All of the buildings were assigned to the different decades, and we were assigned to the 1980's one. They must have known we are all children of the 80's. The rubix cube out front didn't help us remember which building was ours, though, because there were at least a few of them with the same rubix cube. We did a little tour of the resort on one of our outings to find our way from the main building to ours.
Disney is fantastic about providing shuttles between the events during their running weekends, so we opted to utilize those shuttles to get to and from the expo on Saturday as well as the race on Sunday. Though there were always lines, there was never a wait longer than 15-20 minutes. We were perfectly content to stand around and wait for that period of time for someone else to shuttle us where we wanted to go.
Tori had mentioned that this expo was different than the others, and she was absolutely correct. It was more pink and glittery, and I loved every minute of it. It was the special girly touches that added to the reasons that I loved it so much. From super cute race tshirts to different vendors to the special touches that I'll share more of below, I had a blast. Though there were crowds, they didn't touch the expo on marathon weekend. One difference was that this one was held at Coronado Springs (for the first time) instead of Wide World of Sports because of an event they had going on at WWOS.
Meghan, me, Tori, and Genna came ahead to the expo and met up with Caitlyn a little bit after we arrived. She had run the 15k and 5k at Gasparilla that morning, so she needed a bit of time to shower and make her way over later.
We picked up our bibs and were reminded of who we had noted as our favorite Disney princesses. When we signed up a month or two ago I didn't yet know that I was going to be Snow White for the race, so I put down Belle as my favorite. I guess I don't really have a favorite...I like them all!
Next up, we all wanted to look at the official merchandise, and we even had to wait in line to get into that area for 10-15 minutes! There was no shortage of lines this weekend at all. The merchandise was really cute, and I came away with the pink "I did it!" shirt and the mini Princess medal that goes on my runDisney vinylmation.
Then we made our way through the food samples. My personal favorites were the new luna fiber bar and the Cabot cheeses. We got as many squares as we wanted, and I was in heaven. I love cheese, but I was also really hungry and would have been pleased with anything that was being offered at the time.
Before we knew it, Caitlyn had arrived and we snapped our first whole group picture of the weekend!
The next special touch that I really loved was that New Balance had setup a gif booth where you dressed up and danced around for fun for 15 seconds and it emailed a gif to you of all of your pictures. I loved the outcome! It was so cute. Here's a snapshot of our hat and sign choices!
After we had all sufficiently perused the booths, it was time to head out to lunch and then a meetup for the ZOOMA race series.
ZOOMA is a series of races for women that take place around the country. It's a new racing group started by two friends, and their races have really started to gain a following. I wanted to do the ZOOMA Florida at the Ritz Carlton, but it was the weekend after the Disney Marathon, and I didn't want to risk anything.
When we arrived, we liked what we saw! There was wine, water, swag, and friends all in one place! We enjoyed ourselves there quite a bit, chatted with some other attendees as well as Kat and Rachel, who were also running the half the following morning.
Rachel had done the 5k with her sister that morning, and I loved their medals and shirts. Though the medals are plastic and made of the flexible material, they're still fun. Maybe one day I'll throw one of those into the race weekend as a shakeout run or as a way to get Tim to join in on the RunDisney fun!
After a packed and fun afternoon, we headed back to our room, grabbed a bite at the cafeteria-style restaurant at our hotel, and got busy chit-chatting, giggling, finishing our costumes, and getting ready for a great morning to follow. I laid out all my swag for my customary photo, and in it you can see the dark purple official tshirt (which I of course love) and the pink "I did it!" shirt that I purchased at the expo.
Since Disney races that are in the morning start at 5:35 am, we couldn't make it too late of a night. We were able to balance it well between having a great time talking about silly girly things and important personal things and also getting in bed early enough to be able to enjoy the race, regardless of the early wakeup call. Being in close quarters with five women can be unimaginably tough I'm sure, but that was definitely not true of this group. I think the five of us worked so well together respecting each others' needs and timelines. We all agreed that we'll definitely have to make this a repeat experience! And we hadn't even done the fun part yet!
What's the best free swag that you have gotten from a race during packet pickup or instead of a medal?
Did you do the Princess Half? What did you think of the expo?