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Disneyland Half Marathon Expo Recap

When the morning arrived for me to drive up to the Disneyland Half Marathon, I was beyond excited.  I had been waiting to run a RunDisney event since I started running and this weekend did not disappoint!  My first stop of the weekend-- the Health and Fitness Expo.

I arrived in Anaheim shortly after 8:00am and used my Annual Pass to explore the parks a bit before heading towards the Disneyland Hotel, where the Expo was located.  Once I arrived at the hotel, I had to decide what to do-- I had heard stories about the wait for the official RunDisney merchandise, so I decided to wait in line there first.  After about an hour wait, they let us in a little earlier than the official expo start time.  I picked up a few items-- I loved it all and definitely could have spent a fortune here.  I could understand why people lined up for this merchandise.  Once I was done shopping to official merchandise, I headed down to Packet Pick-Up.

Walkway to Packet Pick-Up

Packet Pick-Up was located away from the expo, under the hotel.  The lines were relatively short and everything was so organized.  Once I had my bib, I headed over to the photo area for the Dumbo Double Dare participants.  I had pre-ordered a race pin and it wasn't where it was supposed to be-- a quick trip to merchandise solutions took care of it.  I was impressed with the efficiency of the area.  Now it was back up to the expo to get my race shirts and see what other goodies I could find.  

Race shirt pick-up was super easy-- I loved how the shirts were bagged together for those of us who were doing the Dumbo Double Dare.  I've done other multi-race challenges and you usually have to go to multiple spots to get the race shirts.  Once again, the organization was on point.  

My expo goodies!
I spent some time wandering all the booths-- there were some awesome products out there.  I picked up a few of my favorite socks and headbands.  Once I was done here, it was time to head back to the parks and get some more fun in.  But not before I took some pictures with a few of my friends!

And now it's time to get personal-- I am hard-of-hearing and wear hearing aids.  In most race and expo situations, the large groups of people and excess noise make it hard for me to know what is going on or being said, especially if there are presenters using speaking/microphone systems and such.  Because of this, I rarely pay attention to who might be presenting because I know I will "miss" most of it anyway.  I have run in several races, including some bigger/popular ones and at the RunDisney event, I experienced something I have never experienced before-- they had an ASL interpreter!!!  I can't even describe how awesome this was for me-- this might be my favorite thing about the weekend and everything else was really awesome, so that's saying a lot.  For the first time in my racing experiences, I didn't feel like I was missing out on anything.  I could truly enjoy the entire race experience.  The interpreters (who were awesome by the way!) weren't only at the expo, but also at the pre-race festivities and start line.  To be able to experience the expo and race in the same way that everyone else was was truly an experience for me that I won't forget.  

Coming soon-- my recap on the Disneyland 10K and Half Marathon.  
Until next time, happy running!


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