Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tower of Terror 10 Miler - Expo

Well, I'm back from Disney World.  Mike and I both had a great vacation down there but we're adjusting back to normal life.  And of course, I'm continuing to prepare for my upcoming half marathon in November. But in the meantime, I can re-live some of the weekend through a recap of the Tower of Terror 10 miler. It was my first RunDisney event and longest race to date, so I have a lot of thoughts.  I'll probably split the recap up into a couple posts. This first post will be my thoughts on the expo.

Not only was this my first RunDisney race, it was also my first race that had an expo associated with it.  I chose to go to the expo the day before the race, almost as soon as it opened.  The expo was held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and we took a bus there since we didn't have a car while in Florida.  We ended up waiting about 20 minutes for a bus and then there was a really long walk from where the bus dropped us off to the first stop.

We walked into the first building and there were computers set up for people who needed to print their waivers.  I had thankfully already printed mine out so we were able to skip this area.  We walked into the main area and there were booths set up clearly labeled with bib numbers so it was easy to see where to go.  For some reason, all the lower bib areas had lines but not the higher (i.e. slower) numbers so I was able to pick my bib up quickly after showing my driver's license and the waiver.  They also provided a clear plastic bag which could be used for bag check during the race.

The photo's blurry but you can see the lack of line at the first couple booths and the longer lines at the further booths.

This building also had some props set up for taking photos and a speaker area.  The talks hadn't started yet and we weren't planning on staying long so we didn't sit for any of the speaker sessions.
Line for a photo op with the Tower of Terror elevator

 Me with my bib in front of a Tower of Terror elevator - you can see that my bib has an orange sticker with my corral letter.  It was automatically adjusted to put me in one corral earlier based on my proof of time from a local 10k earlier this year.  A lot of people were upset about corral assignments before the race but it seems like RunDisney fixed them automatically.

Set up for a speaker session

Next, we walked over to another building not too far away.  This was the area where all the bustle was.  I wasn't sure why the race shirt wasn't given to us with the bib but Mike pointed out that it may have been because they want to make sure you go to the other building to see all the goods for sale.  I was definitely planning on buying stuff so they didn't need to worry about me.

Here's a shot of the expo from the floor above.  You can see it was quite busy.  And of course the area to pick up your shirt was in the back.  There wasn't much of a line so I was able to pick up the shirt quickly.  Then I turned around and went straight to the area where the official race merchandise was for sale. I knew I wanted a vinylmation as well as the vinylmation size medal.  I wasn't sure whether I wanted to "I did it" shirt or the jacket but I decided on the jacket.

We then waited in line to pay for the merchandise and I seriously think this was the longest line I waited in the entire time in Disney World.  It took about 30 minutes start to finish.  But everyone was upbeat and the time went by quickly.

Waiting patiently (sort of) in line

After that, we walked around and checked out the other booths.  There was a lot of really cool stuff and products I'd seen online that I appreciated being able to check out in person.  But I had decided to mostly concentrate on race specific goods so the only other thing I bought was a shirt that was on sale. The shirt says "Enjoy the Journey one Milestone at a Time." I couldn't resist given the name of my blog!

And that's it!  We then headed out on the long walk back to the bus.  It thankfully arrived right as we got to the stop so no wait on the way back.  Overall, I enjoyed my first expo but there were a lot of crowds and a lot of waiting. I have to admit that I was happy to get out of there. Next up... my race experience.