Posts Tagged by Champion Stadium
|January 19, 2015||Posted by Running at Disney under Health & Fitness Expo, WDW Marathon Weekend|
The Health & Fitness Expo at any runDisney event can be an endurance event in itself. There is SO MUCH to
buy see and do! It’s a great place for all runners and fitness enthusiasts, even those not participating in the weekend’s events, to come and see the latest gear. Jackie isn’t running until Princess Half Marathon Weekend, but that didn’t stop her from checking out all the rad things at the WDW Marathon Weekend Expo. Let’s take a look!
While I have yet to run a race during Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, I have attended this race’s Expo many times, including this past one. The runDisney Health and Fitness Expo is the best way to kickoff the 2015 racing calendar and a run filled year. The excitement is contagious and you can’t help not wanting to be apart of it!
The second you walk inside the Jostens Center at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports, you immediately feel the energy of thousands of runners anticipating their races and the vendors who are just as excited. As you are directed downstairs into the expo, you are immediately greeted with Raw Threads and the facade of the New Balance booth.
Not being able to resist the Raw Threads booth, with their cute designs and soft fabrics, I walked through their space to see what was available. They were fully stocked with favorite character designs and also had some newer Frozen and Star Wars designs, which are perfect for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend and Princess Weekend next month!
My next stop was the New Balance booth. They had apparel and accessories available, but the main attraction are the official runDisney New Balance shoes! The latest shoes to join the collection are the limited edition 990v3 featuring Retro Mickey and Minnie, which were inspired by Steamboat Willie. You can checkout the new shoes and the older designs here.
After exiting the New Balance booth, I made my way to the back of the Jostens Center where all the runDisney official merchandise was. There surprisingly was not a long line waiting to checkout, like there normally is during the expo; it’s better to get there early or in the middle of the day!
They had all different styles of shirts for each race, along with accessories, bottles, mugs, and much more! I love the ‘I Did It!’ shirts-there was one available for each distance, plus Dopey and Goofy Challenges. I saw a lot of these walking around at the end of the weekend at Downtown Disney at the Cool Down Party.
Right in front of the runDisney booth, you can check out the medals for the weekend and chat with Jeff Galloway, who makes appearances throughout the day. I missed him this time around, but I did see him last year at Princess!
As I made my way to the front of the Jostens Center, I stopped by the Transitions photo booth and Sweaty Bands. Transitions had tons of fun props to put on for a photo that they send to your email. They also had this booth setup at the Cool Down Party! Sweaty Bands always has super cute headbands in many different prints and patterns. You can even find ones to match your running costume!
I had to stop by the Fit2Run booth, which is fully stocked with all your last minute weekend race needs from nutrition to apparel and shoes. You can pickup anything you may need for the weekend and training, which makes stopping by the Expo super convenient! I love how you can chat with the brand reps who will help with advice and their knowledge about the different products the booth carries. I had my eye on many things here, but my plan is to stock up Princess weekend! I have been eyeing some Dona Jo printed tights and I wish I just got them this weekend!
After you leave the Jostens Center and enter the Champion Stadium, you could spin the Fit2Run wheel and win all different prizes including Fun Runs to spend at their location in Downtown Disney!
Kicking off the year with the WDW Marathon Expo and Races are the perfect start to 2015! The camaraderie felt and excitement you experience at these expos just makes you more excited for your next runDisney event. Though I did not make any purchases this time around, I scouted out the goods for Fit for a Princess Expo next month and made a long list of items I have to get! Later this year I will register for the Walt Disney World Marathon (my first!!) and already cannot wait to come back and visit the expo and celebrate with all our fellow runDisney and RAD runners!
|January 6, 2014||Posted by Running at Disney under Health & Fitness Expo, WDW Marathon Weekend|
Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend is only 2 days away…who’s excited??
The Health & Fitness Expo kicks off the weekend on Wednesday, January 8th. The Expo will take place at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (WWOS) and the hours are as follows:
- Wednesday, January 8th: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
- Thursday, January 9th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Friday, January 10th: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
- Saturday, January 11th: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
All race participants MUST attend the expo to turn in signed waivers (click here to print your waiver) and pick-up race packets, which include your race bib (Dopey Challenge participants will be receiving 2 bibs) with B-Tag timing devices, race shirt, and clear gEAR bag. The gEAR bag doubles as the bag to use for bag check during the race. This is also where you will receive any commemorative items you may have purchased during registration. If you are unable to attend the expo, you will need to fill out an authorization form to have someone pick-up your packet for you. You can find these here.
The Expo last year was incredibly busy, so be prepared to wait in line and that you will probably spend a significant amount of time there because the Expo has expanded this year. Packet pick-up is located in the HP Field House for all races except for the Kids Races. Here you will also pick up your shirts for the Goofy & Dopey Challenges. Packet pick-up is now spread over 2 floors so see the map below to find where you have to go.
After visiting the HP Field House, head over to the Jostens Center to visit with vendors and pick up your shirts for the 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and Marathon. Speaking of shirts, what do you think of the designs for this year??
New this year is the Expo expanded into Champion Stadium. Here you will find various vendors, packet pick-up for the Kids Races, Runner Tracking and Dooney & Bourke items.
If you’re looking to get any of the Expo exclusive items, such as the New Balance runDisney shoes or the Minnie Marathon Bra, you should probably get to the Expo early on the first day. Things tend to sell out quickly!
So get your wallets ready and have fun!
|October 7, 2012||Posted by Running at Disney under Race Recaps, runDisney Races, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler|
The Inaugural Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler took place last Saturday on September 29th and I was so happy that I could be a part of it! Be prepared, because this race recap travels directly to…The Twilight Zone!
After a whirlwind morning of cheering on the 5K runners and a fantastic lunch at California Grill for the Mom’s Panel Fan Meet, B and I headed back to the room to rest up before the race. Jeff Galloway gave a few tips on nutrition the day before at the Health & Fitness Expo and recommended eating your final large meal around noon for a night race and then to snack throughout the evening, so we decided to forego the dinner we had planned for a nap and some snacks. We slept for about 2 hours then got ready for the race. Our friends Marc, Amanda, and her daughter Alexus met us at the Boardwalk and we all headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the shuttles.
We arrived at the Studios around 8:00 pm it was still very warm out. This did not bode well for the upcoming race. I checked our bag and we settled in for the 2 hour wait to the start. If you’ve never been to a runDisney race, there is a lot of “hurry up and wait” involved, so be prepared to settle in for a while. We found some of our friends from the Be Our Guest Podcast family who were also running and that helped pass the time with a lot of laughs.
B and I were in corral C and we decided to head in around 9:00 pm to get a spot close to the front. A great addition to this race were the Porta-Johns and water stations in the corrals. This was so convenient and something many of the runners were saying great things about. I hope this continues for future races.
The race instructions stated that all runners should be in their corrals by 9:15 pm and they were serious. At that time, volunteers promptly started moving the corrals out onto the road for the walk up to the starting line at the tool booth plaza. It was quite a far walk and with all of the runners jammed into that area, it was hot.
The race started off with the wheelchair racers and then corral A was off at 10:00 pm! In typical Disney fashion, each corral was sent off with fireworks which is so fun! We were all cheered on by the enthusiastic announcers Rudy, John and fellow FitFluential Ambassador Carissa. They had great costumes and the whole announcer booth was perfectly themed liked the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
And finally it was our turn to go! Check out this video from the starting line featuring B and my friend Debbie:
This was B’s first long race and our pacing is very different. I stuck with him for about the first mile, but we both decided it was best if I go and run my race. I’m thankful he is so supportive and I was excited to see what I could do with after all this training. As soon as we got on Osceola Parkway, I kissed B goodbye and took off. Osceola Parkway is a long stretch of highway leading to Animal Kingdom and there are many hills due to the overpasses. When the race course was first released, I was not thrilled about this area of the course, especially since it was just a straight out and back to the Animal Kingdom parking lot. I was hoping that Disney would’ve provided entertainment along this stretch and was very disappointed to not find any. After experiencing all of the entertainment along World Drive and leading up to the Magic Kingdom for the Princess Half Marathon, this was a serious let down. There was only a DJ, a few puppets from Animal Kingdom and character photo ops with the Hyenas and Dr. Facilier over those long 4 miles.
Just before mile 5, we turned down a dirt path to head into the ESPN Wide World of Sports (WWOS) complex. I loved the haunted theme of this area, but this was my least favorite part of the course. It was VERY dark and there were large stones all along the path. I walked most of this area because I was concerned about tripping or twisting my ankle. Most of the runners around me had the same idea. It’s funny that this was B’s favorite part of the course because he enjoys running on trails and grass much more than the road. I think he’d make a good trail runner…maybe we should give that a try 🙂
Once through the trail, we entered WWOS which was a lot of fun. We ran all throughout the complex, including the track and around the bases at Champion Stadium. The stadium was a great spot for spectators too! There were some really fun signs there like “Worst Parade Ever!” which made me chuckle. I also saw my friends Rora, Joell and James screaming my name in the stands…I really needed that push 🙂
Once throughWWOS, we headed down the long drive back to Oceola Parkway. Sadly, there was no entertainment here either except for one photo op with the Big Bad Wolf. This was a tough stretch for me as the heat was really starting to get to me and bordem was starting to set in. I generally don’t drink Powerade when I run because it doesn’t sit well with me, but because I was sweating so much I started diluting it with 2 cups of water at each water station. I’m glad I started doing this around mile 4 because I don’t think I would’ve made it much past this point. The main thing that was keeping me going now was knowing that I wasn’t far from entering the Studios and I couldn’t wait to run through the park. So I trekked on…
We entered the Studios just before mile 9 through a back entrance on the Lights, Motors, Action! stage. This was really cool to run across, but there was a strong smell of gasoline in the air which wasn’t too pleasant. From there, we ran down the Streets of America and once again disappointment set in. I was expecting to turn the corner and see some of the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights illuminating the street as they had for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon for the past two years. Nope, the street was dark. The only bonus was to see my friend Suzie cheering at the end of the street…thanks girl!
After the Streets of America, we ran past the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant, up to the hub and around the Sorcerer’s Hat. There was a huge crowd cheering here as well which really picked up my pace. I hope everyone who spends the time to be out there cheering on the runners knows how much it means to us. You all are amazing!
The course then went into the Animation Courtyard and through Pixar Place. I think this was the first time I haven’t seen a wait at Toy Story Midway Mania! We then entered a backstage area and I knew we were on the home stretch because we were heading back towards the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Soon enough, the Hollywood Tower Hotel and the finish line were in sight…I picked up the pace and finished strong!!
It was so great to see my friends all waiting for me at the finish line, including Marci who has been such a huge supporter and inspiration this year. Congrats Marci on finishing your first 5K! I also got a big, sweaty hug from my friend Melissa who completed her first long race with a big smile on her face. Best hug ever…I’m so proud of you!
So here is where the madness began. After getting our meal boxes, bananas and water (I took 2 because I felt severely dehydrated from the heat!), we began to wind our way through backstage and into Fantasmic!. There was a “lovely” giant hill we had to walk up and then the path narrowed into the photo stop area…not ideal for hot, tired runners. If you’ve ever seen Fantasmic! you know how long of a walk it is to get to the stadium, well we had to walk out that path onto an insanely crowded Sunset Boulevard. I’m not sure what a better route would be, but this definitely was frustrating. Many runners were overheated and needed a place to sit and rehydrate, but the volunteers where very adamant about keeping us moving. I didn’t witness any of this, but I heard numerous stories of people passing out and vomiting after the finish line. A rest area was definitely needed.
I knew B was a ways behind me, so I decided to head over to to bag pick-up so he would be able to change when he finished. Changing was also a huge priority for me as my clothes were literally dripping in sweat. I don’t think I have ever sweat so much in my life…that humidity was no joke! Bag pickup was located at Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, which is all the way over by Echo Lake. When I got there, I was greeted by a long line and a giant set of stairs leading down to the stage where the bags were. Sigh… It was very cool to walk on stage and the bag pick-up itself went smoothly, but it was just a frustrating experience after a long hot race.
Changing tents were set up along echo lake, but they were more like saunas than changing tents. It would’ve been nice to have some fans set up inside the tents to get air circulating. I was already over heated from the race and couldn’t bare the thought of changing in there, so I set off to find a nearby restroom. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with this idea because the lines at all the restrooms were incredibly long. So I suffered with my wet clothes, at least I could change into my flip flops…best feeling ever!
It was around this time that I got the text that B had finished the race! I was getting worried about him because he wasn’t answering any of my text messages and feared he got swept. I literally jumped for joy and headed back to Sunset Boulevard to meet him. We immediately headed to Fairfax Faire for some ice water and I grabbed a Yuengling for a nice carb boost 🙂 We were also famished and craving salt so I grabbed some chicken nuggets and french fries from Rosie’s. These were the best chicken nuggets I’ve ever had in my life!!
It was around 2:00 am at this point and we were both exhausted and needed showers, so we decided to forego the Villians Hollywood Bash and head back to the room. I finished the race in 2:20 and my Garmin recorded 10.16 miles, an average 13:48 minute pace. This was a slow pace for me, but I was happy considering the heat. B finished in an impressive 2:53 for his first distance over 3 miles! I am beyond proud of him for taking on this challenge! I’m not sure he’ll ever do another race, but doing this one is more than most people can say they’ve done. The medals definitely lived up to the expectation and they are by far the best part of running this race!
While I had fun, this was definitely not my favorite race. The heat definitely had something to do with it, which was also an issue the first year of the Wine & Dine Half Marathon held the same weekend in 2010. Maybe this is still too close to summer to have a race in Florida because the weather can be unpredictable. The lack of entertainment on the course was also a big negative for me and I heard a lot of similar feedback from other runners about this. There is a lot of room for improvement with this race and I hope runDisney will take all of our feedback to make for a better experience next year.
So now I want to hear from you! Did you run the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler? What did you think? What was your favorite part? What improvements can be made? Leave your comments below and I’ll compile all of the feedback for a future post. Collectively we can help make this better!
Congratulations to everyone who completed the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler. You are all rockstarts for braving that heat!