The entire Dopey Challenge is such a huge saga that it needs to be in 4-6 parts! After plenty of freakouts during the taper week, my Dopey buddies and I started the drive down to the world on Wednesday.
After a fun drive and a short stop for lunch at Panera in Gainsville, Florida (thanks to Ajit who had mapped out lunch stops earlier), we reached the Walt Disney World around 2:30-3pm.
We headed straight to the packet pickup. The expo was at the ESPN Wide World of Sports and we parked in the same row as a camper van (more to come on that piece of information).
Plenty of photo shenanigans before heading inside!
We also stopped by the stick booth to get some tips on how to effectively use the stick. Barry and Ajit are friends with Patrick, the stick guy as they call him, and went everyday to be “sticked” last year.
I made just one purchase at the sparkle athletic booth and was all set! The rest of the expo wasn’t all that exciting for me, and I was also confused with all the different buildings!
Also stopped at the Runner’s World booth to say hello to the people there and a selfie with Bart Yasso, the selfie king at RW!
We left the expo at about 5:30pm intending to get a good dinner. But … we forgot where we parked the car. That camper van we parked near – it was long gone! After quite a bit of searching, we finally found it! Thanks to all the car paint! And then sat in the traffic heading out for a while. So it was a rather tired group heading into Whole Foods for dinner. Barry & I dropped Ajit and his wife at their hotel before heading to our place of stay.
One last thing left to do – Get ready for the next day and carry my “flat” BAMRs with me!
What to expect at the Expo and Tips!
- Get to the expo early to avoid crowds. This one is a no brainer. This also gives you a good chance to pick up some cool merchandise. We were there at about 3pm, but already a lot of Dopey stuff was gone.
- Look through the event guide earlier and scout out the shopping you want to do. I knew that I only wanted official merchandise and a Sparkle Athletic skirt; and to stop at the Runner’s World booth. The boys wanted to visit the Stick people. So our path was -> race number, official photos with bibs (required by runDisney), TShirt and swag bag pickup (very disappointed in the swag bag – one clif bar and nothing else!), Stick, Runner’s World (for me), Sparkle Athletic and out! Even just that took us about 3 hours with all the socializing and looking around.
- Remember where you parked your car!! The last thing you want to do before the race is walk around trying to find the car.
- Carry some snacks or eat just before you get to the expo. You don’t want to sample all the food there on the day before your race. I had saved my sandwich from lunch (half soup and sandwich at Panera) and eating that just before we started the expo gave me a ton of energy.
- Carry a water bottle or two. I forgot to carry a bottle from the car and was quite dehydrated by the time we finished up. Good thing it was only the 5K the next day (Me saying “only a 5K” is not diminishing the accomplishment of a 5K distance. It is just me being glad that I was dehydrated the day before the shortest distance and not the longest distance.)
Were you at the WDW Marathon weekend expo? What did you like or not like about the expo?
What was the favorite thing you shopped for?
Next up: Dopey Challenge Race Report – 5K
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