Monday, October 7, 2013

runDisney Expo Exposé

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Hi everyone, we are back from our weekend race getaway in Disney World and we will be bringing you a three-part recap of the weekend's events.  We will each present you with our weekend highlights while focusing on a specific event.  I will start by taking you through the runDisney Expo that we attended on Friday afternoon, then in tomorrow's post Rhoda will share her thoughts on Mickey's Not-So-Scary Hallowe'en Party from Friday night and finally Michelle will take you through the race itself on Wednesday in her review of the Tower of Terror 10-Miler.

We flew into Orlando on Friday morning and hopped on the Magic Express to our Disney resort, Port Orleans - French Quarter.


The resort was really nice and we had a room right by the pool and hot tub…perfect location!  As you can probably guess by the name, the theming of the resort was New Orleans/Mardi Gras.  This being Disney, New Orleans was obviously interpreted as a place where alligators play jazz instruments.  Check in went nice and smooth and we quickly unpacked all of our stuff and set off for the expo.

CRMichelle & CRRhoda Making a New Friend
Pathway to the Spa -- Showing Off the Guns

Since we were staying at a host resort there was a shuttle going out to the expo…it was already out front when we went to catch it, so right on the bus and over to ESPN's Wide World of Sports.  Michelle and I are somewhat Disney vets, but we had never been out to WWoS so this was exciting for us to see a new area of Disney World.


I've never run a big race before, so the expos I'm used to attending are pretty rinky-dink.  I'm talking 4 or 5 booths of which maybe half have anything remotely to do with running.  This was not a rinky-dink expo.


The entire floor was filled with over 30 exhibitors occupying nearly 45,000 square feet.  This thing was huge!

We had a few hours to check things out before we had to be back for our dinner reservation, so we went to pick up our bibs and shirts so we could spend the rest of our time browsing.

shirt pickup

The girls were on the hunt for some Minnie Mouse-type skirts they could wear as part of their costumes for some other runs and they found what they were after at the Team Sparkle booth.

sparkle skirts

Some of the other booths that were neat to check out (well for the girls anyways) were Running Skirts, SparkleSkirts and Sweaty Bands.

running skirts booth
sweaty bands girls

There wasn't really a whole lot of booths that were aimed at the male demographic (shocking I know), but there were a few out there that I enjoyed checking out.  The runDisney booth had all of the medals on display for their upcoming races, including the WDW Marathon Weekend in January that we will be doing, so I got to see the Goofy Challenge medal.


New Balance were well represented and they had special 860v3 runDisney shoes…they were pretty neat, in both men's and women's Mickey and Minnie patterns.  I saw quite a few of these shoes throughout the weekend, so they must have sold pretty well.

NB Minnie shoe

I did happen to find a t-shirt for Michelle at the One More Mile booth, I'll have to get my order placed in time for Christmas.


Finally, we saw the big countdown backdrop and had to stop for a quick photo op.


There were plenty of things at the expo for runners to do, including seminars with Jeff Galloway and other runDisney representatives, but we had dinner reservations at Kona Cafe that we had to get to.  So it was back on the bus to get back to the resort.  All in all the expo was worth seeing and quite a bit of fun…but I have to say that I am looking forward to the Chicago expo more as I'm hoping there is more of an actual running focus than a sparkly-running-apparel focus.


Just a quick word on my race experience as Michelle will have a full recap on Wednesday…I set out to just have fun and get one last decent run in before Chicago.  Mission accomplished.  I had a pace that I wanted to make sure I held too…it was the first time I've ever done I race where I had to tell myself that I would NOT go faster than a certain time…and I was able to finish up right at the pace I planned on.  Despite the race being held at 10pm, there was still a heat advisory advisory and the humidity was brutal, especially in costume.  I stopped for pictures a couple of times, once with Captain Hook and the other time with these two…

Captain Thunderbolt posing with Sally and Jack the Pumpkin King

The race was a lot of fun, I ran it nice and easy and I even managed to come in 81st place out of 10,000 people.  It wasn't the fastest 10 miles I've ever run by any means, but that was never my goal…despite stopping for a couple photo ops I still managed to finish in 1:13:59.  The two biggest items I took from the race were the experience of running in a big race, which will come in handy for Chicago this weekend, as well as how much fun you can have at race when you take the time to just enjoy yourself…I think this is the key to what Disney tries to do with their races, and they do it well.  No matter how much some people may have been struggling, it sure seemed like everyone had a great time.

The 3CheapRunners Ready to Run

Which Disney character would you stop for a picture with during a race?


Do you enjoy checking out race expos?


  1. Sounds like y'all had a great weekend!!!
    That T-shirt cracked me up!
    And - great job sticking to plan and still placing so high!!!
    Can't wait to read the rest of the story this week!

  2. Oh I can assure you that the rest of the weekend was more exciting than the expo, I drew the short straw for review topics! The girls will have good post material for sure...
    And thanks!

  3. Ya sorry to disappoint you.
    I had somewhat expected to see some Star Wars baddies out there since it was a villains theme, but no. I did see a guy running as a wookie though...either that or he was just a hairy shirtless guy.

  4. Sugar Coated SheridanOctober 7, 2013 at 10:38 PM

    Looks like so much fun!! I have always wanted to do the Princess Half Marathon (I'm such a girl!) but I would be happy participating in any of them!!

  5. Amanda - TooTallFritzOctober 8, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    I stopped by to informally "meet" you. I'm a friend of Katie (Ice Cream to Marathon) and I think we will be meeting in person in Chicago this weekend.
    Excited to see you guys will be heading to Disney again in JAN. I'll be doing Dopey.
    The CHI Marathon expo is one of the best. You'll love it.

  6. Oh nice, thanks for stopping by Amanda! It will be nice to meet you this weekend, and good to know the Chicago Expo will be worthwhile.
    So if you're doing Dopey, does that mean you've already done a Goofy? I may need to pick your brain...

  7. katie @ fromicecreamtomarathonOctober 8, 2013 at 1:23 PM

    That shirt is hilarious!! I love it. Maybe I should get one for my hubby. Haha! Sounds like you had a great race, awesome pace!!
    You sure got some sexy cats there with you! ;)

  8. Ya that shirt was great...don't tell Michelle it's her Christmas present haha. I was happy with my pace too, especially since I stopped twice for pictures and my watch registered an extra quarter mile.
    Yeah I picked up a couple of strays somewhere :)

  9. Looks like an amazing weekend at Disney. I love big expo's because well... I love running stuff! I'm glad you took it 'easy' (thats still a great time and awesome placing) and enjoyed yourself! You are going to have a great run in Chicago!

  10. It was a blast Beth...I'd recommend doing a Disney race any day! There are a few that I'd like to do now, but think I'll pass on the Princess :)

  11. It was my first big expo, and it was enjoyable...but looking forward to Chicago a bit more as it will be geared at runners a bit more than Disney was.
    Easy is just a feeling, and while my pace was quicker than a normal easy training run, it was holding back quite a bit with race-day adrenaline firing away.
    I'm totally buggin' out now just waiting for Chicago...only one 5 mile run to get my fix!

  12. Amanda - TooTallFritzOctober 9, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    I've never ran Goofy. This will be my first Disney run (and prob the last). I'm pretty picky about my traveling races and don't repeat. If I travel, I like to go to new places and do new events. It's hard for me to get away from the kids, house, job, hubby, so when I leave, I make it count.
    That being said, a couple weekends ago I ran a half on SAT and a 20 miler on SUN. I hadn't "trained" for it, just normal marathon & TRI training. So I'm pretty confident that I can manage Dopey. It's all about fun and the experience for me anyhow. No time goals. If you can run a marathon, you can run Goofy. No worries!

  13. OMG Michelle needs that shirt!! I freaking love it!