise were mobbed. Once I had the merchandise I wanted, I waited in line for over 2 hours to pay for the merchandise. The line went all the way to the back of the exhibit hall. I can totally relate to how long it took you to get in.

  3. great post! I totally missed the rundisney medals in the hallway (still so made someone stole the Marathon one at NYCM Expo so now they are all locked up). and my instagram photo is hilairous as they put braces on me! NO JOKE! Idk why they thought i needed braces

    • gloucks7 says:

      Braces? Really? That’s crazy! I do miss having the medals out on display as well. Also, I didn’t see a booth for Jeff Galloway at Star Wars. That sucked.

  4. ishouldrun says:

    Great info. I’m running the Inaugural Star Wars Half soon out here in Orlando – Disney World. Wanted to see if the expo had some good stuff.

    • gloucks7 says:

      Good luck to you at the Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon Weekend! The merchandise will likely be different at Walt Disney World. Since they made the Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon about the Light Side of the Force and Walt Disney World version about the Dark Side of the Force, I’m guessing the merchandise will highlight the Empire and Dark Side of the force than we had at Disneyland. Pay attention the week of the race for a preview of the merchandise. Follow runDisney on twitter and you’ll get a good sneak peak.

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My Next Race
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5K - 32:46 - 2012 Pasadena 5K

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Half Marathon - 2:43:25 - 2013 Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

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