If you’ve never been to ESPN Wide World of Sports, be prepared for a lot of walking. The facility is massive and it is usually very crowded before races, which was the case when we arrived. We were directed to a large tent to pick up our bibs for the half marathon, which was a new addition this year. Outside the tent, Cinderella’s glass coach was set up for a photo op with two footmen. Such a great touch for all the princesses getting ready to race.
Because of the crowds, there was first a line to get in the tent, then a line to enter the bib pickup area. Once inside, I printed my waiver, picked up my bib and verified my B-Tag. Even with the mass amounts of people, everything only took about 15 minutes and we were off to the expo floor to get our shirts and do some shopping.
Did I mention it was crowded? The expo was jam packed and insanely hot. We made our way to the back of the floor to pick up our shirts and clear bags. Most of the runDisney race shirts are unisex, but for the Princess they are separated by women’s and men’s. I know a few people that had to change sizes at the expo, so this is something to keep in mind if you’re running the Princess in the future. I really liked the shirt this year and it will definitely get a lot of use on my training runs.
We wandered the floor for a bit and I probably spent a lot more money than I wanted to. What can I say, I have no will power. My favorite booths were One More Mile, BondiBand, The Stick, and BeeCause Charms. I’ve wanted to get a Stick for a while and I picked up the Sprinter Stick and a Foot Wheel, both of which really came in handy after the race! At BeeCause Charms, I picked up these fabulous charms for my sneakers. The clover for my Dad and the breast cancer ribbon for my Mom, who just recently beat it!
My last stop at the expo was the official runDisney merchandise area. Here’s wear my weakness set in. My original goal was to get the “I Did It” shirt, but by the time I got there they were all out of my size. So instead I bought a bunch of other things…shocking I know. I got a great Princess tech tank, a Princess BondiBand, 2 commemorative pins and a runDisney decal for my car.
Now that the damage was done, it was time to leave. We picked up Amanda who was napping at the hotel and headed to the Grand Floridian for a running blogger meet-up hosted by Heather from Running with Sass. We were an hour late to the meet-up because of all the time we spent at the expo and it was just winding down, but I did get to see my friend Megan from Megan in Wonderland, meet a great blogger named Alexandra from Adventures with Alexandra, and hear a truly inspirational story from Janet Oberholtzer. Janet is a marathoner who almost lost her leg in a horrific car accident, but has since overcome the odds is now racing again. I can’t wait to read her book Because I Can…
After the meet-up, we wandered the Grand Floridian for a bit, then headed over to Epcot for our pre-race dinner at Via Napoli.
We arrived at the restaurant about 45 minutes early so we could combine our reservation with our friend Marc and his family, as well as met up with Sarah-Irene’s husband John, her friends who were also in town for the race, and our new friend Tiffany. Since we were a large party of 14, we were seated near each other, but had to be split into 2 tables. I’m going to save the details of the meal for another post, but here’s a summary: super cute waiter, incredibly loud atmosphere, awesome appetizers, overpriced entrees, serious issues splitting the bill, and a night ending in food poisoning for Katherine. Let’s just say, I’ll think twice about going there again.
By the time we got back to the hotel and settled down for the night, it was around 10:30 pm. My alarm was set to go off in 4 hours and I was both worried about Katherine and praying that I was not going to get what she had. My nerves were on edge and my first half marathon was the next morning…yikes!