Finally, WDW Marathon weekend has arrived! After working a crazy week’s worth of on-call, I was thankful just to make it back home to central Florida after a night of dueling mechanicals and delays. The running deities smiled upon me, and I started out my morning by tackling one of my favorite parts of race weekends: The Expo! Having never participated in the WDW Marathon weekend aside from cheering runners on last year on Main Street, U.S.A., I worried about the volume of people who would be descending upon the ESON WWoS Complex. My plan of action, to get my packet pick up experience out of the way as quickly as humanly possible.
After several years of chickening out at the runDisney expos, I finally plucked up the courage to meet Jeff Galloway. He’s such a lovely man, and his wife wound up snapping the photo for me. I laughed when he put his arm around my shoulder, nodded to the lovely lady with my phone and casually said, “This is my wife.” (Thank you, Mrs. G. for taking my photo!) He also took the time to sign my bib for me, adding more power to my already awesome costume. The bow is another wonderful creation by Mad Happy Studio.
I was surprised to find that the Expo not only occupied the Jostens Center, but the basketball arena and the breezeways of the baseball stadium! I queued up in line for a free caricature. In line, I met Jeannette, an amazing lady who was making her full marathon debut here at WDW Weekend! I admire her gumption and determination, as I am fully aware of the limits of my body, taking my chickening out of the NYC Marathon as a sign. I told myself that I wouldn’t get the highly coveted runDisney Dooney & Bourke Bag, taking their online sold out status as a sign. Yet, I walked past the line of five people, and found out that they not only had all the pieces in stock, but there was less than a ten minute wait (and no rioting). The cast member floored me when she asked me which character did I want as the primary focus of the bag. She actually dug through boxes of product to fulfill my wish of having Donald and Goofy as my main stays instead of the usual Mickey.
After all the Expo Fun, I hopped on I-4 and made my way home… as I hadn’t packed for the race yet. To my credit, I had just come off a week’s worth of work and I had laundry that needed tackling as some of my travel essentials were trapped in my rollaboard. The following afternoon, I was headed back to Orlando to bask in the race weekend goodness!
A unique twist to my usual race weekend shenanigans involved a double date. Yes, you heard me. Being behind the times due to work, and having yet to see Disney’s Frozen was deemed unacceptable by The Ambassadors of the Mouse and required immediate remedying. Kim had class, so Jason and I carpooled to Downtown Disney to meet up with Ed. We lucked out with a show time for the 3D version of Frozen. With a little wiggle time before the film, we stopped by Splitsville Luxury Lanes for some pre-film Happy Hour. I was rather unoriginal and opted for a Blue Moon. The film was fantastic, and I should have known better that a movie about sisters would make my cry. Elsa, I totally get you, Girl. Post-movie, we zipped back to Splitsville for dinner and drinks. I loved my Snickertini and I tried being somewhat healthy by ordering the Tijuana Chicken. I was talked out of buying the fab retro bowling skirt they servers we wearing, but perhaps one day, I may purchase one. After a little wandering and window shopping, we called it a night because I had to drive my 10K Kids to the start line in the morning.
On Friday morning, I served as designated driver for my friends Kim & Jason who were slated to run the 10K. While they ran, I begrudgingly napped in my car as my body wasn’t agreeing with me. Whenever I have a crazy weeks worth of flying, its when I stop moving that the momentum of exhaustion plows over me. I managed to time things right that I was at the finish line ten minutes before K&J returned. After a trip back to the hotel, power showers for my fantastic 10Kers, we jaunted across the street for a victory breakfast at Perkins! Of course, we went back to the Expo!
Going One-on-One with The Don on Saturday!
While at the Expo, I lucked out again with Sparkle Athletic & Bondi Compression! After completely failing in my quest to find orange confetti fabric, so I could make my own DIY rendition of the highly coveted SA TeamSparkle Skirt, I made a pass at their booth underneath the baseball stadium breezeway. I was crushed when I didn’t see orange among the colors hanging on the rack, but a lovely lady dressed as Snow White passed me a large with a big smile, “it was just returned, but it’s our only one left. It was a left over from the charity color for Wine & Dine.” I didn’t hesitate. I could pin it and take the side in later, I was just relieved to have one! Snow (I want to say it was Carrie), Girl you saved my costume! Continuing around the bend, we hit up the gals over at Bondi Bands. Kim owns several pairs of their compression socks, and the thing requiring the greatest amount of searching aside from the orange sparkle skirt, was unadorned, solid black compression socks. The BB Girls had them, and again, I forked over my plastic without a second thought. Though I love my Zensah compression sleeves for my calves and their argyles socks, I love the slim profile of BB’s solid color socks.
Mad Happy Studio always keeps me looking fly!
After the last minute spending at the Expo, we headed over to the Lake Buena Vista Outlets. As the weather forecast was predicting freezing temperatures (well, for any Floridian, anything under 70F is ‘freezing’), I needed to get something long-sleeved, warm, and orange stat! For those unfamiliar with the costume of the Star Wars’ Rebel Alliance X-Wing Pilot, check out Luke Skywalker. At previous races, I’ve seen folks attempt longer distances in the proper, full costume which is I think is a waste of a perfect, painstakingly detailed costume, and not safe for running (NSFR). I applaud those who attempt and achieve authenticity in their cosplays, but for me selection of running-friendly materials (sweat-wicking, anti-chafing, skin breathing, etc.) is far more important than “getting it right.”
Costume Trial: Cold Weather X-Wing Pilot
After the shop-a-thon, we took a nap while we waited for my friend, Ron, to join us. We managed to get some Mouse House time before I had to call it an early night, so I could get some shut-eye before my early morning jog (and their ChEAR relay through the Magic Kingdom & Epcot)! When Ron & I headed over to Space Mountain, we chatted briefly with the cast member working the door. He called us back and saved us from a 50 minute wait for SM, and gave us a “Moment of Magic”: two fast passes that shaved forty minutes off our wait time. I finally had someone to ride The Barnstormer with me! We caught the Wishes show (which I knew I was pushing it by staying in the park that late), but I needed my running mojo motivated by some Disney fireworks. Then to the hotel and Dream Land.
I hear it’s “Move-in Ready!”