Thursday, January 17, 2008

Goofy Challenge: Check-in and Expo

We'll call this Part I of a three part feature.

We stayed at Wilderness Lodge on Disney property thanks to an uncle who got us a nice 40% discount on the room. This hotel is not on the monorail line but it is very near Contemporary Resort (the one where the monorail goes through the middle of the hotel). It also happens to be right along both the half and full marathon courses but these races are not exactly spectator friendly. More on that later.

Wilderness Lodge pool view

Wilderness Lodge lake view

Friday morning, we hit the Expo to check-in, get my race gear, and check out their exhibits. Disney provides transportation to their Wide World of Sports complex for the participants. If you stay on property, you don't have to worry about getting around to do all the things you need for the race.

On the way into the expo...

Expo entrance

I was able to check in and get my race bibs and chips fairly easily. They have a specific table set up for the Goofy Challengers. At check-in, I received an orange wrist band that was to be worn until completing the half marathon. This is their way of monitoring who finishes each race. If you lose your wrist band, you are out of luck. Needless to say, you quickly become paranoid and find yourself checking your wrist every 5 seconds to make sure the wrist band is still there.

The main sponsors appear to be Champion clothing and Clif energy foods. We had to go downstairs through the exhibit hall to the back (like in Chicago) to get the goody bag/race shirts. This was a total clusterf*ck. They have way too many exhibits set up in a small area. You can barely move let alone see anything from the exhibitors. I would recommend they rethink this layout. On top of that, they were actually assembling the goody bags (i.e. putting in all the pamphlets, freebies, etc) into the bag at the time you stepped up to the table. WTF?! Wouldn't it be easier to have them all put together and then just add the shirt??

Expo exhibitor floor (view from race check-in area)

We did get sucked in and buy a few useless souvenirs from the marathon store and hustled out. The kids were anxious to go swimming and get to Magic Kingdom.

I received 3 race shirts for the Goofy Challenge: 1/2 marathon, full marathon, and specific Goofy Challenge shirt. They are neat technical training shirts but my only complaint is that they are ALL long sleeve. I expected a race event - in Florida - to be providing short sleeve shirts. Again, I was a little surprised by this but whatever.

Race shirts. All long sleeve technical shirts.

Here we are chilling on the Tomorrowland Transit Authority in Magic Kingdom later on Friday night before the half marathon while waiting for the fireworks. Notice I'm already rocking out the Goofy Challenge shirt. Fireworks. Bed. That was the plan.

Don't be freaked by our red, glassy chlorine filled pool eyes.

My daughter did not take that hat off for 4 straight days!

Behind that smile, I'm secretly dreading the 3 A.M. wake-up call and the task ahead.

Next post: The Half Marathon

1 comment:

Mir said...

Wow, three shirts! Pretty spiffy. :) Looking forward to Parts II and III!