Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Princess Half Marathon 2011 Report - Part 1

This weekend was absolutely incredible and jam-packed with events so I'll be breaking my report down into parts.  First up is the Fit for a Princess Expo and pre-race stuff. I apologize in advance for the lengthy report! :)

Mom and I arrived in Orlando, where we took a town car to our hotel. We stayed at Disney's Old Key West Resort and it was incredible. Let me start by saying I'm pretty much a Disney World expert after living there for 7 years and going to the parks almost every day. I have stayed at tons of Disney Resorts, but never Old Key West, which is normally reserved for the Disney Vacation Club. It was gorgeous and really looked like Key West. The Cast Members (employees) all greeted us with "Welcome Home!" and it felt very fitting.

After settling into our wonderful room, we headed back to the lobby area to wait for a bus to the expo. Disney did a great job with transportation. Buses came every 20 minutes to take us to the expo and back. At the bus stop, mom began trying to pick out the runners which became sort of a game for us all week. It seemed Disney was completely split between people who were all about the half marathon and people who were totally unaware that it was going on.

Once we got to the expo, It finally started to sink in that I was really there. This was it! At the entrance to the expo building there were two lines, one to take pictures with Cinderella's coachmen and one to enter without a picture. We opted for no picture because we were still exhausted from the plane ride ( our flight was at 6am so we didn't get much sleep). Once we entered the building it was absolutely amazing.
I can't compare this expo to others because it was my first, but It felt like it was huge. The expo served several purposes. This was the place where you picked up your race bib, free goodies, checked your d-tag, and also had the opportunity to shop for all kinds of running gear and listen to wonderful speakers. We got our bibs and checked our d-tags, then we also got our goody bags. For the newbies out there, every big race has what they call "swag" and usually it involves a shirt and maybe something extra. The princess swag included a mesh bag with the race logo, a shirt, a luna bar, and a bunch of fliers for other races and gear that included coupons. Also, you could purchase an optional commemorative pin when you registered, so I picked that up along with my bib.
The free shirt from the Swag Bag
After getting our swag, it was time to shop! I seriously went overboard here. In a later post, I plan on talking about somethings I think went well this weekend and some things I'd change. The amount I spent would definitely be on that last to change! haha There were so many amazing booths there, and I found a lot of great products I will be testing out very soon. The biggest and most popular booth by far was the official merchandise from Disney. They had the race logo on just about everything. I didn't buy almost anything here, which felt almost wrong. Everyone was piling stuff at the registers, but I was trying to buy practical items, and since I had the pin I didn't feel like I needed anything else commemorative. I ended up just buying a running headband that said "Run Disney".

Next we headed towards the other booths. Like I said, I spent way too much, but I wasn't disappointed with any of my purchases. At Sparkle Skirts, I got a technical running skirt. I haven't worn it to run yet, but I wore it all day at the parks and it didn't budge. I think that will be a new favorite! However my favorite booth was definitely Raw Threads.  All of their products are made of bamboo and organic cotton, and they feel wonderful. They are the softest running shirts I have ever seen and have the cutest sayings on them. One I bought said "Race you to the castle".
Sorry for the bad pic- but its a really cute tank

This one's a v-neck with 13.1 on the back

The expo was wonderful. It was very crowded at times, but I learned a lot and I was really happy with it. Stay tuned for part two!


  1. Those shirts are too cute!

    So glad that I got to meet you this weekend :)

  2. Raw Threads is awesome! I love their stuff as well! A Sparkle Skirt...I'm SO jealous! I haven't seen them at an Expo yet!! :0)

    The Expo sounds like it was a lot of fun! That's always one of my most favorite part of races!! :0)

  3. thanks tiina! it was awesome meeting you too! We need to have a meetup again soon!

    Karen it's really nice! I never saw the point of running skirts (i know I'm not a real girl) but this one really rocks. Its got pockets on the sides and all the way around the waist so you really don't need a belt of any kind. It seems awesome so far!