Thursday, September 5, 2013

RACE REPORT #2: Disneyland Half Marathon | Packet Pickup & Expo

After my exciting time at the Tweet and Meetup...I drove back to my hotel to freshen up and change clothes.

I couldn't wait to tell my family all about the Meetup and how it felt to run through the park in the early AM. My report from the DL Tweet & Meetup  click here

I changed into a maxi skirt (comfort!) and the new Running Troops shirt.  I was also wearing our Rank Achievement dog tags & our custom camo headband from Bic Bands. This was the premier of our gear!

 Hubby and I arrived at the Disneyland Hotel for the Expo shortly after 10am.  Last year, no lines - this year, a horrible line.  But, in true Disney professionalism, there was staff directing us and getting the line moving into packet pickup.  This is when I felt my migraine start to come one.  I knew it would be unsafe to take my meds before a race day, so I decided to tough it out and find a way to deal with it. 

While standing in line, I met up with fellow Trooper, Kent Yamaguchi.  Such a sweet man!

The volunteers were great at packet pickup - despite many obnoxious and rude runners.  I will never understand why people have to be so rude to others.  Volunteers are giving of their time and we ALL have to get to the Expo - so...just breath and know you will get there.

Made our way to get our shirts and gear bag. By this time, I was feeling really light headed from the heat and humidity.  Took one picture at the ceremonial Dumbo before meeting friend and Trooper, Andrea Kooiman for lunch. 

Myself, hubby, Andrea and her daughter ate at the Mexican place in Downtown Disney.  By the time we made it back to the Expo, the crowds were smaller.

Andrea Kooiman

The merchandise line was hideous and quite honestly, I was wondering why racers were in line for 2-3 hours to buy a shirt, when we have one from the race, anyway.

Met up with one of the Trooper Preferred Vendors, Snugg Bugs

Saw Trooper and friend, Sara Mooney (who recently moved from Vegas to PA)

Hubby won some freebies and I decided I needed to rest.  The head was still pounding and I was convinced if I just stopped and rested for a bit, I would feel better.

Went back to the hotel, freshened up, drank more water, had a snack and off we went to a meetup for my husband.  Then, back to our hotel for the night.

By this time, I was exhausted and not feeling any better, in fact I was feeling worse.  However, I felt a good night's sleep would do me good (and my head).

Day 1 was done. So much excitement (running through the park!), seeing friends and sharing this experience with my husband. 

PRO's:   *DL Expo always has ample and great vendors, great information for first time racers (such as my husband), good energy all around.

*VOLUNTEERS & STAFF:  were outstanding and patient (even though they were not treated with respect by many rude runners)

*BIBS - I love these bibs!  Whoever designs them - give that person a raise!

*PINS:  Love the collector pins, too!  I would of loved to see the DDD offered at registration to pick up at packet pickup so we didn't have to hunt them down at a retail store.  

CON's:  *Standing outside in line, was not good. Solution:  Bigger space, so we wait indoors or even a covering.   The pounding sunshine was very uncomfortable & unhealthy.

*Expo should not be open to the general public until the last hours of the last days to allow runners to buy merchandise vs ebay sellers.   Another alternative would be to offer the merchandise to purchase during registration (pre-orders) and the racer can pick up their product order at the Expo. While I did not attempt to purchase any merchandise, I do believe the runners should have first pick, not ebay sellers. 

*SHIRTS:  Women's cut is needed, no more unisex for all. Over half the racers are women.  A v-neck, slimmer cut with shorter sleeves would be such a great thing to have. Graphics are wonderful, but the cut/style of the shirt is less than desirable and based on social media feedback, many female runners are frustrated and want a better cut shirt.  The consistent complaint (even for men's shirts) is the head hole is way too small, I would agree. It's on the small side and the same as last year's design.

*MAGNETS in goodie bags:  There should never of been a magnet in our goodie bags.  Not even offered as a freebie, as racers will throw them in the bag and ruin their timing chips.

*ADD ANOTHER DAY to the Expo - all DDD runners had to show up on Friday, that made for a huge bottle neck.  Offer Thursday & Friday to racers, only and then Saturday open to the public.

*LARGER SPACE.   D23 is in the Convention Center, it might be a good time to consider having a larger space for the Expo and packet-pickup.  Although it did not bother me nor my husband, people do not like to stand in long lines.   

Overall, I have been through far, far, far worse Expo's and crowd issues, I am not disappointed in the DL Expo, at all.  Husband and I enjoyed our time. 

*COMING SOON:  Part 3 - 5k & 10k Recap

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-13
Run F.A.B. & Boston Strong,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
*Sponsored by, KT Tape and Island Boost
*SuperHero Events Ambassador 2013-14
*Founder, Running Troops
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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