A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

PHM Weekend: The Expo

on February 25, 2014

If you’ve been following any of the Princess Half Marathon Facebook groups for the last few months, you know the Expo is almost as much of an attraction as the race itself for many women. My only other experience with a race expo was with the Omaha 10K/Half Marathon/Marathon weekends, in which it took me all of five minutes to go through all of the booths and pick up my packet. I had a feeling the Disney Princess Expo would be different and I was right!

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My flight didn’t arrive until 3:30 on Friday afternoon and as I was headed over to the RunnersLove meet up at the Polynesian as soon as I landed (late flight so I missed that – boo!), I didn’t plan on getting to the Expo until Saturday. I wanted to go to the Tips for Race Day talk at 1 pm, so I actually didn’t plan on going to the expo at all until Saturday afternoon because I didn’t want to go twice. Thank goodness there isn’t anything I was absolutely dying to have!

There are definitely lots of “gotta have it” items at the Expo, from the New Balance shoes (which I already know I can’t run in, so they weren’t on my list) to the specially race themed Dooney bags (also not on my list as I have a Coach bag I love – my goal weight reward to myself). The RunDisney booth had lots of race themed as well, ranging from t-shirts to headbands to cups and mugs. When I started seeing pictures of the items that were going to be available, I confess I started to get a little twitchy and worried that there wouldn’t be anything left by the time I arrived!

Ultimately, though, I know I’ll get a tech shirt in my race packet and I’ll get a medal at the end and what else do I really need, right? On my “if it is still there, but I’m okay if it isn’t list” were the pink hoodie and the “My Mom ran the PHM” t-shirt for O (who loves the Cinderella mice!). I was also planning on going by the Another Mother Runner booth to get my copy of Train Like a Mother signed, but that was really it on my Expo “to do” list. I didn’t want to get too committed to doing much at the Expo because I’m very claustrophobic and I’d heard the crowds could be bad. Also, I didn’t want to have anyone step on my poor toe before the race!

After meeting up with a friend in Hollywood Studios for quick hugs and some lunch, I headed over to the WWoS complex for the Expo at around noon on Saturday. I had a tote bag with me to collect any goodies along the way.

It was pouring rain when I got there and the buses drop you off quite a way from the buildings so I was soaked by the time I got inside! Thank goodness I brought two pairs of sneakers because the ones I was wearing ended up soaked. I headed inside to the RunDisney merchandise booth first and as I suspected,things were picked over. There was a generic PHM t shirt and the I Did It shirt, but that was it by the time I got there Saturday afternoon. I did pick up the “My Mom Ran PHM” shirt for O, which was exciting, and a long sleeved, lined half zip RunDisney (not PHM) shirt since I know my cold weather running in Nebraska is not finished yet. The sleeve says “Every Mile is Magic”, which I liked.

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Then I headed up to the talk and I’m so glad I did! Aside from the fun of actually seeing Sarah and Dimity (Another Mother Runner) talk instead of just listening to them like I do in the podcasts, there were lots of really practical tips on what to bring to race day, fueling and recovery. As prepared as I thought I was, I actually made a couple of notes of other things to consider, like being sure I put BodyGlide under my magic band and my race retreat arm band so that those didn’t chafe in this humidity. I don’t know that I would have thought about that! I also like that one piece of advice was to wear earrings because we all deserve to feel pretty when we run. 🙂

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I next headed across to the Field House (done raining hard thankfully) to pick up my packet, my Race Retreat arm band and my spectator package for Darrell. I also stopped and did the cute Prince Charming picture at the instragram booth.

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All in all, packet pick up was quick and easy at that time of day. They had a couple of characters there (Princess Minnie and Jasmine) but I didn’t feel like waiting in line since I knew I needed to head back across to the Expo to get my shirt.

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Back in the Expo, I found my shirt (not much in the gear bag for goodies this year) and then went by the Another Mother Runner booth to have Sarah sign my book and pick up a new shirt that was really speaking to me on this particular weekend (still stunned that I’m doing this)!

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I also stopped by the New Balance booth to find my name on their giant wall of Half Marathon runners. This was starting to feel very real!

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All in all, I spent about two hours in the Expo (which includes the hour talk). It was still very crowded, despite the extra space in comparison to last year. I don’t know if it was just a lot of people picking up last minute items since it was the last afternoon of the Expo but I can’t imagine what it would have been like the first mornings! There were several cute photo backdrops and of course the footmen, but I didn’t feel like waiting in any lines since I knew I would be walking through the World Showcase to get to dinner later that night and needed to stay off of my feet as much as I could before the Half Marathon.

I headed back to the room to check out my loot and wait for my guys, who were arriving on the Magical Express. All in all, the Expo was much more exciting than the Omaha Marathon Expo but I’m glad I didn’t come in early just for the chance to get extra stuff. I got more than I needed as it was 🙂

Commemorative Princess Art Card (free with a coupon in the iGift bag)

Commemorative Princess Art Card (free with a coupon in the iGift bag)

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12 responses to “PHM Weekend: The Expo

  1. So glad you enjoyed the expo!! I am surprised that all the runDisney merch was picked over by 3:30 on Friday. Last year they had plenty of merch stocked up! You think they’d be a little more prepared for the amount of shoppers.

  2. Kristin says:

    Oh, I love running expos!! Although I’m usually pretty overwhelmed by all of the people and items, I still love my shopping!! I usually find a lot of cool stuff there!!

  3. courage2run says:

    The expo sounds exhausting! Looking forward to your race recap!

  4. leannenalani says:

    I’d have been all over that expo just because I love stuff like that – Looking at things and shopping. :p I especially love your Prince Charming photo!

  5. […] into two posts)! I’ve already talked about spectating the 10K and Kid’s Races, the Expo and the Race Retreat, so check out those posts from last week for more details on those parts of […]

  6. […] the Princess Half Marathon Expo in February 2014, I got to meet Sarah of the fabulous Another Mother Runner duo which was a nice […]

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