Monday, March 5, 2012

Princess Half Meet-up and Expo at #RunDisney

Before I tell you about the race itself I want to fill you in on the Princess Half Meet-up that occurred on the Friday before the race.  My sister and I were lucky enough to RSVP in time to join 98 of our closest friends at a run with Jeff Galloway, Suzy Favour Hamilton, Rachel Booth, Betty Wong from Fitness Magazine and a few other RunDisney staff members and guests.

I have included a lot of pictures in this post and made them small so hopefully they will load relatively quickly.  You should be able to click them to view them larger.

After going the wrong direction the I-4 for a while, we got our bearings and arrived at EPCOT around 6:15 a.m. on the Friday morning.

Spaceship Earth looked amazing! 
After we signed our waivers, we headed into the park where we got awesome tech t-shirts with the runDisney logo.  I may or may not have worn that shirt constantly during the following week, it was that comfy.

Right away we met Jeff Galloway.  We didn't talk to him for very long because we were getting ready to go out for our run around EPCOT, but he was super friendly to everyone and willing to pose for pictures.

We had a choice between running straight through with Rachel Booth and Suzy Favour Hamilton or doing a run/walk with Jeff Galloway.  Although Julie was fan-girling pretty hard for Suzy, she let me pick and I went with Jeff Galloway.  I'm really glad we did because I heard after that the straight running group was going super fast (less than 8:00 minute miles!)

Julie running through EPCOT
The Mexico pavilion 
The China pavilion
Our running group
When our run was over, we all met at the Germany pavilion for beers breakfast.  We listened to all the celebrity guests speak and it was incredible to hear about so many women balancing raising families, working and running.  Jeff Galloway also chatted with us for a bit, mostly focusing on answering people's questions.

The Germany pavilion.
We all got tiaras!
They then announced that we would all be getting free one-day Park Hopper passes!  What an awesome surprise.  I didn't expect more than a run, a t-shirt and maybe some breakfast.  Julie and her husband used the passes after the race to go to Animal Kingdom with their little boy, which worked out really nicely.

We then met some more celebrity friends.  The RunDisney staff were awesome about taking our pictures for us with our own cameras:

Hello, Princess Minnie!
Rapunzel complimented my
skirt and told us to always carry
our frying pan!

We also had the chance to chat with some new friends, including Courtney from Run Courtney Run (@runcourtrun) (who I chatted with for hours on Twitter making sure neither of us missed the RSVP time for the meet up!) and Kelly from According to Kelly (@according2kelly) who was generous enough to hand deliver new Team Sparkle skirts to anyone who wanted to order one at a discount (I'm bought a new pink one for my next half marathon!)

On our way out of Expo I made Julie take my picture with the panda topiaries in the China pavilion.  I love pandas and topiaries.  Win.

After the meet-up we headed to the Expo.  We were hoping to beat the rush by being there relatively close to the opening.  Of course we were wrong on that one!  It was packed, especially the official merchandise area.  We picked up our bibs and shirts, spent a little money on official merchandise and Nuun, grabbed some free samples and headed home.  

Not our ride.

I know there have been some complaints that the goody bag was "virtual" rather than an actual goody bag, but I really liked not receiving a bag full of coupons and pamphlets I may never use.  There were plenty of free samples at the Expo so you could grab the ones you liked.

All in all it was a great day.  I would definitely recommend trying to sign up for the meet-up if you ever attend a runDisney event!


  1. I'm glad we finally got to meet! Hope you had a fabulous vacation! :)

  2. Wasn't the race the BEST THING EVER?!! I just love reading all these recaps because it reminds me of how much fun it was!