Running with the Mouse

About the Column

Disney travel experts agree on one thing: relax, take your time. But when it comes to Disney's marathons and other running events, they're wrong. In a race, you can't take your time. And you also can't show up with just your two feet expecting to win - or even finish! Preparing for a Disney marathon requires discipline, hard work, and good advice. We can't help you with the discipline or the hard work. But Robert Mathis, owner of DisneyRunning and one of the few people designated by Disney as 'Perfectly Goofy' for his frequent participation in their running events (since 1996!), has lots of good advice. So relax, take your time, and read his weekly column.

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FROM: Running with the Mouse Published As Needed

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Report: Race Expo

Robert gives us a sneak peek at the pre race expo and how the competitors get ready for the race before the final day. The expo is a great way to see what's new for the sport and maybe catch a celebrity sighting or two.




The Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend for all runners starts with packet pickup. This is where we all take our personalized race waivers that we download. This waiver has our name and address as well as your race number. The race number is based on your submitted time (from another race) or your estimated time (if 2:45 and above). Once inside the building you will see a number of booths where you go to pick up your bib. The lines are broken down by race number ranges for the half marathon and 5K. There is also a special line for people like myself who were going for the Coast to Coast Challenge. We have already completed a Walt Disney World Half Marathon or Marathon already earlier this year. We get a special wrist band that we must wear from Friday until we finish the race on Sunday. We get it cut off and exchanged for the beautiful Coast to Coast medal to go along with our Half Marathon finisher’s medal. If you purchased any commemorative race pins, they are included in your race packet.

Race Expo Booth

There are also lines for picking up your ChEar package, Pasta in the Park tickets, and Runners Relations. The Runner Relations booth helps fix any issues with your registration and where you can move up in the corrals if you have runner a faster time than you submitted online when you registered.

From here you leave to the Grand Ballroom upstairs where you pick up your race shirt and goodie bag. In here you exchange a tab off for your very nice technical race shirt. Your goodie bag(which doubles as your bag if you do a bag check before the start of the race) has some nice little runner friendly treats.

Next up is visiting the plethora of vendor booths the span the majority of the ballroom. There are many booths selling last minute race items like gels, bars, and blocks to eat during the race. Some of these vendors also sell race clothing and shoes at reduced prices. This is a great place to see some of the latest and greatest runner supplies. You can meet with the experts who can answer your many questions regarding these products.

Meet the experts

There are several booths that sell commemorative race items and displays for race medals. I like Fond Memories which sells various framed sets of the race medals from races you have completed. I always buy a framed set after finishing the Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge in January and a 5 medal Coast to Coast Challenge set. The cool thing is that you keep the medals you earned racing but the framed set are all extra medals that are displayed so nicely.

RuDisney also has a booth showing off the medals from the upcoming races. This is always fun to actual feel and touch the new medals like the Donald Half Marathon and the Chip and Dale Marathon Relay. This year they also had a celebrities Drew Carey (“The Price is Right”) and Megyn Price (“Rules of Engagement’’) for photos with the runners.

Drew Carey

The rest of the booths are sponsors/vendors of everyday items. Many of these offer free items to entice the runners to visit them. This expo is much better with freebies than the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Expo. The Los Angeles Angels Girls manned a booth with a spinning wheel giving away great prizes. I won a nice Angels Skateboarder hat. I also won a bag and hat from Geico Insurance. Other booths were just giving away items like pens, bags, shirts, and many other items. I had two full bags of goodies when I left. This is another great reason that I always go there first thing when they open on Friday morning. We went back Saturday and almost all of these goodies were long gone.

From here it was back to the room to drop off the bags before heading to the parks to relax.

Next up is race morning and the race report next week.