(forewarning: every post about disneyland is probably going to be way too long; sorry!)
i arrived at disney late thursday night and on friday morning, after some breakfast and showers, we headed over to the expo. i have nothing to compare it to, as most packet pickups for me are walking in to a local running store and heading out three minutes later, but man was this expo amazing!
the first step was to get your bib, which was down below the disneyland hotel. i was able to walk right up to the front of my number specific line and get my bib. behind the dumbo double dare booth was the chEAR squad booth, where my parents picked up their wristbands and swag. they actually got a pretty good deal! in their package they each got a stadium blanket, ear clappers, and a shirt, as well as access to main street and a good view of the finish line during the half.
then, we were directed upstairs to pick up my shirts. since i was doing the dumbo double dare, i got three shirts: one for the 10k, one for the half, and one for the dare. i was kind of upset that the shirts i got were too big for me, but the volunteer pointed me in the direction of the shirt exchange booth. there, i was easily able to swap out all my shirts for size smalls! it was such a nice feature for them to have.
all the shirts!
next, my parents signed up for runner tracking. at an at&t booth, all they had to do was give the lady my bib number and their cellphone numbers, and they were set! each time i crossed the start line, the 5k line, the 10k line, the 15k line, and the finish line during both the 10k and half, they got alerts to their phone with my current time and expected finish time. again, a really nice feature of the race!
the stick, my new favorite.
last, it was time to explore! there were so many vendors, i was overwhelmed. we got samples of clif bars, looked at various headbands and socks, and browsed all the different booths. i only ended up making one purchase, and it's one of my best to date: the stick! this little baby literally saved my legs before and after the half. surprisingly, i didn't buy any of the official disney merchandise. don't get me wrong, the stuff was really cute and i almoooost bought a water bottle i totally didn't need, but i decided three shirts and three medals were totally enough merch for one event. i was a little disappointed that they didn't have any plain white 13.1 stickers with the mickey ears on them or "my first half" buttons, as i'd seen them at previous rundisney races, but it wasn't too heartbreaking, as i can easily get the former on etsy and the latter was replaced with a birthday button, since my parents decided we were celebrating that, too.
after the expo, we headed in to the parks. i'd say we took it easy, but that's a relative term for three disney fanatics. in reality, we did every ride we wanted to that was under a 35 minute wait and saw a show we normally wouldn't see just to rest my legs. we had dinner at tortilla joe's in downtown disney before heading back to the hotel for an easy swim and an early bedtime. i had an early morning the next day: the disneyland 10k!
i'll leave you with this gem: my dad, in the front - 52 going on 10.
what race had the best expo you've been to? did you go crazy with merch purchases?