And so it begins again. After a roughly 4 month hiatus, runDisney events resume en force with the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend; August 31- September 2, 2012. Five additional endurance weekends will follow in fairly rapid succession between now and February, and all will commence with a runDisney Health & Fitness Expo. (May’s Expedition Everest Challenge does not.) With all that consumes a runner before a race- training, packing lists, nutrition, rest, etc.- it can be easy to overlook the very real bonuses that the Expos provide. Beyond picking up a race bib and goody bag, there’s a world of magic at your feet!
Let these 5 tips be your guide:
1. Get there early.
Not only will you avoid long lines, (over 33,000 participants are expected at the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, and about 65,000 for Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna), but you will have first pick of the official runDisney race merchandise that is unique to each event. Commemorative pins, “I Did It” tees and the like are the second to go. First to go, a collection that is sold out usually within the first hour of each Expo, are the race-inspired Dooney & Bourke Handbag Collections; complete with gleaming race charms.
2. Give yourself ample time to browse.
There are surprises around every corner, and the corners are many! At Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo, I stumbled (literally) upon a group of physical therapists who were performing massage and stretching on participants for a nominal fee. My iliotibial band was so grateful.
|Disney’s Princess Half Marathon Weekend Expo|
And imagine my delight at being pixie dusted at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo. I am SURE it was that dust that propelled me to my very first half marathon finish line the next morning. So glad I pumped into these two fairy godmothers at the Expo!
3. Check out the Speakers Series schedule.
Despite the fact that as a PT I’ve treated elite and recreational runners for many years, there’s not a time I’ve heard runDisney Official Training Consulatant Jeff Galloway speak when I haven’t learned something big. From what to eat before a nighttime race to limiting water intake during an endurance race, he is both an incredible wealth of knowledge and the original “nice guy”. You might even get to see Walt Disney World Moms Panelist Lori Lovell on stage sharing race weekend planning tips with the crowd.
4. Explore state of the art merchandise.
In addition to picking up a dazzling new Team Sparkle Skirt or designer headbands, exhibitor booths will offer you a glimpse at the latest and greatest running gear. From KT Tape and running shoe inserts to foam rollers and The Stick, you might just find THE gadget that will transform your running style.
5. Check out the bling.
Drooling is optional. After seeing these babies up close and personal, you may even find yourself signing up for the next runDisney event…
Whether at the Disneyland Hotel Ballroom and Exhibit Hall or Jostens Center at ESPN Wide World of Sports, runDisney Expos are pre-race pep rallies not to be missed by both participants and non-runners alike. And how else would you prepare for the most magical races on earth?!