Attempted Runner.

Recap: RunDisney’s Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo Event Recap

Since the 2014 Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend was stretched out over three days; the 5k on Friday, 10k on Saturday and the 1/2 marathon on Sunday, the first day the expo was open was on Thursday from 2-7. I have been to 5 RunDisney/Disneyland expo’s and this was by far the most coordinated. I can only speak for the very first few hours on the first day of any RunDisney Expo because that is typically the only time that I go. I like to get it taken care of first thing, so I can play in Disneyland the rest of the day. It also allows a lot more items available for purchase (The Disneyland Half Marathon weekend in August had absolutely NOTHING left for RunDisney/Even merchandise the next day we went back).

Instead of lining up outside along side the building waiting to go downstairs to packet pickup, then back up to the expo and having to cross the line of people waiting to get into packet pickup, like previous years, this year was much easier. RunDisney started lining up people downstairs in the basement area (the room next to packet pickup) and I would say that there were about 20 lines or so for people to stand in. Once one lined filled up, the opened up another line. I think that this would be a life saver during August and in May of 2015 when its ridiculously hot out and it’ll keep everyone in the air conditioned room as opposed to dying of heat exhaustion. When the doors opened for the bib pickup area, they allowed the first line to go in, followed by the second, third, so on and so on. This was only fair, because it allowed the people waiting in the longest to be the first to pick up their bibs. They also had a separate line for people who were waiting in line for the RunDisney/Event merchandise, as the last event (August) I heard people stood in line for 3 hours and by the time they were let in…if they even were let in, there was nothing left for the rest of the weekend.

We had a plan of attack and it was executed perfectly. Due to the last RunDisney event merch area being so ridiculous, we planned that J would go stand in the RunDisney merch line and my mom and I would stand in the bib pick up line. We had J do the merchandise line only because she is usually the one who purchases something. She was instructed to look at anything my mom or myself would want, take a picture of it and text it to us. We would then decide if we wanted it and have her buy it for us. J was one of the first few hundred people into the merchandise area so she had a wide variety of items to choose from. I think she only ended up getting a Tinker Bell 10k headband and the Dooney and Burke purse but at least she had something to choose from this time. None of the merchandise was geared towards the 5k, so my mom didn’t get anything and I didn’t really care for any of the (2 items) for the 10k.

While J was in the merchandise area, both my mom and I were waiting in line for the bibs. When it was time to let us in, it was organized well like all the other years. Each wall of the room was dedicated for a certain race that were separated into maybe 20 different lines depending on where your bib number fit. The ChearSquad, Runners Relations and one other booth was set up along the last wall. It seemed to be going smoothly downstairs for bib pick up except apparently everyone has the same last initial as me because in both the 5k and 10k bib pickup lines, my line was the longest! My mom and I got our bibs (her 5k and my 5/10k) without any problems and since I had my sisters signed waiver allowing me to pick up her bib for her, I got those as well.

By the time we had all the bibs, J was finished in the merchandise area so we met upstairs at the tshirt/goodie bag area. Leaving the bib pick up area, they had it set up to were we came upstairs and were immediately directed straight into the Expo at the t-shirt/goodie bag area. This was great because like I mentioned, we didn’t have to try and cross foot traffic/people standing in line or anything. Also, during the previous years, the t-shirt/bag area was located in the back of the expo hall and we had to enter in the front area which meant that we had to bob and weave through quite a few people just to get the tshirts, only to then backtrack through the expo area to the exits. The layout seemed to work much better this year, where we entered one side, walked through without needing to backtrack and headed straight towards the exit. Hopefully they’ll stick to this set up for all the upcoming events.

Let me back up real quick….prior to the doors opening for the entire expo, New Balance had a booth set up outside that allowed people to put their name/phone number down for the RunDisney/New Balance Limited Edition Mickey shoes. J really wanted a pair of the pink Minnie shoes, mom was talking about getting the Cinderella shoe and I was debating on getting them or not since I really wasn’t keen to the designs this year. I flipped a coin, but in the end I figured I would just get the Minnie shoes. All three of us put our name into the system (our confirmation numbers were in the 2400’s and group number 6) and waited for the text saying that we can go line up to get fitted for shoes.

During the expo, the new balance booth looked way too hectic for me. At least last year it, other than the line to get your shoes (you were given a ticket last year which earlier I was told that you were guaranteed a shoe and got to go line up immediately for your shoes) it didn’t seem so crazy. This year, people were everywhere and shoes were flying left a right. People were allowed to buy up to 4 adult pairs and 2 childrens, which pretty much meant that 1 adult could get every single style/pair. If there were two adults in your party, that meant you could get up to 10 shoes. This and another aspect are the only parts that I thought was absolutely unfair.

The two reasons why I think the way New Balance was selling shoes were unfair was because:

  1. They allowed ANYONE to buy shoes. I think that only people who have a race bib should be allowed to buy shoes. I only say this because there were quit a few people who were buying shoes that you could tell would never wear them or don’t those that didn’t even NEED running/walking shoes. Within 1 day of the Walt Disney World Marathon, I saw a pair of the Minnie New Balance shoes on eBay for $200. If you look now, there are about 54 pairs on eBay, not counting the ones that have already been sold. If you are not even running the event…don’t buy the shoes. Save them for the people who actually are running the event and want the limited edition shoes for the race that they ran!
  2. A person only has 2 feet. They should only be allowed to purchase 1 pair of shoes….not 4. This would at least leave more shoes available for everyone who really wanted them.

Both of the reasons above could be summed up as: Because people who didn’t even run the event were buying shoes….and people who were buying up to 4 pairs of shoes….within 2 hours of the doors being opened, the shoes were already sold out. The runners who really wanted the shoes…to RUN IN… never even got a chance. New Balance was only selling so many shoes per day and if you were unable to get a shoe the first day, you had to go through the process all over again the second day (filling your name/number out on the form). The only problem with starting all over again, was that the New Balance booth was open at 6am for you to start putting your name into the system. At 6 am, the runners who wanted the shoes…were RUNNING the event and there was no way we could put our name on the form unless we had someone else do it for us (but we didn’t because we were all running!) and by the time we would have been able to reach the NB booth to put our names down, the doors were already closed because they reached the anticipatory sold out limit. Most likely the shoes that were purchased were purchased by people who had no intentions of wearing them for themselves. Based on the 54 pairs on eBay I saw, that means at least 54 people who had EVERY intention of wearing them, didn’t get the shoes. I personally think that during race registration they should have an option for you to buy the shoes then. That way, you will reserve your shoe style/size and since its already paid for – you will be guaranteed the shoe. They should also have it to were if you are registering, it will be added into the event registration, or you have to put in your confirmation number so they know that you are a runner and not some random Joe-eBay-selling schmoe.  If they did it that way, by the time the expo comes around – you’re guaranteed your shoe because you already placed a hold on it AND already paid for it. Since its “limited edition” and only for “RunDisney” then you should be required to actually Run Disney for them.

As you can tell from above, we didn’t get the shoes this year. I was a little bummed but since I didn’t really like the designs I was over it in like 5 minutes.  J on the other hand was heartbroken. I think she would have cried, if we weren’t in a crowded area. The worst part was, by the time our number was called (remember, we were around 2400), we saw that 10.5 in Minnie was still available on the list. We asked the guy helping us for her size and the guy said….”We just handed the last pair out” and we looked up to the available shoe size list and the other guy crossed her size out. FAIL! So, to the people that bought more than 4 pairs and to the ones with no intentions of ever wearing the shoes…Thanks. Thanks a lot…you ruined everything. I hope you enjoy the shoes you probably won’t ever wear!

As for the rest of the expo, we didn’t stay long. The only booth I planned on going to was the KT Tape booth since I ALWAYS need more KT Tape and they had a sale going on.  The majority of the booths that were there are the same booths that are there pretty much there every year and for me, at least, I didn’t need to go to the other booths. I already have all the gear I need, so other than my bib/shirt/KT Tape, expos are pointless. For the list of the vendors, here is the official race guide with a list of all the vendors on page 7. I suppose most expo’s are all the same and that’s probably why I tend to not stay very long. However, based on the amount of people at each booth and all the sparkle skirts/Compression Socks/other expo items that I saw for the rest of the weekend, I assume that all the booths did quite well.

All in all, compared to the previous 5 RunDisney expo’s I have been too, the 2014 Tinker Bell 5k, 10k & Half Marathon Expo had major improvements. A few other improvements can be made, as always but overall  it went well……

Minus the part about J not getting the limited edition Minnie shoes in a women’s 10.5  **hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge New Balance**


13 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Congrats on your finish and fun time at Disney.

Comment by sarahdudek80

Thanks. I had blast running it.

Comment by Attempted Runner

Wow, the whole NB shoe thing is really screwed up. I can’t believe they allowed so many pairs per person. Fail indeed.

Comment by Pandora Viltis

I mean it makes SOME sense because then you would have all 4 styles, but for me, only the Minnie/mickey are my normal shoe (NB 860v3) as a runner, I know the important of a correctly fitted shoe so I wouldnt even bother getting but the goofy and Cinderella, even though I liked them a lot better. I can’t imagine that both styles were the correct fit for everyone who bought them. I wonder if half the people limping around the following days was due to the wrong support from their limited edition shoes.

Comment by Attempted Runner

It still seems unfair for one person to get four pairs even if they were all for that one person.

Comment by Pandora Viltis

I know, right!!

Comment by Attempted Runner

I completely agree…so I’m rebloggoging your blog.

Comment by Runningfromitall

Reblogged this on Running From it All… and commented:
Couldn’t agree more. Since I’m still heartbroken…I will just reblog what Attempted Runner said…

Comment by Runningfromitall

That’s really crappy about the shoes. I like your idea of adding it to your cart at registration – that would certainly solve a lot of the problems. I suppose NB could also make truckloads of them available for purchase at the expo, effectively flooding the market and eliminating the odds of anybody willing to pay a premium on eBay.

Hope J doesn’t let it get her down too much. Maybe it’s some cosmic power trying to get her to switch to another brand…

Comment by Big D

They probably only made about 15,000 shoes and sold 5000 each day. Either way, they left some unsatisfied customers. If it’s all preorder, they can make the amount ordered and then an additional amount for those that decide to purchase them. It only seems fair. Put Disney on something and of course, everyone wants it. I’m not that bummed since I got my Pink (and on sale!!!) New Balance shoes I ordered today.

J on the other hand is in a shoe dilemma. She had Brooks for about two years then had some problems and switched to New Balance. She was fine for about a year, then had problems so she switched again or more. Within the last few months she’s gone from mizuno, saucony, and aciscs. She has yet to find a shoe that doesn’t give her problems. I think she’s going to head to road runner to see what they offer since RR has a larger variety of shoe than Fleet Feet. Hopefully she finds the perfect shoe again.

Comment by Attempted Runner

[…] weekend (In August, they had the 5k and 10k back to back on Saturday). As mentioned in an early blog post, I picked up by bib and Race packet Thursday, so come Friday morning all I had to do was get up, […]

Pingback by Race Recap: RunDisney’s 2014 Never Land 5k Fun Run | Attempted Runner.

[…] During the expo, two days prior, I got my bib without even bothering looking at it, since I just assumed I was in a corral somewhere in the middle. Well, while I was taking my tech tee out to see if the size I got fit right, my bib was strategically placed in a way that I had no other option but to look at my bib…more importantly the corral assignment letter. I did one of those things, where you glance down at your bib….then look up and then look back down because you didn’t think you saw what you saw….Realize what you saw then look up, look around the room because you feel that you did something wrong but still got away with it…like murder. Only to look back down at my bib to verify for the hundredth time and thought to myself “WHAT the WHAT??” Looked at my bib ONCE more just to make sure it was MY bib (with my name on the bib and also on the D tag) and that I wasn’t given the wrong one. When I saw my name on the bib that is when it hit me…. […]

Pingback by Race Recap: RunDisney’s 2014 Tinker Bell 10k | Attempted Runner.

Sign my petition:

I wasn’t even able to get a Coffee Mug!

Comment by Loretta

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: