Hello Everyone! I’m back from Florida! Well, I’ve been back for a few days, but I’m finally recovered from my post marathon coma and am here to give you a recap :). I’m going to post strictly on the race for this little series and I’ll give an actually Disney World recap after that. So starting off this Disney Marathon Series, let’s go to the Expo and get our race number!
Here is where you wait for a bus to take you to the Wide World of Sports Complex. These pick up areas are located at all of the Disney World hotels, usually by the other bus pick up areas. Disney had buses running continuously throughout the day to take runners to the expo. I only waited about 30 seconds for a bus, sweet.Here I am on the bus! Yes I am the nerdy girl taking pics of herself.They had an informational video playing on a loop that talked about everything you would need to know for the marathon. It was great the first 2 times, after that…where is the off button.WooHoo made it to Wide World of Sports. Glad I was wearing good shoes because this was going to take awhile and there was lots of walking.Inside of the the Field House. This is where you turn in your signed wavier and pick up your bib number. Oh looks good, not too crowded…ha ha. Just wait.This sign was a little scary to see. It was quite warm for January. About 80-85 degrees the whole week. The predicted high was 84 degrees for the marathon. For me though, I was ecstatic. I am not a cold weather runner or person at all. But since it had been so cold back home in Utah I was a bit nervous about sweating tons and overheating in general. This is what the wavier looks like and in the background you can kind of see the booths where you turn it in. They had it very organized. Your bib number is printed on the wavier and you just go up to the booth with your number and they hand you your bib. They also direct you to another building where you get your shirt and goodie bag. They did not say however that it would be about a 15-20 minute walk with detours. Good thing I had time. I tried looking up exactly how many runners ran the marathon and I think it was between 30 and 40 thousand. They sold over 25,000 numbers for the marathon alone. But they also sold like 10-15 thousand Goofy bibs (that’s where you run both the half and full marathon back to back). Before I left the Field House though I had to check and make sure my chip on my bib was working properly. You just walk past this reader thingy and if your name pops up you are good to go.Ah there’s my name! Not Courtney, the chick below that 🙂They also had an official merchandise area of course. I took a look around and it was a zoo in that little space!Here a pic of a couple shirts they were selling. I was surprised how quickly everything was selling. I honestly didn’t think the merchandise was that cute so I didn’t buy any. It was also uber expensive. $35 tees and $70 warm up jackets, um… I’m happy with the shirt that’s included. My sweet mom did buy me a pin though to commemorate the journey, thanks Mom!They had a countdown clock to race time. I almost had a panic attack. What? Did I lose track of the days? Oh wait, that’s the count down to the half marathon dummy. Add 24 hours and that’s when the marathon startsOk I am out of the Field House. Look how pretty. Hmmm where did the lady tell me to go? I’ll just follow the hoards of people, that sounds like a plan.They were having a workout class taught by some coaches and football players I believe. Looked like fun, but I was saving my energy for the race.I love how Disney is always thinking about the kids. Even though most people didn’t have their kids with them, some did, and I’m sure they appreciated the little break areas for young ones to play.I made it to the Expo! Holy crap look at all those people. It was literally wall to wall in the whole building. But I was super excited and didn’t care. Oooo free samples, out of my way!Here is the wall with all the names of the runners on it! So cool. I should have taken a picture of the whole wall but it was so crowded I only got this little section.Where the heck is my name?? Looking, looking, looking, AHH there it is. And of course it’s up high so this is as good of a pic as I can get. But still, so dang cool, my name on the Disney wall! 🙂Alright time to get my shirt and goodies. Nice! They had tons of spots to pick up your shirt by size so there was no waiting. I got my bag in no time and was off to explore the Expo.They had big boards with the course maps on them. It was fun to see where the half marathon was running since I never checked out that course.After eating a yogurt, some cheese, a little smoothie, and some gu products, it was time to focus. I bought a cute Spi belt to put my phone in on race day. I know, I was committing the ultimate racing sin of using a product that I had never tried out on a practice run. Luckily I had lots of experience with different types of belts and knew the little belt I bought would be fine. Plus it matched my running outfit, score! But what I really needed to do was find the pacer booth. After wandering around pretty much the whole Expo I finally found it. Since I hadn’t really set a time for myself I took a general picture of who I may be able to pace with. 4:30 is my dream time, 4:45 is my ultimate goal, and I have no idea why 4:15 is there (in my dreams I run a marathon that fast!) and I didn’t get 5:00’s photo, which was what I thought was most likely my time. I think I was a little unfocused. There was so much going on and I was such a newbie. If anyone saw a girl hopping around the Expo all giddy and ridiculous that was me.Ok one last detour and I have to get out of here. Stopped at the Chiquita banana booth for a picture and a free banana. I missed playing banana Plinko by about 5 seconds, darn. Oh well, I got my free fruit anyway.Of course my photo exiting the Wide World of Sports was blurry, boo. It was exciting to see all the amazing Disney touches. The expo really geared me up for the race and I couldn’t wait to see what they had prepared!Tune in later for more Disney Marathon fun… coming soon!