I went to the expo on Thursday, the very first day of the event, and I went right when it opened, all for one reason: Walt Disney World Marathon Dooney & Burke. There was no way that I was running 26.2 miles and not getting a fabulous new bag out of it. I loved the design because it was subtle, with a nice dark blue background and printed Mickey Mouse silhouettes on it. The only things on the bag that suggested running were that one of the Mickeys is running and there's a little leather tag on it that has the logo for the 20th anniversary of the marathon. I know these details because the small crossbody version of the bag is sitting right next to me. No kidding, there was a special entrance just for the Dooney & Burke bags at the expo. It was obviously my first stop.
Once I had that, I was happy and could proceed into the rest of the expo without having a heart attack.
Everything started in the HP Field House with packet pickup. I continue to be impressed with how smoothly things run at the runDisney expos, especially on the first day. There were a ton of people there, but I got my waiver printed out super fast and there was barely a line to get my packet. I appreciated the way it was set up - the packet pickup and some official runDisney merchandise was housed in the HP Field House, while the rest of the merchandise was over at the Jostens Center (all of this is at the ESPN Wide World of Sports which is massive). I took advantage of the fact that there wasn't a crazy crowd for the runDisney merchandise at the Field House (and the fact that I get a discount on it) and bought myself some swag. And by some swag, I mean all of the swag.
I really liked this shirt because it had a little tidbit for each mile of the marathon. I especially like it now that I've finished the marathon and am so amused by the specific lines for some of the miles, but I'll get back to that.
After I'd purchased way too much of the official merchandise, I headed over to the Jostens Center to purchase way too much of the rest of the merchandise!
And purchase I did. My favorite purchase was not so interesting, but felt great - I bought Biofreeze and reusable ice packs. I had never used Biofreeze before, but they had it in the medical tents at the Wine & Dine Half Marathon and people were pouring it over themselves like it was holy water, so I thought it would be worth trying on my poor unhappy knee. Sure enough, it was delightful. The ice packs were because I was tired of my plastic baggies filled with ice leaking on my couch.
I also bought the shoes that are pictured above next to the marathon Mickey ears. I was leaving the expo (Jamie doesn't believe this, so I'll say it again) - I SWEAR I WAS LEAVING THE EXPO when an announcement came over the loudspeakers that New Balance had just become the official running shoe of runDisney and in honor of that, they had released special limited edition running shoes exclusive to the expo. The men's shoes were modeled after Mickey Mouse while the women's shoes were modeled after Minnie Mouse. I swear I ran faster to get to that New Balance area than I did the entire marathon. They had my size, I put them on and fell madly in love. Did I need more running shoes? Absolutely not. Were they far too expensive? Of course. But do I love my new Minnie Mouse shoes so much it makes my head spin? Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!
The official picture of them behind the castle. Love love love.
After I splurged on the shoes, I realized I needed to leave the expo before I ran out of money. Now, to be perfectly honest, I did end up going back to the expo because other people wanted to go (and because I wanted to go again), and I did splurge a bit more. I bought a few new Bondi Bands, one of which I wore for the marathon, and I also bought a couple sparkly gifts for myself... more on that later :)
(stay tuned for part three - THE ACTUAL MARATHON!)