Monday, September 7, 2015

runDisney Expo Fun

This past weekend, of course, was the supremely epic Disneyland Half weekend. Comprised of a 5K on Saturday, 10K and kid's runs on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday, you also have a chance to earn your Dumbo Double Dare glory (10K and half marathon combo). I didn't have the chance to register this year, but I'll be jumping on it for sure come January for 2016! But that doesn't mean I didn't get to play and join in on the fun! I got to work the Star Wars weekend in January and had such a blast, I was jumping at the chance to play again for this weekend's events.

I was hoping to get down to the expo Thursday night after work, but that just wasn't happening, so Friday morning I was up 'n early to get out the door and get down to Anaheim. It's only about an hour drive from where I am, and given that my car was being serviced on the way, traffic was already light and I was down and at the park front gates by 11 am. I had time before my 12 pm shift with Sparkly Soul, so naturally I made my way into California Adventure, hit up the single rider line and was in and on Radiator Springs in no time.

After the ride, I got myself back together and made my way over to the Disneyland Hotel where runDisney race expos always are. I swear, there's something magical about walking through Downtown Disney, seeing all these runners and "your kinda people" getting all excited about the weekend's adventures. I made it to Sparkly Soul just about 11:45 only to find that they had let folks into the expo early and there was already quite a crowd! Jumped in and had some fun with Pamela and Dari and got lots of chances to see some fabulous friends' faces!

Sparkly Soul love - Brandi & me ; super squad Pamela, me, Carlee, Brandi ; & the fabulous Carlee & me!

It's always such a blast getting to introduct Sparkly Soul to folks who are originally just trying to find that last thing to complete their race costume, or seeing SS super-fans ooh and aah over the new bow collection (just in time to be Minnie, right?)! I was at the expo until about 6 pm on Friday, then fought my way home to get to Doug's football game -- late, naturally, but nonetheless, I was there! What a day!

They always roll out the carpet in style!
Saturday morning wasn't an easier - I had two shifts to volunteer at the expo that were back-to-back, so I was scheduled to be in the Hotel and expo from 7 am - 5 pm. Man, that's like a day at work! What lots of folks don't know (or maybe they do?) is that usually when you volunteer two shifts in a weekend, you earn a one-day park hopper ticket. For a lot of folks, that's a STEAL and their way into the park for an upcoming day. Total bonus in my book. You also get a volunteer shirt (that are always adorable) and fed some pretty fabulous food too. Better yet? Getting to meet and connect with awesome volunteers, vendors and people who just love combining running and Disney. Wins all around!

I got to the hotel about 6:45 am, just in time to make my way through Downtown Disney to snake through the last of the 10K course and cheer on some runners as they made their way! There were so many great costumes and I wish I had gotten to see more - I love the creativity some people bring out! Especially since the 10K had a villain-theme, there were many more villains than you typically see at a Disney race! 

My day was spent working with the super fab folks at GET Travel Sports, a company that works all the runDisney events (and then some!) to combine race registrations, ticket packages and even hotel reservations in both California and Florida. Michelle, Troy and Bill were a total blast to work for and with for 8 hours and I am so grateful to have had a fun 'station' to hang out at all day long!

After  my shift was over, Doug came down to hang out at the parks (and get his AP!) so we had a late-night date night at Disneyland where he got to see the fireworks and the castle and all the fun for the first time. I swear, this new fireworks show will never, ever get old. Nor will the Disney magic. 

All in all, an amazing weekend! Congratulations to alllll the runners, but tons of friends and blends I know that kicked tail and completed the DDD challenge this weekend - Brandi and Carlee included! See ya next year, and that's a promise!

Did you run the Dumbo Double Dare this year? Do you run in costume?

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