My First runDisney Experience – The runDisney Expo (part 1)

I’m not much of a runner.  At all.  My roly-poly stomach will attest to that.  But I really wanted to do something healthy – not just for me, but for my daughter.  But when we signed up I didn’t know what to expect.  I pretty much just trusted the Disney brand to take care of me and my family.  I’m glad I did.  The entire experience from beginning to end was uplifting and positive.  Everyone was supportive.  There was help at every turn.  And even though at the end my feet were incredibly sore, I know I’m going to do it again.  And so is my daughter.

When we got to the end, she turned to me and said, “That was fun! I definitely want to do that again!”  And this is from a girl who doesn’t like running.  She hates running at PE and I can’t really blame her.  Where we live it’s still about 95 – 100 degrees when she has to take the field and usually they make them run laps.  Not fun.  So she wasn’t sure what to expect from the runDisney experience and I think a part of her was worried it was going to be like PE – mindless running around a track.  Our Disneyland 5K was anything but that.

The different medals on display at the runDisney booth
The different medals on display at the runDisney booth

It started out the day before when we went to the runDisney Expo to pick up our packet and bib.  It all went so smoothly.  We didn’t have to wait in long lines and all the people were friendly and efficient.  After registering and picking up our pre-purchased items, we were guided out onto the Expo floor where we picked up our bib and shirt.  From there we turned a corner and found any number of products to help us out with our event.  Whether it was energy bars to power us up before the race, shoes from New Balance to inspire us on our run (with special runDisney shoes), running paraphernalia to assist you in your keeping your body safe, or costume assistance for those who want to dress up in a running friendly outfit, there wasn’t anything you couldn’t find.  But the most fun for us was the Official Event Merchandise!

The "I Did It" shirt for the 5K. They had one for each race that weekend
The “I Did It” shirt for the 5K. They had one for each race that weekend

They had so many different items to choose from.  Hats, caps, gym bags, event t-shirts, event pins, car magnets, Vinylmation, event plush, and other great stuff could be found on every wall.  They had special runners shirts and sweatshirts made of really light material that would wick away the perspiration.  All of it was high quality stuff.  And definitely more expensive than your average shirt.  Just to let you know, all of it was fairly pricey, but instead of getting cheap stuff, these items are definitely made to last and made with the latest in clothing technology. I was most surprised at how fast the race event t-shirts were going. At $27.95 a pop, they aren’t exactly low cost, but when we had arrived at about 6pm, they already almost completely sold out of the 10K shirt and the 5K shirt was going to join it soon.   So even though we hadn’t “done it” yet, we bought the “I Did It!” shirts and just hoped we could wear it afterward.  We did.

Emma and I posing at the runDisney Instagram booth for our commemorative photo
Emma and I posing at the runDisney Instagram booth for our commemorative photo

Even though they had a lot of vendors, I didn’t feel like you do at some events where it’s like trying to avoid the mall kiosk guy.  You know the guy I’m talking about?  You’re just trying to look around and he’s already talking to you about how much you need whatever he’s selling?  It wasn’t like that for us at all.  People just seemed really helpful and willing to talk to you.  My knee was acting up from having strained it the day before and I was searching for a knee brace.  The guys at one of the booths explained to me all the different kinds they had and even made recommendations based on what was bothering me.  He didn’t even try to push the most expensive one, but instead told me that the next one down was probably best for what I was looking for.  My favorite booth was the Instagram runDisney booth were you got to take a commemorative photo of your choice.

Overall, when we left the Expo we found everything we were looking for and came out really happy.  Now we just needed to get a good night’s sleep and get ready for the race the next morning!

Continued in part 2 – Race Day!

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3 thoughts on “My First runDisney Experience – The runDisney Expo (part 1)

  1. What a great blog. I loved reading about your experience as a fellow non-runner. And how cool that your daughter enjoyed doing the 5k with you and wanted to do it again.

    1. Hi, Brian! Sorry I didn’t reply sooner – I had to find the packaging! It’s Pro-Tec Athletics and although they have other more expensive and less expensive options, I went with the 3D flat premium compression knee support. Even for someone with a larger leg like mine, it worked really well.

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