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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

riding solo at the expo

after last year's dismal performance at the inaugural disneyland 10K, i jumped on the chance to do it again so i could redeem myself and hopefully actually enjoy it the second time around.  i got so sick afterwards and ended up with that horrible bronchitis that took me out for weeks, and i wanted to make some good memories of this race to replace the terrible ones.

the expo for run disney races is always madness.  i'd decided to tackle it on the second day in hopes of not having to elbow my way through crowds and long lines to pick up my race bib, and arrived about half an hour after it opened.  via social media, i knew that there had been a 45-minute wait to get into the official merchandise area, and although the chances of finding stuff for the 10K were pretty slim, i wanted to check it out if i could.

since the addition of the 10K to race weekend, the 5K fun run got pushed up to friday mornings.  the remnants of the early morning race were still up when i arrived.

it was a really pretty day to be at disneyland.

 the lack of crowds at the entrance to the expo was encouraging, if not a little surprising.

 and inside was just as wonderfully empty.

i was seriously amazed to find that only ten minutes had passed from the time i left my car to picking up the bibs (mine, the bean's and mini cee's).  with everything i needed safely in my tote, i followed the signs to the expo upstairs.

yay for a 5K/10K photo op!

again, i was pleasantly surprised at the ease of navigating through this expo.  seriously, run disney usually attracts an assload of people - mostly runners, but also a good number of folks who scurry in to stock up on the popular race branded merchandise to sell it at a profit on ebay.  but this morning, i sashayed right in past this sign.

as i'd predicted, the majority of the stuff was dedicated to the half runners.  for some reason, disney doesn't give the shorter distances any love.  in fact, the stuff that didn't say "half marathon" was pretty much downright fugly.

although i suppose the other stuff wasn't all that great either.

and good gracious, who the hell wants THIS?

this is what i think of your overpriced crappy race merchandise, run disney.

i spent a little time checking out the rest of the expo, pausing for more photo ops:

took a peek in the new balance shoe area:

and caught a glimpse of olympian jeff galloway at the run disney booth.

the 5K runners had earned this medal that morning:

and the half marathoners at november's avengers race weekend would get this.  i'm not a marvel/comic book/etc. fan, but even i had to admit that this medal is really cool.

i was a little bummed i couldn't wait around for sean astin to take the stage as part of the day's speaker series:

i had plenty of time to hang out, maybe even go into the parks to ride a couple of rides, but it had gotten really hot and i knew i needed to conserve energy for the race the next morning.  instead, i headed home and assembled the pieces for a half-assed costume to wear for the lilo & stitch-themed run:

opted for some homemade carb loading:

and set my alarm for an ungodly hour.

i was a little anxious about the next morning - i've never had to drive down for a disney race before.  somehow, i've always managed to stay in a hotel near the start line the night before, but this time i didn't want to spend the money on a room.  so i ended up tossing and turning and waking up at 2:00 without being able to fall back asleep.  greeeeeeaaaaaaat.  happy race day to me!

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