Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Walt Disney Marathon Weekend Expo #GoofyChallenge

(my recap is a bit out of order. For the race recaps click half or full)

The Walt Disney Marathon health and fitness expo was hosted at the sprawling ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
The middle of all the action

Bib Pick-up

On Friday afternoon, after riding a shuttle bus from the Coronado Springs Hotel we made the long walk to the first of two buildings for packet, bib, and shirt pick-up. The number of other runners picking up at the same time was borderline overwhelming. Fortunately the Goofy Challenge pick-up was in its own gym and away from the half and full marathon pick-up. Amanda split off to get her bib and we met at the chip check. I was still listed with my Plover address and not my new Stevens Point address but i didn't make any effort to change.
Race bibs with timing chips inside

No line for Goofy Challenge

Bib pick-up area for half and full marathon

Shirt Pick-up

It was another long circuitous walk to the adjacent building for t-shirt and drop bag pick-up. During the walk we were entertained by a DJ, a hula hoop station, and conversations with other runners.

Amanda giving me a hoola hoop clinic
The next building was packed with people, merchandise, and vendor booths. We navigated our way to the far end for shirt pick-up and realized with thousands of other runners that the race shirts ran large. I have three very blousy extra large Disney shirts...half, full, and Goofy. At the shirt exchange only double XL and X-small were available.

Shirt pick-up area that doesn't adequately capture the congestion as well as the disappointment of many runners about the size of the shirts
Next we wandered the official race merchandise... Shirts, coats, hats, and more. Most of it was very over stated and more than we needed. Amanda found a running hat and I added a mug for my Disney coffee mug collection. The mug had a nice Disney marathon logo.

Coffee Mug

What I failed to see at the time of purchase, when I unwrapped, and when I placed the mug in the dishwasher was this sticker that says, "hand wash only"

It's a decal???
Total fail. Who makes and sells a "hand wash only" coffee mug?

Keep in mind the actual mug survived the dishawasher, but the hastily and cheaply applied decal didn't
These mugs should not have made it to the show floor.

Because the hall was so incredibly crowded we passed on visiting any vendor booths and made our way to the exit, collecting information on runner tracking on the way out.

Shuttle Bus

The shuttle buses looped official race videos about the course, packet pick-up and other useful information. I thought this was helpful and a good technique to convey information to a captive audience.

This portion of the video was reminding us that animals were not allowed on the course
Expo Summary

I am sure the expo had a lot to offer in terms of products and speakers (many former Olympians were on the schedule) but it is tough to compete against theme parks rides, swimming pool, and other family time. Our expo was visit was only as long as it needed to be. But between the bus rides, walking, and packet and bib pick up it was nearly a three hour operation for us.

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