We started our journey last Tuesday afternoon by driving down to High Springs, Florida, which is about 15 minutes north of Gainesville and approximately two hours from Orlando. We have some great friends who lived in Atlanta for many years and now live in High Springs. They are so gracious to host us each time we drive down to Disney. This is a huge bonus for us as we don’t have to pay for a hotel the first night and it breaks up the drive a little bit.
The following morning, we made our way down to Orlando. Our first stop was the WDW Marathon Weekend Race Expo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports. The expo is always fun and a little crazy depending on the time you go. Since I was doing the Dopey Challenge, I had to get there the first day to pick up my race bibs (1 for the 5k and 10K and 1 for the Half and Full) in order to be ready for the next morning. Rachel went ahead and picked up her 10K and Marathon race bibs as well.
After picking up our race bibs, we headed over to get our shirts. I picked up my 6 shirts for doing the Dopey Challenge and Rachel got her 10K and Marathon shirts. Then we walked around the expo for a while checking out the different booths. As you can see from the picture below, the expo had quite a few people and booths, but it was pretty easy to maneuver.
We ended up walking out with quite a few things (fortunately, most of the shirts were part of the registration).
After the expo, we headed over to the Animal Kingdom for a couple of hours. We hit up a few rides, including one of our favorites, Expedition Everest. The weather was absolutely beautiful that afternoon.
After checking in to our condo (we stayed in a timeshare condo for the week), we met our friends who live in Florida for dinner. These are the friends we have run with at Disneyland over Labor Day the past 2 years. They weren’t running this year as they are expecting a baby in February!
After dinner, we called it an early night as I needed to be up by 3:45 am the next morning for the 5K race. I was ready and feeling good about getting the Dopey Challenge started!
One thought on “WDW Marathon Weekend: Pre Race Festivities”
Oh, that does make it nice when racers have friends or family to stay with. Those hotel fees get to be a lot. I can’t wait to hear more. It truly is an amazing feat!